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Last Updated: January 17, 2019

Boss Media: Composition Dependent Blackjack Strategy


Update: This page makes many references to Boss Media software. The company has since changed names to GTECH. I don't know whether this single-deck game still exists. As a U.S. citizen, I'm now unable to get an account to check.

This appendix shows the composition dependent strategy when a single deck is used and the dealer stands on a soft 17. As far as I know the number of land casinos in the world with these rules is zero. However, they can be found at both Boss Media and Microgaming casinos on the Internet. Following are the specific rules follows.

Boss Media single-deck rules.

  • Single deck
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack
  • Double after split allowed
  • Player may split only once
  • No surrender
  • Split aces get one card only

Microgaming classic blackjack rules.

  • Single deck
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Dealer does not peek for blackjack. Player will lose total bet against a dealer blackjack, including on doubles and splits.
  • Double after split not allowed
  • Player may split only once
  • No surrender
  • Player may draw to split aces

Using the ordinary total-depenendent basic strategy the player advantage under the Boss Media rules is 0.11%, and under the Microgaming rules the house edge is 0.13%. These strategies can be found in my Boss Media and Microgaming reviews. The total dependent basic strategy shows the best play based on the total of the player's cards. However sometimes, especially in single-deck, there are exceptions according to the exact cards in the player's hand. For example, all things considered it is better to stand than to hit a 13 against a dealer 2. However with a 10 and 3 against a dealer 2 it is better to hit. The following tables are the composition dependent basic strategy, which is the best play based on the exact composition of the player's hand. With three or more cards the strategies are the same. Using the composition dependent strategies on this page will lower the house edge by 0.04%, or to be specific under the Boss Media rules the player will have an 0.1541% advantage.

The following tables are appropriate for the Boss Media rules. They may also be used under the Microgaming rules, except the player should not double on 11 or split eights, against a 10 or ace, because the dealer does not peek for blackjack under the Microgaming Classic Blackjack rules. Microgaming also does not allow doubling on 8.

It should be noted that the six-card chart has some impossible situations involving five aces. For example, player A-A-A-A-3-9 vs. dealer ace. Please just ignore those situations.


Several player through the years have found some omissions in my charts. Here are some I can remember.

  • "Tank"
  • Scott E. (Scott claims the player edge is only 0.1531% under the Boss Media rules)
  • Don Schlesinger

Internal Links

  • Blackjack main page.
  • Appendix 1:Total dependent expected return table for an infinite deck.
  • Appendix 2a:Dealer probabilities after dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • Appendix 2b:Dealer probabilities before dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • Appendix 3a:Composition dependent exceptions to single deck basic strategy where the dealer stands on soft 17.
  • Appendix 3b:Composition dependent exceptions to double deck basic strategy where the dealer stands on soft 17.
  • Appendix 3c:Composition dependent exceptions to single deck basic strategy where the dealer hits a soft 17.
  • Appendix 4:Details on the standard deviation in blackjack.
  • Appendix 5:Infinite deck expected return according to player hand and dealer up card.
  • Appendix 6:Fine points of when to surrender.
  • Appendix 7:Effect of card removal.
  • Appendix 8:Analysis of some popular blackjack side bets includingSuper Sevens, Streak, Royal Match, and a tie.
  • Appendix 9:Composition dependent expected returns for 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 decks.
  • Appendix 10:The effect on the house edge of the continuous shuffling machines vs. the cut card.
  • Appendix 11: Value and strategy for 678 and 777 bonuses.
  • Appendix 12:Risk of ruin statistics.
  • Appendix 13:Probabilities in the first four cards. May be used to test for the number of decks in online blackjack.
  • Appendix 14:Value of each initial player card.
  • Appendix 15:House edge using total dependent vs composition dependent basic strategy
  • Appendix 16: Basic strategy when dealer exposes both cards.
  • Appendix 17: The Ace-Five Count. Possibly the easiest way to count cards.
  • Appendix 18: Basic strategy exceptions for three to six cards.
  • Appendix 19: Blackjack splitting strategy when a back-player is betting.
  • Appendix 20: Blackjack doubling strategy, when doubling after splitting aces is allowed.
  • Appendix 21: Details on the Wizard's Simple Strategy.
  • "21" Movie — Truth and Fiction : My comments on the movie "21."
  • Australian Blackjack: Rules and odds for blackjack down under.
  • Introduction to Card Counting
  • Rule Variations: The effect of just about every known blackjack rule change.
  • Automatic Winner Charlie Rule in Blackjack.

Written by: Michael Shackleford

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