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Basic strategy for splitting and doubling down8 May 2007
Beating casinos at their own games are tough enough without using all the weapons you have to cut the house edge.
That's why I was flabbergasted at the system I described last week, a printout of which was handed to a friend. That system advised players NEVER to split pairs or double down.
If you're going to get the most out of blackjack, you HAVE to take advantage of opportunities to split and double. But you have to do it when the math favors you, and avoid doing it in situations that are going to cost you money.
The following plays are basic strategy for splitting and doubling down in common multiple-deck games.
One final note about pair splitting: If it's the proper basic strategy play to split the first time, then it's also the proper play to resplit if you're dealt another card of the same denomination. If you split a pair of 8s, and another 8 is dealt, then your best play is to make a third bet, leaving you with three hands starting with 8. Yes, even if the dealer has a 10 up, no matter how much it makes you grimace.
DOUBLING DOWN --- HARD TOTALS
You have an 11. The dealer has a 10-value card face up. What do you do?
Your 11 is at an advantage against a dealer's 10, narrow though that edge might be. And when you have an edge, you want to maximize your profits. So you double down.
That's what it comes down to --- maximizing profits when you have an edge. Here's the rundown:
DOUBLING DOWN --- SOFT TOTALS
Most players find doubling on soft hands a little trickier than on hard totals. But there really are only three sets of plays to remember. We make the same plays with Ace-2 as with Ace-3, the same plays with Ace-4 as with Ace-5, and the same with Ace-6 as Ace-7. We double more often with higher totals:
Easy enough, right? And not only easy, but plays that are a must if you want the best blackjack has to offer.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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