The purpose of this page is to give you the bare minimum to play in Vegas, hold your own and not embarrass yourself.

Based on the fact the dealer will always draw cards until he hits 17 or better and certain probabilities the following are some hard and fast guidelines:

  • Draw until you have 17 or better if the dealer has 7 or better showing. In the more advanced strategies you’ll learn that you might not want to stay with some soft hand combinations. Soft hands being hands with an ace (used as an 11). Except Blackjack.
  • Always watch for a weak dealer hand. The dealer has a weak hand when he has a 2 – 6 showing. Some hands like 5-6 are extremely weak. The odds of the dealer busting with a 5 or 6 are high. Reason being a dealer pretty much has to draw 2 cards minimum with a 5 or a 6. The strategy when the dealers hand is weak is to stand pat and stay with cards whether they look good or not.
  • When a dealer has 2-6. You would stay on anything from 12 to 21.
  • Always double down on 10 or 11 when the dealer is showing 9 or less when you have 10 and 10 or less when you are showing 11. You have strong hand, take advantage of it by doubling your bet.
  • Always Split 8’s and A’s. Chances of busting with two 8’s is high, and it’s doubtful you want to stay with 16. Splitting Aces gives you the chance to go for two Blackjacks.
  • Never split 4’s, 5’s or 10’s. Fours aren’t good, two 5’s are 10 (a strong hand), and two 10’s are 20 (a good hand)

The next step for you after you have mastered the Beginners section is to move on to the Basic Blackjack Strategy. Here you will learn a much more advanced level of play.