BASIC BLACKJACK STRATEGY

Straightforward Advice To Maximize Your Returns

Having played Blackjack for many years in our casinos in Phoenix, I have yet to see a single player play perfect basic strategy even though you can get a strategy chart from the pit boss in many of the casinos! 

Recently I have seen players double a nine against a dealer up card of an ace, split tens, stand on ace-four, stand on twelve against a ten … you name it I have seen it! The funny thing is these same players (after they have lost all their money) blame the dealer for being “hot”, when in fact it was their poor play that caused them to lose.

One of the most misplayed hands that I have seen lately are those involving an ace. I don’t know how many times I have seen players stand with the hand of ace-six (soft seventeen).

Here is a fun fact, the hand of seventeen is a losing hand in the long run against every single dealer up card except a six, that’s why you never stand on ace-six, you either double or split. 

Another bad play I have seen players make lately is standing on sixteen vs a dealer up card of a seven. Sixteen is a 12 to 5 underdog to win against a dealer up card if you hit it, considerably less if you stand. Here is one more fun fact, you can only play “stupid” for so long before it catches up with you.

If you want a decent shot at walking out a winner, learn basic strategy. If you play perfect basic strategy here in the Phoenix casinos you will be at about a .06% disadvantage at most Blackjack games.

If you rely on hunches, gut feelings, or prayer to play your hands you could be around a 10% disadvantage, a big difference!

There are three types of Blackjack players: those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that wonder what happened. If you don’t play perfect basic strategy you will eventually fall into the “wonder what happened” category.

I was playing one night and this gentleman had no clue how to play and was getting beat up pretty bad. I had the pit boss give him a basic strategy chart so he could look at his hand, the dealer’s up card, find it on the chart and make the correct play, and yes they will let you have the chart at the table.

Much to my surprise, the guy still played his hunches, prayed, and lost, what a shock. He eventually fell into the “wonder what happened” category.

If I double down on eleven against a dealer’s up card of a ten seven times in a row, and lose all seven times, when it comes up again I will still double down. That’s how much faith I have in basic strategy and math probabilities, you should too

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