Do you want to edge at Blackjack without thinking much? Well, you need to play the basic strategy which is the foundation of beating Blackjack. Here, we will share the fastest way to memorize the simplified basic strategy.
The first tip that could help you while playing this game is knowing how much the other person knows about this game. For this, you just need to ask what do they do with soft 18? And usually, they would answer something like “I usually stand!”. This is when you get the clue that they know the basic strategy for beating Blackjack.
Recommended Simplified Strategy for you!
You can find many versions of the simplified strategy. Here, we present the highly recommended basic strategy taken from the book of Kevin Blackwood named Play Blackjack Like the Pros. It comes up with the following 10 rules that you need to follow.
- Always stand on a hard total of 17+.
- Hit a hard 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 versus a dealer 7+. Otherwise, stand.
- Double down on 11 if the dealer has anything but an ace, in which case you should hit.
- Double down on 10 if the dealer has anything but a 10 or an ace, in which case you should hit.
- Double down on 9 if the dealer has a 3, 4, 5, or 6. Otherwise, hit.
- Always hit a hard 8 or less.
- Always split aces or 8s.
- Never split 5s or 10s.
- Always stand on soft 18+.
- Always hit soft 17 or less.
You may feel very difficult to memorize these rules; however, it will hardly take an hour for you to learn them.
You can take basic strategy to the next level if:
You can take the basic strategy effectively to the next level by memorizing the exceptions to that list of 10 rules that we shared earlier.
You can make the basic strategy using the following exceptions involving hard hands:
- With a hard total of 12, you’ll hit if the dealer has a 2 or 3 shows.
For splitting pairs, you need to know how to handle the other pairs besides 4 pairs that are addressed by simplified strategy such as:
- Split 2s, 3s, or 7s if the dealer has a 2 through 7.
- Split 4s if the dealer has a 5 or 6.
- Split 6s if the dealer has a 2 through 6.
- Split 9s if the dealer has a 2 through 6 or an 8 or 9. (Stand if the dealer has a 7, 10, or ace.)
While soft hands have the following exceptions:
- Double on soft 13 or 14, if the dealer has a 5 or 6. (Otherwise, hit.)
- Double on soft 15 or 16, if the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6. (Otherwise, hit.)
Double on soft 17 if the dealer has a 3, 4, 5, or 6. (Otherwise, hit.)