 Learning basic Blackjack strategy is the first thing you should do if you want to play Blackjack. The importance of following a basic strategy cannot be stressed enough. Suffice it to say that following basic strategy reduces the house edge to less than 1% – the lowest of all table games. This article serves as an introduction to Blackjack basic strategy. It also provides information on basic strategy generators that are available online free of charge which can get you started on learning Blackjack basic strategy. Read more and find out how to maximize your Blackjack payouts.

### What Is Blackjack Basic Strategy?

Blackjack Basic strategy tells you how to play any given hand against any dealer’s face-up card. It has been tested and refined endlessly through computer simulations. These simulations run millions of Blackjack hands to determine mathematically which playing strategy has the most probability of beating the dealer. If you follow the basic strategy, you are guaranteed to reduce the house edge to the minimum and maximize your Blackjack payouts.

### What Is a Blackjack Strategy Chart?

The Basic strategy specifies what action the player should take for every total hand value, against any dealer’s up card. This information is most commonly presented in a chart, as the one below:

 6 decks, S17, DAS, No Surrender, Peek Estimated casino edge for these rules: 0.44 % Dealer Upcard Your Hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A 5 H H H H H H H H H H 6 H H H H H H H H H H 7 H H H H H H H H H H 8 H H H H H H H H H H 9 H D D D D H H H H H 10 D D D D D D D D H H 11 D D D D D D D D D H 12 H H S S S H H H H H 13 S S S S S H H H H H 14 S S S S S H H H H H 15 S S S S S H H H H H 16 S S S S S H H H H H 17 S S S S S S S S S S A,2 H H H D D H H H H H A,3 H H H D D H H H H H A,4 H H D D D H H H H H A,5 H H D D D H H H H H A,6 H D D D D H H H H H A,7 S DS DS DS DS S S H H H A,8 S S S S S S S S S S A,9 S S S S S S S S S S 2,2 P P P P P P H H H H 3,3 P P P P P P H H H H 4,4 H H H P P H H H H H 5,5 D D D D D D D D H H 6,6 P P P P P H H H H H 7,7 P P P P P P H H H H 8,8 P P P P P P P P P P 9,9 P P P P P S P P S S T,T S S S S S S S S S S A,A P P P P P P P P P P Dlr 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A

Most Blackjack strategy charts have the player’s possible hands listed from top to bottom in the left-most column, and the dealer’s possible up-cards in the top row. The rows below show a series of uniform Blackjack signs, indicating which action the player should take in every situation. ### How to Read a Basic Strategy Chart

Reading a basic strategy chart is simple. You just need to know the signs. Most Blackjack strategy charts use uniform Blackjack signs, each indicating a different action that is available to the player:
H – Hit
S – Stand
DH – double if possible, otherwise hit
DS – double if possible, otherwise stand
SP – Split
SU – surrender
If you want to know which action you should take, you simply cross the row showing your total hand value, with the column showing the dealer’s up card. For example, looking at the chart above, if the total value of your total hand value is 16, and the dealer’s up card is 7, you should hit.

### How to Choose a Basic Strategy Chart

There are many Blackjack variants. The rules mostly vary as to whether the dealer must hit or stand on Soft 17, whether early surrender is allowed on not, whether double after split is allowed or not, etc. The bigger part of the strategy chart is the same for all variants. However, specific rules cause minor changes to the chart and the basic strategy you should follow. The good news is that you can find many free Basic Strategy Generators or Basic Strategy Engines online. These are extremely easy to use. You can just choose the rules of the game and the number of decks used, and the appropriate strategy chart will be generated instantly according to the rules you specified. So learn your chart and follow it next time you play Blackjack to minimize the house edge and maximize your payout! 