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Blackjack Strategy: Knowing When to Hit

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Lisa Dawson

My name is Lisa Dawson. I'm a passionate card game player with many years of expertise in the field. Enjoy my guides and articles!

Mastering the game of blackjack involves understanding a mix of luck, skill, and strategy. One critical decision you’ll frequently face is knowing when to hit to get closer to 21 without busting. This guide dives into the strategic nuances of hitting in blackjack, providing insights to enhance your gameplay and potentially tip the odds in your favor.

Understanding Blackjack Basics

Before diving deep into strategies, it’s crucial to grasp the basic rules of blackjack. The goal is simple: beat the dealer by getting a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over. Each player starts with two cards, as does the dealer, with one of the dealer’s cards hidden until the end.

When to Hit in Blackjack

Deciding when to hit in blackjack is pivotal. Here’s a simplified guide to help you make smarter decisions:

Your Hand Value Action
11 or less Always hit
12-16 Hit against dealer’s 7 or higher
17 or more Usually stand

This table is a good starting point, but remember, the game’s dynamics can change based on the specific rules of the blackjack table you’re playing at.

Advanced Tips: Adjusting Your Strategy

For those looking to delve deeper into blackjack strategy, here are advanced tips that can help refine when to hit:

  • Consider the dealer’s up card: The probability of the dealer busting changes drastically based on their visible card. If the dealer shows a card from 2 to 6, they’re more likely to bust, affecting your decision to hit or stand.
  • Soft hands: A “soft” hand includes an Ace counted as 11. Since you can’t bust by hitting on a soft hand, you have more flexibility to take a risk.
  • Know your table’s rules: Table rules like whether the dealer hits on a soft 17 can influence your strategy.

Practicing Your Strategy

The best way to improve your blackjack strategy is through practice. Online simulations and low-stake tables are great places to test out when to hit in various scenarios without risking much money. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy in blackjack; what works well at one table may not work at another. It’s about adapting and learning as you go.


Knowing when to hit in blackjack is a blend of understanding basic strategy, reading the dealer’s potential, and adapting to the nuances of each game. While there’s no guaranteed winning strategy, increasing your knowledge and practicing regularly will significantly improve your chances of coming out ahead. Remember, blackjack, at its core, is a game of decisions; making informed choices is your best bet for success.

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