Optimal Blackjack strategy chart
When playing blackjack there are things you can do to make sure you optimise your chances of walking away from the table a winner. Mainly these optimisation skills are to do with decisions you make under certain circumstance. The blackjack strategy chart is a tool which can guide a player into making the decisions which give you the best odds of tasting success when playing 21.
When Dr. Edward O. Thorp first published Beat the Dealer, online blackjack did not exist so his optimal play strategies weren’t created with the Internet in mind. Lucky for us, players all around the globe who have been connected via the world wide web have created and shared strategy charts that have been tested by computers to ensure optimal play for standard blackjack titles.
How to read the blackjack strategy chart
The most important key when using a strategy chart is you are reading it correctly as it tells you when to hit, stand, split, double, or surrender and if you mix these actions up and perform them at the wrong time you could lose when you potentially could’ve won.
Good strategy charts for blackjack are colour coded with letters standing for the action with a key to match. For example H stands for hit, S represents stand, P stands for split and so on. These could vary depending on what chart you’re using so read the key carefully.
The dealer’s card is generally along the horizontal axis while the player’s hand is along the vertical axis. There are sections dedicated to hard hands, soft hands, and splits. Each move recommended based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s hand has been created by statistics, but obviously there is still an element of luck.
There are two strategy charts, one for when the dealer hits on a soft 17 and one for when a dealer hits on a hard 17. It is imperative you know which rule variation you are playing when using these charts as there are moves that differ from one another depending on what the dealer does. There are also charts for other variations of blackjack, however these are less common. The best thing about playing online is you don’t have to memorise the two strategy charts incase a title is available with one rule and not the other because you will be able to keep it open in an extra tab.
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