An average player can reduce the house edge to 3% and up to 1%. That margin is that the player is required to make a decision before the dealer. In other words, you lose your bet if you go over 21, regardless of the dealer then “bust” (exceeds 21) after you.
However, if you memorize some very simple strategies of blackjack, and properly applied, you can develop a consistent game, with a house edge of less than 1%. And if you’re really good, predictions may eventually turn in their favor.
Letters Soft or Soft
If you are dealt an Ace and any card from 2 to 9, you are deemed to have “gentle letters.” The reason for this is that the Ace can be played as a one (1), or as an eleven (11). For example, if your hand is Ace-6, the total score is 7 or 17. In order to minimize the house edge, the soft or soft cards should be played accordingly.
Scenario: Ace-2, As-3, As-4 or Ace-5.
Your Play: Hit against 2, 3, 7 through Ace. Double your bet against the numbers 4, 5, 6 of the distributor.
Your Play: Hit against the numbers 7 through Ace. Double your bet vs. the dealer’s 3 through 6. Double or request letter against 2 of the dealer.
Your Play: Hit vs. the dealer’s 9 or 10. Keep your position against the numbers 2, 7, 8 or Ace. Double your bet vs. the dealer’s 3 through 6.
Scenario: Ace-8 and AS-9.
Your Play: Keep your position against any upcard. As with hand-8, can double the bet against the 6 of the dealer if you feel lively.
Card Hard or Strong
If your hand does not contain an Ace, then you have “hard cards.” Another important aspect is that the value of their cards is fixed. See below how the cards should be played.
When cards total: 4 to 8.
Your Play: Hit against any upcard. With an 8, could even double your bet against the dealer’s 5 or 6, it is your decision.
When cards total: 9.
Your Play: Hit from 7 to Ace. Double the bet against 2 through 6 of the distributor.
When cards total: 10 or 11.
Your Play: Double the bet against the 2 through 9 of the dealer. With 10, have vs. the 10 or Ace. With 11, double the bet against the dealer’s 10, and have letter or double the bet against the Ace.
When cards total: 12 to 16.
Your Play: Stand against 2 through 6 of the dealer and ask for a letter from 7 to Ace. Exception: 12, request letter against a 2 or 3 of the dealer discovered.
When cards total: 17 to 20.
Your Play: Keep your position against any upcard. And remember, always ask for a letter with a soft 17 or soft.
When cards total: 21.
Your Play: You win and your bet pays 3 to 2. If the dealer has an Ace, you can take the option to pay 1 to 1 before the dealer uncover his other card. If you do that, and the dealer gets a blackjack, then the hand is a tie or ‘push’.
See below for how to optimize your move splitting pairs:
Pair of Aces or a pair of 8: Always split these pairs, always.
Set of 4, 5 or 10, I have not split, since they are potential winners.
Couple of 2 or 3: Hit against 2, 3, or 8 to the Ace. Divide vs. 4 to 7 of the distributor. You can split a pair of 2 against a dealer’s card 3.
Set of 6: Hit from 7 to Ace. Divide versus 3 to 6 of the dealer, and split against 2 or ask the dealer.
Pair of 7: Hit vs. 8 to Ace. Divide against 2 through 7 of the distributor.