The basic strategy is the set of rules for playing a hand when playing blackjack , which allows for each particular hand to minimize the expected loss or maximize the expected win. That is, it is a mathematically correct way to play a hand when playing blackjack , based only on information about the sum of the player’s points and the dealer’s open card. In the absence of any other information, the basic strategy is the only sure way to play the hand. Any other hand strategy will give worse results than BS. The basic strategy is a gambling strategy, not a betting strategy, that is, it gives a decision only regarding the hand, but does not say anything about the size of the bet and their number.

Generally speaking, a basic strategy exists for many games for example: real money pokies, and for literally all games against the casino.

Probably the first person in history to calculate a basic blackjack strategy was Jess Ira Marcum, [12/30/1919 – 01/16/1992], an American theoretical physicist and professional gambler. Who at birth, by the way, bore the surname Markovich, and was the son of an emigrant from Russia. At the turn of 1949-50, he retired from the large California-based Rand Corporation and became a professional player. He manually, without the use of computers, was able to deduce what later became known as the basic strategy and card counting systems. Marcum won a lot of money in several countries and was banned from gambling everywhere. However, his calculations did not reach us, he kept all his finds exclusively with him. You can read more about his life .on Arnold Snyder’s website and in his Big Book of Blackjack.

The world’s first article about BS

The first print mention of basic blackjack strategy dates back to 1956, when four members of the US Army: Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott, using an army counting machine, and having spent a huge number of man-hours (namely 18 months), they actually manually calculated what is now called the basic, or basic strategy of playing blackjack. Their article “The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack”, published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association in September 1956, went largely unnoticed. However, a year later they published Playing Blackjack to Win, the first edition of which is considered a bibliographic rarity. and in 2009, Cardoza Publishing released a second and revised edition of their book. A detailed history of their work and life has been published in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) newspaper, the Washington Post, Bill Zender’s website, and Arnold Snyder’s website.

The four of these authors are collectively nicknamed “The Aberdeen Four ” or “Four Horsemen from Aberdeen” and they were collectively inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in January 2008.

It should be borne in mind that due to the variety of blackjack rules , there are generally many basic strategies. That is, each rule set has its own base strategy, which will differ from the base strategy for another set of rules. For example, the basic strategy that the four Aberdeen riders calculated was calculated for some fixed set of rules that are now practically not found. Later, a great many books on blackjack were published, and almost all of them contain their own description of BS, which ranges from delusional to extremely accurate and detailed. For example, the book “Basic Blackjack” (1992) by acclaimed expert Stanford Wong is nothing more than a giant compendium of basic strategies for every conceivable blackjack rule known at the time of publication. In modern conditions, there is also a lot of software that allows you to calculate the BS for any rules in seconds. The well-known author of books and programmer Norman Wattenberger has released a free program that calculates several variants of BS and allows you to train your skills. There are also online blackjack BS calculators, such as the Basic Startegy Engine , which allows you to cover quite a few variations of the rules, and Michael Shackleford’s calculator on his famous site Wizard Of Odds . In Russian in the bookDm. Lesnoy and L. Natanson also described several variants of the BS for several variants of the rules, as well as in the book by O. Granovsky . Smartphone apps have already emerged to teach and train basic strategy.

Basic blackjack strategies are of two types: total-dependent and composition-dependent. The total dependent FN does not take into account the specific cards in the player’s hand, considering only the amount of points in the hand. Composite-dependent BS takes into account the exact composition of the cards in the player’s hand. For example, 12 points can be 10 + 2, or 9 + 3, or 8 + 4, or 7 + 5. Theoretically, in these examples, the optimal solutions can be different, but this usually only appears in 1-deck games, and the differences are extremely insignificant. Therefore, the use of totally dependent BS has become a ubiquitous standard.

A set of basic strategies from Don Schlesinger

So, each decision of the player, in accordance with the BS, depends on two parameters – on the sum of the points of the player’s cards, and on the face value of the dealer’s card. In each such initial scenario, there is – and only one – optimal solution. These optimal decisions are written out, summarized in readable tables, and memorized for use in the game. Some casinos even give out or sell cards to players with a BS sign. The renowned blackjack author Donald Shlesinger has released a set of cards with basic strategies for different rules. It is important to understand that knowledge of the basic strategy in itself does not guarantee a win, and the rules of the game in each particular casino are also important. A clear adherence to the BS leads to the fact that the player receives the mathematical expectationsomewhere in the range from -0.6% to + 0.2% for standard rules without much rarity. A simple online calculator by Norman Wattenberger allows you to find out the mathematical expectation of a player for a basic strategy according to the most common rules.

The basic strategy (or simply “base”, “base”) is an essential tool for any competent blackjack player . Without a thorough knowledge of BS, it is impossible to study more complex and advanced systems of the game, for example, card counting.

Below is the Basic Strategy for the so-called European rules. These rules are abbreviated as follows: 6D, S17, DOA, DAS, RS, RSA, ENHC, NS. And in words – something like “standard six- deck blackjack without a hole card at the dealer and without a sarend.” The player’s expectation according to these rules when using the below-mentioned BS is approximately -0.55%.

A soft hand, as opposed to a hard hand, is a hand in which an ace can count for 11 points without busting. X stands for any 10-point card, A stands for ace .

  1. Do not insure and do not take equal money.

Basic Blackjack Strategy calculated on the online calculator of the website
Basic Blackjack Strategy calculated on the online calculator of the website

  1. “Firm” hands.
    Against dealership 2,3 – take up to firm 13.
    Against dealership 4,5,6 – take up to firm 12.
    Against dealerships 7,8,9, X, A – take up to firm 17.
  2. “Soft” hands.
    Against dealerships 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – take up to soft 18.
    Against dealer 9, X, A – take up to soft 19.
  3. “Hard” double (doubling).
    With its 10 and 11 – double against dealerships 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
    With its 9 – double against the dealer 3,4,5,6.
  4. “Soft” double (doubling).
    With its A, 2 and A, 3 – double against the dealer 5.6.
    With its A, 4 and A, 5 – double against the dealer’s 4,5,6.
    With his A, 6 and A, 7 – double against the dealer 3,4,5,6.
  5. Splitting.
    With its 2.2 and 3.3 – split against the dealer’s 2,3,4,5,6,7.
    With its 4.4 – split against the dealer 5.6.
    With its 5.5 – do not split (double against dealerships 2-9).
    With its 6.6 – split against the dealer’s 2,3,4,5,6.
    With its 7.7 – split against the dealer’s 2,3,4,5,6,7.
    With its 8.8 – split against dealerships 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
    With its 9.9 – split against dealerships 2,3,4,5,6,8,9 (from 2 to 9, but not against 7).
    With your X, X – do not split (stand).
    With your A, A – split against the dealer’s 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, X.