Anyone even half serious about playing online blackjack should have at least heard of basic strategy and if not then sadly you’ve been throwing money away. Basic strategy is a mathematically proven method of playing blackjack that tells you precisely what call to make in any given situation. Basic strategy varies slightly according to the version of the rules the game you are playing employs but the principle is the same regardless – basic strategy reduces the house edge to the lowest level that is possible without resorting to card counting or cheating.
So, to answer the question that names this article, the answer is a simple and resounding yes; yes you should use basic strategy whenever you play blackjack. You can see from our basic strategy chart that no matter what cards you have and no matter what card the dealer has there is a precise decision that will deliver the best results in the long term.
At the more obvious end of the scale are decisions that should be second nature to all but beginners, for example staying on 17 and up, never splitting 10s or always splitting eights. However some decisions are more complex, for example should you hit or stand on 12 to a dealer’s three or should you double on 11 against a face card?
This is where the table comes in handy – all the answers are right there and when playing blackjack online it takes only a second to refer to the chart. If you’re playing standard online blackjack you can take all the time you need but even if you happen to be playing live dealer blackjack you should still have the opportunity to consult your chart.
However, despite the fact that basic strategy is THE ONLY way to give yourself the best chance of success by ensuring a house edge of somewhere around 0.5% (depending on the blackjack variant/rules), some people still insist on playing to their own strategies.
Any other method, be it playing on instinct, chancing your luck, copying the dealer (that is to say hit on 16 and below, stand on 17) or adopting a no-bust tactic (standing on 12 upwards) only serves to increase the casino’s advantage over you. So, plain and simple, if you’re playing blackjack in an online casino and you like winning, you know what to do.