M.I.T. Blackjack Team Guide
by Nicholas Colon
Nicholas Colon is an 18 year veteran of the Casino Gaming Industry, and Managing Director of Carnivore Investment Strategies LLC. He is an accomplished intellectual engineer with profound contributions in Analytic's, Finite Mathematics, and is leading analytical consultant. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @byth3numb3rs.
Blackjack is a casino game that can be beaten. Unlike other casino games, blackjack is not confined to the law of independent trials. This law states that past events do not affect future outcomes. Blackjack has a memory; what cards are played on a given round directly effects what happens in the future. To gain proficiency in this skill, this document was created to guide the blackjack student in their endeavor. Advantage blackjack play has several tiers. This series of articles explores each aspect of standard advantage blackjack play and outlines a training regimen to become competent in each portion of the game. This information will be split into several articles that will cover basic strategy in part one, card counting in part two, and bet variation and adjusted index numbers in part three.
Part 1 Basic Strategy
Part 1 covers basic strategy which is the correct way to play each hand given the information available to the player; mainly the dealers up card and the players initial two cards.
Basic strategy (BS) is the proper mathematical playing strategy for blackjack without knowledge of deck composition. It provides the player the correct way to play any possible hand when the only information considered is the dealer's up card and the cards contained in the player's hand. It is the foundation of winning play and must be employed perfectly, rapidly, and automatically. BS minimizes any advantage the casinos may have for a given set of rules and number of decks employed by a casino.
Outlined below is the BS for multiple-deck games where the dealer stands on soft 17, doubling down after splitting is permitted, and late surrender is permitted.
The most productive way to learn the standard BS plays is hierarchically in order of frequency and importance as encountered during actual play. This order is as follows:
1. Hard drawing/standing
2. Hard doubling
3. Soft drawing/standing
4. Pair splitting
5. Soft doubling
6. Late Surrender
Let us first consider the three hitting and standing rules for hard, non-pair hands, that could bust if hit. It is important to note that these rules apply to all casinos that offer standard blackjack and comprise the majority of hands encountered.
HARD HITTING AND STANDING
I. If dealer has 7, 8, 9, 10, A, hit until you have 17.
b. Hit 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 vs dealer 7, 8, 9, 10, A.
II. If dealer has 4, 5, 6, hit until you have 12.
a. Stand on 13, 14, 15, 16 vs dealer 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
III. If dealer's Up-card is 2, 3, hit until you have 13.
a. Hit 12, if dealer has 2, 3.
b. Hit 12, unless dealer has 4, 5, 6, then stand.
Table 1- HARD HITTING/STANDING
Next, let us consider the three rules for soft standing and hitting for two card hands that cannot be doubled, or soft hands with three or more cards
HARD DOUBLING DOWN
Table3 HARD DOUBLING
Double Hit (Dra
The next important BS option is...
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