The most common decision taken while playing blackjack at an online or land-based casino is whether to hit or stand. While you may get a feel for this over time from experience alone, you can speed up the process by researching the optimal responses to various situations.
Knowing when to take a blackjack hit or stand is not only essential to playing blackjack, but it can also cut the house advantage by half, making it one of the greatest casino games to play if you’re searching for decent betting odds. This also applies to understanding whether to split or double down in a game.
Basics of Hitting and Standing in Blackjack
After receiving your first two cards, you must determine whether you will “hit” or “stand” often referred to as “stay”.
To stand signifies that you are pleased with the cards you have been dealt and do not intend to draw anymore. To hit signifies that you want to draw another card (or more) to strengthen your hand.
Blackjack – When to Stand
According to basic strategy, your two beginning cards are less important than the dealer up-card. This is due to the law of probability predicting that the dealer’s second card will be worth 10.
Because the dealer must always take another card up to 17, certain cards render him vulnerable. Also, when the dealer is weak, the player may risk fewer chances and stand with terrible opening hands.
For example, if the dealer presents a six, his face-down card is likely a 10, nine, or eight, giving a low total of 14, 15, or 16. He must now take another card – and most certainly bust. It would be best if you made the right option to stand with any two cards from value 12 up by thinking forward. Why risk busting when the dealer is almost sure to do so?
Your hand totals 13 to 16, and the dealer’s upcard is between 2 and 6.
Because there are more face cards than any other in the deck, the dealer is more likely to need to draw more cards, increasing the likelihood that they will bust and allowing you to feel secure in your hand.
PS: The situation is the same if your two cards add up to 12 and the dealer has between a 4 and a 6.
These are situations when you should stand:
You Wield a Pair of 10s
You could be tempted to take a more considerable risk by splitting the pair if the dealer displays a low-value card, but if you have a good chance of winning, it’s not worth it.
The Dealer Has A 7, 10, J, Q, K, or A, and You Have A Pair of 9s
If the dealer has a 7 and you have 18, you have a little edge over the dealer’s 17 since the dealer is more likely to draw a 10 or image card.
When the dealer shows a card value of 10 or 11, the choice becomes more of a matter of hope than probability since you are likely to go broke and have a better chance of winning by sticking with your existing hand than by taking any other action.
Your Two Cards Add Up to 17 to 21, Regardless of the Dealer’s Upcard
Even though this is pretty obvious, you have a better chance of breaking if you draw another card than receiving a card with a low value. High-stakes gamblers should avert their eyes immediately. However, we advise always standing if your hand contains a hard 17 (i.e., not an ace and a six).
It’s not worth the risk to improve your score by landing an ace, two, three, or four. The dealer may still bust even if you decide to stand. Additionally, it should go without saying that if you have a hand totaling 11 or less, you should not consider standing in Blackjack since you will automatically bust if you take another card.
Blackjack – When to Hit
You should hit if the total value of the cards in your hand is 8. This is because there are a significant number of cards in the deck with a value of 10, which increases the likelihood of you generating a solid hand.
It is also a good idea to hit when the dealer has a reasonably high-value card in their hand, such as a 7, 8, or 9, since they will probably make 21, and the primary objective of the game is to have a hand that is higher than the dealer’s hand.
When they have 12 or 13 in their hand, and the dealer has a lesser card, some players decide to hit, even though this strategy is not recommended. That hand has a meager chance of winning, but it might very well do so based on the following card you get.
- If you have 11 and the dealer has an ace, you should hit.
- If you have a 10 and the face-up card that the dealer is showing is also a 10 or an ace, you should hit.
- If you have a 9 and the dealer displays a 2 or 7 through ace, hit.
- Always hit on 5, 6, 7, and 8 positions.
When You Should Not Hit
So, to begin, ask yourself, “When should you not strike in blackjack?” This depends on various conditions, but there are several strategies you may use to improve your chances of winning (although there are no guarantees.)
In general, one of the initial blackjack rules is that you should not hit if your hand totals 17 or above. This is because you risk going over 21, which means you’ll bust and lose your winnings.
Beware of These Hands While You Hit or Stand
Blackjack players often stand on 12-16 challenging hands. This is because these hands are easier to bust. When the dealer is displaying a 7 or above, he has a strong possibility of ending up with 17 – 21. We need a more excellent value to maximize our play against a powerful dealer. In these situations, hitting is theoretically correct if surrendering or splitting isn’t an option.
In the same vein, soft hands are another typical error. A – 6 is a hand where many errors are made since 17 is considered excellent. Hard 17s should always stand, while soft ones should never. Because you can’t bust by striking another card, the best choice is to double down or hit until you get 17-21 or 18-21.
Simplifying the game to its essence and making sure you get to 21 can seem like an easy task. The key is to know what pitfalls to watch out for, and the following are a few of the most typical ones.
- Table’s Minimum Bet
As a beginner who wants to get the most out of the blackjack experience while keeping your losses to a minimum, it’s wise to check the table’s minimum bet before you sit down.
- Master Your Hand Signals
Signals help avoid confusion and may be used as a kind of monitoring in the event of a disagreement.
To Hit: Scratch the table with your index finger as hard as possible to indicate an intent to strike.
To Stand: Signal with a hand wave over your cards.
To Split: Create a V-shape with your first two fingers equal to your initial stake.
To Double Down: Place an additional wager (equal to or more than your first wager) and show the No. 1 sign behind your cards.
Using fundamental tactics, hitting/standing in blackjack is always the last thing to consider. First, ask yourself whether the mathematically correct solution is to surrender and receive half your stake back, divide your hand (if you’ve been dealt a pair), or double your stake by choosing the double-down option.
Although the choice between hitting and standing is the one you should make the least often, it is the one you’ll eventually have to make the most often in practice. You can lower the house advantage by making mathematically accurate judgments, which you achieve by using fundamental strategy.
What does the blackjack term “split” mean?
When you have the option to “split,” you divide the pair of cards into two hands if you get two cards with the same value. Afterward, you will get a new card for each of these hands. Alternately, you may decide to “double down,” which entails increasing your wager, drawing an additional card, and then being forced to “stand.”
Is it advisable to always double down on 11?
If Your card hands a total of 11 and the dealer displays a card lower than 10, you should double down.
On 16, do I hit or stand?
If the dealer reveals a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, you should take a blackjack stand if your card hand totals 16.
Can I hit on 12?
No, you should stand if your hand totals 12 and the dealer’s upcard is 4, 5, or 6.
Can I hit on 13?
No, if your hand totals 13 and the dealer presents a 2 through 6, you should stand.
Do you hit a 13 on a 2?
If the dealer’s face-up card is a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, don’t fold. Stand.