Blackjack Strategy for single deck play
Simply based on odds, our blackjack strategy hereunder is mathematical in its approach. Following this strategy means that you play with the odds in your favour (very slightly). Remember to approach the casino and confirm the number of decks that are in play.
Drawing and Standing
When to Hit a Hard Hand
When to Hit a Soft Hand
H = always draw (hit). Stand if no entry is given.
When to Double Down on a Hard Hand
When to Double Down on a Soft Hand
D = always double down. *D* = double down except on 6,2. Consult draw/stand strategy tables if no entry is given.
Always split aces and eights, never split tens and fives. Ever wonder why? A soft twelve (a pair of aces) in itself isn’t anything to write home about. The ace is, however, the best card you can have as the first card of your hand. Chances are greater than 30%, on the average, that you will end up with a strong 21. And the chances are extraordinarily good that you will end up with some other high hand value if your first card is an ace. A pair of eights leaves you with a sixteen, a lousy hand by any measure. If you split these, you have a healthy chance of bettering your hand. Two tens make twenty, already a good hand. Pressing your luck, by splitting in these situations, doesn’t make much sense. Two fives add up to ten. There are more tens in the deck than any other card. If you don’t split, your odds are reasonably good that you will acquire a hand of twenty on the very next card drawn. On the other hand, if you split the fives your odds of ending up with two hands each totaling fifteen is very unattractive. You just learned 40% of the split strategy. Sometimes you split to win more, other times you split simply to lose less. As you will see in the split strategy tables, there are a few additional hand situations where splitting is recommended only when doubling down is allowed after splitting.
SP = always split. *SP* = split only when doubling down is allowed after splitting. Consult the double down strategy tables if no entry is given.
When to double down
Periodically, you will double down and draw a low card. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could draw another card? Sure it would. You would even win more hands if you never doubled down. But if hitting, as opposed to doubling down, can’t double your advantage against the house on a given situation it will pay you to win less often at twice the amount. This is the mathematical rationale behind doubling down.
The strategy analysis feature of the Masque Blackjack game will show that the doubling down strategy provides a win rate of about six out of ten of the recommended double down hands! That statistic sounds especially nice since your wager is doubled. If that doesn’t encourage you to learn everything about the double down strategies, nothing will.
Statistically, around 8.0% of the hands dealt to you will be situations on which you should double down on a hard hand. Approximately 1.6% of your hands will present circumstances in which you should double down on a soft hand. For this reason, you will want to learn the double down strategy for a hard hand first.