Reduce the House Edge to Less Than 1% With Basic Blackjack Strategy


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. It has its own procedures, rules of conduct and playing strategies. Using basic strategy, it’s possible to reduce the house edge to less than 1% (rules dependent). The game is played with one or more decks of cards, each card having a specific value. The objective of the game is to beat the dealer by either having a total that exceeds the dealer’s or not going over 21 when the dealer does. Players have a number of playing options that include surrender, pair splitting and doubling down.

To play blackjack, a player makes bets by placing chips in the betting area of the table. Once the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards to each player and two to himself (one face up, the other face down). Players then decide whether to hit, stand, split, or double down. The dealer takes a turn after all the players have decided their actions. The dealer must hit on 16 or lower and stand on 17 through 21. If the dealer busts, the player wins and is paid out at 1:1 odds.

It’s important to understand the game’s rules before you begin. The game uses a standard 52-card deck. Each card has a number, 2 through 10, or is worth one or 11 points depending on its rank. Aces can be counted as either 1 or 11. In a hand of blackjack, the goal is to get a total as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Once the dealer has taken his turn, the remaining players may choose to hit or stand according to predetermined rules. When a player hits, he or she receives additional cards. If a player holds a hand of 18 or higher, he or she stands. In some blackjack games, a player may split cards if they have matching numbers. However, if a player splits a pair of 10s, they will be left with two weak hands.

In a tie, the player retains his or her original bet. If the dealer has a natural blackjack, the player loses his or her original bet.

Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott, often referred to as the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen, developed the first reasonably accurate basic playing strategy for blackjack in the 1950s. They used hand calculators to show that a player’s best bet is to split against any dealer’s up-card. It’s also smart to double against the dealer with a hand of nine or higher. However, if you split a pair of tens, you could end up with a weak hand of 13 and 12.