Advanced blackjack strategies and Tips: If you’ve read through our Blackjack guide, you’ll already be aware of the basic Blackjack strategy. Most of the time, there are set actions you should take depending on what cards you and the dealer have. By following the basic strategy, you can improve your odds and win more often.
However, there are some situations where basic strategy won’t help or where you should even ignore the rules of basic strategy. There are also specific rules which can improve your odds in certain situations. These tend to be a little more complicated and difficult to learn. With practice, however, you can master these rules and take your game to the next level.
The following are all examples of where basic Blackjack strategy should be ignored in order to make the most out of your hand.
Composition sensitive hands
One of the issues with the basic Blackjack strategy is that while it’s very useful, it doesn’t take into account hands that have more than two cards. At the start of the game, you’ll be dealt with two cards, but if you’ve taken several hits, you could have three or more.
So for example, the Blackjack strategy will tell you that you should hit if the dealer has a face-up card often and you have a hand of sixteen. This assumes that you only have two cards though, whereas later in the round, you could have three or even more.
If you’re playing with a single deck or even two decks, the probability of certain cards being dealt will change depending on what’s in your hand. For the same example above, if you’re playing with a single deck and your sixteen is made up four fours, you know there are no fours left in the deck. That implies that taking a hit won’t be as successful in this case as you’re unlikely to reach twenty or twenty-one.
Bear in mind that a lot of Blackjack games use multiple decks. Even so, the odds of certain cards being dealt with are still lower when these cards are already in play.
Advanced blackjack strategies and Tips: The rule of 45
Basic Blackjack strategy tells us that anytime we have a six and ten against the dealer’s ten or up, we should hit. In most situations, this is correct. However, in the case of adding more than two cards, there are other ways that a sixteen could be formed. Anytime your sixteen contains a four or a five, you should stand against the dealer’s ten. In this case, your four or five will make it less likely for your hit to be successful, and so standing will be more likely to work in your favor.
Advanced blackjack strategies and Tips: The Doctor Pepper rule
The Doctor Pepper Rule is another example of when you can change the strategy depending on how many cards make up your hand. Once again, these strategies are more effective when playing low deck games. For this rule, you should always stand with a hand value of twelve, unless your hand is made up of a ten and a two. In this case, you should hit if the dealer has a four or higher.
In most cases, the basic Blackjack strategy applies to split your hand. Splits can be made when you are dealt a pair, i.e. two of the same card. For example, if you receive two eights you should always split. This then gives you two hands, and you’ll receive an extra card for each.
A split will not only help to cement a strong start, but it can also improve a weak start. For example, if you have a pair of nines against a dealer’s nine or more, you’d normally be in a bad position. If you split, however, you’ll improve your winning odds significantly.
As well as splitting, some rule sets of Blackjack will allow you to resplit if you have another pair after splitting. Thanks to this rule, you could potentially get four hands from one. Whenever you get the opportunity, you should always choose to resplit. It can be a little confusing to play with multiple hands, but the odds of your success improve.
Hand based tips
Basic Blackjack strategy covers a lot of typical hands, but as an advanced player, you’ll need to know how to react to all different kinds of hands. The following tips cover both soft and hard hands. A soft hand is any hand that contains two cards, one of which is an Ace. A hard hand is any hand that doesn’t contain an Ace.
Soft hand – You should always hit on a soft hand of seventeen or less. You still have some good room to hit Blackjack without going bust. If you have a soft eighteen, you should double down if the dealer has a face-up card of eight, nine or ten.
Hard hand – You should stand if you have a hard hand between twelve and sixteen and the dealer has a hand between two and six. The dealer has a low chance of beating you to a high value when their value is that low. If the dealer’s hand is valued at more than seven, however, you should hit. If you have a hard seventeen, you should stand.