In a recent article we talked about the importance of basic blackjack strategy, today we will insist on it. Basic strategy was created by using a computer simulation of millions of blackjack hands.
Basically, these computer simulations showed the mathematical probability of improving the blackjack hand or beating the dealer, by a certain playing strategy. In other words, telling the blackjack player what action he or she should take (hit, split, double-down, etc.) for each and every possible card combination.
The important thing to remember is that nearly all basic strategy rules are indisputable in the long run, the finite nature of mathematical science dictates that a particular playing decision, based on the player’s cards and the dealer’s exposed card, will yield a predictable outcome after millions of hands of play.
In addition to learning basic strategy, some players are tempted to invest time in betting systems. These methods guarantee big wins, but they’re nothing but superstitious designed to prey on desperation and greed. Systems such as the Martingale are inherently flawed.
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Blackjack strategy takes some time to learn, but it’s your best bet for reducing the house edge. The more you practice, the easier it should become, and committing it to memory allows you to make fast decisions at the table without holding up the play of everyone else. Opposite form basic strategy there are other common practices that we have identified as big mistakes.
We have encountered three: never bust, mimic the dealer, and always assume the dealer has a ten in the hole. All three are very bad strategies. Following are specific comments on each of them, including the house edge under Atlantic City rules (dealer stands on soft 17, split up to 4 hands, double after split, double any two cards) of 0.43%.
Never bust: For the analysis of this strategy we assumed the player would never hit a hard 12 or more. All other decisions were according to correct basic strategy. This “never bust” strategy results in a house edge of 3.91%.
Mimic the dealer: For the analysis of this strategy we assumed the player would always hit 16 or less and stand on17 or more, including a soft 17. The player never doubled or split, since the dealer is not allowed to do so. This “mimic the dealer” strategy results in a house edge of 5.48%.
Assume a ten in the hole: For this strategy we first figured out the optimal basic strategy under this assumption. If the dealer had an ace up, then we reverted to proper basic strategy, because the dealer would have peeked for blackjack, making a 10 impossible. This “assume a ten” strategy results in a house edge of 10.03%.
Strategy cards are available from multiple sources online, so find the one that fits your favorite version of blackjack and start studying. Start playing casino games at RegalPoker.com Online Virtual Casino today!