Blackjack Rules: When to hit or stand?

Blackjack is a very popular casino game that is found in most of the best U.S. online casino sites. It’s featured in many online casino tournaments and is considered by many to be one of the best online casino games.

Knowing when in blackjack to hit or stand is one of the biggest questions that gamblers struggle with. Some simply go with their gut feeling. Others develop a strategy to determine when to play blackjack hit or stand.

This guide will take you through some principles of blackjack strategies and how to determine your blackjack hit or stand.

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Increase Your Blackjack Skills With This Strategy

  • Understanding basic blackjack rules and how to apply them;
  • Knowing when in blackjack to hit or stand, based on your hand;
  • Using your soft or hard hands to determine when in blackjack to hit or stand;
  • How splitting or doubling down can affect your next hit;
  • Deciding on the best blackjack strategy.

Blackjack Skills: Should I Hit or Stand?

Basic Blackjack rules

Not all of us are out to find new slot machines – some prefer classic table games.

The goal of blackjack is universal, the basic rules do not change. It’s important to understand the rules before we can explain blackjack hit or stand.

The ultimate goal of any blackjack strategy is to get a higher hand. The one who is closest to 21 without going over the number wins the round. While each player starts with two cards, the dealer hides one of their cards until the very end.

Blackjack card values are extremely important for any blackjack strategy, and for determining when in blackjack to hit or stand.

The standard numerical cards from 2 to 10 are worth the values shown on the cards. Face cards, namely the Jack, Queen, and King, are all worth 10. Aces equate to either 1 or 11, depending on the hand that’s dealt.

Now let’s look at some of the blackjack terms and what blackjack hit or stand really means. When you say ‘Hit’, it means you want another card. When you say ‘Stand’, it means you remain on your total and don’t want another card. ‘Split’ refers to splitting two cards of the same value so that you play two hands starting with the same value. ‘Double down’ means doubling your bet while receiving one final card.

If your card values amount to greater than 21, you go bust. In this case, the dealer wins the round regardless of what is in their hand. If you hit blackjack, you win and this means that you have 21 exactly; you will earn 1.5 times the value of your bet. If you Stand on anything less than 21, the dealer will play their hand and hit until they reach 17 or higher.

You may only double or split in the very first move. Splitting doubles your bet, as you have two bets with the same betting value as the original bet. If you have split two aces, you cannot play on them. Finally, if you double on a split, you could triple or quadruple your bet winnings.

Most online casinos in the USA feature blackjack games – make sure to take a look at our guide to online casino sites with fast payouts.

Soft and Hard hands

Before we can start learning when in blackjack to hit or stand, we need to explain what soft and hard hands are. These terms are very important in blackjack strategy, especially when it comes to blackjack charts.

The hardness of the card simply refers to whether or not an Ace is in play. When you call a Soft 9, it could be a combination of an 8 and Ace, with the Ace being valued as 1. Soft 20 could be an Ace and 9 where the Ace is valued as 11.

The opposite is true for Hard hands. When you say Hard 9, it could be a combination of 4 and 5. Equally, if you say Hard 20 it could be a combination of 10 and a face card. Understanding this element of soft and hard hands is very important in determining the perfect blackjack strategy.

Distinguishing between soft and hard hands is also essential in determining whether in blackjack to hit or stand. Soft hands have greater versatility in the dual use of the Ace. Hard hands are more rigid and require greater planning in your blackjack strategy.

Taking the Blackjack Hit

Many blackjack strategies have been developed over time in an attempt to beat the dealer at their own game. This is especially true when the blackjack house odds seem to be in the casino’s favor. There is a basic principle behind every blackjack strategy that will help you decide in blackjack when to hit or stand.

Let’s first have a look at when the best times to hit in blackjack are. If you hit a total of 8, whether soft or hard, go for another hit no matter what the dealer shows. The highest card you can hit after that would be a 10 or 11, and then you have a good value to end on.

