Understanding the basic strategy is very important when it comes to winning blackjack. It is unfortunate that only a few people actually has the will power to try and memorize it. Gambling 102 is an effective book which has 7 simple rules which can be used to win a game of blackjack.
One thing that bothered me since the publication of this book was the fact that the number of errors in the simple strategy was simply too many. This led to the publishing of “Wizard’s Strategy.” In Sep 2009. When compared to the 250 cells one has in basic strategy, there are only 21 in this new publication.
- A hard had does not have any aces or aces which has points till it bust. A soft hand should have at least one ace which can score up to 11 points.
- You can double if your points are more than the dealer, considering ace has 11 points. Specifically, double with 10 against a 2 to 9, and with 11 against 2 to 10.
- If he has to double, and you have 3 or more cards, then go for an hit.
- If he has to surrender, and you cant do it, then go for a hit.
- If it says to not split, then treat it as a hard hand and pair it.
Beware Short Pays on a Blackjack
We encounter more tables where the pay is less than on a blackjack. Some pay 6 to 5, but some of them don’t know about 7 to 5. A good part of them pays 3 to 2. In fact, only those which plays 3 to 2 should be termed as a blackjack for that matter. Others are simply 21 games which includes Super Fun 21 and Spanish 21. So, you should demand 3 to 2 blackjack, no matter what the other rules are. You can count on the felt to be sure or even for a sign.
The worst 3 strategies that you encounter at blackjack table are never bust, mimic the dealer, and always assume the dealer has a ten in the hole. Each of them is bad. You can read further to know why exactly they are bad.
Never bust: just assume that the maximum that you can hit is a 12. The rest of the decisions are as per basic strategy. Now, this will result in a house edge of 3.91%.
Mimic the dealer: assume that the player hits 16 or lower and has 17 or more, which includes a 17. The dealer cant split or double and so does the player. This strategy accounts for a house edge of 5.48%.
Assume a ten in the hole: first, assume the optimal basic strategy for this test. Suppose the dealer has an ace up, then we go back to basic strategy, since he will pick a blackjack and 10 becomes impossible. This results in a house edge of 10.03%.