Blackjack is, without a doubt, one of the most popular casino games. Even though it is a simple game, it is full of strategy. Knowing when to hit or stand in blackjack is an important part of perfecting your strategy and can significantly impact the house’s edge.
What Does Hitting Mean in Blackjack
In blackjack, the player’s main goal is to get a hand value close to 21 without going over (busting). After the first two cards are dealt, the player is given several options, two of which are Hit and Stand. Standing indicates that the player wishes to play the hand with no additional cards drawn. Hitting, as you might expect, indicates that you want to draw another card to build a better hand.
When playing at an online casino, players decide whether to hit or stand by clicking on the ‘Hit’ and ‘Stand’ buttons when the dealer calls for action. Hitting is available as long as your total point value is less than 21, but the hand is lost if you draw a card that pushes your total above 21.
You may wonder if optimal conditions for hitting a given mathematical probability exist. And you are completely correct! The dealer’s upcard and whether or not the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17 are the most important factors in this decision. H17 and S17 will be the labels for these tables. Viewing the game’s rules at an online casino will tell you whether you’re playing H17 or S17.
When to Hit in Blackjack
Because most online blackjack tables use an eight-deck shoe and the dealer stands on a soft 17, we will discuss the best hitting conditions on S17 with 4-8 decks of cards. Another consideration is whether your hand is hard (no ace) or soft (has an ace). The presence or absence of an ace directly impacts strategy because this card can be worth one or eleven points, depending on which is more advantageous to the player’s hand.
- On four to eight — Always hit, regardless of the dealer’s upcard.
- On nine — Hit if the dealer shows two or seven through ace.
- On 10 — Double down if allowed when the dealer shows two through nine; otherwise, hit.
- On 11 — Double down if allowed when the dealer shows two through ten, hit on an ace.
- On 12 — Hit on two, three and seven through ace. Stand on four through six.
- On 13 and 14 — Stand on two through six; otherwise, hit.
- On 15 — Stand on two through six, hit on seven, eight, nine and ace. Surrender on 10 (if allowed); otherwise, hit.
- On 16 — Stand on two through six, hit on seven and eight. Surrender on nine, ten and ace (if allowed); otherwise, hit.
- On 17+ — Always stand.
- On 13 and 14 — Hit on two through four and seven through ace. Double down on five and six if allowed; otherwise, hit.
- On 15 and 16 — Hit on two, three and seven through ace. Double down on four, five and six if allowed; otherwise, hit.
- On 17 — Hit on two and seven through ace. Double down, if possible, on three through six; otherwise, hit.
- On 18 — Stand on two, seven and eight. Hit on nine through ace. Double down on three through six, if allowed; otherwise, stand.
- On 19+ — Always stand.
When Not to Hit in Blackjack
According to the breakdown above, players should avoid hitting when their hand total approaches 21. This is because the probability of a player drawing a card that results in a bust is greater than the probability of improving the hand.
Remember that splitting pairs influence whether you should hit in certain conditions. Before learning when to hit on split pairs, we recommend that you first learn when to split in blackjack. Hitting, standing, or splitting pairs will also determine whether the table allows for doubling down after splitting.
Using Blackjack Strategy Chart
Using a blackjack strategy chart can help you improve your blackjack game. These charts are widely available on the internet and are intended to assist you throughout the game. There are blackjack charts for hitting, splitting, doubling down blackjack, and so on. Keep these charts handy for your next round; simply scan the tables to determine the best strategy for that hand.
On the other hand, a blackjack strategy chart does not guarantee a win because it is based on probability. No single strategy or betting system can ensure wins and profits. The main advantage of using the “perfect” strategy is that, given mathematical probability, it will result in fewer losses in the long run.
Useful Tips for Playing Blackjack Online
Choose the Right Casino
This is possibly the most important tip that applies to all casino games. While there are hundreds of online casinos to choose from, not all are worthwhile. Look for a reputable and licensed gambling platform and keep an eye on the casino’s ‘Promotions’ page to see if you qualify for any casino bonuses.
Read and Understand the Rules
While hundreds of blackjack games are available at online casinos, they are not all the same. Each game has its own set of rules, as well as optional side bets. One advantage of playing online is greater flexibility — use it to familiarize yourself with the game’s rules before you wager!
Test Your Game with Free Demo
It’s time to start playing blackjack after studying the game and mastering the basic strategy. But hold on! Test the game in free demo mode before playing with real money. You can find blackjack demos on RNG/First Person blackjack tables, which are frequently found in the Casino section. Demos are available to registered players but are completely free to play. Real money wagers are required for all live blackjack games.
Manage Your Bankroll
The most important tip is to properly manage your bankroll. Establish and stick to a bankroll before placing your chips on the table. If you’re new to casino games, it’s best if your wagers don’t exceed 1-2 per cent of your total bankroll. If you decide to use betting strategies, remember that almost all betting systems fail in the long run.
Tuah bin Razak
Tuah is an experienced writer and casino enthusiast with 12 years of industry knowledge. With a degree in Journalism, he delivers objective and comprehensive casino reviews, covering game variety, user experience, security, and customer support. From slots to blackjack, roulette to poker, Tuah's expertise guides both beginners and experienced players in making informed decisions. Expect engaging articles providing valuable insights for an enhanced online gambling experience.