Paying attention to the dealer’s visible card is also very important in deciding in blackjack when to hit or stand. Remember, it’s against the dealer that you’re playing. It’s your odds against house odds.

If the dealer shows a really high card, go for the hit. One of three things is going to happen. You will either go over 21 and bust, or your card won’t reach their number anyway and the dealer will win. So take that hit for the off chance that you actually hit blackjack or arrive at a higher number.

Here are some tips based on some good blackjack strategies based on the dealer’s hand. If your total is 8 or 12 through 16 and the dealer’s card is 7 or higher, take the hit. You can even double down to maximize your winnings.

When the dealer holds an Ace while your hand totals 11, you can take a hit but do not double down. If the dealer holds a 10 while you’re holding onto 10 in value, taking a hit’s a safe bet against their high card. Should the dealer show any cards between 7 through 9 while you hold a 9, take the hit.

Taking a Blackjack Stand

Stands are equally important as hits. While stands may seem like the weaker option, many times it will mean the difference between a win and a loss. Remember, the dealer can also go bust if their hand is above 21. A low hand like 5 can still win the day.

Therefore, knowing when to stand is just as important as knowing when in blackjack to hit. Certain blackjack hit or stand strategies focus heavily on when in blackjack to stand. Paying attention to the dealer’s card is once again vital.

If your hand is 17 or above, take a stand. The odds are great that you will go bust with the next hit. It’s better to take a stand and hope that your hand beats the dealer than hitting and going bust. If you go bust, it doesn’t matter what the dealer’s other card is. The house wins.

If the dealer’s card is anything between 2 through 6 and your total is 13, stand. For the same hand for the dealer, if you have a Hard 16 then you should stand. You can still hit on a Soft 16, as it will be safer to play with the variable Ace.

Splits or Double downs

Performing blackjack splits can be critical in any round. You will need to decide whether you want to hit or stand for both hands. It’s not the purpose of this article to explain when to split your hands. You can read our guide on blackjack splits for more details.

However, the principles of blackjack hit or stand decisions remain pretty much the same. One essential element to keep in mind is never to split 10 or any face cards. You have a high value of 20 with these cards, which is probably as close to blackjack 21 as you’re going to get for a while.

Double downs are also very important for hits. One of the biggest decisions is knowing when to double down in Blackjack. Double downs may result in greater winnings, but certain strategies take advantage of this method at the right moments.

While we’ll deal with blackjack double downs in a different article, it should just be highlighted that only one last hit can happen after a call to double down. No matter what card you end up with, you cannot hit after a double down again. This is why it’s important to know when to double down in blackjack. It also affects when in blackjack to hit or stand.

Blackjack Strategies

Need to find out more about blackjack strategies, blackjack hands or have the blackjack house edge explained? Read on.

Many different blackjack hit or stand strategies have been developed over time. These blackjack strategies have assisted many gamblings in having the edge over the house. Conversely, misunderstanding strategies have led to many losses.

Blackjack strategies also cater to different types of blackjack hit or stand rules. For instance, in European Blackjack, there are two or three moves with alternative variations and side bets. Atlantic Blackjack offers the gambler a chance to surrender, which means they can give up while still in play and receive half of their bet in return.

Blackjack strategies have been assisted by computer technology. Computers were programmed to ‘learn’ blackjack with inputs of thousands of hand variations. This determined the best hands for gamblers against the dealer’s cards.

The perfect blackjack strategy can be described as one with the least amount of losses over time spent playing blackjack at the casino or online. Strategies go into detail on when in blackjack to hit or stand, double, surrender, or split.

Blackjack Charts

Blackjack charts go hand-in-hand with blackjack strategies. Charts consist of rows and columns, which indicate the player’s hand on the left and the dealer’s hand at the top. Different strategies determine in blackjack when to hit or stand, based on the cards that have been dealt to players.

Many players don’t like using blackjack strategy charts. They feel that it’s cheating and that it takes away from the decision-making process. This is much like mathematicians that prefer to calculate sums themselves, rather than use a calculator.

