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  • September 27, 2020

When to Stand in Blackjack with Values of 17 or 18

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Online blackjack players can enjoy a number of online blackjack variations, although no matter which variation the player may choose, basic blackjack strategy can and should be used. Players should make sure to master blackjack strategy in order to ensure that they give themselves the best chance of winning.
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Soft 17 vs. Any Upcard
Many players that have a soft 17, meaning a hand worth 17 that uses and Ace for a value of 11 plus a 6-card, make the mistake of standing. Their reasoning is that on a hard 17 the general rule of thumb is to stand if the dealer has an upcard that makes them likely to bust, because hitting on a hard 17 puts the player at a great risk of busting. However, if the dealer doesn’t have an upcard of 3 to 6 then the chances of a player winning with 17 is slim to none. Therefore, it is always wise to hit or double down on soft 17 to increase your chances of a win.
Soft 18 vs. 9, 10 or Ace
Soft 18 vs. a dealer upcard of 9, 10 or Ace is one of the most commonly misplayed hands in blackjack. Many players, as a rule, always stand on 18-hard or soft. However, the truth of the matter is that an 18 will rarely win when the dealer has an upcard of 9, 10 or Ace. Yes, when you have a hard 18 your chance of busting may be too great to hit. However, with a soft 18 you don’t have to be afraid of busting so you should always hit to try to get a higher hand value than 18 to improve your chances of winning.
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Hard 12 vs. Dealer “Bust” Cards
Upcards of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 are commonly referred to as dealer bust cards because these cards make the likelihood of the dealer busting higher than if he had an upcard of 7 or greater. Some players will stand on a hard 12 when the dealer shows a bust card. Their reasoning is that they may draw a 10 and bust if they hit. However, if the dealer does not bust then there is no way the player can win with a 12. It is still a good idea to stand when the dealer shows an upcard of 4, 5 or 6 (the biggest bust cards). However, it is still the better option to hit on a hard 12 when the dealer shows 2 or 3.
Splitting Pairs
A lot of blackjack players get into trouble when it comes to pairs. Most players know that you should always split a pair of Aces and stand on a pair of 10s. However, it can be trickier when it comes to split 8s or 9s.
A pair of 8s gives you a total of 16, which makes it risky to hit. However, 16 is not enough to win unless the dealer busts. Therefore, it is logical to split 8s when the dealer has anything besides a bust card.
A pair of 9s gives you a total of 18, which many players tend to stand on. However, when the dealer has a 9, 10 or Ace it improves your chances if you split a pair of 9s.
Blackjack vs. Ace
One of the most common myths in blackjack is that you should always take insurance on a blackjack when the dealer shows an upcard of Ace. However, this is also one of the most commonly misplayed hands. Taking insurance is a sucker move that will only hurt your winnings in the long run. It’s better to stick with the 3:2 payoff if you win than accepting even money for placing an insurance bet. Don’t fall into the insurance trap that many blackjack players fall in to.
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