Master basic strategy before you ever place a bet.


Once you have mastered basic strategy, the casino's edge is reduced to only .5% (half of one percent). From there, counting cards allows you to swing the odds of winning in your favor. This strategy allows you to gain a long-term winning edge over the casino, the same way casinos gain the long-term edge over novice blackjack players.

Rules of Basic Strategy


Surrender

Surrender hard 16 (but not a pair of 8s) vs. dealer 9, 10, or A.
Surrender hard 15 vs. dealer 10.

Split

Always split aces and 8s.
Never split 5s and 10s.
Split 2s and 3s against a dealer 4-7
Split 4s the dealer shows a 5 or 6.
Split 6s against a dealer 2-6.
Split 7s against a dealer 2-7.
Split 9s against a dealer 2-6 or 8-9.

Double Down

Double hard 9 vs. dealer 3-6.
Double hard 10 except against a dealer 10 or A.
Double hard 11 except against a dealer A.
Double soft 13 or 14 vs. dealer 5-6.
Double soft 15 or 16 vs. dealer 4-6.
Double soft 17 or 18 vs. dealer 3-6.

Hit or Stand

Always hit hard 11 or less.
Stand on hard 12 against a dealer 4-6, otherwise hit.
Stand on hard 13-16 against a dealer 2-6, otherwise hit.
Always stand on hard 17 or more.
Always hit soft 17 or less.
Stand on soft 18 except hit against a dealer 9, 10, or A.
Always stand on soft 19 or more.

*If Dealer Hits Soft 17

Surrender 15, a pair of 8s, and 17 vs. dealer A.
Double 11 vs. dealer A.
Double soft 18 vs. dealer 2.
Double soft 19 vs. dealer 6.