The Best Blackjack Basic Strategy in 3 Steps: 1 Split Pairs, 2 Double Down, 3 Hit or Stand
All Blackjack Strategy Cards, Charts on One Page, in Action Color
By Ion Saliu, Founder of Blackjack Mathematics
0. The Best Introduction to Blackjack Basic Strategy
• Thousands of people pay huge money to learn the blackjack basic strategy in all kinds of seminars or training by videos. You don't have to do that. Save your money for real play at casinos. Just learn, memorize, and apply the three color-coded tables in the recommended order. This is the only, therefore the best sequence of learning and applying the blackjack basic strategy to the casino table.
Do NOT gamble online: You will lose regardless how well you play, including perfect application of the blackjack basic strategy. Internet casinos cheat big-time! The software can do whatever the online gambling operators want it to. You can't see a thing!
All your decisions in blackjack should follow the three sequences listed below. Of course, you are, like every gambler out there, an independent mind. You have your own gambling strategy, including alterations of the basic strategy at the blackjack table. You must have had plenty of experiences in that tough environment. This is mostly for those blackjack players who never seemed to be able to grasp the basic strategy.
It is said that a majority of the gamblers do not have a grasp on blackjack basic strategy. It must be so because the training has been absolutely wrong. They put all the decisions in blackjack in one non-intuitive chart, a spreadsheet-like table that is very hard to memorize. I was NOT able to learn the blackjack basic strategy adequately from that one spreadsheet! My success in learning the blackjack basic strategy came soon after I applied the method of three color-coded charts of blackjack decisions. The average person will learn (near) perfectly the basic strategy in one week or so. It is guaranteed… and it is free.
- #1: Split Pairs Table: If first two cards not applicable, move quickly to the next cheat sheet, #2;
- The first two cards of your hand must be the same for pair splitting to apply; e.g. 7 & 7, or J + J.
- Approximately 3% of 2-card hands should be legitimately split (78 total blackjack pairs, counting 10, J, Q, K as different; around 25 hands strongly recommended to be split).
- #2: Double Down Chart: If first two cards not applicable, move quickly to the last cheat sheet, #3;
- The first two cards of your hand must be as shown on the decision chart for doubling down to apply; e.g. the 2 cards sum up to 10 or 11, as 3 + 8; also, soft hands as Ace & 6.
- Around 8% of 2-card hands should be legitimately bet up (262 total total blackjack double-down configurations; 110 strongly recommended to be doubled down).
- #3: Hit (Draw) or Stand Cheat Sheet: A final decision must be made now; a basic strategy player will either stand (stay), or draw (hit the hand).
- If split pairs or double down did not apply to the first two cards, it must be either hit, or stand; some casinos offer the surrender option to the player (e.g. 15 or 16 against Dealer's up-card of 10 or Ace).
#1: Split-Pairs Table, Chart
- The recommended action is colored in red. The non-action is grayed out. For example, your first two cards are 9 & 9; the dealer face card is 6; the corresponding cell (square) is red: You split the pair. If the dealer up-card is 7, the cell is grayed out: You don't split, you move to the next chart (eventually to decision table #3).
- There are special cases regarding splitting pairs: the cells colored in blue. They are applicable (action) only if the particular casino allows doubling down after split (DAS). For example: 4+4 and dealer's face card 5 or 6.
#2: Double-Down Chart, Table
- The recommended action is colored in red. The non-action is grayed out. For example, your first two cards are A & 7; the dealer face card is 6; the corresponding cell (square) is red: You double down. If the dealer face card is 8, the cell is grayed out: You don't double down, you move to the last decision chart (#3).
#3: Stand or Hit (Draw) Final Decision Table
- The recommended action is colored in red. The non-action is grayed out. For example, your first two cards are 9 & 7 (a total of 16); the dealer face card is 8; the corresponding cell (square) is red: You hit the hand (draw another card). If the dealer up-card is 4, the cell is grayed out: You don't hit (you stand).
