BlackJack strategies

The attention of speculators and gamblers who followed systems was drawn towards blackJack when “Beat the dealer" by E.O. Thorpe was first published in 1962. In his book, Thorpe explained blackJack game strategies (the so - called card counting system) that allowed the player to gain a mathematical advantage and win.

But how can a Casino game guarantee the gambler a mathematical advantage? Contrary to roulette, for example, the winning probabilities in the game of BlackJack are not fixed for each hand but vary according to the cards that came out during the previous hands.

Thorpe elaborated a strategy based on the counting of the “5” that guaranteed the gambler a mathematical advantage. From then on, many other systems have been devised and improved with the aid of computers. By counting the cards that have already been dealt out, the player can adjust his game tactics and increase his stakes at his best advantage.

Thorpe’s book caused many casinos to “review" some of their rules to oppose the practice of card counting; for example they started to utilize multi decks (usually 6) and leave out the last 20 - 30 cards of the deck. However, the use of various card counting systems combined with the “basic strategy” allows for a mathematical advantage still today.

The Basic Strategy

Hard total chart

Player's score

Dealer's card

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
17 and higher
                   
16               Hit * Hit
15           Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
14           Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
13           Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
12 Hit Hit **     Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit

* if you score16 against 10 with 2 cards, hit, otherwise stand

** discretional

Soft total chart (one of the cards in your hans is an ace)

Player's score

Dealer's card

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
17 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
18               Hit Hit  
19                    

Double down chart *

Player's score

Dealer's card

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
11 Double Double Double Double Double Double Double Double    
10 Double Double Double Double Double Double Double Double    
9     Double Double Double          
Asso, 7   Double Double Double Double          
Asso, 6 Double Double Double Double Double          
Asso, 5     Double Double Double          
Asso, 4     Double Double Double          
Asso, 3     Double Double Double          
Asso, 2     Double Double Double          

* In general, many casinos d not allow double down with a soft hand, but wherever possible, it is advisable to make use of this tactic.

Split pairs chart

Player's score

Dealer's card

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
A, A Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split  
10,10                    
9,9 Split Split Split Split Split   Split Split    
8,8 Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split    
7,7 Split Split Split Split Split Split        
6,6   Split Split Split Split          
5,5                    
4,4       Split            
3,3     Split Split Split          
2,2     Split Split Split          

These charts are valid for 6 –deck blackJack games. By adopting such strategy, player’s handicap is only 0.68%. If you want to make the most of a mathematical advantage, you have to adopt some kind of strategy or card counting system. Card counting can be done at real casinos but not at online casinos, due to the fact that decks are shuffled at each round or a progression system is utilized.