Blackjack Strategy - Hit or Stand?

Apr 5, 2023

In any game, knowledge is power, especially in those where skill takes precedence over luck. Blackjack is the perfect example of such a game, where a player’s decisions can significantly impact the outcome, setting it apart from games like slots that rely solely on chance. 
A successful gambler knows that choosing the right strategies is crucial, and keeping a close watch is essential. Players must focus on the cards and avoid even the slightest misstep that could result in a significant loss. 
A player needs strategies, practice, confidence, and patience to win at Blackjack. It’s no surprise that Blackjack is one of the oldest and most popular casino games worldwide, much like bingo games. Although the game’s rules vary depending on the country, the fundamental rules that all players must follow are the same, regardless of their skill level.
Many players are always eager to learn how to boost their profits and win at gambling. This article will thoroughly explain Blackjack hit or stand strategies, explaining precisely when to hit and when to stand, the various Blackjack variations, hand signals, when to Double Down or Split, Single versus Multi-Deck, and last but not least, Blackjack strategy charts, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Understanding the Hit & Stand in Casino Blackjack

When playing Blackjack, players have two choices: Hit or Stand. The decision to Hit or Stand is based on the dealer’s hand.
  • Hitting is when a player asks the dealer for another card, which can be done verbally or by tapping the table.
  • Standing is when a player keeps their current total and ends their turn, which can be done verbally or by waving their hand horizontally.

When to Hit in Blackjack

When playing Hit in Blackjack, there are some important rules to remember. First, if the sum of your cards is between five and eight, it’s usually better not to Hit, regardless of the dealer’s hand. However, if the dealer shows a four, five, or six, they are more likely to go over 21, so you might want to take the risk and Hit.
On the other hand, if your total is eight, you should Hit no matter what the dealer has. This is because there are many cards with values of nine and ten in the deck, so your chances of improving your hand are high. If the dealer has a high-value card, it’s also worth considering Hit to try and beat their total.
That said, if the odds are against you, hitting is not always wise. For instance, if you’re holding 13 or 14 and the dealer has a seven or above, the chances of winning are low, and you’re better off taking another card. This is a valuable tip to remember if you want to play like a pro.

Tips for Blackjack Hit or Stand

  1. If the dealer has a card of ten points and the player claims 16, the player’s best option is to give up. 
  2. If there is no chance of giving up, the second-best option is to hit; this way, the player will lose less than if they choose to stand. 
  3. There is one situation where the opposite of the past tip is true; it is when the 16 consists of two eights.

When to Stand in Blackjack

In single-deck Blackjack, there are certain strategies that players should follow to increase their chances of winning. For example, if the player’s cards add up to 12 to 16 and the dealer has a four, five, or six, it’s usually best to stand. However, if the player has a soft 17 or less, it’s better to Hit.
They should always stand when the player’s total is 17, 19, or 20. Taking another card won’t improve their hand and will only increase the risk of going over 21.
It’s also important to look out for totals that can be split, such as 8-8, 9-9, and 10-10. Splitting these hands can create two new hands with a better chance of winning.
Players should also understand the difference between a soft and a hard hand. A soft hand contains an Ace, which can be counted as 1 or 11, depending on which value benefits the player more. In contrast, a hard hand comprises other cards and contains no Aces. The same total can be stronger or weaker depending on whether it’s a soft or hard hand, so players should pay attention to this distinction.

Blackjack Variations

While traditional Blackjack can be found in every casino worldwide, the game has evolved over the years, giving rise to a wide range of exciting variations. These variations offer players a fresh and exciting take on the classic game, bringing new life into a beloved pastime.
In recent decades, the popularity of Blackjack variations has exploded, not just in land-based casinos but also online. With the rise of internet casinos, players can now enjoy countless variations of Blackjack from the comfort of their own homes. Following are a few popular Blackjack variations:
  1. Pontoon (British Blackjack)
  2. Blackjack  switch (Blackjack with a twist)
  3. Double exposure Blackjack (exposing the dealer)
  4. Buster Blackjack (betting the bust)
  5. Bonus Blackjack (Blackjack with a bonus)
  6. California Blackjack (Blackjack with a bank)
  7. Double attack Blackjack (doubling up)
  8. Pitch Blackjack (Blackjack face down)
  9. Multi-hand Blackjack (Blackjack, Video Poker style)
  10. Chinese Blackjack (Blackjack Asia)

Know Your Hand Signals

Hand signals are an essential part of Blackjack, as they help avoid misunderstandings and serve as a form of surveillance in case of disputes. Some of the most well-known and useful signals in the game include:
  • To hit: indicate by scratching the table with your index finger.
  • To stand: indicate by waving your hand over the cards.
  • To double down: indicate by placing an additional bet (which can’t exceed the original bet) and flashing the number one sign behind the cards.
  • To split: indicate by placing an equal bet to the original one and making a V sign with your first two fingers.

When to Double Down or Split in Blackjack?

Doubling Down is when the player doubles their bet in the middle of a hand in return for one extra card. It can increase the player’s payout, but for it to work, the player needs to know when to double down. Doubling down is a good idea when:
  1. The total of the player’s cards equals 11
  2. The player has a hard nine or ten
  3. The player shows a soft 16, 17, or 18
Splitting is offered when the player’s initial two-card hand has two cards of the same value. It allows the player to split the cards into two separate hands, and then receive an additional card for each hand from the dealer. The purpose of it is to reduce the risk of losing the bet or, at least, reduce the losses.
Splitting in Blackjack requires the player to place an additional bet on the hand they just created, and the bet must be equal to the one they originally placed when the game started. Splitting is a good idea when:
  1. The player’s hand has an Ace
  2. The player’s hand has eight

Single vs. Multi-Deck Blackjack

In single-deck Blackjack, the dealer must hit a soft 17, unlike other game versions where the dealer must stand. Players can only draw one card after the deal; a combination of ten is considered a score of 21, not a blackjack. Doubling down is only allowed on hard nine, ten, or 11, and never after splitting in a single deck.
Double-deck Blackjack, on the other hand, allows players to double after splitting pairs. This version is standard in live dealer games since card counting has little effect. The house edge is also slightly lower in double-deck Blackjack.

Blackjack Strategy Chart

A Blackjack strategy chart is a table filled with the recommended moves in the game. It depends on the player’s hand and the choices and cards of the dealer, and it has many benefits:
  1. It helps players make the best decision according to the hand they have
  2. It provides the player with a reference point
  3. Players learn it during gameplay
  4. It is convenient for online gambling

Blackjack Strategy Mistakes

The game may seem too easy initially, but players must avoid a few mistakes. The most common ones are:
  • Ignoring the fine print
  • Not knowing the hand signs
  • Misadding the Aces
  • Playing assumptions
  • Too much ego
  • Relying on the team approach
  • Taking it too seriously

To Summarize

Blackjack is a viral, unique, and worldly casino game with many variations and requires players to make fast decisions that influence the game’s outcome. Players must be focused while playing Blackjack because it is a kind of gambling that depends not on luck, like bingo table games, but on strategies. 
Despite being a game of chance, Blackjack is unique because it requires a certain skill level and strategy to win consistently. This means that players can improve their chances of winning by learning the game’s rules and mastering various techniques.
These skills enhance the gaming experience and can improve players’ confidence in making informed decisions in other aspects of life. In this way, Blackjack can be seen as a fun and exciting game and a valuable learning experience.

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