Why Have a Blackjack Strategy?
Like most online casino games, blackjack is a game of probability. Probability is a branch of mathematics, but this doesn’t mean that you need to do complex calculations while sitting at the table. The various blackjack strategies simply use maths to work out your best option in certain gaming scenarios, so they’re definitely worth knowing.
Following the guidelines of even the most basic strategy can provide the framework for maximising your chances. In high stakes (or low stakes) situations, having a strategy can be a vital guide, directing you to your best possible action.
How to Play Blackjack
Let’s recap the basics of how to play the game.
The aim of blackjack is simple: beat the dealer’s hand by having a total that’s greater than the dealer’s but without going over 21.
The game starts with the dealer dealing two cards to each player and himself. This is called your hand. The value of your hand will dictate whether you choose to take another card (or more) to try and get closer to 21.
If you ask for another card (“hit me”) and it takes your total above 21, you’ve bust. That means you lose the hand and the dealer wins. But if you finish with a number higher than the dealer's, while still not exceeding 21, you win the hand.
There’s a bit more to it when you play online blackjack, but those are the essentials of the game.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
The basic playing strategy is a set of rules that tell you the best mathematical way to play your hand (given the parameters available to you). There are four typical strategies in the basic strategy:
- Surrender strategy
- Pair splitting strategy
- Hit and stand strategy
- Doubling down strategy
We’ll explain each one in more detail, please note that the strategy discussed assumes four to eight decks are being used and that the dealer stands on soft 17.