Blackjack Strategies for Pairs, Hard & Soft Totals
Just because Blackjack has a low house edge doesn't mean that you can expect to always break even or win. If you want to maximize your possible profits, then you need to know the basic techniques for playing pairs, hard and soft totals. These hands necessitate diverse approaches.
The beautiful thing about the game is that the Blackjack strategy for each type of hand is pretty basic, and following it would not be difficult. The guide offered below assumes that the game is played with four decks and the dealer will stand on a soft 17.
For hard totals:
For 8 or less: hit
For 9: the Blackjack strategy would be to take another card provided the dealer holds any a 2, 7, 8 , 9 10 or an Ace. For upcards of 3-6, double down.
For 10: hit provided the dealer holds an Ace or 10; if she has an up card between 2-9, double down.
With a hard total of 11, you should always hit if the Blackjack dealer holds an Ace. With a 12, you should hit except when she has a 4, 5, 6 or any face card. For hands 13 to 16, always stand if the dealer's upcard is 6 or lower. If she has a 10, surrender. For 16 and above, stand.
For soft totals:
With an A2 or A3, you should hit on all occasions except when she has a 5 or 6; in that case double down. With A4 and A5, double down on an upcard of 4, 5, or 6; any other hand, hit. With an A6, the Blackjack strategy is double down with a dealer hand anywhere between 3 to 6; the same thing with an A7. With all other hands you should hit. With an A9 you should always stand.
The winning Blackjack strategy for pairs can be summed up as follows: for 55s and bellow, and the dealer has a low card, you should always split. With 66s and up, you should split except when the upcard is 7 or up, in which case you should take another card.
For 77s up to 99s, the approach is the same; split when the dealer has a low hand, and hit if it 7 or higher. If you hold 10s and up, stand.
These are, basically, all you need to know about basic Blackjack strategy. Apply them in your game, and you can be sure that it won't be long before you start raking in the money.