Blackjack basic strategy should be employed by anyone who wants to lower the house edge to a manageable 0.5%. It can be used at an online casino as well as in a brick and mortar casino, like those in Vegas. Today I will describe what strategies to follow when the dealer shows a 6 as an up card.
First of all, as always, you should hit if you have an 8 or less, because there is no risk of busting and your cards aren’t good. If the dealer shows a 6 as an up card, you should double down if you have a 9-11. That is because – taking into account the fact that there are more cards with a value of 10 than any other value – the dealer has a good chance of having a stiff hand (12-16). That means that the dealer is likely to bust. If you have a 9, 10 or 11, the drawing one more card gives you a good chance of drawing a 19,20 or 21, which are good hands even if the dealer doesn’t bust. For that reason, doubling your bet is a good strategy.
If you have a hard 12-16, you should stand. That is because you have a stiff hand and are likely to bust if you draw another card. If you and the dealer both bust, you lose, so it is best to stand and hope that the dealer busts. If you have a hard 17 or better, you should always stand, because you have a good hand that you are not likely to improve (and will probably bust by trying).
If you have a soft 13-18, you should double down versus a dealer 6 up card. In this situation, you’re doubling because the dealer has a bad hand and since you have a soft hand, there is no risk of busting by taking another card. If you had a hard 13-18, you would stand and hope the dealer busts because drawing another card could bust you, but since you can’t bust with a soft hand, it is best to double down in this situation.
If you have a soft 19 or better, though, you should stand because even though you can’t bust, you already have a good hand that is likely to win even if the dealer doesn’t bust and you have little chance of improving that hand.
When it comes to splitting pairs, you should split twos and threes against a dealer 6. That is because the dealer has a bad hand and you are doubling your chance of winning. Also, if you have a 4 or 6, you are likely to draw a stiff hand by taking another card. By splitting the cards and starting your hands with twos or threes, you have better odds of drawing a good hand. If you have a pair of fours, you should split if you’re allowed to double afterwards. Otherwise, you should take a hit.
If you have a pair of fives, you should double down versus a dealer 6 card. That is because with your 10, you have a good chance of drawing a 20 with your next card. With those odds, combined with the dealer’s likelihood of busting, putting double the money on the bet is a good idea.
You should split a pair of sixes, sevens, eights and nines against a dealer 6. For the 6-8 pairs, splitting them means breaking up stiff hands, which is a good idea. As for the pair of nines, one hand of 18 is good, but the chance of two hands of 19 is better. Again, the dealer is likely to bust with his stiff hand, so you can be more aggressive.
No matter what card the dealer shows, you should never split a pair of tens, since you already have a hand of 20, which is the second-best hand in blackjack. Likewise, you should always split a pair of aces, since it’s the best card with which to start a hand. That is because it gives you a soft hand and a chance of drawing a natural blackjack (ace, 10).
Always remember to stick to basic strategy when playing blackjack at your favorite online casino.