# Avoiding Basic Blackjack Strategy

In single deck blackjack every card that is played has a considerable impact on the distribution of the remaining cards. The following lists will show exactly how to play your cards immediately after a shuffle in a single deck game where the dealer hits a soft 17. Following these exceptions to basic strategy will lower the house edge by 0.0010% according to my calculations.

To use this guide first go to the list according to the number of cards in your hand. Then note the basic strategy changes and finally the exceptions to the changes. For example if you have a 16 composed of a 10, 4, and 2 against a 10 look under the 3 card list. You will see that with three cards you should stand on 16 against 10. Going further you will see there are some exceptions, for example with a 16 composed of a 6, 6, and 4 you should hit. If your hand is not listed as an exception so you should stand. It should not be interpreted that this is a card counting guide. Everything is based on exact cards and no numbers represent a count.

Two Cards

Basic Strategy Changes: None

Exceptions:

1. 8 (6+2) vs 6 = Hit
2. 12 (7+5) vs 3 = Stand
3. 12 (8+4) vs 3 = Stand
4. 12 (10+2) vs 4 = Hit

Three Cards

Basic Strategy Changes:

1. 12 vs 3 = Stand
2. 16 vs 10 = Stand

Exceptions:

1. 15 (5+5+5) vs 10 = Stand
2. 15 (6+5+4) vs 10 = Stand
3. 15 (6+6+3) vs 10 = Stand
4. 16 (6+5+5) vs 9 = Stand
5. 16 (8+4+4) vs 9 = Stand
6. 16 (8+5+3) vs 9 = Stand
7. 16 (6+6+4) vs 10 = Hit
8. 16 (7+6+3) vs 10 = Hit
9. 16 (8+6+2) vs 10 = Hit
10. 16 (9+6+A) vs 10 = Hit

Four Cards

Basic Strategy Changes:

1. 12 vs 3 = Stand
2. 16 vs 10 = Stand

Exceptions:

1. 12 (2+2+2+6) vs 3 = Hit
2. 12 (2+2+3+5) vs 3 = Hit
3. 12 (2+3+3+4) vs 3 = Hit
4. 15 (A+4+5+5) vs 10 = Stand
5. 15 (A+3+5+6) vs 10 = Stand
6. 15 (A+2+6+6) vs 10 = Stand
7. 16 (6+6+2+2) vs 10 = Hit
8. 16 (6+6+3+A) vs 10 = Hit
9. 16 (7+6+2+A) vs 10 = Hit
10. 16 (8+6+A+A) vs 10 = Hit
11. 16 (10+2+2+2) vs 10 = Hit
12. 16 (4+4+4+4) vs 9 = Stand
13. 16 (5+4+4+3) vs 9 = Stand
14. 16 (5+5+3+3) vs 9 = Stand
15. 16 (5+5+4+2) vs 9 = Stand
16. 16 (5+5+5+A) vs 9 = Stand
17. 16 (6+4+4+2) vs 9 = Stand
18. 16 (6+5+4+A) vs 9 = Stand
19. 16 (8+3+3+2) vs 9 = Stand
20. 16 (8+4+2+2) vs 9 = Stand
21. 16 (8+4+3+A) vs 9 = Stand
22. 16 (8+5+2+A) vs 9 = Stand
23. 16 (9+5+A+A) vs 9 = Stand
24. 16 (9+4+2+A) vs 9 = Stand

Five Cards

Basic Strategy Changes:

1. 12 vs 3 = Stand
2. 16 vs 10 = Stand
3. 16 vs 9 = Stand

Exceptions:

1. 12 (A+2+2+2+5) vs 3 = Hit
2. 12 (A+2+2+3+4) vs 3 = Hit
3. 12 (A+2+3+3+3) vs 3 = Hit
4. 12 (2+2+2+2+4) vs 3 = Hit
5. 12 (2+2+2+3+3) vs 3 = Hit
6. 15 (A+A+A+6+6) vs 10 = Stand
7. 15 (A+A+3+5+5) vs 10 = Stand
8. 16 (6+3+3+2+2) vs 10 = Hit
9. 16 (7+6+A+A+A) vs 10 = Hit
10. 16 (10+2+2+A+A) vs 10 = Hit
11. 16 (6+6+2+A+A) vs 10 = Hit
12. 16 (10+3+A+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
13. 16 (7+6+A+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
14. 16 (10+2+2+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
15. 16 (7+5+2+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
16. 16 (6+6+2+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
17. 16 (7+4+3+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
18. 16 (7+4+2+2+A) vs 9 = Hit
19. 16 (7+3+3+2+A) vs 9 = Hit
20. 16 (6+3+3+3+A) vs 9 = Hit
21. 16 (7+3+2+2+2) vs 9 = Hit
22. 16 (6+3+3+2+2) vs 9 = Hit

Six Cards

Basic Strategy Changes:

1. 12 vs 3 = Stand
2. 16 vs 9 = Stand
3. 16 vs 10 = Stand

Exceptions:

1. 12 (3+3+3+A+A+A) vs 3 = Hit
2. 12 (3+3+2+2+A+A) vs 3 = Hit
3. 12 (3+2+2+2+2+A) vs 3 = Hit
4. 15 (6+5+A+A+A+A) vs 10 = Stand
5. 16 (6+6+A+A+A+A) vs 10 = Hit
6. 16 (6+3+2+2+2+A) vs 10 = Hit
7. 16 (6+6+A+A+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
8. 16 (7+3+3+A+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
9. 16 (7+3+2+2+A+A) vs 9 = Hit
10. 16 (7+2+2+2+2+A) vs 9 = Hit
11. 16 (6+3+2+2+2+A) vs 9 = Hit

Methodology

The fine points of basic strategy was determined using a combinatronic and recursive program that made the optimal play at every step considering the exact distribution of remaining cards. This program was also used to create the basic strategy charts for one and multiple decks.

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