The basic Blackjack strategy is defined as the strategy designed to play optimally that all Blackjack players must know and adopt to reduce the casino house edge.
Mathematically, it indicates the best way to play based on the player’s hand and that of the dealer. This basic strategy is the most important approach to know to optimise your chances of winning. It reduces the casino house edge to less than 1% if followed, which is very interesting for the player, but is not easy to implement in real situations at the casino. Perfect knowledge of the basic strategy requires hours of training.
Origin of the Basic Strategy
In 1956, a short article entitled “The optimum strategy in Blackjack” by Roger Baldwin devoted to the analysis of the best ways to play each hand from a mathematical point of view, appeared in the United States and was published in a very serious Journal of the American Statistical Association. This basic Blackjack strategy indicates to the player the most profitable action mathematically according to his cards and that of the dealer. But at that time, the house edge is still in favour of the casino, namely 1%.
Edward O. Thorp popularized this basic strategy in his book, “Beat the dealer”, which became a bestseller because it allowed the advantage to be returned to blackjack in favor of the player. Blackjack, which was then a rather feminine game, became massively masculine, men starting to study basic strategies, then card counting.
This method of play proved to be so effective that casinos were forced to rethink certain rules of the game and put in place other methods to counter its effects. They have since incorporated additional rules and decks of cards into the shoe to diminish the player’s advantage. They then encountered very strong opposition from the players and kept the established rules.
Basic Strategy Table
The basic Blackjack strategy varies according to the rules and the number of card games included in the shoe. The left column corresponds to the total value of the cards which constitute your hand and the right column indicates the game strategy to adopt according to the apparent card of the dealer, indicated on the top line.