Hitting is one of the decisions you can make when you are dealt a card in a blackjack game. Know when to hit or stand in blackjack and why it is essential in any game.
Blackjack is one of the most loved cards in online and brick-and-mortar casinos. Although it's a straightforward game, you need to employ different strategies to lower the house edge in your favour. Knowing when to hit in blackjack is one way of perfecting your strategy to lower the house edge in your favour. Professional blackjack players understand the value of this strategy, and it has helped them be successful at different games. In this guide, you will be learning about hitting and the best moment to make this move.
What is Hitting in Blackjack?
In a blackjack game, hitting means you are not satisfied by the cards you've been dealt and you want an additional card to improve your hand. Immediately after you have been dealt the first two cards, you have the option to hit or stand. If you hit at the right time, you reduce the blackjack house edge to half of the original value. That's why many prefer this hand over other blackjack hands. Playing. However, you must understand that if you hit and your hand exceeds 21, you bust, and the bet is lost.
When to Hit in Blackjack
Different scenarios in blackjack will determine whether to hit or stand in blackjack. As you may be aware, blackjack is played with a shoe of eight decks, and the dealer always stands on a soft 17. Additionally, you must determine whether your hand is a hard (minus an ace) or a soft hand (ace included). The presence or absence of an ace affects the basic strategy in blackjack since it can take the value of one or 11.
Hitting on a Hard Hand
Players can hit on a hard hand in the following scenarios:
- On 4 to 8: Always hit on 4 to 8 regardless of the dealer's face-up card.
- On 9: Always hit if the dealer shows 2 or 7 through Ace.
- On 10: You can double down if it's allowed when the dealer shows 2 through 9; otherwise, you should always hit.
- On 11: Always hit on an Ace or double down if the dealer shows 2 through 10.
- On 12: Always hit on 2, 3, and 7 through Ace. You can stand on 4 through 6.
- On 13 and 14: You should stand on 2 through 6, otherwise always hit.
- On 15: You should hit on 7, 8, 9, and Ace and stand on 2 through 6.
- On 16: Hit on 7 and 8, otherwise stand on 2 through 6.
- On 17+: Always stand.
Hitting on a Soft Hand
Players can hit on soft hands in the following scenarios:
- On 13 and 14: Always hit on 2 through 4 and 7 through Ace. You should double down on 5 and 6, otherwise hit.
- On 15 and 16: Always hit on 2, 3, and 7 through Ace. You should double down on 3 through 6 if allowed. Otherwise hit.
- On 18: Always hit on 9 through Ace; stand on 2, 7, and 8; and double down on 3 through 6.
- On 19+: Always stand.
When to Avoid Hitting in Blackjack
While hitting is by far the most common move in blackjack games, you should understand that it is not advisable to take this action in certain circumstances. Whether you are playing blackjack for fun or real money, you shouldn't hit on the following hands:
- Your hard total is 17 or more.
- You have a total of 13+ against the dealer's 2 through 6.
- You have a soft 20 (Ace through 9).
- Your total is 12+ against the dealer's face-up card 4 through 6.
- You have a soft 18 and an A7 against the dealer's 2, 7, and 8.
- You have a 19 and an A8 unless you are doubling against a six and the dealer has to hit a soft 17.
Generally, you should avoid hitting if the dealer has a 5 or 6. This is because the probability of the dealer busting is very high.
Worst Hand Strategies to Hit in Blackjack
The truth is you will not get good hands every time you play blackjack. At times you will receive a bad hand that leaves you with very minimal options to take. Regardless, you are required to play optimally to maintain the expected value. The worst situation you can find yourself in is when the dealer has an ace. In such a case, the dealer can have blackjack with 4/13 odds. The best thing you can do in this situation is to play aggressively. For instance, you can continue hitting in blackjack until you get a total of 17 or higher.
How to Hit Correctly in Blackjack
Whether you are a beginner or a veteran blackjack player, you will find hitting quite an easy move to make. If you are playing at an online casino, you can hit by clicking or tapping on the 'HIT' button on the screen. On the other hand, hitting in blackjack is done by different hand signals. The dealer will interpret your signal and know if you want to hit or stand.
Hitting in blackjack becomes a negative situation if the dealer's card is 10, J, Q, or K. In this case, there is a 1/3 chance that the dealer has blackjack. With the correct hit, you can make 21 from the dealer's 11. However, there is a risk of going bust; that's why it is recommended to hit on 10 or less, then hit on 12 to 16. You should stand if the dealer's hand is over 17. A player needs a stronger hand like 10 or an 11 to have a chance of getting a hand of 20 or 21.
Limits of the Dealer Hitting in Blackjack
The blackjack rules for the dealer are the same whether playing online or brick and mortar casinos. The first rule is that the dealer must stand once he gets a hand of 17 and above. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to wager small bets at live casino games to understand the gameplay. More importantly, you must practice your optimal blackjack strategies before applying them to real money games.
Using a Blackjack Strategy Chart
The best way to improve your winnings in blackjack is using the basic strategy chart. These cards can be bought from online sites or any local gaming shop. They are specifically designed to help you as you play, and they are legal to be used in any casino. There are different blackjack strategy cards for hitting, splitting, doubling down, and more. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that a blackjack strategy does not guarantee 100% wins and profits. You must combine your skills and knowledge of the game to maximize your chances of winning. Besides the strategy charts, players can apply other strategies like card counting and betting systems to improve the odds and lower the house edge.
Best Tips for Playing Blackjack Online
Besides using a perfect blackjack strategy, you can follow these tips from successful players to improve your winnings and gaming experience.
- Pick the Right Casino: The internet has tons of online casinos. Make sure you pick a reputable site that is licensed, secure, and with reliable support. Also, you should focus on casino bonuses and promotions.
- Practice in Free Mode: Like other online casino games, blackjack is available in free mode and real money. Practice as many times as you can and master the rules before staking real money.
- Manage your Bankroll: Before placing chips on the blackjack table, make sure you have set your bankroll and always stick to it. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that your wagers don't exceed 1 to 2% of the bankroll.
- Read Casino Terms and Conditions: Every online casino has unique terms and conditions. Reading these requirements will help you understand how the casino works and your responsibility as a player.
- Basic Strategy: Success in blackjack highly depends on your basic strategy. Make sure you have memorized the blackjack strategy chart to improve your odds of winning.
- Understand Blackjack Rules: Different blackjack games follow different rules of playing. Take time to learn the rules of each version before you start playing.
Knowing when to hit or stand in blackjack is essential to your long-term profits. Before you start playing blackjack, it is essential to understand that it's not all about guessing. It is a game that requires proper decision-making and perfect strategies to reduce the house edge. Now that you know the basics of hitting in blackjack, you can apply this strategy at any table you like. Always remember that hitting has its limits, despite being one of the best moves in blackjack. Other than hitting, players can stand, double down, and take other actions.