Getting Started With Basic Strategy For Blackjack

Learning and perfecting basic strategy is a must for anyone who wants to play blackjack. The house edge you see posted for certain blackjack games is based on playing with perfect basic strategy. Not playing blackjack perfectly will increase the house edge for the casino.

Not only does playing blackjack with perfect basic strategy give you a better chance of winning but it also allows you to play longer. Even if you’re not a serious gambler, the longer your bankroll lasts the longer you’ll play and the more fun you can have. That fun might be playing and winning or it might be enjoying the complimentary drinks for as long as you can.

I’m a drinker who likes to hang out and drink with friends. I gamble for entertainment. Sure, I want to win but having fun isn’t tied to only winning. Card counting requires a bit too much focus on other players for this drinker. However, remembering how to play with (nearly) perfect basic strategy isn’t too difficult if you’ve practiced enough before heading to the casino.

Using Basic Strategy Cards

Playing blackjack in a casino with perfect basic strategy is easier than actually learning the skill. Casinos allow players to use a blackjack strategy card at the table. You have to use a physical card, not a mobile device but this is the easiest way to play the game with perfect strategy. All you have to do is simply look at the strategy card and do what it says.

Practicing Basic Strategy

Using a basic strategy card isn’t for me and it may not be for you. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to practice basic blackjack strategy online and with mobile blackjack apps. Practicing basic strategy and card counting are great ways to pass the time while watching a baseball game or a TV show that doesn’t need much attention.

While the basic strategy isn’t difficult to learn there are many potential moves that can be made. There are also a lot of variations of blackjack in casinos today that might alter the strategy. The best strategy is to pick the strategy for the game and rules that you’ll play most often.

Learn The Strategy For A Game You Expect To Play

You can decide on perfecting a basic strategy based on how many decks will be in play. The house edge will be lower when you play with fewer decks. Single deck with liberal rules might be the best game to play, but it may not make sense for you.

At some casinos, a single or double deck game might only be available with a higher minimum wager starting at $25 per hand. Sometimes a lower minimum wager for single and double deck blackjack will be offered. These lower limits games could come with rules that take away the benefit of playing the game. A natural blackjack payout might be reduced to 6:5. The dealer might hit on soft 17. Splitting and doubling rules might also be altered to benefit a casino.

Many lower limits blackjack games under $25 minimum bets have 6 or 8 decks and will be dealt from a shoe. This is the blackjack game that you’ll find most often in a casino. Some casinos are using CSM (Continuous Shuffle Machine) which make counting cards impossible. The basic strategy still works with these games but the house edge will be slightly higher than when cards come from a shoe.

Learn The Lingo And The Strategy

Learn what hard hands, soft hands, double hands, and pairs are. You will one of these types of hand. Basic strategy isn’t as simple as learning the one thing to do if you’re dealt one of these hands. Inside of each category, there are many individual moves to be made. However, learning one set of rules at a time might be easier than learning everything at once.

Here’s a look at the different hands:

  • Hard Hands: The card value is what you see. For example, a 10 and 7 is a hard 17.
  • Soft Hands: Each hand has two potential values since an Ace has a value of 1 or 11. For example, a 6 and an Ace is a soft 17. If can also be a 7.
  • Double Hands: These are hands where you’ll place an additional wager to double your bet after receiving the first two cards. You’ll only receive one card after you double. For example, you’ll double an 11 against any two cards the dealer has with hopes of receiving a card with a value of 10 to finish with 21. You’ll only receive one card so you’re really hoping it’s a 10.
  • Pairs: You can usually split pairs when they’re first to cards you receive. Sometimes you’ll split and sometimes you won’t. Learn basic strategy to learn when to split.

Blackjack is a fun and popular casino game. There are more blackjack tables in casinos than any other game. Chances are good that someone you visit a casino with will love blackjack. Playing the game with perfect basic strategy should let your bankroll last longer so you can have more fun playing in the casino. Perfecting the strategy should also give you the best chance to walk away as a winner. Put these two things together and you have the combination for a great time in a casino!