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Nearly all players will benefit by learning basic strategy for blackjack and following it to the letter. But advanced players should understand that basic strategy is ... well ... basic, and there are some things they can do to get a little extra out of blackjack without counting cards.
Fred Renzey, author of the Blackjack Bluebook, is really strong on giving players steps they can take to improve their games. His book singles out seven close-call hands in which the percentages can swing just enough to make a play beyond basic depending on what other cards are on the table, even in multiple-deck games.
Basic strategy players are used to hitting 12 if the dealer shows a 2 or 3. But what if the dealer shows a 4? Most of the time we stand, but this is one of Renzey's close calls. We hit 12 vs. 4 if there are more 10-value cards on the table than there are 2s, 3s, 4s or 5s.
The other close calls:
For such plays that go beyond basic, Renzey's Blackjack Bluebook ($14, Blackjack Mentor) is a valuable resource that has a prized place on my casino bookshelf.
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