Hitting and Standing in Blackjack
Table Games

Hitting and Standing in Blackjack

Hitting and Standing in Blackjack Explained

If you know anything about Blackjack, you’ll know a key component is deciding when to hit and when to stand. As with a lot of areas of Blackjack strategy, the key is to make decisions based on probability, as this is an approach that is more likely to lead to wins. However, you also have to accept that luck is a huge factor.

There are a few common mistakes that new online casino players make in regards to hitting and standing in Blackjack, and this guide is designed to help prevent you from doing the same, as well as assisting you with whether to hit or stand in any given Blackjack situation.

As a quick side note, 17 is one of the most important hand values in most Blackjack games, for the simple reason that if the dealer has a hand value of 17 or above, they are usually required to stand. This seemingly small detail can actually have a massive impact, both in how you then play your hand, and in increasing your chances of winning.

When to Hit in Blackjack

The process of hitting involves taking another card and adding it to your hand. New players may choose to hit regardless of whether it gives them a tactical advantage, as they may be operating under the misapprehension that the aim of Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible. Quite often, players will also choose whether or not to hit based on a gut feeling, but there are some guidelines to help you assess whether this is a sensible idea or not.

Firstly, if you have a total hand value of 10 or lower that doesn’t include an Ace, it’s advisable to take another card. This is because the chances of drawing a high value card are good, putting you in a stronger position, no matter what the dealer’s initial card is.

The strategies for other hand values are dependent upon the dealer’s first card. If it’s a 7 or higher, and your hand value is between 12 and 16, you may want to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of taking another card. There’s no guarantee that the dealer’s next card will also be high, but if it is then you’re in a bad position.

When to Stand in Blackjack

Standing is the direct alternative to hitting in Blackjack, with players choosing to remain with their current hand total. As with hitting, there are circumstances in which standing is the most sensible option available to you, times when it should be avoided, and instances that cover a grey area.

The core thing to remember is that if you have a hand value of 19 or 20 then it is always best to stand, even if the 20 is made up of a pair of 10s. Hard 17 and 18s also follow this rule. A pair of 9s is best to stand on if splitting isn’t a viable option. However, soft hands that include an Ace go against this pattern in some regards, with soft 18 worth hitting against a high dealer up card, and soft 17 being a poor hand to stand on in all situations.

If the dealer is showing a low card, with a value at least 10 below yours (for example, you have 15, and the dealer’s up card is a 4) then it’s probably best to stand, and force the dealer into playing catch-up. For other eventualities, it can be difficult to make a decision, such as 14 v 6, at which point you are largely at the mercy of luck. That said, there will always be one option that has a slight mathematical advantage over another, even if it may not seem that way.

When to Hit and Stand in Blackjack Charts

You may have seen similar charts when researching how to play Blackjack, but in this case we’ve removed options such as surrendering and doubling down on hands, to simply leave you with the information about when to hit and when to stand in Blackjack. The only exception to this is through the bottom chart, which deals with paired hands.

Hard Hands

Essentially, hard hands are those that only have on total value, i.e. they don’t include an Ace. Here is the most mathematically viable option in terms of hitting or standing depending on the dealer’s up-facing card.

PLAYER HAND VALUE UP CARD IS 2 UP CARD IS 3 UP CARD IS 4 UP CARD IS 5 UP CARD IS 6 UP CARD IS 7 UP CARD IS 8 UP CARD IS 9 UP CARD IS 10, J, Q, K UP CARD IS ACE
5 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
6 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
7 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
8 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
9 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
10 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
11 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
12 Hit Hit Stand Stand Stand Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
13 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
14 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
15 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
16 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
17 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand
18 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand
19 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand

Soft Hands

If a hand is made up of a solid value and an Ace, it is known as a soft hand. The chart below explains the theoretically best move to make depending on the dealer’s up card.

PLAYER HAND VALUE UP CARD IS 2 UP CARD IS 3 UP CARD IS 4 UP CARD IS 5 UP CARD IS 6 UP CARD IS 7 UP CARD IS 8 UP CARD IS 9 UP CARD IS 10, J, Q, K UP CARD IS ACE
Ace & 2 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Ace & 3 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Ace & 4 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Ace & 5 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Ace & 6 Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Ace & 7 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Hit Hit Hit
Ace & 8 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand
Ace & 9 Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand

Paired Hands

Paired hands offer up a third option of splitting the two cards to form two separate hands, and the circumstances in which it is best to do so are listed below. However, you’ll notice that there are still many situations in which hitting or standing with a pair is advisable.

PLAYER HAND VALUE UP CARD IS 2 UP CARD IS 3 UP CARD IS 4 UP CARD IS 5 UP CARD IS 6 UP CARD IS 7 UP CARD IS 8 UP CARD IS 9 UP CARD IS 10, J, Q, K UP CARD IS ACE
Pair of Aces Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split
Pair of 2s Split Split Split Split Split Split Hit Hit Hit Hit
Pair of 3s Split Split Split Split Split Split Hit Hit Hit Hit
Pair of 4s Hit Hit Hit Split Split Split Hit Hit Hit Hit
Pair of 5s Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Pair of 6s Split Split Split Split Split Hit Hit Hit Hit Hit
Pair of 7s Split Split Split Split Split Split Hit Hit Hit Hit
Pair of 8s Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split Split
Pair of 9s Split Split Split Split Split Stand Split Split Stand Stand
Pair of 10s, Js, Qs, Ks Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand Stand

Blackjack Hitting and Standing FAQs

What Do ‘Hit’ and ‘Stand’ Mean in Blackjack?

Hitting is the act of taking an additional card to add to your hand, to improve your chances of beating the dealer. Standing is when you opt not to take another card.

How Do I Know Whether to Hit or Stand in Blackjack?

Use the Bet UK Blackjack charts listed above to help you decide if you should hit or stand with your hand value. These charts don’t guarantee wins, but they do provide an indication of the move that is most likely to win.

Bet UK Hitting and Standing in Blackjack Guide

Hopefully you’re now a bit more clued up about when to hit and stand when playing Blackjack online. The information in this guide can be significantly beneficial to your Blackjack gameplay, particularly if employed efficiently, although it’s crucial to bear in mind that employing probability still won’t assure you of success.

Tips about hitting and standing go hand in hand with the likes of whether or not to employ Blackjack side bets in your strategy, and you can learn more about how to play Blackjack online at Bet UK by using our other handy guides to the popular table game.

Learn More About Playing Blackjack Online

06/09/2021