Winning Hands in Blackjack

When you play blackjack your final hand can only be one of these possibilities – a blackjack, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16 or less, or you could bust.

When you bust, you know you automatically lose and when you get a blackjack hand the worse you can do is tie and the best get paid a bonus of 1.5 times your bet. But what are your chances of wining when you stand on your 17 – 21? You would hope they are good but that’s not always the case.

Let’s take the example of standing on 17 in a six-deck game where the dealer stands on soft 17. Most players are happy to have a 17 and thankfully stand. However, you will lose more money then win when the dealer shows any face card but a 6. You will lose the most money when the dealer shows a 9 and the least when he shows a 4 or 5. It’s only when the dealer has a 6 showing that you stand a fighting chance of winning some money in the long run.

So what’s a player to do? Actually, there is nothing you can do. Hitting a hard 17 would result in even greater losses so the lesser of two evils is to stand. Now don’t get me wrong. Often times you will stand on 17 and win a hand but over time you will end up losing more then you win except against the dealer’s 6. Standing on 17 is definitely not utopia.

Because 17 is not a good hand this is the reason you should never stand on soft 17 (you should hit or double down). Also in a game where the dealer hits soft 17, a player faces an additional disadvantage.

Suppose we end up with …

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