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Basic Strategy

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Hit Split Stand or Double?

Hit
To take another card. Tap the table beside your hand to signal the dealer you want to take a "hit".

Split
To form two hands out of a pair of similar cards. Place a bet next to your original one of equal size to signal the dealer you want to split your hand. You then draw cards to each hand, the right one first, then the left.

Stand
To decline any further cards. Wave your hand over your cards to signal the dealer you want to stand.

Double
To increase your bet 100%. Place a bet next to your original one of equal size to signal the dealer you want to "double-up". If you are doing this with a pair, tell the dealer you are doubling and not splitting.



Basic Strategy

There are a standard set of rules for playing Blackjack that have been calculated to be the correct plays for each and every possible hand called Basic Strategy. Here they are for multi-deck games:

If dealer shows 2 or 3 take cards until you have 13 or more.

If dealer shows 4 5 or 6 take cards until you have 12 or more.

If dealer shows 7 8 9 10 or Ace take cards until you have 17 or more.

If you have an Ace in your hand, take cards until you have 19 against the dealers 9 10 or Ace, 18 for anything else. When your Ace can only count as a 1, go back to the above rules.

Double your 2 card total of 11 against anything less.

Double your 2 card total of 10 against anything less.

Double your 2 card total of 9 against 3 4 5 or 6.

Double Ace 7, Ace 6 against 3 4 5 or 6.

Double Ace 5 Ace 4 against 4 5 or 6.

Double Ace 3 Ace 2 against 5 or 6.

Always split Ace's and 8's.

Never split 10's 5's or 4's.

Split 9's against 2 3 4 5 6 8 or 9 only.

Split 7's against 2 3 4 5 6 and 7.

Split 6's against 3 4 5 and 6.

Split 2's and 3's against 4 5 6 and 7.

Never take Insurance.

These rules can be slightly different if the rules differ in the Casino you play in. For example, when the dealer takes no hole card, you do not split Aces against the dealers Ace. You also do not double your 11 against a dealers 10 card. There are also a number of Advanced Plays that can be made once the Basic Strategy Player has become a Counting Player.

Learning Basic Strategy is made easy with a little help from flash cards, a tool most of us remember from grade school. Feel free to download a set of these cards from this page. I have prepared them for your use and wish you all the best with this very valuable knowledge.


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