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How to Hit a Hand


Hitting a hand in Blackjack can sometimes be a risky man-oeuvre. The fastest way to lose the game is by going over the 21 mark (and we all know how easy that is). Whether a player should hit or stand depends on two major factors; the player’s total, and the dealer’s ‘up card’). Sadly, there aren’t any ‘unified’ strategies that incorporate all variants of the game and their respective addenda. We can only point out logical consequences that result from playing the game (hitting/standing) at its most basic levels. If you are interested about learning in greater detail, about things like ‘odds’, ‘variables’ and ‘statistics’; you do have to learn some basic mathematics. For us regular players, there are a few things to learn before playing the game (successfully). Here are some simple answers to commonly asked questions, that are sure to clear away any misconceptions.

When Can I Hit?

A player is allowed to hit right after his hand has been dealt. A player can hit as many times as he wants; as long as he doesn’t go over 21. Different variations of the game hold different rules in regards to hitting after splitting and/or splitting aces.

When Can’t I Hit?

A player is not allowed to hit if he has a total of 21 or above (or if the dealer has a Natural/21). A player cannot hit after he’s been dealt a double down. Some casinos forbid hitting after splitting, while others just after splitting aces.

Why Should I Hit?

The object of any blackjack game is to amass a total of 21 without going over (or having a Greater total than that of the dealer). You only get two cards at the beginning of each game; so unless you have 21 right off the bat, you will need a few more draws. Each individual hit adds to your total , as indicated by the rules: An Ace can be either 1 or 11. Number cards (2-10) correspond to their respective denominator and all face cards (Jacks, Kings, Queens) are regarded as 10s.The chance of drawing an Ace is 1 in 13. The chance of drawing any number card is 1 in 52 and the chance of drawing a ’10 Card'(10,J,Q,K) is 1 in 4.

When Should I Hit?

Depending on the style of Blackjack in question, you will need a special ‘strategy card’; which will tell you exactly when to hit. These sorts of strategy cards are available on every casino floor; and there are tons of them on the internet as well. Each strategy card corresponds to a particular variation of the game (all calculated using number theories, statistics and betting strategies), although there are some rules that are shared on all Blackjack tables. For example, you should always hit if you have a total of 8 or less in your hand.

When Shouldn’t I Hit?

You shouldn’t hit if you have a total of 17 or more in your hand. You shouldn’t hit if you have a pair of 8s, 9s and 10s as well. Never hit if you have a pair of Aces! Hitting on a soft hand (a hand, where one of your two cards is an Ace) is a good idea only if you have a low total. Don’t hit if you have a soft 17,18,19,20, unless the dealer has a 10 or an Ace showing.

The Dealer

Let’s not forget that the dealer will be playing as well (and hitting, obviously). Unlike the players however, he is not allowed to choose whether to hit or to stand. Some casinos will have their dealers hit on soft 17s, while others will always stand on all 17s.

Hit on soft 17s – Some variations of the game are based around the rule that the dealer must always hit when he has a total of 17 or more as his initial hand, and has at least one Ace in his hand. Let’s say that they dealer has an Ace and a 6 (11+6=17). He must then hit, turning his 11 into a 1. This way, even of the dealer draws a 10 card, he won’t bust (1+6=7, 7+10=17). Now the dealer has a hard 17, meaning that he no longer have any more Aces to turn into 1s, thus he will stop hitting.

Stand on all 17s – This time, a dealer must stand if he has a total of 17 or more; regardless of whether he has an Ace or not. He won’t be allowed to hit any more cards!

More Articles Covering Blackjack

Blackjack Basics
Blackjack Rules
Blackjack Variations
Multi Hand Blackjack
Single Deck Blackjack Rules
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Vegas Strip Blackjack Rules
Atlantic City Blackjack
How to Hit a Hand
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Insurance in Blackjack
Surrender in Blackjack
Standing a Hand
Blackjack Double Down
Splitting Hands in Blackjack
Blackjack Odds
Blackjack Strategy for Playing Hands
Blackjack Cards and Hands Value

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