Contrary to what many gamblers may think, blackjack is not just a guessing game. Most casino games are guessing games. But with any blackjack hand there is a correct strategy and an incorrect strategy. Basic strategy is the correct strategy. The correct strategy is the mathematically optimal strategy-that is, it will maximize your wins and minimize your losses on each hand over time.
You may have noticed that many other popular card games have no basic strategy. There is, for example, no basic strategy for poker. A poker player plays his hands according to whether or not he thinks his opponent is actually holding a strong hand or may be bluffing, and whether he himself is holding a strong hand or may want to attempt a bluff.
A basic strategy cannot exist for any card game as long as your opponent can make decisions, whether those decisions are good or bad, on how to play his hand. For hundreds of years, there was no basic strategy for blackjack because it was not a casino game where the dealer had to show one card and play his hand according to house rules. Instead, it was more of a poker-style game where both of the dealer’s cards were hidden, the dealer could play his hand however he wanted, and players could attempt to bluff the dealer with their own play.
When the American casinos changed the rules of twenty-one to expose one of the dealer’s cards and require the dealer to adhere to a strict hit/stand strategy, an important thing happened. They fundamentally changed the game from a poker-style game based more on psychology, to a purely mathematical game-as far as the player’s strategy was concerned.
Why Basic Strategy Works … The “Odds”
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