Learning to play basic blackjack strategy is the first step for any serious blackjack player who intends on playing the game with any regularity. This goes for playing in land based casinos or online casinos who allow US players. Not learning to use basic strategy will more than double the house edge over a player who won’t take the time to improve their playing decisions. Basic 21 strategy entails a few different things, in this article I’ll talk about how one should play hard 21 hands. Hard hands refer to blackjack hands that don’t have an ace in them.
The first thing to do when you’re playing a hand of blackjack is to look at the dealer’s cards. Depending on what the Blackjack dealer is showing, you will make certain moves depending on your card holdings. After you see what the dealer is showing, you can look at the cards that have been dealt to you and make your decision as to how to best play the situation. Here’s how you decide what to do:
- If you have 8 or less, always hit; you can make your next decision depending on your new total.
- If you have a total of 9: Double if the dealer has 3 – 6, otherwise hit.
- If you have 10: Double if the dealer has 2 – 9, otherwise hit.
- If you have 11: Double if the dealer has 2 – 10, but hit if the dealer has an Ace.
- If your total is 12: Hit if the dealer has 2 or 3, but stand if the dealer has 4 – 6, otherwise hit.
- If you have 13- 16: stand if the dealer has 2 – 6, otherwise hit.
- If you have 17 – 21: Always stand.
That’s basic blackjack play for any combination of cards for a hard hand. Once you get those hand situations memorized, you can move on to other situations – like soft hands that contain an ace. Following a hunch that varies from this strategy will, even if you win, cost you money in the long run of your play. And staying away from distractions like alcohol, or how the other players at the table are playing, will help you remember how you’re supposed to play each situation. Then all you’ll need is a bit of luck