Basic Strategy or Instinct

Basic Strategy is the single easiest blackjack strategy tool that can be used. Basic strategy can be used for blackjack in a brick and mortar casino, and also for online blackjack. This is because it is based on the basic rules of the game, making it a versatile blackjack strategy tool.

However, this does make it ineffective for variations with different house rules, such as Spanish 21 and Pontoon. It can be used in variations in which the game play is the same as regular blackjack with the variation coming from a side bets. But you should not be playing side bet variations anyway.

What makes basic strategy the easiest blackjack strategy tool? It is because the hard work has already been done. All you have to do is find out what play is the best recommended for the hand you have been dealt against whatever the dealer’s up card is.

I know, this seems really simple. So why should you be practicing a strategy in which all you do is make the play the chart recommends?

Playing according to basic strategy is not as easy as it might appear. This is because sometimes the most recommended play is one in which you have to double down or split a pair, which means putting more money on the table. Or you might have to stand when you would rather hit or split.

Because your instinct might be telling you something different than what the basic strategy chart is telling you, it can make it hard to make the play on the chart.

Basic strategy can lower the house edge in regular blackjack and blackjack online to about 0.5%. But this can only happen when you play every single hand according to what the chart says. This means that you will have to put extra money on the table or stand when you do not want to stand.

The key aspect of basic strategy is that the chart has the best statistical play for every hand against every dealer up card. While you will not win every single hand, you will win more when you make the best statistical play rather than the play that your instinct wants.

In order to make yourself comfortable with ignoring your instinct in blackjack you need to practice using the chart. The more that you have to make a play that goes against your instinct and the more hands you win with basics strategy—even if you are only practicing with play money—the more comfortable your mind will be with abiding by basic strategy.

Blackjack is a game of skill. And skills require practice. While the basic strategy chart is a tool, the use of that chart is a skill. The better you are at sticking to that chart the better your basic strategy skill will be.

Also, the more familiar you are with basic strategy the better you will understand the how’s and why’s of the game. Understanding those why’s and how’s is what makes a player ready to work with more advanced blackjack strategies because the nuances of the game are understood—and advanced strategies are based on those nuances.

So take the time and practice working with basic strategy. Open yourself up towards working on a lower house edge and being a more skilled blackjack player.