When to Hit and When to Stand in Blackjack

The most common dilemma that a player has to go through is when to hit or stand. Most professional players have their own basic blackjack strategy to guide them when would be the best time to stand and when would be the best time to hit. Some players may closely follow their own strategy thereby taking the least risks. Others will act boldly and ask to be hit when they are showing a 16 for example. Players who have mastered the art of card counting are very courageous. But this skill is harder to implement with the recent technological advances.

A"hit" means that you would like to take another card from the deck. If you have a higher chance of reaching a hand closer to or equal to 21, you can make a hit. In the casinos you rarely say"hit" or"hit me", the common signal is by tapping the cards or just the table with your finger.

A"stand" means that you're sticking with your total of two cards. You do this when the card in hand has a high probability of winning or simply because there is a high probability of a bust if you will ask for another card. In blackjack you play against the dealer not against the other players as is the case at Texas Hold em poker sites.

The house edge over a player in blackjack starts at about 5. 5 percent. By properly hitting and standing, you can improve your odds by over 3 percent.

Dealer's Card is an Ace

This is one of the worst scenarios on the table. What you should consider in blackjack is that a card with a value of 10, which are 10, Jack, Queen, and King, is more likely to appear than any other single card value. In this case, the dealer has a blackjack roughly 4/13. Also, the dealer with an Ace has more chances of drawing cards without getting busted. Your approach is to aggressively play the game by trying to get a good hand like a 17 and above, as the dealer is likely to have a strong hand.

Dealer's Card is a 10, J, Q, or K

There is still a 1-in-13 chance that the dealer has a blackjack and a 4-in-13 chance of a 20. So you need a strong hand to compete. An 11 gives you a good chance of making a 21 with a hit. But you are still in the risk of busting and you should hit 10 or less, hit 12-16, and stand at 17+.

Dealer's Card is a 7, 8, or 9

In this scenario, there is a better chance of winning, as the dealer cannot make a blackjack. On the other hand, it's possible that the dealer will get a better hand like a 17 and above, which is why we need a stronger hand to compete. Nevertheless, both 10 and 11 can give you a better chance of a winning 20 or 21. You will still need to risk busting and you should hit 9 or less, hit 12-16, and stand at 17+.

Dealer's Card is a 4, 5 or 6

This is not good for the dealer because a bust is very likely to happen. The key is to not get a bust, and it's wise to double down with a 9, 10, or 11. You have to hit 8 or less and stand 12+.

Dealer's Card is a 3

There is a very strong possibility that the dealer can still get busted. On the other hand, there's a slight advantage to take a hit when you have a 12 even if a bust will occur in 4 out of 13. It's still wise to double down when you get a 9, 10, or 11. So you should hit 8 or less, hit 12 and stand 13+.

Dealer's Card is a 2

The dealer is still in a bad position but a bust is slightly less likely. It's because the chances of the dealer getting 2 cards totaling 20 is roughly 10 percent. As such, it is good to hit on a 9 instead of doubling so you should hit 9 or less, hit 12, and stand 13+.

Furthermore, once the dealer reaches seventeen or above, he must stand and may not add any cards to his hand. You as the player are free to take your chances at such a stage and go for the low card values that would lead you closer to a 21. The house's advantage is that it does not experience the same dilemma faced by the player since the dealer's actions are guided by rules.

The best way for a new player to become confident with his own playing strategy is to practice as much as possible either on the free games offered at an online casino or for small bids at a live casino. Practice makes perfect and it's not an exception in blackjack.


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