Blackjack Basic Strategy for Split Pairs: Color-coded Chart
By Ion Saliu, Founder of Blackjack Mathematics
You look first at your first two cards. If the cards are not the same (Ten, Jack, Queen, King are considered like-cards, the same value of 10), then you disregard this chart. Move on to the double down situations, which are more frequent than the pairs.
The color of action is red — it makes it very intuitive to learn the rules of casino blackjack. If the color of the cell is red, you split the pairs. For example, your first two cards are 9 & 9. The blackjack dealer's up card (face card) is 9. Signal split immediately to the dealer — it is a split pair situation. If dealer's face card were 7, or 10, or 11, you do NOT split your pair of 9s. The color of the respective cells are grayed out (signifying no action). The color blue of a cell is most likely an ACTION: Split your pair (as most casinos allow doubling down after splitting the pairs).
There are two tricky situations: A + A and 8 + 8. They are hotly debated and arguable. You may not draw another card after splitting two Aces. No matter what, there is a clear percentage advantage for splitting the Aces and the Eights. I reconsider splitting the 8s, however, against the Dealer's 10 or Ace — If I bet high or I saw many high cards on the table (in that particular round).
The chart is a graphic (split-pairs.gif). You can right-click on it and select to print it — always in color!
- 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! You might want to do the real mathematics of streaks by running my software, Streaks.
• Always stand on 17 or greater.
• Always split A+A and 8+8.
• Never split 10+10 and 5+5 (unless you seeing Ion Saliu playing that way).
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- 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. If your hand is not a Double Down situation, move to the next chart: Hit or Stand.
- Blackjack Hit or Stand Basic Strategy Card
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: Split Pairs, Double Down, Hit or Stand
All three color-coded charts in one file, in the best decision-making sequence: Split Pairs, to Double Down, to Hit or Stand.
- Blackjack Basic Strategy for Multiple Card Decks: All Decisions in One Chart, Table, Spreadsheet
The traditional method of learning the 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 up card is 5. Player's first two cards: A+4; the right move: D (Double Down). It makes it somehow more difficult to learn the best decisions.
- Download Casino Gambling Software: Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat.
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