1. ## Optimise your live blackjack returns

I wrote a blog post on using a basic strategy card for live blackjack a couple of years back which is now well and truly buried in the blog....so thought it worthwhile adding the card in the forums as well.

Here's the card which is pretty self explanatory.

Q&A:
1. Q. What's Basic Strategy?
A. For every possible blackjack scenario (your cards versus dealer up card) there's a mathematically optimal play (ie hit, stand, double or split) - the basic strategy play.
2. Q. How does the above card apply?
A. It tells you want the basic strategy play is for every possible scenario. Follow the card and you're playing basic strategy...EASY!
3. Q. Does this card apply to all games of blackjack?
A. No. There are many blackjack rule variations (eg how many decks are being used? can you double after split? etc). A different strategy card will apply to each rule variation.
4. Q. Which live blackjack games does the above card apply to?
A. Evolution Gaming, Playtech Euro, Playtech Asia
5. Q. What about other platforms...do cards exist for these?
A. Yes...they'll be out there somewhere (Wizard of Odds is always good starting point). Just make sure you match the game rules with the correct card.
6. Q. If I use the card will I win?
A. Playing basic strategy doesn't guarantee you a win. In fact it won't even give you an edge over the house. What it will do is minimise the house edge.

2. Thanks for that LD ... I think all new blackjack players would really benefit from playing basic strategy.

(ps. I've took the liberty of sticking this thread to the first page so this info doesn't also become buried in future)

3. Thank you so much LD, I will try this.

My simpliest method was to stand on 12 or higher in order to get 0% bust and 100% win when the dealer busts knowingly that the probability for the dealer to bust in general is pretty high. Your table takes into consideration the probability of the dealer to bust based on his first card, this seems great .

My simpliest method assures me winning more than 50% of the hands so the question is how casino can makes money with blacjack lol.
But when looking at other players, it is so obvious how they make so much money. When the dealer gets 20 or 21, he wins most of the hands (normal). But when the dealer busts, he is still winning more than 50% of the hands because more than 50% of the players bust... those players should think twice before hitting a new card.

4. Sadly ghost, your simplest method (of standing on 12+) doesn't assure you winning more than 50%....otherwise that would be called 'basic strategy' instead.... and everybody could so easily win and the casinos would stop dealing blackjack!.

The well known blackjack strategy that LD highlights are the way a player can play to minimise the casino advantage.

What most frustrates me about basic strategy is when other players complain at fellow players for not following basic strategy and blame them for the dealer winning. Basic strategy is solely based on the probability of you busting versus the dealer irrespective of any other cards dealt.

5. If I do the maths with this easy method, I really have a hard time to justify why the casino would win more than 50% of the hands.

With two cards, you have exactly 50%/50% between you and the casino (same probability to get a BJ/ same probability to get a 20).

But then, if you let the dealer playing with more than two cards (instead of you risking to bust), he is not playing optimal method as he has to hit even with a 15 or 16...

Better to combine this easy method for hands in the middle with my other method when you get the last seat to control your last card in parallel of the one from the dealer (see unlimited black jack post).

Totally agree with you about the players who complain. They should wait till they get the last seat instead of blaming other players.. and what they don't recognize: yes, we are changing the "normal order" of the cards by not playing optimal method, but for other players, it is exactly 50% chances that this makes thing better for them or worst. If they can complain sometimes. In other times, they should say thanks.

6. The principle thing you seem to be glossing over iin your simple maths is the likelihood that the dealer will beat your 12 with 2 cards. Then you need to include all the possible winning hands for the dealer with 3 or more cards.

Doing the maths can get quite heavy, you need to allow for the number of 10 value cards in a shoe etc... it's why somebody else did the maths a long time ago and so blackjack basic strategy came into existence.

7. If you hae a 12:
- if you get 10, J, Q, K, you bust,
- if you get 1, 2, 3 or 4, your result is exactly the same (12, 13, 14, 15 or 16 are equals as you need the dealer to bust in any case to win),
- if you get 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9, you have only one more card to improve your game than to bust,
If you get 5, it will only get you tie with the dealer if he gets 17. But the dealer can also get 18, 19,.... to 26. So a better game won't guarantee you to win. But if the dealer bust...

Based on the optimal table, maybe, it can worth to hit a new card. But, if you don't know the table, don't hit.
Based on my experience, it works.

Now, seat at a table and watch out how the casino makes money. You will discover very quickly that the only reason why the casino is making money, it is because people bust. So, don't bust

8. Mathematicaly confirmed with 100% of combinations.
If you never hit a new card starting 12, the house edge is in your favour, not in the casino's favour. I guess if 100% people follow this easy rule, yes, the casinos should change the rules to make money

9. Go trying playing a shoe at a quiet table with no other players.....never hit above 12 then see how many times the dealer wins.

But don't double up your money after each loss and when you lose money don't say it must be rigged.

10. Just did 20 try alone where I also simulated the dealer. I won 13 times. But doesn't matter, the maths proove the odds are in our side, not in the casino side.

When you play online casinos, when you play progressive bets, nobody can explain why you lose more often times in a row than if you are doing straight bets. Someone should explain this to me. And I am not losing any money in the casinos because if I lose twice in a row, I will switch casino, play double in another casino and strangely the malediction disappears. I am making money with those online casinos by assuming games are rigged. I don't care if people don't believe me, it works for me .