Just like in a regular game of blackjack , for its popular varietyBlackjack Switch, there is a basic strategy. And in the same way, it can change depending on the set of rules in a particular casino. So it is not possible to provide one universal basic strategy.
Many experts have made efforts to develop strategies for playing Switch, for example, game developer Geoff Hall himself , well-known expert Michael “Wizard of Odds” Shackleford, no less famous Arnold Snyder ) other. It was even released the book authored by Elliot Frome ( Elliot A. The Frome, Expert Strategy for the Blackjack Switch, 2011) , although the book is rather weak, only 14 pages.
The basic strategy for Blackjack The switch is divided into two independent parts – this is the strategy of the switch itself, that is, the exchange of cards between the boxes, plus the strategy of playing the hand after the switch. The second part also differs from the basic strategy of regular blackjack , due to the fact that the dealer’s score of 22 points is considered a draw and not an overkill.
The second part of the basic strategy for the Switch is published below, that is, the drawing after the exchange. The rules are as follows: 6 decks, the dealer draws a card at 7/17, no sarend. The calculation of this basic strategy was done by Michael Shackleford. The advantage of the casino over the player according to these rules is 0.58%.
The influence of rule variations is as follows:
- 8 decks instead of 6 adds another 0.2% to the house edge
- Blackjack after the switch automatically wins: add 0.4% in favor of the player
- Blackjack before the switch automatically wins: add 0.21% in favor of the player
- The dealer is on soft 17: add 0.3% in favor of the player.
As for the strategy of the switch itself, it is very difficult. There are too many options to explore. And although professional players have never avoided memorizing large amounts of information, several attempts have been made to create a simplified basic switch strategy. One of the best options for such a strategy is outlined in Snyder’s book (Arnold Snyder, “Big Book of Blackjack”, 2006). On the Internet, you can also find many options for the “simplified switch base”, some of the most competent are posted on the Shackleford website. Here is the simplest version of the baseline for the switch (which, however, gains in the cost of errors compared to the optimal one of the order of 0.17%, so this option can be called the most basic of all basic strategies):
Simplified switch strategy
The rules are assumed to be the same by Cindy Liu, the author of the strategy.
To begin with, all hands are written out in priority, depending on the number of points, as follows:
- 21 points.
- 20 points.
- 19 points.
- A, A.
- 11 points.
- 10 points.
- 9 points.
- 18 or 8 points.
- 8.8 versus dealerships 2-8.
- Further, this ranking is used as follows:
- Against the dealer’s 7 or 8, balance your hands to make the weakest hand as high as possible in the rankings, if possible.
- Against any other dealer card, maximize the strength of your strongest hand, if possible.
- If you cannot get any of the above, make the strongest of the following in the ranking:
- 7 or 17 points.
- any hand to split.
- any 12 points.
- any 13 points.
- If you have A, A + 3.9 – play without a switch.
- If you have A, A + 2.9 – play without a switch against the dealer 2-6.
- If you have A, A + 2.8 – play without a switch.
And Shackleford also built an online calculator for calculating the optimal switch strategy, so everyone can create their own basic strategy, simplifying it to their liking. Based on this online calculator, there is already an application for iPhone smartphones.
Interestingly, there is still no detailed mathematical theory of card counting for Switch.