The Importance of Basic Strategy in Blackjack

Written by CAI National Museum on June 12, 2023 in Gambling News with no comments.


Blackjack is a card game where you try to beat the dealer. Different blackjack variants offer varying house edges, so it is important to choose the one that suits your gameplay best. You can consult a blackjack strategy chart to make the right decisions.

Always double down on a hard 11. A hard 11 is the best starting hand in blackjack and will increase your chances of winning against the dealer’s upcard.

Basic strategy

Using basic strategy is the best way to reduce your losses and improve your odds of winning in blackjack. Although it takes some time to memorize a chart, it’s well worth the effort since it lowers the house edge significantly. Many novice players overlook the importance of following basic strategy and they often play by intuition instead. While this can be lucrative in the short term, it is bound to cost you big over the long run.

The basic strategy was devised in the 1950s by four US Army engineers who used simple adding machines to discover the optimal playing strategy for blackjack. Their work attracted the attention of mathematician Edward O. Thorp, who verified their findings with computer simulations. His tweaks further improved the strategy, and blackjack professionals have continued to refine it ever since. Today, most blackjack variants have a composition-dependent basic strategy that factors in the number of cards, their denominations, and the value of the dealer’s exposed card to produce an optimal play.


Insurance is a side bet that is offered in blackjack when the dealer has an ace up. It is a separate bet from your main wager, and pays out for half of your original bet. Despite clever marketing, it is not worth taking insurance. It costs you 1.5 betting units, and it does not improve your chances of beating the dealer’s hand.

In fact, it does the opposite and increases the house edge. It is recommended that you always decline the insurance bet, especially if you have a strong hand and the dealer’s up card is an ace. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never take insurance on pat 20 hands. This is because there are only four cards that can give the dealer a blackjack, and the payout odds do not reflect this. In this scenario, you will lose the insurance bet and still win your blackjack. This is not a good situation.

Dealer tells

Blackjack is a game of chance, but it’s also a game of math and statistics. Learning basic strategy is essential to understanding how the game works, and to maximizing your chances of winning. Various betting systems claim to give players an edge, but they are mostly based on misconceptions and superstitions. It’s best to rely on the house rules and strategy rather than betting systems.

The cards in blackjack are usually dealt face up, so it is possible to see their values without touching them. However, players should avoid unnecessarily touching the cards, as this could raise suspicion of tampering or marking. It is also customary to place chips on the table in front of your bet, rather than handing them directly to the dealer.

It’s important to wait until the current shoe is completed before joining a blackjack table. This is good etiquette, and it will keep the pace of the game consistent for all players. It’s also a good idea to avoid jumping in mid-shoe, as it disrupts the flow of play and may inconvenience other players.


Blackjack has grown into an incredibly popular casino game, and players can now find variants that offer additional excitement. Some of these variants feature side bets, allowing players to win payouts for specific pairs. These side bets can boost a player’s bankroll, although they often have higher house edges than basic bets.

Blackjack variations come in all shapes and sizes, and most of them have different rules than the standard game. Some of these differences may seem minor, but they can have a huge impact on the player’s long-term theoretical return. Other differences have to do with the dealer’s position and the number of decks. Regardless of these differences, the best way to play blackjack is to practice your strategy, choose a trustworthy casino, and get lucky! This will help you maximize your winnings. There are also several different types of blackjack games available online. For example, European blackjack is very similar to American blackjack.

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