Casino Roulette Strategies

Standard Blackjack strategy

Blackjack Strategy  December 2, 2015 – 08:12 am

Blackjack strategy at BetVictor CasinoWhat is the best way to play Blackjack and optimise your chances of winning? The answer is called basic strategy. Read on to discover more about how to win at Blackjack...

Blackjack is a very popular game amongst both the offline and online gaming communities mainly because the player is required to make several decisions every hand which will affect the outcome of the game. Therefore it is perceived to have more skill than other casino games (not including poker), however for advanced and sensible players, decisions will rarely deviate from the best blackjack strategy, known as basic strategy. In blackjack, the dealer has no decisions to make so optimal player decisions are always the same, which is why basic strategy works.

Once the player has grasped the basic rules of blackjack the next thing to learn is how to optimise your chances of winning. Predictably, there are countless theories and strategies designed to give the player an edge against the dealer but, just as predictably, none will actually give the player an advantage over the dealer apart from those considered illegal by the casinos. I am of course referring to card counting in which is banned by most casinos. Card counting will not be discussed here as it is not applicable to online blackjack. Rather, the strategy laid out here will be almost exclusively based on basic strategy. Once you feel comfortable to give online blackjack a whirl you should use BetVictor as your 'go to' for all online blackjack action and at the same time minimise risk by taking advantage of their excellent welcome offers.

What is Basic Strategy?

Quite simply, basic strategy is the optimal way to play blackjack. It has been devised using statistical probabilities to calculate the best possible move in any particular circumstance according to your cards and the dealer's starting card. The aim of basic strategy is obviously to win as often as possible but also to maximise your winnings (through double-down), to reduce the chances of busting, and also in some circumstances, to minimise your expected losses (through surrender or when choosing not to double). Of course, when playing any casino game, including blackjack under standard rules, the house will always have a slight edge but following basic strategy will significantly reduce this edge. It does not take into consideration any other cards which may have been seen in previous hands or other players' cards which would have a slight significance on subsequent cards. This is the basis of card counting which will not be discussed here. However, this is not a significant consideration for online blackjack as each round is played with a newly shuffled deck usually from a 6-deck pack. This means there is usually a 312 pack deck with 24 of each card, so unless you are considering the odds of one particular card which has appeared an incredibly large number of times already in that hand (e.g. 15 or more) then it is negligible.

The statistical calculations and permutations which form the basis for the basic strategy table will not be discussed here. The table is a robust playing guide and explaining how each decision has been arrived at is largely irrelevant as the end result - the recommended decision - will remain the same. If you are new to blackjack, it is recommended that you keep this guide close by when playing online, either on your computer screen or printed out, as a quick reference guide. You will find that the more you play, the less often you will need to refer to it as you being to learn the optimal decision for al possible situations. Eventually, you will be able to play basic strategy blackjack without even looking at the chart! Of course, if you are playing blackjack live at a casino, they might frown upon the use of a chart at the table. Some casinos will allow you to take a printed reference sheet with you (some will even have it available free for players to use at the table!) but almost certainly none will allow it on a computer or mobile device.

If you look at the basic strategy guide here you will see general patterns about where to hit and stand. For example, always hit (sometimes double-down) when your hand is below 11 (obviously, as you cannot bust) and always stand on 17 and above (unless its a soft hand). The best way to learn basic strategy by heart is not to learn all the possible hands but rather focus on the borderline hands. For example, when the dealer has 7 the recommended strategy for the majority of player hands changes dramatically from when a 6 is shown. Try out the blackjack basic strategy and start with an advantage when you sign up at BetVictor Casino and get instant bonus funds to boost your play. Practice makes perfect and there's few places online where we'd better recommend playing online blackjack.

The Risk

If a player follows basic strategy and does not deviate from its path then the theoretical return to player (RTP) under standard rules is 99.63%. This a very high RTP and will usually be the highest within a given casino, both online and offline, so it is perhaps no wonder that blackjack is such a hugely popular game. However, although the RTP is high in blackjack, the variance is low as the highest payout possible in one hand is limited to 3:2 (blackjack). In comparison to slot games for example where players are sometimes able to win up to several thousand times their stake, blackjack players are unlikely to win a huge amount in one session.

Remember that basic strategy does not guarantee that you will win money. In fact, even if you follow this guide to the letter the RTP will always be below 100%. Also it is important that you stick with it, even it you get a run of bad results. Players who play according to basic strategy will always out perform those who make their decisions based on gut instinct in the long run. Similarly, it is a common misconception that basic strategy should only be used on the first card drawn - this is not true. It should be followed during every decision.

Blackjack Strategy Chart

Of course, the structure of basic strategy depends on the particular rules being played. Popular blackjack variations don't make too much difference to basic strategy and so you should be confident that the general basic strategy presented here is close enough to cover certain common variations such as the dealer hitting soft 17 and double-down after splitting. As mentioned previously, the RTP with standard 'European' rules is around 99.63% (if basic strategy is followed) but as will be discussed certain rules changes can affect this number.

Interesting Fact:

Blackjack played with one deck; the dealer stands on soft 17; doubles are allowed on any first two cards and not after splitting, is a even game - the deal house edge is zero, i.e. the average RTP is 100%.


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