a count of 11, do not hesitate if the dealer has a 10 or Ace showing.
a count of 10 and the dealerís card is anything but a 10.
a count of 9 and the dealerís card is between 2 to 8.
soft 13, 14, 15, 16, (Ace and 2, 3, 4, 5) and the dealer has a 6 showing.
For hard hands, if the player's cards amount to 12 or higher...
Hit if the player hand totals 12 through 16 and the dealer has a seven or higher.
Stand on any hand totaling 17 or higher.
Stand if the player cards total 12 through 16 and the dealer has two through six.
For soft hands...
Always draw to soft 17 or less.
Only draw on soft 18 if the dealer has an eight, nine or ten.
Doubling down is the main method by which a player can eliminate the house edge so it is very important to remember when to utilize this option.
For hard hands...
Double down when the player's cards total 11 and the dealer has a ten or less.
Double down when the player's cards total 10 and the dealer has a nine or less.
Double down when the player's cards total nine and the dealer has a four, five or six.
For soft hands...
Double down with a soft 13 and soft 14 when the dealer has a five or six.
Double down with a soft 15 and soft 16 when the dealer has a four, five or six.
Double down with a soft 17 and soft 18 when the dealer has three through six.
Always split a pair of aces or eights. A pair of aces totals either two or twelve but when you split them each card is worth eleven. When you split eights you are breaking up 16 which is the worst hand to have.
Never split fours, fives or tens.
Split twos and threes only when the dealer has four through seven.
Split sixes when the dealer has three through six.
Split sevens when the dealer has three through seven.
Split nines when the dealer has two through six, eight or nine.
Never take insurance unless you're counting cards
If you are dealt a natural 21 (blackjack) at a single deck table, and the dealer's upcard is an ace, there are 49 cards remaining after removing your ace and ten as well as the dealers ace. This leaves fifteen tens to give the dealer a blackjack. Not insuring your blackjack means you will be paid 3 to 2 thirty-four times and push fifteen times (49 total - 15 tens = 34).
This means your winning percentage will be 104 percent by not insuring as opposed to 100 percent if you did. Clearly you're better off not taking insurance.
Always follow strict basic strategy rules
Basic strategy for blackjack is the predetermined set of plays a player should make to maximize their average gain or expectation playing one hand against a complete pack of cards. Consult our basic strategy charts to determine the proper plays for all table conditions.
Play at tables offering the most advantageous conditions
The players expected win rate using basic strategy depends on the casino's blackjack rules and the number of decks being used. Some of these variations favor the house and some favor the player. Consult our favorable and unfavorable charts to determine which tables to play.
Surrender when necessary
Some casinos offer the ability to surrender or turn over your hand after your original two cards without playing it for half of your wager. There are two types of surrender, early and late. Early surrender means surrender before the dealer checks for a blackjack. Late surrender means surrender that is allowed only after the dealer checks for blackjack.
The option of early surrender increases the players expected win rate by .7 percent while late surrender increases the rate by .06 percent. Always look for tables that offer early surrender.