Playing Perfect Blackjack
Perfect Blackjack is a system of playing Blackjack hands not unlike Basic Blackjack Strategy. It is based on the assumption that the house can be beat in the long term. It requires strict adherence to a prescribed method of play for every combination of cards. Its proponents claim that by following the chart developed for Perfect Blackjack, the house edge is all but eliminated.
Playing the Perfect Hand
For all intents and purposes, the special strategy chart for Perfect Blackjack is identical to the Multiple-Deck Blackjack Strategy Chart displayed on this site. There are, however, two major differences which must be adhered to if the Perfect Blackjack system is to be applied properly.
The first regards surrendering a hand. Basic Blackjack strategy never recommends surrendering. In fact, the option does not even appear on most charts or tables of Blackjack hand play. In Perfect Blackjack, there are two instances when the player must surrender, if allowed: holding a total of fifteen facing the dealer’s 10 or face card, and holding a total of sixteen facing the dealer’s 9~Ace.
The second difference regards splitting pairs, and it comes up in three situations. However, these changes only apply when playing at a Blackjack table where doubling down is allowed after a split, otherwise the Multi-Deck chart applies.
The first situation regards splitting a pair of deuces or treys. In standard play, these pairs are only split against the dealer’s 4~7, but in Perfect Blackjack, they must also be split facing a 2 or a 3 as the dealer’s up card.
The second situation comes up with a pair of 4s. The Multiple-Deck strategy never splits these; the recommendation is always to hit. Perfect Blackjack, on the other hand, insists on splitting a pair of 4s against the dealer’s 5 or 6.
The last difference is when holding a pair of 6s. These are normally split when the dealer’s up card is 3~6. In Perfect Blackjack, they are also split when the dealer shows a deuce.
Other than those modifications, the chart for Perfect Blackjack and Multiple-Deck are the same. The play of each hand is completely predetermined by the situation, so the player’s choices are made rather mechanically, by strictly following the chart.
Making the Perfect Bet
Playing perfect Blackjack requires memorization of the Multiple-Deck chart and the changes given above. It also requires following them exactly under all conditions. But the Perfect Blackjack system does require counting cards. If the player truly believes the house no longer has an advantage, no matter what cards have been played or remain in the deck at any given time, flat betting should yield a profit over the long run, or at the very worst break even.
The assumption here is that every hand should already be in a good position to win. Any hand that is not will be compensated for by a future hand. Varying bets may leave the Perfect Blackjack player open to short-term fluctuations.
However, as every card counter and experienced player knows, there are times when the deck itself really favors the player. Flat betting wastes the opportunity when wagers need to be increased. Therefore, at the very least, some form of progression should be applied, preferably a positive one such as Paroli or 1-3-2-6. If Perfect Blackjack really does cancel out the house advantage, such betting systems have much better odds of succeeding that flat betting alone.