Blackjack Hands

This article covers everything to know about Blackjack, its hand value, how rankings work, and strategic acts based on cards received and held.

Blackjack is a game where your decisions and choices matter. In this game, you can gain the upper hand over the casino, especially if you're proficient at card counting. Blackjack is quite a fun game. However, it's more fun if you're winning more frequently. Everything you need to know about blackjack hand value and how to win the game will be covered in this article.

Basic Rules of Blackjack Hands

Blackjack hands

The blackjack hand value is the total value of the cards you play. The blackjack's primary goal is to score better than the dealer without surpassing 21. According to the blackjack rules, the suit of the cards does not matter. The numerical value is relevant. 

All cards from 2-10 have their original value. Kings, Queens, and Jacks are equivalent to 10. Aces can be trickier as they have a value of 1 or 11. Just make sure not to go over 21 by not hitting so much.

Blackjack Hand Odds 

You must learn and master the blackjack odds to play the game effectively. This is one of the fewer casino games where the house has an edge of 0.5%. However, this is only possible if you are following a blackjack strategy. Dealers consistently win against players who randomly hit or stand and those who think they are choosing the right action.

Knowing the casino's advantage and how it contributes to players' wins is also essential. Hence, understanding blackjack odds, like the probability of hitting a 10 or receiving a blackjack, is crucial to the game. To understand the game's mechanics, browse the following blackjack odds charts.

Odds of Busting on a Hit

When holding any total in the blackjack game, knowing the odds of your hand-busting is crucial. The odds chart below shows your chances of busting at blackjack based on the value of your current hand:

Hand Value% Bust If You Hit
11 and lower0%
Chances of Busting When Hitting

Odds of the dealer's final hand

This blackjack odds chart displays the probability of the dealer's final hand. These are the odds that the dealer will eventually get a hand summing each corresponding value (up to 16). This chart also indicates the possibility of a blackjack tie or push when your hand is 17 or more. Check this chart to know the dealer's possibilities to make his last hand.

Dealer Final Hand ValueOdds of FormingCumulative Odds Total
Natural 214.82%4.83%
3-Card 217.36%12.19%
Dealer's Final Hand Chances

Dealer Up Card vs. Player Advantage

Based on the up card that the dealer is showing, the first two columns of this odds chart illustrate the dealer's possibility of busting. In this chart, the third column displays the player's edge of applying basic strategy compared to every card the dealer is showing. Based on this information, the player has the highest edge when the dealer shows a 5.

Dealer's Up CardChances of BustingPlayer's Edge Using Basic Strategy
J, Q, K 21.43%-16.9%
Player Vs. Dealer Chart

Impact of Removing Cards from a Deck

If you analyze the probabilities of removing particular cards, certain cards significantly impact blackjack odds more than others in a 52-card deck. To devise an efficient card counting technique, you must consider all these minor and unnoticeable variances. 

As a player, you can significantly increase your blackjack odds by removing five from a deck of cards. On the other hand, removing all of the Aces from a deck of cards would significantly improve the odds for the casino.

Card% Effect of Removal
Card Removal Effect on Blackjack Odds Chart

Dealing with the Worst Blackjack Hands

Hard 16 Total

When it comes to online blackjack games, one of the worst and most misplayed hands you could have is the hard 16. Hard hands do not have an ace. Regardless of what you select to play, you'll lose more hands than you win. Fortunately, you can boost your odds of winning by following the above strategy to reduce your losses. 

Your odds of winning with a hard 16 is less than one of every four hands. Meaning you get less than 50% of winning chances. It would be best to surrender and walk away with 50% of your bet if you have a winning probability of 25% and a loss probability of 75%. Eventually, you will cut your losses if surrendering is possible. 

However, if the dealer's up card is small, between 2 and 6, for example, you can stand on hard 16 because the busting probability of the dealer is high (around 35-42 percent). In this case, you still have a good chance of winning if they have a face-up card of 6 against your hard 16.

Two 8s 

The only wise decision is to split a pair of 8 since you are likely to draw at least an 18. four cards have a value of 11, and 16 of the 50 other cards in the deck have a value of 10. A total of 16 is the worst point total in the game, which is why it is better to split the 8. With a pair of 8, you will likely get two strong hands when you draw an Ace, 10, or a face card. 

One good practical strategy would be to split a point total of 16 into two hands with a greater chance of winning.

Hard 14 Total

Playing this hand differs based on the dealer's up-card. But hard 14 total is a poor starting hand because you are right between a prominent stand and an obvious hit.

Low dealer-up cards typically suggest that you should stand. The potential dealer bust on a third-drawn card is possibly high. The best strategy is to take a hit when the dealer is holding a 7 through Ace.

In blackjack, one of the first things you need to do to become a successful player is to study and master how hands are ranked and how to value the cards. Learning them is one of the most basic and straightforward steps, especially if you're just starting to play this casino classic game. Ultimately, the key here is to know how to act strategically based on the cards held by the dealer and the cards you have received.

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