Blackjack is said to have originated from French casinos in the late 16th century and is now one of the most popular casino games in the world! This table game is found at most casinos and is known to have some of the simplest game rules at face value.
The interesting thing about blackjack is that casino players actually do not compete against each other. This table game requires each player to beat the dealer by getting as close to the score of 21 as possible without surpassing it.
The dealer and the player start with two dealt cards, with the dealer’s first card facing up and the second facing down. Each card number represents its own value, however, face cards each count as 10 and aces count as 1 or 11. A blackjack is a pair consisting of an ace and any 10, jack, queen or king card, adding up to 21. In turn, the dealer pays you 1.5x your bet, unless the dealer also has blackjack, resulting in neither party winning.
As many blackjack casino players could relate, the big question of whether to hit or stand seems to never fade away through time! Of course, making big calls is no easy feat, but by familiarising yourself with a good blackjack strategy, you can boost your chances of success and possibly beat blackjack!
WHAT DO ‘HIT AND STAND’ MEAN WHEN PLAYING BLACKJACK?
When playing blackjack, you will have to decide whether to hit or to stand after being dealt your first two cards. Regardless of the blackjack variation, these situations will arise and it takes knowledge to utilise them appropriately. With that said, let’s dig deeper into how making the correct play decisions at the right times can amp up your chances of winning at this table game.
To hit means that you would like an extra card to be drawn in an attempt to improve your hand value. On the other hand, to stand is to keep hold of your total and end your turn as you are satisfied with the cards already dealt.
At the end of the day, the choice you make all boils down to knowing the value of each card in hand whilst also keeping blackjack rules in mind. Knowing when it is a good time to hit or stay in a blackjack game can also decrease the house edge by half, which creates an effective difference in whether you walk away as a winner or not. With this in mind, knocking down the house edge makes blackjack one of the best casino games to play if you’re one to seek out good betting odds!
WHEN TO HIT
The decision on whether to hit or stand always depends on the dealer’s blackjack hand. You may carry on hitting until you bust, meaning your hand value is over 21.
- Hit if you have an 11 and the dealer has an ace.
- Hit if you have a 10, and the dealer’s face-up card is also 10 or an ace.
- Hit if you have a 9 and the dealer shows a 2, or 7 through ace.
- Always hit on 5, 6, 7 and 8.
In general, it would make sense to hit against any card the dealer holds if your hand has a total value of 8. The chances of forming a good hand are high since many nine, and 10-value cards are stacked in the deck. Comparably, if the dealer exhibits a high-value card and is likely to make 21, you should think about hitting your high-value cards.
WHEN NOT TO HIT
In particular scenarios, it might not be the greatest of ideas to hit. Take a look below for quick tips on when to avoid hitting:
- Don’t hit if you have a 17 or more.
- Don’t hit if you have a 13 or more and the dealer has a two through six.
- Avoid hitting if you have a soft 20.
- Don’t hit if you have a total of 12 if the dealer shows four to six.
- Avoid hitting if you have a soft 19 unless doubling down against a six where the dealer has to hit a 17.
It is of utmost importance to stop hitting when you have a 17 or higher. On the same note, you should also avoid hitting when the dealer has a two through six.
WHEN TO STAND
When you have a chance of going bust in blackjack, it is probably a good idea to stand! Since your hand is likely to go over 21 when taking a new card, you should always stand if your hand totals 17 through 20.
- Always stand if you have a hand total of 17 to 21.
- Stand if you hold a value of 13 to 16 and the dealer reveals a two through six.
- Stand if you carry a 12 and the dealer has a four, five or six.
The difference between what we call soft hands and hard hands is also important here. As previously mentioned, a soft hand is a hand that contains an ace. These hands are ‘malleable’ as the ace can count as a one or 11, depending on what is needed. Hands made up of cards that do not contain an ace are called hard hands and are generally considered to be the worst hands in this table game.
For example, if the dealer’s face-up card is a six or lower and you hold a hard 16, you should stand. On the other hand, if the dealer displays a two, you should hit or double down on cards three through six if you hold an ace two, three, four or five. With that said, you can also form a strong hand with strong cards when drawing a high-value card.
WHEN NOT TO STAND
Making the right decision when choosing whether to stand in blackjack or not can flip the whole outcome of the game. When playing, remember what you have been dealt and utilise the following tips to maximise your blackjack strategy and avoid making common mistakes:
- Don’t stand when having 10 or 12 to 16.
- Don’t stand when holding a nine or less when the dealer has a two.
- Don’t stand if you have a hand of eight or below and 12 and the dealer’s hand has a three.
Players sometimes misplay their hand by standing on a 16 when the dealer’s card is a seven. It makes sense for the player to instead hit and aim for achieving a low card, such as a two or three, to significantly increase their probability of winning.
