Basic strategy makes the actual playing of blackjack pretty easy. And for the most part it’s all you need to increase your odds in blackjack.
But every now and then you will hear tell of things that aren’t on that chart but that can be good for you—such as insuring a 20 against a dealer’s Ace. That certainly isn’t on the chart! But it can be advantageous. And that’s what blackjack strategy is all about.
Another instance is a pair of 4s. This one actually depends on the house rules of the blackjack game you’re playing though.
If you check a basic strategy chart you will see that it’s best for you to hit a pair of 4s rather than split them. This applies when faced with all dealer up cards except when one of the house rules says that players can double down after splitting a pair.
If that rule is in effect then that changes how you play a pair of 4s against a dealer’s 5 or 6.
If you are faced with a dealer’s 5 or 6 and the house allows you to double down after splitting, then this is the time you want to split that pair of 4s.
The reason is that if you are dealt a 5, 6 or 7 you are in a very good position to double down. Those three cards would give you a hand total of 9, 10 or 11—all of which are good to double down on. They are offensive hands now.
Looking at a basic strategy chart will show you that against a dealer’s 5, 6 of 7 are good to double down against with a hard 9, 10 or 11. This is why, if the house allows you to double down after splitting, you want to split those 4s.
Sometimes in blackjack, while basic strategy is a good base for your blackjack strategy, sometimes so research will reveal a trick that will increase your odds a little more.