Blackjack, also known as 21, is one of the oldest and most popular casino games in the world. It is a game of skill where players try to beat the dealer by getting a hand value closer to 21 without going over. Over the years, players have developed various strategies to increase their chances of winning. In this article, we will discuss the evolution of blackjack strategy from basic to advanced.


Basic Strategy:

Basic strategy is the foundation of all blackjack strategies. It involves using a set of rules to make the best decisions based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s upcard. The basic strategy tells the player whether to hit, stand, double down, or split their hand, depending on the situation.


The basic strategy was first introduced in the 1950s by a group of mathematicians and statisticians known as the Four Horsemen. They analyzed millions of blackjack hands to come up with the best strategy for every possible hand. Their work revolutionized the game and gave players a better chance of winning.

Intermediate Strategy:

As players became more experienced, they realized that the basic strategy could be improved by incorporating more advanced techniques. One such technique is card counting. Card counting involves keeping track of the cards that have been dealt to determine the remaining cards in the deck. This information can be used to adjust the player’s strategy and increase their chances of winning.


Card counting was first introduced by Edward Thorp in his book “Beat the Dealer” in 1962. Thorp’s book became an instant classic and led to a surge of interest in blackjack. However, casinos soon caught on to the technique and began using multiple decks and shuffling them more frequently to prevent card counting.


Advanced Strategy:

As card counting became more difficult, players began developing more advanced strategies to gain an edge over the casino. One such strategy is shuffle tracking. Shuffle tracking involves following groups of cards through the shuffle to predict their location in the deck. This information can be used to make more accurate decisions and increase the player’s chances of winning.

Another advanced strategy is hole-carding. Hole-carding involves identifying the dealer’s hole card and using that information to make better decisions. This technique is legal in some jurisdictions but is considered cheating in others.


The evolution of blackjack strategy from basic to advanced has been driven by players’ desire to beat the casino and win more money. The basic strategy remains the foundation of all blackjack strategies, but advanced techniques such as card counting, shuffle tracking, and hole-carding can give players an even greater advantage. However, it is important to remember that these techniques are not foolproof and can be risky if not used properly. As always, the key to success in blackjack is to play smart, stay focused, and have fun.