If you’re a fan of blackjack and are reading up on the game to increase your odds, chances are you’ve seen a blackjack basic strategy chart. If not, then seriously, stop what you’re doing right now and study this chart.
Okay, now that we’re moving on, if you’re new to blackjack that chart may be a little intimidating. It’s a lot to remember, though it can certainly be done if you put in the effort. What if you want to play but don’t have it memorized yet, though? Do you have to just go by memory and do the best you can?
Fortunately, the answer is no. If you have not yet memorized the basic strategy cards, you can use them while you play. This is probably obvious when playing online blackjack. After all, when playing online you are going up against a computer rather than a human dealer and there are no other players at the table, so you can take as long as you want to make a decision. If you want to, you can look at the chart before every decision and no one will care. But what about in a casino?
Some people think that you are not allowed to use a basic strategy chart when playing blackjack in a casino. Other people think that while they are allowed, they are discouraged. Neither is true. The casinos have no problem with you using a basic strategy chart. In fact, some casino even hand them out to customers. Why would they do that when following the chart is to your benefit? Most players don’t have the discipline to stick to basic strategy even when they have the chart in front of them. As soon as they have a losing streak, most players will abandon the chart and go with their gut, which is often wrong.
Though you are allowed to use the charts, you should still be courteous. That means having the card easily accessible, look at it quickly and make a decision quickly. The other players don’t want to stand around all day waiting for you to make a decision. So while there is no rule against using a strategy card, you should only use it if it doesn’t slow you down too much. That is why it’s a good idea to memorize it, which you should be able to do over time.