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Blackjack Strategy

Just like all casino based games, the house has a statistical advantage over the players that will play itself out in the long run. But because Blackjack has an element of player choice, players can actually reduce that advantage to a very small percentage by playing what is known as basic strategy, shown below in the form of a Strategy Card. This strategy determines when to hit and when to stand, and also determines when doubling down or splitting is the correct action. Basic strategy is based on the player's point total and the dealer's visible card. There are slight variations in basic strategy depending on the exact house rules and the number of decks used. Establishments offering special rules like surrender and double-after-split may actually be offering a benefit to basic strategy players; they are counting on players making mistakes to make money. Always keep this basic strategy in mind while playing Blackjack.

The following rules are beneficial to the player:

1. Doubles are permitted on any two-card hand except a blackjack.
2. Doubles are permitted after splitting.
3. Early surrender; the ability to forfeit half your wager against a face or ace before the dealer checks for blackjack.
4. Normal (aka "late") surrender.
5. Resplitting Aces.
6. Drawing more than one card against a split Ace.
7. Five or more cards with the total still no more than 21 as an automatic win (a "Charlie").

The following rules are detrimental to the player:

1. Less than 3:2 payout on blackjacks (as is the case with Las Vegas Strip single-deck blackjack, paying out 6:5).
2. Dealer hits on soft seventeen (ace, six).
3. Splitting a maximum of once (to two hands).
4. Double down restricted to certain totals, such as 9-11 or 10,11.
5. Aces may not be resplit.
6. No-Peek (European) blackjack—player loses splits and doubles to a dealer blackjack.
7. Player losing ties.

blackjack strategy card
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