Short of illegally counting cards, is there a way to play blackjack efficiently? That question invariably pops up when players want to become professional blackjack connoisseurs, which is why we at LV BET decided to dedicate an article to this premise.
There are many strategy charts out there available for players, but each circumstance can result in an unexpected outcome. If you are going to pick a strategy, you should keep it and stick with it throughout the whole game. This is primarily what we’ll advocate in this article — no need for a card counting system.
BASIC RULES OF BLACKJACK HANDS
Primarily, blackjack is a casino game where players compete with the dealer or house. Put simply, the aim of blackjack is to target a hand point total of 21, or closer to 21 than the dealer, without exceeding 21 (busting). The game adheres to simple rules which have unquestionably aided its ever-increasing popularity.
To evaluate the type and value of your hand, you should first learn about hand value. This shouldn’t be difficult as the hand value system in blackjack is simple and easy to recall. In simple terms, every card is worth the numerical value displayed, excluding every face card: Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Aces. All the face cards hold 10 points each, except the Ace. An Ace is counted as one or eleven, depending on the hand.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at hands that you will predictably encounter during the game, and learn how to play them.
SOFT & HARD HANDS IN ONLINE BLACKJACK GAMES
What are soft hands in blackjack?
Having an Ace means you have a soft hand. In blackjack, an Ace is crucial because it can boost your total depending on your present situation. Possessing a soft hand implies that you can’t bust by hitting. Why? Because the value can be changed at any time. As you can’t lose by hitting, many players target soft hands for doubling-down. It is one of the best strategies to play blackjack with.
With that in mind, let’s focus on some possible soft blackjack hand card combinations that may arise when playing the game. For example, if you have an Ace and a three, that is a soft fourteen. Let’s say the dealer possesses a strong up-card, and so you decide to boost your hand by hitting.
How to play soft hands
Let’s say that you’ve been dealt an Ace and a two, a soft thirteen. Regardless of the dealer’s up-card, the general consensus is that you should not stand on a soft 13. It’s not the best idea to stand on anything that is a soft hand from 13 to 17. So, you can take advantage of that Ace and hit for a better position. Unless, the dealer has a 4, 5 or 6 up-card!
You should double down if you have a soft 13 to 18, and the dealer has a 5 or 6 up-card. You do this because there’s a good chance that the upcoming dealer’s card makes them bust. Therefore, it would be a wise decision to try to maximise your chances of profit, as you may well improve your hand.
What are the hard hands in blackjack?
Hard hands are those that don’t include an Ace, or those that include an Ace that has to be counted as 1, because if not, the overall value would exceed 21. These hands are regarded as disadvantageous and are risky because you can bust by hitting.
For example, if you get a hand like six and seven, you have a hard thirteen, and there is a high probability of busting if you hit. The methodology for how to play a hard blackjack hand doesn’t pertain to low hand values whose total is below 11 since they can be improved without busting; hence no risk is involved. In fact, the best strategy in such cases is to hit, no matter the dealer’s upcard.
How to play hard hands
Basic blackjack strategy fully covers how hard hands should be played. The initial trick to getting started is to always think about the dealer. Assume he possesses a ten in the hole. That is to say, you should add 10 to every number that the dealer shows you. This will help you to estimate his total.
So, you should hit your hard hands till you either reach 17 or beat that total. Obviously, it is challenging to either hit a hard hand 17 or hit a hard hand of 18, 19, or 20. The higher your total, the higher the probability that you’ll bust if you continue to hit, so you should stand on them in all the incidences.
Lastly, when playing a hard blackjack hand, you should consider hitting when you have hard totals of 15 or 16 versus the dealer’s 10. Many players get tempted to play a stand and hunch on the hard total, thinking that the dealer possesses a five or six under that 10 and will bust when they hit. If the dealer shows a 10, you are more than likely finished. So, it could be advisable to focus on hitting the hand until you bust or reach 17.
WHAT ARE THE BEST HANDS AT ONLINE BLACKJACK?
Although all blackjack hands are subject to how the player deals with them and the dealer’s hole card, these are the most favourable hands that you can draw:
- Blackjack vs Ace or any non-10 card
- Hard 20 vs seven
- Hard 20 vs 8
- Total of 19
- Total of 18
- Total of 11
WHAT ARE THE WORST BLACKJACK HANDS?
It is possible to win money with the worst blackjack hands in the game, but, of course, it’s much harder to beat the dealer that way.
- 16 vs 10
- 16 vs Ace
- 16 vs 9
WHAT BASIC STRATEGY SHOULD YOU ADOPT IN A BLACKJACK GAME?
Playing blackjack can sometimes be confusing, especially for the novice. Novices aren’t certain which type of hand is best for their situation and they end up with more misplayed hands than winning ones. So, if you’re a novice, take heed; soft hands are much better for players. Why? Because they offer flexibility, allowing a greater ability for players to change their card total and achieve a strong value compared to the dealer’s upcard.
Always remember, a player cannot bust with a soft hand just by taking a third card from the deck. When you are dealt an Ace, no matter what else you have with it, it is not possible to bust with the third card because you can simply change the value of the Ace to one if you get dealt a card higher than a seven. In this situation, your soft hand will get back to the hard hand, allowing you to proceed to play in relation to the basic strategy.
CONCLUSION – WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO PLAY YOUR HAND AT BLACKJACK?
Succeeding in blackjack requires some basic knowledge and, of course, executing a basic strategy. With the above guide, hopefully, you’ve learnt some tips that you can implement in your blackjack game. Most casinos offer a way to try to beat blackjack dealers for free through demos, including the LV BET casino, so feel free to give some single-deck game of blackjack a whirl.
✅ What to do when I have two aces?
In this case, you should opt to split aces. This way, you’ll have your starting hand split into two hands. Depending on the player’s decision, an additional card will be granted to each hand.
✅ Is it worth using the basic strategy chart?
Yes, using strategy charts to play blackjack hands is a good way to reduce the house edge and beat the dealer more often.
✅ Which is the most misplayed hand in blackjack?
Most players misplay these hands: hard 12 vs low dealer up-card, pair of nines, soft 17, soft 18 and hard 16.
✅ How important is card counting in blackjack?
Card counting is illegal in almost every casino out there, so we don’t recommend resorting to that. Strategy is king when it comes to dealing with blackjack, so it’s important to incorporate a strategy when looking to win money at a blackjack table.
✅ How can knowing blackjack hands and basic strategy charts help you win at blackjack?
Starting hands are always the most difficult to deal with as a beginner, but a good way to manage that is to consult various strategies. These will help you decide whether to hit for a second card or stand. Sometimes, it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils, since either decision can result in a lost hand. Nevertheless, your best hope is to orient your play according to a specific strategy.