BlackJack : How to Play : Cards



Basic Play

You're probably saying So how do I know what to do? You are not alone... most blackjack players don't know what they are doing, but with a little bit of study and instruction, you'll know what to do in every situation that can possibly arise at the blackjack table.

Do you remember when we talked about Deck Composition way at the beginning there? If you do then continue on... if not, then go back and re-read it.

Due to the preponderance of 10 value cards in the deck, it is statistically wise to assume (or plan) that the next card you will draw (as well as the dealers hole card and future hits) will be a 10. If the dealer is showing an 8, we can assume, based on deck composition that their hole card is probably a 10 and that their hand is 18 - a hand they are required to stand on. If the cards you are dealt are a 9 and a K you've got a 19. There is a very good probablility that you're actual 19 will beat the dealers probable 18. Based on these theories, we've come up with the five basic play rules of thumbs.

Five Basic Play Rules of Thumbs:

  • IF
    - the dealer is showing a 7 or higher (probable 17 or higher)
    AND
    - the player is showing a 16 or lower
    THEN
    - the player should hit

  • IF
    - the dealer is showing a 6 or lower (a probable 16 or lower - with a high probabability of the dealer busting on the 3rd card - 6 + 10 + 10 = 26)
    AND
    - the player is showing a 12 or higher
    THEN
    - the player should stand

  • IF
    - the player is showing a total of 10
    AND
    - the dealer is showing a 9 or lower (a probable 19)
    THEN
    - the player should double down

  • IF
    - the player is showing a total of 11
    AND
    - the dealer is showing a 10 or lower (a probable 20)
    THEN
    - the player should double down

  • Splitting Pairs
    The Player
    - should always split A-A and 8-8

If you remember these 5 points, your game will improve dramatically. But this is only the tip of the iceberg... there are many other situations in which the player can take advantage of deck composition and the statistical analysis of blackjack performed by mathematicians and computer enthusiasts world wide.

If you've got a good grasp on these concepts then its time to move on :

Part 2: Playing Blackjack To Win: Basic Strategy