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Blackjack : The Blackjack's 9s

By Joni Hawk

Level: Mar 6th 2007
If you're a blackjack gambler, and have never analyzed an essential blackjack strategy table, you definitely should do it. What's a basic strategy table? It's a neat little grid, containing potential blackjack hands, and probable dealer face-up cards. Find the exact combination considering your hand and the dealer's and the basic strategy table will tell you whether to hit, stand, split, double down or even surrender, if the house allows such an option.

Frequently, large blocks of hands have the similar accurate play. Normally, if you begin with a pair of 7's, and the dealer's up cards are from 2 through 7, the table will tell you to split the pair, and if the dealer has an 8 or above, the blackjack strategy table will tell you just to hit. But, sometimes the block of similar plays comes in the middle of the line. With Ace 4 or Ace 5, the grid advices you to double down in that block showing the dealer's 4, 5 or 6, but just to hit against anything else. The blackjack fundamental strategy is methodical and logical.


Obviously, we can get rid of them. So, when you have a pair of 9s, the strategy's alternatives aren't so clear. Certain, there's a big block that advices you to split the pair. Every time you have a 2 through 6, the table tells you to split.

However, when you have a 7, it advices you to stand. Then it notifies you to consider splitting if the dealer has an 8 or 9, and back to standing if the dealer owns a 10-value card or an Ace. These gambling shifts are unique on the basic strategy table, and merit some relevant analyzes.

First of all, the combination and the possibilities that we must consider analyzing are included in those 3 rectangles of the table which inform us to stand on our pair of 9s. So, we stand when the dealer has a 7, and we stand when the dealer has a 10-value or an Ace. Sometimes, in blackjack we play offense, and sometimes we play defense. Occasionally our purpose is to maximize winnings, and sometimes our purpose is to minimize losses.

If you start playing holding a pair of 9s and the dealer has a 7, you have an edge. Your 18 will always win each time the dealer has a 10-value card (10, Jack, King or Queen) face down, and it will always push every time the dealer has an Ace face down. Four of the 13 possible denominations in the deck can turn your 18 into an instantaneous winner. No cards can turn the dealer's 7 into an immediate winner against you. If the dealer wants to win the hand, he or she has to draw a card.

Alternatively, if the dealer holds a 10-value card or an Ace, you lose your edge. Your 18 will lose more frequently than it shall win. Splitting the pair and beginning each hand with a 9 isn't a solution. It just leaves you with two hands that lose more often than they win. In addition, splitting the pair means making a second bet, so you have more money at risk.

In this situation, it's time to play defense. So, you'll have to stand on the 9s when the dealer shows a 10-value card or an Ace. Now you'll play that little game of back-and-forth-and-back on the basic strategy table. Therefore, if dealt a pair of 9s, we play offense and maximize our potential winnings by standing when the dealer holds a 7, and we play defense, minimizing losses, when the dealer owns a 10-value card or an Ace. Nice, isn't it?
Lesson 1: Blackjack History
Where was the game born? And who named it BlackJack?
Lesson 2: Blackjack Rules
All you need to know before getting started.
Lesson 3: Blackjack Strategy
The many strategies to get a winning edge over the casino, besides getting "Rain Man" to play for you of course!
Lesson 4: Blackjack Vocabulary
Speak like a pro. Talk the talk, the walk is up to you!
Lesson 5: Blackjack Tips
What you should keep in mind, and even a little more on strategy.

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