Using Blackjack Strategy Charts to Make the Perfect Play
Blackjack strategy charts are very useful tools. Not only can they help you get a feel for the game, they actually tell you the best action to take on any individual hand. These charts are commonly found in blackjack books, online or you can even purchase reference cards containing these charts from the casino shop.
Here you can find out how to use such a chart. First is a quick explanation of what they do and the benefits they provide. After this using the chart is explained along with a couple of variations you may encounter.
Blackjack Strategy Charts – Why Use Strategy Charts?
The strategy charts in blackjack show you which moves to take according to basic strategy. Blackjack basic strategy is the optimal play you can choose when you take into account what the dealer is showing and what hand you have. When was first discovered in the 1950s it revolutionized blackjack and the way people thought about it, inspiring other great blackjack minds and led to the creation of card counting.
By following the optimal play for each hand you will lower the casino’s edge against you. Typically an average player can expect to give up somewhere around 3-5%, maybe even more, whereas a player using basic strategy can give up less than 0.5%. This means you are getting close to a fair game from the casino, which are more likely result in profitable sessions when the cards fall right.
Blackjack Strategy Charts – Understanding the Chart
While memorizing the correct action for each blackjack hand can seem daunting when it is listed out, the good news is all the information has been transferred into an easy to read strategy chart. This can be used to learn from, or you can just refer to it as you play.
The top line of the chart shows the dealer’s different up cards while the left hand column displays all the possible hands you can be dealt. In order to see what decision to take, simply find the card which the dealer is showing then follow the chart down until you get to line which your hand is on. Where they intersect shows you the correct action – hit, double down, stand or split.
In addition to noting what the correct move is the chats are color coded. This not only helps you remember the pattern of actions, it speed up your searches too.
Blackjack Strategy Charts – Other Variations of Chart
Different blackjack games require different strategy charts, a single deck game for example requires slightly different decisions to a 4-8 deck game. If you are memorizing the cards then slight errors caused by this should not be too costly, although if you are referring to a chart as you play make sure you have the right one to hand.
If you are in a game which allows you to surrender there are other charts which feature this too. Again do not worry too much hitting in these spots does not make too much difference, although you be not be reducing the house edge as much as you possibly can. On the plus side there are only 4 spots to remember – when you hold a hard 17 against a dealers 9, 10 or Ace and when you have a hard 16 against a 10.
The same applies to some pairs where your ideal decision would be different in games which allow you to double after you split, although hitting here as normal again would not give up much. These spots are 22 and 33 against a 2 or 3, 44 against 5 or 6 and 66 against 2.