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How Rules affect your Blackjack Strategy

There is a common misconception that one universal blackjack strategy chart can be used for every game – regardless of the rules in place. For example, some players mistakenly play a soft 19 the exact same way when the dealer stands on a soft 17 or when they hit on soft 17. But as you’ll see below, you aren’t using optimal blackjack strategy if you don’t take rule differences into account in these situations.

Subtle Differences

Even if you take a general blackjack strategy chart and use it for every game regardless of the rule differences, the sky isn’t going to come falling down. In fact, you won’t yield that much of an extra edge to the house as long as you stick to the chart and make good decisions. But note that you won’t be winning as much money as you could by keeping individual rule changes in mind.

Examples

As just mentioned, rule differences only slightly alter the landscape of blackjack strategy. Take the aforementioned soft 19 for example you would double down with this hand when the dealer has a 6 showing and can hit on a soft 17; however, you would merely stand when the dealer has a 6 and they cannot hit on a soft 17. Another instance to look at is if the dealer has an ace and you have a hard 11; in this situation, you would double down when the dealer hits on soft 17 and hit when the dealer can’t hit on a soft 17.

Finding the Right Chart

Assuming you are really serious about blackjack and want to play with optimal strategy, you should find the appropriate strategy chart for the game you’re playing. Of course, in order to do this, you need to know the blackjack rules in place at the casino where you play. So in summary, find out what the rules are, then look for the corresponding strategy chart.

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