BLACKJACK HIT OR STAND BETTING SYSTEM CHART
Take a look at this simple format blackjack table that takes probability theory into account. Do note that using the below blackjack strategy chart does not necessarily mean that you will make more money, but it could help you turn the odds in your favour and knock down the house edge when playing blackjack.
|Player’s Hand/Dealer’s Upcard||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||A|
HT – Hit, ST – Stand, DD – Double Down
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR BLACKJACK HIT OR STAND
Hitting and standing are some of the options you have when playing a blackjack game; however, they are not the only ones!
You could also split when drawing two cards of the same value, for example, a pair of sevens. Choosing to split means placing an additional bet and playing two hands instead of one. Although, these hands play out separately. Keep in mind that you are unable to play on two aces when they become split aces. However, it is always a beneficial idea to aim for splitting aces as these provide a good chance of hitting at least one 21.
You can also choose to double down. Similar to hitting, doubling down includes doubling the size of your bet while drawing only one additional card. Some tables even offer insurance bets, though these are not always recommended.
To communicate whether you would like to hit or stand to the dealer, you do not simply yell phrases as is sometimes portrayed in movies. In blackjack, especially professional blackjack, players use hand signals to tell the dealer how they would like to play their round to avoid any misunderstandings and to use for surveillance purposes in case of a dispute.
Here are the signals you should keep in mind:
- To hit – use your index finger to scratch the table.
- To stand – wave your hand over your cards.
- To double down – place another bet aside from your initial one and hold up one finger.
- To split – match your original bet and hold up two fingers.
Your hand is complete for that round after signalling. When playing online blackjack, players click the ‘HIT’, ‘STAND’, ‘DOUBLE DOWN’, and ‘SPLIT’ buttons on the screen.
All in all, blackjack rules are rather straightforward and simple to follow. Nevertheless, there may be minute differences depending on the variation of the table game you choose to play.
Variants like Atlantic City Blackjack and European Blackjack may offer different side bets or progressive jackpots which can change the hit and stand betting system. In this case, you may have the surrender option and you could give up your hand early. Since this option is usually not permitted against a dealer blackjack, the dealer checks for blackjack by peeking at the hole card before the surrender option is offered — this is known as a late surrender.
On the other hand, the early surrender possibility is the favourable one of the two and is given before checking for a blackjack. If your chances of winning are not looking so great, you can surrender and lose money that equates to half your bet. That said, it is rare that you’d come across a table offering the early surrender option.
You could also come across variants like the multi-hand Single Deck Blackjack game by Play’n GO, which is a single-deck game. Standard blackjack is usually played with more decks, with the norm being around six decks.
Bear in mind that, no matter what variant you choose to play, card counting is forbidden at most casinos as counting cards is considered cheating.
PLAY BLACKJACK AT ENERGYCASINO
You can play blackjack online for free at EnergyCasino! Make your way over to the ‘Casino’ tab and search for blackjack games. You’ll have an array of Live Blacjack tables to choose from, including Classic Blackjack, Vegas Single Deck Blackjack and Atlantic City Blackjack. All you have to do is hover over the thumbnail and click on ‘DEMO’ for money-free gameplay.
You can choose to fine-tune different strategies using virtual funds before jumping into the real deal at our Casino. Keep in mind that all wagers and winnings in demos are entirely virtual — no actual money will be credited to or deducted from your casino account balance. Demos are subject to availability based on the player’s jurisdiction and may require age verification before access can be granted.
⭐ When should I hit or stand in blackjack?
In a blackjack casino game, you are required to hit and stand, depending on the situation. A good strategy is to follow the rule of thumb, which is to hit on eight or less but stay on 12 or anything above.
⭐ Can you hit after you stand in blackjack?
Yes! It is perfectly fine to decide to stand in one round but hit in the next. You can choose to hit as many times as you wish but remember not to exceed 21 as this will result in you losing your bet.
⭐ Should I hit or stay on 15?
The basic strategy dictates standing if the 15 is against the dealer's two through six, as the likelihood of busting is high. Otherwise, it would be best to hit.
⭐ Should I hit or stay on 16?
The rule of thumb is to hit for totals less than 17 and to stay for any value over that since you would be risking busting. It all depends on the dealer's card, however, as you should hit in the case of a 16 when the dealer has a high-value card.
⭐ Do you hit 12 against a 3?
The basic strategy says to hit against a dealer's three. The greatest mistake that players make when being dealt a hard 12 occurs when the dealer's upcard is a two or three, but 12 is a good hand as it isn’t a value that is close to 21, so you wouldn’t be risking busting when hitting.
⭐ Do you hit on 12 against a 4?
Traditional blackjack strategy says to stand on hard 12 against a dealer's four, five and six upcard due to the high bust probability.