It should be kept in mind that dealers cannot make their own decisions. They play by strict regulations determined by the casino. This applies to virtual dealers in online casinos too. If you’re using a blackjack strategy chart for a specific casino, the odds are more in your favor against the house. The dealer will be consistent in applying the rules of blackjack for that casino. Take a look at our blackjack double down and blackjack split guides for more in-depth information.

Blackjack Tips

While we have already provided some tips in this blackjack hit or stand guide, here are some more valuable tips for you. These will help you in your quest to beat blackjack odds against the blackjack house odds.

Get to know the various blackjack game selections available. Some provide different side bets or promotions that will increase your chances of winning. These include variations such as Progressive Blackjack and Perfect Pairs.

Blackjack card counting is also an effective blackjack strategy, once you have learned how to do it. However, keep in mind that if you’re caught doing it that it’s considered cheating and you may land in trouble with the casino. It’s not illegal, but the casino may remove you if you’re discovered. Use other blackjack strategies, such as blackjack charts, instead.

Playing online blackjack is cheaper and more convenient. You will also have more money in your bankroll. Consider the costs of traveling to the casino, accommodation, expensive meals, or the accumulated cost of tipping the dealer. Now, consider if you had all that time to use on just playing blackjack. You will have a higher bankroll to bet with and more time to do it in.

Playing online blackjack also increases your bonuses. Online casinos offer welcome and deposit bonuses not found inside physical casinos. There may even be various promotions on offer for variant blackjack games.

Watch those bet limits and make sure they match your bankroll. If you have $500 on you, and the minimum bet limit for a blackjack table is $250, walk away. You can find a blackjack table with lower limits elsewhere and stand a greater chance at winnings.

Your Top Blackjack Questions & Answers

Will mastering blackjack strategies teach me when to hit or stand?

While blackjack strategies will certainly give you an edge in blackjack games, you still need to use your judgment when deciding when in blackjack to hit or stand. Strategies and charts can guide you, but you still need to stick to the blackjack rules and master the house’s edge.

Why do blackjack strategies differ from site to site?

Everyone has a different strategy based on the casino they play in. They follow the house’s rules and systems and attempt to beat them at their own game. We have determined the best blackjack hit or stand strategy, based on our experience and knowledge of blackjack.

How do I choose which is the best casino to play blackjack in?

Some play the best online gambling games in online casinos with the best online casino payouts. Some prefer fast payout casinos or casinos with low deposits. The rules of blackjack are universal, so the best way to decide which casinos to play blackjack in would be to read the terms and conditions and see what bonuses they offer for blackjack. Other things you might want to consider include finding an online casino with no minimum deposit and online casino payouts.

Can I just walk into a casino and use my gut feeling on when to hit or stand?

Of course, you can! However, this method is very unreliable. Gut feelings or instincts can be affected by the player’s emotions or state of mind, which varies based on their mental health or fatigue. It’s better to rely on a blackjack strategy that will work no matter what physical or mental condition you find yourself in. Knowing in blackjack when to hit’s vital.

Of course, there is so much more to gambling than just blackjack. There are so many online casinos in the USA, with new slot machines that live gambling is a real consideration.

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Conclusion – Hit or Stand is at the Heart of Blackjack Success

Blackjack is one of the most popular games in any casino. Gamblers love to play the odds against the house, deciding whether in blackjack to hit or stand against the dealer. It’s hard to find any casino that does not offer blackjack these days.

Winning at blackjack is based on knowing in blackjack when to hit or stand. Take away all other considerations, and this is the heart of the blackjack game. Developing a blackjack strategy is very effective in maximizing your winnings. We hope that this guide to knowing in blackjack when to hit or stand has helped you to understand how to improve your chances in some way.

Want to show off your skills in online casino tournaments? Our live gambling guides provide everything you need to know. We can even help you find the right deposit options for you – just take a look at our online casino that accept Apple Pay guide for a good example!

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