Blackjack hit or stand

Blackjack is one of the most popular games in a live casino setting, and before placing your bets and getting involved in a game, there are some basic rules to understand, one of those being whether to hit or stand when playing a round. Normally one of the only decisions you’ll have to make when playing comes down to whether or not you feel your hand can beat the dealer. So if you’re unsure of how many times you can hit in blackjack or what the options mean, take a look below, as we have you covered.

What do hit and stand mean in blackjack?

After you have been dealt your hole cards in blackjack, players will be given one of two options by the dealer: hit or stand.

To Hit

To hit is an instruction given by the player that they wish to receive additional cards in their hand. There is no limit to the other cards that a player can be given. However, if they surpass the total of 21, they will go bust.

A player can only choose to hit after the dealer’s face-up card has been dealt and they have checked the other card in their hand for a natural blackjack. If the dealer’s card totals 21, they will immediately collect all the bets by players who also don’t have the same amount.

To Stand

If a player chooses to stand, then this will end their turn, and they will have no further cards added to their total. This is indicated to the dealer by using hand signals.

Whether to hit or stand in blackjack will always be determined by the dealer's hand, and if they have a good hand, there is also the chance to surrender, which means you receive half of your bet back.

When to hit or stand in blackjack

A basic blackjack strategy should be learning when to hit or stand within a game, as failing to do so can result in a player losing their bet and money. There are different occasions when you should hit or stand as a player, and we've got some quick tips here.

Soft Hands

If a player has been dealt an ace and an eight or nine with their first two cards, then choosing to stand rather than taking an extra card and trying to push that total up to 21 might be better, as this could mean a player could go bust.

Soft 17 Hand Example with an ace and a six

Hard Hands

When playing blackjack either in a land-based casino or in a live casino, many rules will require a dealer to stand at 17. Although this is not one of the hard and fast blackjack rules, when playing the casino game, it's recommended you follow this blackjack strategy, as it can lead to a winning hand.

When a player is dealt a hard hand sometimes this leaves less options for their next move. For example, if you were dealt a hard 20, you would most likely stand as hitting is highly likely to cause you to go bust. Plus, 20 is also a great value and a good hand to beat the dealer.

Hard 20 hand example with two cards valued at 10

Other options when hitting or standing

Before you choose to hit or stand, there is also the option to split your cards into two hands. The blackjack split should be considered when you have a specific pair of cards of the same value, such as a pair of fours or sixes, as this could give players the potential to match more than one winning combination.

Dealer rules to hitting and standing

When browsing the blackjack tables and taking into account the game's basic strategy, you may also notice that the dealer will also have specific rules when it comes to hitting or standing. This will come down to which cards they have in their hands within a game of live blackjack and if the casino has specific rules for them to follow.

Within some blackjack games, the dealer may have a stand chart to which they have to adhere; within some rules, if the dealer's hand is 16 or less, they will need to take an additional card. If a dealer also has a soft hand, this can also impact the house edge within a game if they hold a soft 17 with an ace and six. For example, the dealer must hit to see if they can reach 21.

The rules accompanying a soft hand are different to those which are used for hard 17, and if this is the rule applied in the game, and the dealer's cards feature an ace and six, they must stand, which takes away from the house edge and gives the players a chance to form a win from either 18,19,20, or 21.

Good to know

When playing a game of blackjack, before choosing to hit or stand, the dealer shows one of their cards to the players, which are dealt with in their hand. This can influence different strategies a player can use. If the dealer’s hand features an Ace, there is a chance they can create a natural blackjack. However, this will be checked for the hand continues as the options to hit or stand could be removed from the table.

There is also the chance that players may feel only one more card can help them to reach 21. However, a blackjack strategy chart will say standing on a hand 17 or above is better. These are classed as a strong hand and can beat the dealer if they are forced to take extra cards.

Blackjack Hit or Stand FAQs

What happens if there are two aces in my hand?

If a player has two aces in their hand, the recommended blackjack strategy is to split. These can be identified as either two or higher value cards, such as 11, which means two opportunities to potentially beat the dealer in the same hand.

What other strategies are on offer in blackjack?

There are other online blackjack strategies which players can follow when playing games, such as insurance, blackjack surrender or whether to take the double down option during a hand.

What is card counting in blackjack?

Often frowned upon in casino games, counting cards is a strategy where players will attempt to count which hand will be next. However, card counting cannot be done within online games that include more than a single deck of cards.

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