Basic Strategy For Blackjack
The basic strategy for Blackjack is to compare your hand to that of the dealer's showing card. The basic card values are straightforward enough, but when you pull a soft-hand or can double down you are in a position to make a strong play if you know what you are doing.
A soft-hand is an ace and any other card below the value of ten. This hand gets its name because the ace can be either one or eleven as necessary. The big advantage to a soft hand is that you can take hits with less risk of busing. But that doesn't mean you can be carefree about how you play your hand. Take a look at the dealers' showing card and play your cards as follows:
If you have an ace with an 8 or higher then hold your hand and don't take a hit. By playing the ace as 11 you have 19, which is a hand you should always stand on.
If you have an ace with 7 take a hit if the dealer's showing card is 9 or better.
If you have an ace with six or less then you should always take a bit. Even though this means you are taking a risky hit on 17 you can always bail yourself out if you bust by using the ace as a 1.
Doubling down is another situation you need to master if you want to win at Blackjack. Doubling down allows you to double you initial bet in certain circumstances. If played correctly you can offset the house advantage and that is an opportunity not to be missed! Bear in mind though that casinos have different rules as to when you can double down.
You should double down according to following rules:
If your have card values of 9 to 11 then double down. Statistically you have great chance to win because there are so many cards with a value of 10 to draw.
However, if you have a 9 then only double down if the dealer is showing a weak card of 3 to 6. This is because the dealer as likely to bust if he/she is showing any other card.
When holding a soft hand you should double down only when you can exploit a weak dealer card. The way to play an soft hand for doubling down is as follows;
If you have an ace with 8-9, just stand. This is a strong hand so don't double down.
If you have an ace with 6.-7 then double down and take a hit if the dealer is showing a weak 3-6, and especially 4.-6.
If you have an ace with 4.-5 only double down if the dealer is holding a weak 4.-6.
If you have an ace with 2-3 then only double down if the dealer is showing a 5-6.
By knowing how to play these strategies you can take advantage of favorable hands when they come your way.