An Introduction To Blackjack
Before we get to discussing blackjack strategy, it would be prudent to give a brief introduction to the game itself. Blackjack, also called 21, is one of the most popular games at casinos, both traditional as well as online. The game is not just purely about luck; you need to have some basic skill and a utilitarian grasp at least of math to be able to win.
Winning at blackjack, or rather ensuring that you do not lose too frequently is possible with proper knowledge of blackjack strategy. Knowing the different strategies is important as they help you to come up with ways of beating the house advantage. How does it achieve this? A blackjack policy that works helps lower the advantage that the casino enjoys over its players. In some cases the house advantage falls drastically, plunging to a measly 1% from 7-8%.
With this brief introduction to the game, we are now ready to discuss and learn about blackjack strategy.
An Introduction To Blackjack Strategy
As mentioned earlier, strategy plays a crucial role in determining your fate at blackjack. Lack of knowledge about strategies in blackjack is one of the surest ways of ending up losing more than you win. There are a few different strategies you can adopt while playing blackjack. These are:
- Blackjack basic strategy
- Card counting
- Tournament strategy
- Strategy based on composition
- The strategy that uses techniques like shuffle tracking
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Basic blackjack strategy is what you need to learn first before you go on to pick up any other strategies or techniques, as the name speaks for itself. This strategy involves math in the form of values and systems in a chart that gives you, based on probability, the different play options available for each blackjack scenario. You have a basic strategy for both single and multiple deck blackjack.
To put basic blackjack strategy into practice you should know how to use the basic strategy charts. These are easily available charts and many casinos allow you to consult them during play. The chart itself is simple in terms of representation – the left vertical column is your hand and the top horizontal one is the dealers. All you need is to map the two values for each hand to get an accurate idea of how to handle a hand correctly.
The basic blackjack strategy tells you the different actions to take during a game. These actions are represented as abbreviated terms in the strategy charts. H stands for ‘hit’, S means ‘stand’, D stands for ‘double if allowed, else hit’, while the expansion for Ds is slightly different and refers to ‘double if allowed, else stand.’ The abbreviation P stands for ‘split’, H/P stands for ‘split if you can double after split, else hit’, H/R stands for ‘surrender if possible, else hit’, P/R stands for ‘surrender if allowed, else split’, and S/R stands for ‘surrender if allowed, else stand.’
To use a basic blackjack strategy, you need to know it thoroughly so you do not have to keep referring to it each time, as that is amateurish and, more importantly, can be a distraction.