## Basic Blackjack Strategy

Before you get into basic strategy, you’ll need to learn what the rules of the game are. In Blackjack, your goal is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. Here are the stipulations:

- Aces are worth either 11 or 1, in your favor
- Each face card is worth 10 points
- “Hit” means to add a card
- “Stand” is to hold your position, no more cards for you.
- Going over 21 is a bust, meaning you lose
- Dealer will hit until his hand’s value is 17 or higher
- If you’re dealt 21 from the start (Ace & 10) you automatically have a blackjack and win.
- Doubling means to double your bet and hit.
- Splitting is done when you have two of the same card. It means that your pair is split into two hands.
- You cannot play two aces after they are split.
- You can only split or double on the first move, or the first move of a newly split hand.

Basic strategy is simply the best way to play your hand during any given round. If you ask a professional player, they’ll tell you that there’s no decision to be made. You are either right, or you’re wrong. At this point you may be thinking about counting cards, and the hit Hollywood film “21”. No, that’s not what basic strategy is, but rather knowing the simple do’s and don’ts of the game.

Basic Strategy involves logic, not advanced math and science. So, you simply need to understand the rules of the game and think logically. Let’s say you have 10 and a 2, leaving you with a total value of 12. The dealer’s visible card is a 6. What do you do? Let’s have a look at the options:

The Hit. Would it be a good idea? Most people simply see that they have a low number and think to take a chance. That’s not logical, but rather emotional. What’s the logical thought process then? Well, anything above a 9 value will bust you, and that means you have at least 3 10’s, 4 Jacks, 4 Queens and 4 Kings to look out for; a total of 15 cards can kill your entire play, which is almost half of the amount of cards that are left in the deck (if you’re playing 1 deck). You must understand that there are more 10-value cards in the deck than anything else.

The Stand. If you decide to stand, your dealer must make a decision. Considering that you have more 10-value cards, you can assume that the dealer’s invisible (hole) card is one of 10-value, putting him at 16. You can also assume that the next one out of the shoe will be of 10-value and that most likely the dealer will bust. Of course, this isn’t always the case and there’s no way to guarantee it, but this is about logic, and logic will tell you that probability is in the favor of standing, not taking the hit.