In the game of online casino blackjack you can be dealt 340 different basic hand situations. When you have 13 and the dealer shows a 6, that's a hand situation. 16 against a 10 up is another.
You absolutely need to know the basic strategy whether you are a card counter or not. It is the mathematical basis, or logic, for the best way to play the cards. You modify that strategy using "gut" instinct if you "feel" a card coming, or if you are a "literal" card counter or "casual" card counter, which will be discussed later on. The following four charts show playing strategies for single-deck, double-deck, and multi deck blackjack, and we are modified version for playing any type of deck. Most of this is not new; We've run the information through our own computer systems and have come up with pretty much the same outcomes except for a few deviations. Just see which one works the best for you and study it well.
About a hundred of these hand situations play themselves. By that we mean, nobody with two brain cells to rub together needs to be told how to play them, they're automatic. Some of these no-brainers are when you've been dealt a total of 5 against the dealer's face-card, or a 19 against a 4 up. A genius and a moron would both play these hands the same way.
It has been calculated, simulated, refined and re-refined with computers since the late 1950's. Modern basic strategy was developed by first removing the 3 combined cards that make up the player's starting hand and the dealer's up-card from the "imaginary" deck. Then, every combination of cards that can be drawn for each way to play that hand was calculated and evaluated, indicating the most efficient play. Later, billions of computer simulated hands were run, verifying and refining the accuracy of those earlier calculations. Out of all that was born the correct basic strategy of play. With it, the casino's edge over you in a typical multi-deck blackjack game would be just about '/2%. With fewer decks, it would be smaller yet. In a few rare single deck games, a perfect basic strategy player has no disadvantage at all.
The other two hundred and some odd hands however are more debatable. How about when you have a pair of 6'.s and the dealer shows a 3? Should you split the 6's - take a hit - or just stand with 12? Questions like these should not be answered intuitively, because they're really a matter of mathematics. Unlike some card games such as poker, casino blackjack playing strategy is entirely devoid of psychology.
Every day, thousands upon thousands of gamblers throw their money away at the blackjack tables when they "wing" it by trying to infuse their own personalized logic into the play of their hands. And it's so unnecessary, because all the right plays have already been determined.