Whatever version of blackjack you play, you will have two decisions to make: to hit or to stand.

Hitting and standing are easy concepts to grasp, but it takes skill to utilise them. Let's look at how making the right moves at the right times can increase your chances of winning at Blackjack.

Understanding the hit & stand in casino blackjack

When you hit, you will receive another card from the dealer. You can carry on hitting until you have either 'bust' (gone over 21), or you can decide to stand by taking no further cards.

The aim of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over.

But it's an art knowing when to hit, and when to trust your hand. Even standing on a low hand can make sense if you think you could soon go bust.

When to hit in Blackjack

In general, if you have a total of 8, you should hit against any card that the dealer holds. With so many 9 and 10-value cards in the deck, the chances of you making a good hand are high.

Similarly, if the dealer shows a high card  - and therefore is likely to make 21, or at least a good hand - you should look at hitting your high cards, too. Remember, the idea is just to beat the dealer's total.

But if you are unlikely to win anyway, take another card.

For example, if you hold 13 or 14 and the dealer has 7 or above, you're likely in bad shape. Take another card and see where you are.

When to stand in Blackjack

You should stand on all totals of 17, 19, or 20. You gain nothing from taking another card, regardless of what the dealer has. You don't want to go bust.

Watch out for good totals that can be split. For example, if you get 8-8, 9-9, or 10-10, they can be split to form two new perfectly good hands.

It's also important to know the difference between soft and hard hands.

"Soft" hands contain an ace (which counts as 1 or 11), while "hard" hands are made up of other cards.

The same total can be treated differently depending on which camp it falls into.

For example, if you have a "hard" 16 (e.g. 9-7) you should stand if the dealer shows a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.

However, if you have A-5, and a "soft" 16, it's worth hitting if the dealer shows a 2, and even doubling down if the dealer shows 3, 4, 5, or 6.

Why? Because a soft hand can make a much stronger total if you draw a high-value card.

When to hit/stand - Basic Chart


Hit and stand in blackjack variants

The beauty of online blackjack is that players aren't restricted to just one variant.

European Blackjack has two or three moves, but some alternative variations have different side bets.  This can alter the way you hit and stand with your cards.

Atlantic City Blackjack has a 'surrender' option for players. It's a special move that allows you to give up your hand early and receive 50 per cent of your stake back. 

For example, when you hold a 15 or 16, and the dealer has a 9, 10, or Ace showing, you can take the surrender.

Trying hit and stand betting system

The rules of blackjack are basic, but knowing when to hit or stand is vital.

Many players get stuck with hands worth 16 or 17, for example. Where a "hard" 17 is good to stand on, you cannot necessarily say the same for a "soft" 17 (A-6).

Make sure you have a good understanding of the basic chart, so that you know which decision to make in each situation.