Modern Blackjack
Basic Strategy







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Chapter Zero

Basic Strategy

The title is Chapter Zero because here is where we bring the odds almost up to break-even. This is a required step before we learn to turn the game in our favor. Basic Strategy tells you the optimal way of playing every hand in Blackjack without card counting. If you are certain that you already know Basic Strategy, you can skip this chapter.


My physics teacher had a rather wild physics professor. He suspended a bowling ball from the 30-foot high ceiling of a large lecture hall. On the first day of class, he would select a student, have him stand, pull the bowling ball across the room and place it against the studentís nose. He told the student to stand still and released the ball. The ball would swing across the room like a pendulum, then swing back toward the point of release before stopping a hair from the studentís nose. His point was that you have to trust physics. The laws of physics state that the ball cannot travel unaided past the point from where it was released and therefore cannot hit the student. Of course it is one thing to know this intellectually and quite another to feel the certainty of it when a sixteen pound ball is hurtling toward your nose.


Basic Strategy for Blackjack has been agreed upon by many mathematicians. It is the correct way to play. It makes no sense to use your own instincts instead of Basic Strategy. I am often surprised that when people drive down two-lane roads, they will trust complete strangers in the oncoming lane not to swerve into their lane causing a head-on collision; but they will not trust mathematicians to create the correct strategy for Blackjack.


 © 2009 Norman Wattenberger

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© 2009 Norman Wattenberger