One of the most popular ways of increasing one's chances at the blackjack table is using blackjack cards. These cards provide a complete set of optimal decisions which the player should make at the beginning of the game. This is also known as the optimal or the basic blackjack strategy.
However, as there is a number of blackjack variations with each of them employing different rules and gameplay, each of these variations also require different blackjack cards. It is very important that the player uses the right card in the right game.
What blackjack cards do is tell you when you should stand, hit, double, split and when to surrender. The cards include information on what the player should do when having a certain pair, soft totals and hard totals.
A soft total is a blackjack hand with an ace being used as 11. This includes all of the hands from A2 to A9 with all of the following hands being excluded as they are all blackjack hands. A soft total cannot be busted with a single-card hit as the player can change the ace value to 1 and then stand or hit again.
A hard total is a hand with any two cards neither of which is an ace. The value of these hands cannot be changed therefore they should be played accordingly. In a [URL="http://casino.pokernews.com/casino-games/blackjack.htm"+]blackjack[/URL] card hard totals do not show all the possible card combinations but rather the total amount of points in which any hard hand results.
Blackjack cards always come with a key explaining the abbreviations used in the card. The most common abbreviations are: S – stand, H – hit, Dh – double, if not allowed, then hit, Ds – double, if not allowed, then stand, SP – split, SU – surrender, if not allowed, then hit.
Blackjack cards cover all the possible starting hands and instructions on what the player should do when they have some specific hand in case of a pair or a soft total or an exact amount of points in case of a hard total. The cards also include the dealer's face-up card which affects player's actions as well. The same hand in most cases should be played in a different way according to the dealer's card. Jacks, Queens and Kings are not marked in the line of the dealer's face-up card as they carry the same amount of points as a 10 so they should be played accordingly.