Variations Basic Strategy in Blackjack
The modification of your game to change the true count will occur about 10% of the time. If the count came down, you will double less, will be pulling more with hands ‘difficult’ and divide the pairs less frequently. As the count goes up, you will double more often, you pull with your hands less ‘difficult’ and will share more pairs. For each strategy based game there is only one variation. For example, the variation of the hand 10, 6 vs. 10 is to stop instead of shooting, not double as ever and of course you can not divide. Another example is 5.4 versus 2. The Basic Strategy says to pull, but if the count is high enough, this hand should be doubled. A good example of the downside is an A-2 versus 5; basic strategy says to double, but if the count is below 0, you should pull. An easy way to remember this is “Double Ace-2 versus 5 with greater than or equal to 0.” Translating it as the ‘short cut’ of a flashcard becomes A-2 against 5 = 0. (Yes, we will return back again to our old friends the flashcard.)
The Strength of Basic Strategy Variations
The value of each variation is determined by how often, on average, will be used. If you play 100,000 hands of Blackjack per year (about 20 hours a week, year), you can expect to see a hand of 16 against 10 about 3500 times (3.5%). That’s actually one of the worst situations. In this case any change has a considerable value, simply because you use it relatively often. On the contrary, will receive a 9.9 against a 2 only 43 times in those 100,000-hands of example, and then the variation in this case assumes a small value, as you use it rarely. The frequency of hands will allow us to order, in priority, learning basic strategy variations.
One of the most important variations of the basic strategy is a bet on the insurance. As an ace the dealer will show about 7.5% of the time, knowing when it is convenient to make sure it is very important. If played with six decks, make sure it’s worth when the true count is greater than or equal to 3. In this case you should always take insurance, regardless of the cards you have, as this has nothing to do with your hand. The counting system High / Low has an ‘Efficiency of Insurance’ 80% which means that 8 out of 10 times you’ll make the right choice by focusing on insurance, based on the score of the true count.
As mentioned previously, the significant value is derived from learning those variations involving starting hands of 12-16 against any other card, as these are the hands that will occur more often. In fact, at some point in the game, 54% of all your hands will be ‘difficult’. We make an important observation: the basic strategy variations apply not only to the two initial cards, but also in the hands of 3 or more cards. You will stop with A, 2, 10, 3 against 10 if the count is greater than or equal to 0, in the same manner in which you will stop with a 10, 6. Doubling (or double) is the next thing to tackle in order of importance and not the division or splitting pairs is less important.