In the game of Blackjack the player is allowed to make choices with regards to their hand against the dealer. While the player does get a choice on how they want to play there is an optimal way to play Blackjack. This is referred to as Basic Strategy and if a player implies this method they lower the odds that the house is favored over the player to less than one percent. Along with Basic Strategy there are other strategies that players implore to gain an advantage over the house. These other strategies include Card Counting, Composition-Dependant Strategy, and Shuffle Tracking.
By using Basic Strategy a play can reduce the amount that the odds favor the casino to under one percent. Basic Strategy is the optimum way to play every possible hand in Blackjack and should be memorized in order for the player to increase their chances at winning against the house. The following table displays each move a player should make depending on the cards that the player holds and the card that the dealer is showing. This table assumes that the game is using at least three card decks as is most common in US casinos.
Using the above strategy we see that every possible hand has a right way to be played. Playing Blackjack using this method is known to be the optimal way of playing but players can get even better odds through the use of some other the other strategies mention above.
Card counting is one strategy that enables the player to gain an advantage over the house with regards to the odds of winning. Card counting is a method in which set cards are given a numerical value and the player keeps a running count on the cards that have already been played. By keeping a running count the player is able to determine what the likelihood of having a large value card appear next as opposed to having a small value card come up next. With this information the player is able to adjust their moves from the Basic Strategy and make a profit. Along with altering the moves that a player makes based on the count players will often change their betting patterns to take advantage of a favorable count.
How does card counting work? Card counting has many different systems but we will be discussing the basic Hi-Lo plus-minus count. Using the Hi-Lo basic plus-minus count each card is assigned a value of either +1, 0, or -1 the numbers 2-6 are assigned a +1. The numbers 7,8, and 9 are valued at 0 and all cards with a face value of 10 and aces are valued at -1. Using this basic card counting method the player is able to get a rough idea about makeup of the remaining cards in the deck. This method is one of the most basic card counting methods. There are many other card counting methods that get rather complex with cards be valued differently from the standard -1, 0, and +1.