There are a couple of ways to go about creating a basic blackjack strategy. The easiest is to use basic strategy. Basic strategy was born from the game itself. Using its mathematics and simulations, how to best play each hand was discovered and organized into an easy to use chart. This is the best possible and easiest way to lower the house’s edge to about one-half of a percent. However, it takes some practice to use it effectively. You can also learn a basic card counting strategy as well, such as a Hi-Lo counting system.
The easiest way to start out using basic strategy is by using a basic strategy chart. This chart tells how to play all card totals versus what the dealer’s face-up card is; it will tell you how to play soft hands and hard hands. In addition to telling you when to hit and when to stand, basic strategy will also tell you when to split pairs and when to double down, if the table you are playing it allows for that option. Knowing how to play will build your confidence, which in turn help your performance in the long run as you will make fewer mistakes.
Over time, study this chart, memorize it. Yes, a basic strategy chart can be carried and used in a casino. But if you have the plays memorized and are confident that you have done so accurately, you will not slow play down at the table. It is still always good to have the chart on you just in case, but try to memorize it in time.
The other part of a basic blackjack strategy is using a simple card counting system. Despite what a casino would like for you to believe, learning to count cards does not require a super high intellect. All it requires is average intelligence. It does take some practice to learn the system and be confident with it. And you will defiantly want to become confident with the system. Casinos do not like card counting as it whittles away at their edge; they have employees keeping an eye out for card counters. If you are caught you run the risk of being thrown out of the casino. In this way, playing blackjack online makes it easier to card count since no one is watching you. In fact, you might want to try practicing your card counting skills online before taking them to a land-based casino. Although, it will not be applicable for some online casinos because of the virtual shuffle.
Counting cards helps you to know whether the remainder of the deck is rich in high cards or low cards. If it is rich in high cards you have a better chance at reaching 21 or at least coming close; in turn you raise your bet. Should you determine that the deck is rich in low cards you would reduce your bet, perhaps back down to the table minimum.
The Hi-Lo system is one of the easiest to learn and is a good system to start with. It is a balanced system that if you started out counting a single deck at 52, you would be at 0 when you were done. It assigns positive and negative values to cards that you add in order to determine with which the deck is rich with.
-Cards 2 through 6 (low cards) have a value of +1
-Cards 7 though 9 (neutral) have a value of 0
-10 Cards and Aces (high cards) have a value of -1
Taking those values, flip through a deck, saying them out loud and adding the values up. Practice until you can count steadily and with confidence. Try counting when playing online and see how you do. Once you can accurately count at a steady pace and you feel completely comfortable, try to count cards when playing at a land-based casino.
The good thing about basic strategy is that you can start using it right away because you can take the chart with you to a casino. Card counting requires more practice before putting it to use in a casino. But once you have both of those down and at your disposal you have a strong basic blackjack strategy. Remember to be patient when you are learning the components of your strategy. Understand that it takes some time to take your strategy from just usable to being a strong skill.