4. Special Blackjack Advice, Tips
- Always stand on 17 or greater.
- Never split 10 + 10 or 5 + 5.
- Split A + A and 8 + 8 (unless you saw many large cards on the table… without counting).
- Do not take insurance — unless you see very few 10-valued cards on the table (clearly fewer than 1 in 3).
When my bet is at the minimum, I play fancy sometimes and hit, even double, a 12 or 13 against dealer 5 or 6 only and only when I consider the probability be high to get a low card! I admit it, I had no choice but double up 12 against a dealer's 6 when the dealer made a serious error. The player prior to my hand was not a basic strategy player and stood on less than 11! The Asian dealer turned a 9 card, while the player had said "Stand!" Rocket science for this very Parpaluck, who doubled down and won (less than $50!!!) The morale: You should never, ever be ashamed if winning because of dealer's gross mistakes! Also, beware of dealers' tendency to cheat by miscounting. If that happens, you could win big time in courts of law! Always look closely at dealers' hands!
- The three blackjack strategy charts are graphics (split-pairs.gif, double-down.gif, hit-stand.gif). You cannot highlight, copy, then paste into a file. You might want, however, to right-click on each image and save to your computer. The images are totally free and non-copyrighted by anybody, although a link to this Web page would be highly appreciated.
- Right-click on each image to print the corresponding blackjack basic strategy (BS) chart. Always print in vivid color, axiomatico/axiomaticule!
- The most important aspect of gambling mathematics, casino gambling especially, is record keeping. The streaks are the most important parameter in gambling. The infamous gambler's fallacy is the only counterpoint employed by casinos: Player will lose forever . . . but not the house — ever! You might want to do the real mathematics of blackjack streaks by running my probability software, Streaks.
- You can see a reduced version of my blackjack gambling system based on streaks, progressions. I call it blackjack mental system because the records are kept in memory (as in human brains). The full-version requires recordkeeping on paper. The casinos don't like it and they may take adverse measures if you open a notebook and start writing. Read one of my experiences: Casinos Bar, Ban Winning Gamblers, Skilled Players.
5. Blackjack: Software, Content, Resources, Systems, Basic Strategy, Card Counting
Click the link to visit a directory of pages and materials on the subject of blackjack, software, systems, basic strategy.
Of major interest: Blackjack; Charts, Tables, Probability, Odds, Software.
- Blackjack Split Pairs Basic Strategy Table.
Color-coded chart to learn the best Split Pairs strategy. When you get your first two cards, look at this table first. The pairs occur the least in a blackjack game (5.9%). If your hand is not a pair, move to the next chart: Double Down.
- Blackjack Double Down Strategy Table.
Color-coded chart to learn the best Double Down strategy. After consulting the Split Pairs table, look next at this table. The Double Down situations occur more often than pairs at blackjack (8% recommended to double). If your hand is not a Double Down situation, move to the next chart: Hit or Stand.
- Blackjack Hit Stand Strategy Table.
Color-coded chart to learn the best Hit or Stand strategy. After consulting the Double Down table, finally look at this table. The Hit or Stand decisions are by far the most frequent and important situations in blackjack.
- Blackjack Basic Strategy for Multiple Card Decks: All Decisions in One Chart, Table, Spreadsheet
The traditional method of learning the BJ basic strategy: all decisions in a table. The dealer up-card is listed across (horizontally), while the player's first two cards are listed vertically in the leftmost column. For example, dealer's face-card is 5. Player's first two cards: A+4; the right move: D (double-down). It makes it more difficult to learn the best blackjack decisions accurately and quickly. It is best to combine similar situations that require the same action — as the blackjack cheat sheets on this page.
- Gambling Mathematics in Blackjack Proves Deception of Card-Counting Systems.
- New Casino Games by Ion Saliu: Parpaluck Blackjack.
- The Best Blackjack Strategy, System Tested with the Best Blackjack Software.
- Download Casino Gambling Software: Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat.
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