Blackjack Tips: Knowing When To Hit Or Stand

When it comes to Blackjack success, it all comes down to knowing when to hit or stand. Join Bodog as we give you some winning tips to give your next game an edge.

While Blackjack is a game of both luck and skill, it really only comes down to two major questions: do you hit or do you stand?

To hit is to take one more card, and to stand is to keep the cards you’ve got – that’s the luck part – before facing the dealer. And when we refer to skill, we’re not talking about some innate talent that slipped you by because it wasn’t identified in your pre-adolescent years. This skill falls more comfortably in the realm of experience. And you can even skip that part, with the right guidance.

Some scenarios at the table are a no-brainer, such as having a low 3-2 hand, while others aren’t so cut and dry, like holding a total of 15. The whole game, more or less, comes down to a binary choice, but it’s one that doesn’t need to bring the weight of the world down on your shoulders at each juncture: making the right choice can be as easy as turning on your GPS at the crossroads. The trick is in choosing a good GPS.

When playing Blackjack games a clear Blackjack betting strategy can do most of the heavy lifting for you so you can hit the accelerator with more confidence. Bodog Casino will be your satellite, equipping you with the best online Blackjack tips. We’ll give you a clear idea of the best moves to make, even in difficult situations.

Pull up a chair and let’s see what the deal is.

Always Look at the Dealer’s Hand

When it comes to the Hit or Stand crossroads, the most important Blackjack tip is to consider what the dealer’s “up” card is showing. Regardless of what your own hand is, the outcome will rely heavily on the dealer’s chances of reaching 21.

For example, if you have a total of 12 (eg. 7-5), and the dealer shows just a 2 or 3, you know they’ve got a long way to go before they get 21 – so you should always hit. If, on the same hand of 12, the dealer instead shows a 4, 5, or 6, the dealer has a pretty good chance of getting closer to 21 than you, given the number of 10s left in the deck, so you’re statistically better off standing.

Generally speaking, the lower the dealer’s up card is and the lower your total is, you’re going to be leaning towards a hit, or sometimes even a double-down, which is a gimme when you’re sitting on a total of 10 or 11.

Hit on Hard 8 or Less

This is one of the most tried and true Blackjack tips you can rely on. When speaking about hard totals, which are totals that do not contain an ace, your decision is pretty cut and dry. That’s because you don’t have a variable to change your hand’s value, which is precisely what the Ace is with its dual 1/11 value.

If you have a hard total of 8 or less, you should always hit, regardless of what the dealer shows. There is no card in the deck that could make you bust from this point, and any card value would only bring you closer to 21.

Sometimes Hit on Hard 12-16

A hard total between 12 and 16 is the most difficult range from which to make your hit-or-stand decision. If you hit and you get a 10-card, you’re out of the game. If you get anything from 6 or above on a total of 16, you’d be out of the game, too. Then again, if you stand, you have a very small chance of beating the dealer in most cases.

So how do you choice? Ahhh. Now this is where we look to the dealer.

The best thing to do on hard totals between 12-16 is to hit when the dealer shows higher cards like 7 through Ace. The dealer’s high card means they’ll be more likely to bust, and in a big way if they hit a 10-card. While you could also bust in the same way, you have a little more wiggle room with a slightly lower total.

Hit on Soft 16 or Lower

If you have a 2 through 6 card coupled with an Ace, you should always hit – regardless of what the dealer is showing. Even if you count the Ace as a 11-value card in any of these scenarios, your highest total will still just be 17 (A-6). If you hit and get a 10-value card, you can change the Ace to 1, and you’re golden with a total of 17. Anything lower than a 10-value card will still keep your total pretty high, and you always have the Ace as a 1-value to keep you in the game.

Mostly Stand on Soft 8

Soft hands are a little different. The Ace can either add just 1, or it could add 11, so the action will change according to which is more beneficial to the hand. Again, whether or not the hand is a strong one all depends on the card the dealer shows.

If you have a soft eight (i.e. A-7), and the dealer has anything from a 2 to an 8, you should stand. That’s because the dealer’s card is low enough to avoid a bust, while maintaining a sizable chance of drawing a high-value card steps things closer to 21.

If you have a soft 8 and the dealer shows a higher card, like 9 through to Ace, you should hit. Due to the Ace, the value of the new card is immediately flexible, and it could easily catch the wind to fall into your favour.

Stand on Soft 9 or Higher

Another cardinal rule of Blackjack betting is that, if you have a soft 9 (A-8) or a soft 10 (A-9), you should always stand – no matter the card the dealer shows. The Ace means your soft 9 or soft 10 is actually a 20 or 21, and to get a better hand on the latter, you’d have to tear it all up to start a round of poker. Here, it doesn’t matter what the dealer’s up card is, because you’re already in the most optimal position you could ask for. Own it!

Mostly Stand on Hard 12 or Higher

This depends on the card the dealer shows. If you have a total of 12 without an Ace (8-4), and the dealer shows a 6 or lower, you should stand. The exception is if the dealer shows just a 2 or 3. The dealer has a very low chance of scoring that 21, so it’s not worth the risk for you to receive a 10-value card that would make you bust.

Remember that playing Blackjack isn’t as complicated as it seems. As you practice more and more at Bodog Casino, you’ll begin to see why these guidelines are in place, and you’ll be familiar enough to use them without checking the chart. As Bodog always says, all it takes is a few key strategies under your belt to do well on the felt. So take these Blackjack tips, tuck them away neatly, and be ready to show them what you’ve got. Literally.