The first step to learn how to win in blackjack is to learn the basic strategy. The basic blackjack strategy was derived from a computer simulation when somebody taught a computer how to play blackjack. The computer then played several hundred million hands and through this trial and error process it figured out, which decisions are best for the player at every possible combination of the players hands and the dealers up-card. However, this basic strategy does not overcome the casino’s house edge until card counting is added.
The basic strategy differs on the specific game the player is playing, as well as the number or card decks used in the game. In this post, we will cover the basic strategy for games using 4 decks or more.
If you are not familiar with the basic rules of blackjack, you should first read our post How To Play Blackjack and come back here when you are finished.
Basic Blackjack Strategy for 4 to 8 decks
The basic strategy for 4+ decks differs depending on the rules of the dealer. So the actions you should take if the dealer stands on Soft 17 slightly vary from those when the dealer hits on Soft 17. But lets first talk about some basic rules:
- Do never take insurance or even money, as this raises the house edge considerably.
- If you cannot re-split a hand, the best option is to treat that hand as a hard hand.
The basic blackjack strategy consists of a set of simple rules, which will be shown in the charts below. The rows are the player's cards values and the columns represent the dealer’s face-up card. The possible moves a player can make are as follows:
To use the basic strategy, look up your hand along the left vertical edge and the dealer's up card along the top. In both cases an A stands for ace.