A description of Blackjack Strategy and the tools that are necessary for optimum play of each hand, including charts as well as in-depth explanations.
When starting out at the Blackjack table, there is a lot to learn. Eventually, players become familiar enough with the game to become interested in introducing some form of “system” or “strategy” into their play. The two terms can be easily confused, and most players would agree that they sometimes overlap in meaning.
For the purpose of clarity, when we mention “Blackjack Systems,” we are referring to ways of managing wagers to gain profits, such as progressive wagering or money management techniques. When we discuss “Blackjack Strategy,” we are usually talking about how to play the actual cards that are dealt.
The Basic Tools of Blackjack Play
Those new to Blackjack often hear experienced players or dealers mention “playing by the Book.” They are not making it up. There really is a book that describes the “right way to play,” and it was authored in 1956 by Roger Baldwin as “The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack.” Virtually every book hat has been written about the game since then has referenced it as a source.
But there is no need to make a trip to the bookstore or library. We have summarized Baldwin’s classic here in our section on Basic Blackjack Strategy. All of the “right” ways to play are described in simple language, so no one who has visited this web site need ever be accused of not knowing how to “play by the Book.”
We have also gone two steps further by providing you with two “cheat sheets” to help you know what to do in any situation. The Single Deck Blackjack Strategy Chart shows all of the possible hand combinations for the dealer and the player, along with the statistically appropriate actions to take. We have also posted a Multiple Deck Blackjack Strategy Chart that can be printed out or copied to take along to the casino.
No dealer or pit boss will hassle a beginner about using a Strategy Chart at the table. They want you to learn how to play Blackjack well so that you will enjoy the game more and come back to the tables frequently. Players who haven’t a clue about “playing by the Book” soon lose their interest as well as their money. It is to the casino’s advantage in the long run to encourage new players to become proficient enough not to make obvious mistakes in hand play.
The Advanced Tools of Blackjack Play
Once Basic Blackjack Strategy and the charts become a natural part of play, it will be time to take the game to the next level and start turning the tables on the casino’s advantage or House edge. This is accomplished by keeping track of cards that have been played in order to more accurate predict what cards will be coming up—a technique known as “card counting.”
We have provided you with two sections on this very special Blackjack tool. The one on Basic Card Counting explains why the practice is so effective and gives a simple way in which it can be implemented. The section on Advanced Card Counting goes into what changes are required in Basic Blackjack Strategy in order to get the most out of the information provided by the “the count.”
Once some experience has bee gained in card counting, the section on Playing Perfect Blackjack will be of interest. It adds a few addition tweaks to Blackjack Strategy, aimed at reducing the Hose edge as much as possible.
One other topic we have addressed under the category of “strategy” is Tournament Blackjack. This is such a different form of the game it really deserves a web site all its own, but we have gathered here enough information to help a both novices and experienced Blackjack players decide whether tournament play might be something to look into more deeply.