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The game of blackjack owes a lot of its popularity to the fact that it perfectly combines skill with a dose of luck. By playing with the correct strategies, a player can bring the odds into his own favor enough to make a difference in his ability to win. In other words, he can beat the house edge. Part of this is knowing exactly the best times to hit, as opposed to standing. Thanks to the element of mathematics involved in the gameplay, you can calculate the optimum opportunities for hitting.

How To Know When To Stop Hitting In Blackjack?

Part of your basic blackjack strategies when you play blackjack games online is knowing when to hit and knowing when to stop hitting. Obviously, a great way of improving your odds of winning is to avoid going bust. To hit means that you’re asking for another card. To stand means that you are happy with your current total and require no further action from the dealer. So it’s important to know when you should stop hitting in blackjack.

When To Stop Hitting In Blackjack

Although hitting is by far the most common action in a game of blackjack, it’s important to understand that you should avoid it under certain circumstances. Generally speaking, even if you’re playing online blackjack for fun, you shouldn’t be hitting in blackjack with the following hands:

  • You have a hard total of 17+
  • Your total is 13+ against the dealer’s 2-6
  • Possessing a soft 20, which is an Ace-9
  • You have a total of 12+ against the dealer’s 4-6
  • Having a soft 18 with A7 against the dealer’s 2, 7 and 8
  • A soft 19 with A8 unless you are doubling against a 6 in a table where the dealer has to hit a soft 17
hitting in blackjack
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Keep in mind that a soft hand is where the hand possesses an ace. This can count as either a 1 or 11, thus ensuring that your hand becomes flexible. Now a hard hand in blackjack is where neither of the two characters is an Ace. This is a much less flexible situation. If you notice the dealer holds a 5 or a 6, then you should avoid hitting. The reason is that the dealer has a higher chance of going bust (42.89% and 42.08% respectively). It’s important that we don’t risk going bust ourselves. More especially if we think the dealer has a higher chance of going bust. After all, that’s how we automatically win.

The Blackjack Dealer’s Bust Odds

Many players often miss the fact that the dealer could have a 10 in the hole. In fact, this is a very common player assumption. And it’s wrong. Logically, they only have a 10 card 30% of the time, based on the 16x 10s that you’ll find in a 52 deck of cards. Remember that the dealer has a 28% chance of going bust at any time. Now, when the dealer is holding the lowest cards, then his bust rate is at the highest. For example, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 have a corresponding bust rate of 35.30%, 37.56%, 42.28%, 42.89%, and 42.0%.

If the dealer’s up-card is between 2 and 6 then they are likely to go bust at more than twice the average rate. This is in comparison with them holding cards valued at 7 and higher. Many players believe that the 2 is a good up-card for the dealer to have. But this is just a myth. In such circumstances, the dealer can go bust over three times more often when holding a two. For example, when compared with an ace (35.30% vs  11.65%).

Worst Hand Strategies For Hitting In Blackjack

Unfortunately, there are times when you receive a bad hand and there’s not a lot you can do about it. But nevertheless, even with a bad hand, it’s important that you play it optimally so you don’t lose expected value. One of the worst situations you’re going to face is if the dealer has an ace.

hitting in blackjack
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Obviously, in blackjack, it’s the card with the value of 10, including face cards. This means that the dealer can have blackjack roughly 4/13. Also, if the dealer has an ace, then there are fewer chances of going bust.

In such a losing situation, we suggest that the player should play aggressively. For example, they should continue hitting in blackjack until they get to 17 and above. This is the only way to play against the dealer’s stronger possible hand.

The Correct Way Of Hitting In Blackjack

It’s going to be a rather negative situation for the player if the dealer’s card is 10, J, Q, or K. With this, there’s actually a 1/3 chance that the dealer will have a blackjack. With the correct hit, he can make 21 from his 11. Of course, there is still a risk of the player going bust. So as a matter of course, he should always hit at 10 or less. Then hit 12 to 16. But if he is over 17, then he should stand.

The plan has a better chance of winning as a dealer that cannot possibly make a blackjack if he has a 7, 8, or 9. On the other hand, to compensate the player will need a strong hand. This means to say you’ll need to have a 10 or an 11 to have a fair chance of making a 20 or 21. On the whole, you suggest that you should hit on 9 or less. Then go ahead and hit 12 to 17. But as a given, you should always stand when it comes to 17 and over. This will minimize your risk of going bust.

Follow Basic Blackjack Strategy

The basic blackjack strategy tells us what to do if the face-up card is either a 4, 5, or 6. In this case, the dealer has a very good chance of going bust. From the player’s perspective, this is an advantageous hand, but you must remember to double down with a 9, 10, or 11.

hitting in blackjack
Picture Source: MaxPixel

In this situation, we would suggest that if you have 8 or less, then consider hitting in blackjack. Anything above 12, then standing should be your preferred action. If the dealer’s card is a 3, then he has a real chance of going bust.

We suggest that for the player, it’s slightly better if you hit on the 12, even if there’s a chance of going bust. It’s a wise decision to double down on 9, 10, or 11. Likewise, hitting on 8 or less. And standing on anything over 13 is going to be advantageous. But on the other hand, if you see the dealer has a 2, then you should hit on a 9 instead of doubling down. Hit on an 8 or a 9 or less. Then hit 12. And finally, stand at anything over 13. Only by following the correct strategies will you learn how to win at blackjack.

Limits Of The Dealer Hitting In Blackjack

The casino rules for the dealer, whether playing online or offline, remain the same. The main one is that once he’s reached 17 and above, then he must stand. Obviously, the player can take a chance and go for low-value cards in order to get closer to 21. If you’re a novice player, we suggest that you only bet very small amounts when playing online live casino games. It’s very important that you get to grips with how the game actually functions and are able to practice your perfect blackjack strategies. Only up the ante to increase your hitting in blackjack once you’re feeling confident.

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