Blackjack Hands: Best, Worst and What to Do

Emily Thompson
Written byEmily ThompsonWriter
Fact checked byDylan ThomasFact Checker
Localised byKwabena OforiLocaliser

Blackjack is a popular card game in online casinos worldwide, it requires players to beat the dealer by having a hand that equals 21 or is closer to 21 than the dealer's hand without exceeding it, and knowing which hands to play can make all the difference in winning or losing. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the best and worst blackjack hands, including strategies, percentages, and charts, to help players make informed decisions at the tables.

Blackjack Hands: Best, Worst and What to Do

Understanding Blackjack Hands

A blackjack hand consists of two or more cards, and each card has a specific point value. Aces are worth either 1 or 11 points, face cards (kings, queens, and jacks) are worth 10 points, and all other cards are worth their face value. The best possible hand is a natural blackjack, which is an ace and any ten-point card, totaling 21 points.

The number of different blackjack hands possible depends on the number of decks used. For example, with one deck of cards, there are 1326 possible combinations of two-card hands. With six decks, there are over 4 million possible combinations.

The Best Blackjack Hands

The best blackjack hands are those that have a high chance of totaling 21 or are close to 21, giving players a higher chance of beating the dealer. The best possible hand in blackjack is a natural blackjack, consisting of an ace and any ten-point card, totaling 21 points. This hand pays out at 3:2 odds.

Other strong blackjack hands include pairs of aces or eights, which can be split into two separate hands. This increases the chances of getting 21 or a higher total. A soft 18, consisting of an ace and a seven, is also a good hand to play as it can be hit without going over 21.

The Worst Blackjack Hands

The worst blackjack hands are those that have a high chance of going over 21, also known as "busting." The worst possible hand is a hard 16, consisting of a ten-point card and a six, which cannot be hit without risking a bust.

Other weak blackjack hands include a hard 12 or 13, which should be hit if the dealer's upcard is 7 or higher. A hard 15 or 16 should also be hit if the dealer's upcard is a 7 or higher.

What Percentage of Hands do you win in Blackjack?

The percentage of hands a player can win in blackjack depends on various factors, including the player's skill level, the casino's rules, and the number of decks used. On average, a skilled player can win around 48-49% of hands played.

Blackjack Hand Strategies

The best blackjack strategy to win at online casinos involves following a set of rules that players can use to make strategic decisions during the game. The basic blackjack strategy can help players maximize their chances of winning by advising them when to hit, stand, double down, or split based on their hand and the dealer's up card.

Hard hands

For hard hands, players should hit if their hand value is 8 or less, while they should double down if their hand value is 9-11, depending on the dealer's up card. If their hand value is 12-16, players should hit if the dealer's up card is 7 or higher; otherwise, they should stand. If their hand value is 17 or higher, players should always stand.

Soft hands

For soft hands, players should double down if their hand value is Ace-2 through Ace-7, depending on the dealer's up card. If their hand value is Ace-8 or Ace-9, players should always stand.

Pairs

For pairs, players should always split Aces and 8s, while never splitting 5s and 10s. Other pairs should be split based on the dealer's up card, with certain pairs being split only if the dealer's up card is within a specific range.

Surrender

Finally, players may surrender their hand in certain situations, forfeiting half of their bet but ending the hand. Surrender is advised in certain scenarios, such as when the player's hand value is 15-17 and the dealer's up card is high.

Multiple Hands in Blackjack

Online casinos offer players the opportunity to play multiple hands of blackjack simultaneously, increasing the number of hands played per hour. Players should be cautious when playing multiple hands, as it can increase their chances of losing. It is recommended that players stick to playing one or two hands at a time to maximize their chances of winning.

Conclusion about Blackjack Hands

Knowing the best and worst blackjack hands and when to hit, stand, split, or double down is essential for any player looking to increase their chances of winning. While luck plays a significant role in the game of blackjack, implementing the strategies outlined in this article can help players make more informed decisions at the tables.

Remember that playing blackjack, like any form of gambling, carries a risk, and players should never bet more than they can afford to lose. Online casinos provide players with a safe and convenient way to play blackjack, but it is essential to choose a good online casino with fair rules and regulations. Following the strategies outlined in this article and playing responsibly, players will be able to enjoy the excitement and thrill of blackjack while minimizing their losses.

About the author
Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson

Emily "VegasMuse" Thompson is a seasoned online casino enthusiast from down under. With a keen eye for details and an inherent knack for strategizing, she has turned her passion for the online casino world into a successful writing career.

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What is a blackjack hand?

A blackjack hand consists of two or more cards dealt by the dealer, with each card assigned a specific point value. The goal of the game is to beat the dealer by having a hand that equals 21 or is closer to 21 than the dealer's hand without exceeding it.

What does "soft" mean in blackjack?

In blackjack, a "soft" hand is a hand that contains an ace, which can be counted as 1 or 11 points, depending on the player's preference. For example, an ace and a six can either be counted as a soft 17 or a hard 7, depending on the player's decision.

Is there a hand that should never be split?

Generally, pairs of aces and eights should always be split in blackjack. However, there is one hand that should never be split, and that is a pair of fives. The reasoning behind this is that a pair of fives gives the player a total of 10, which is a strong starting hand. By splitting the fives, the player runs the risk of ending up with two weak hands.

What is the best time to split a hand when playing blackjack?

In blackjack, splitting a hand is a strategy used when dealt a pair of cards of the same rank, such as two 5s or two Queens. The decision to split depends on the dealer's up card and the basic strategy. For example, splitting Aces is always recommended, while it is advised to never split 5s or 10s.

Here are some examples of when to split pairs based on the dealer's up card:

  • Split a pair of 2s or 3s if the dealer's up card is 4 through 7.
  • Split a pair of 4s if the dealer's up card is 5 or 6.
  • Split a pair of 6s if the dealer's up card is 2 through 6.
  • Split a pair of 7s if the dealer's up card is 2 through 7.
  • Split a pair of 9s if the dealer's up card is 2 through 6 or 8 or 9.

Which is the most misplayed hand in blackjack?

According to experts, the most misplayed hand in blackjack is a soft 18. Many players make the mistake of standing on a soft 18, which can be a costly error. In reality, players should always hit a soft 18 if the dealer's upcard is 9, 10, or an ace. By hitting a soft 18, players increase their chances of improving their hand and beating the dealer.

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