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Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack Strategy - Blackjack Basic Strategy, Hand by Hand

Basic Strategy

If you've read anything at all about blackjack, you've heard of something called "basic strategy". All this term means is the optimal strategy for each hand you're dealt, and since there a limited number of possible hands versus a limited number of potential dealer upcards, basic strategy is something that can be memorized.

Some people learn blackjack basic strategy using a chart, but I could never remember it that way, so I've included a page discussing how to play each possible hand against different dealer's upcards. I'm of the opinion that understanding the "why" behind each decision in each situation makes it easier to remember the basic strategy.

One hint - if you assume that the dealer's downcard is a ten, and think about what will happen if you get dealt a ten, you'll be able to "figure out" the correct basic strategy most of the time. This is because there are a disproportionate number of ten's in the deck compared to cards with other values. (16 out of 52 cards have a value of 10.)

So you'll find below a page for each possible hand you can be dealt, and a link to instructions for how to play that hand. I hope it's useful for you. Also, be sure to check out our section: Is Online Blackjack Rigged? for some more helpful information.

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Blackjack Basic Strategy for Hard Hands

Hard hands include any hands without an ace and any hands with an ace where the ace must be counted as a 1 in order to avoid busting.

Start by reading the basic strategy for hard hands here.

Blackjack Basic Strategy for Soft Hands

Soft hands are hands that include an ace. They're called "soft hands" because you're a lot less likely to go bust with a soft hand, since you can always decide that the ace counts as 1 instead of 11.

The totals below count the ace as an 11. Start by reading the basic strategy for soft hands here.

Blackjack Basic Strategy for Splitting Pairs

Pairs are two cards with the same rank. The decision to make when you have a pair is whether or not to split the pair and play two hands, or play it as a hard hand.

Start by reading the basic strategy for pairs here.

You may also be interested in learning about Blackjack Skills, overcoming Blackjack Weaknesses, Blackjack Myths and the constantly asked question: Is Online Blackjack Legal? We also have information about The SAFE Port Act of 2006.

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