Stand vs. Hit in Blackjack: Tips for Making the Right Choice


Often considered the quintessential casino game, Blackjack combines luck, skill, and strategy in a fascinating dance of chance. The choice between ‘stand’ (not taking more cards) and ‘hit’ (taking another card) lies at the heart of the game, significantly affecting your chances of winning.

Making the right choice is not just a matter of gut feeling; it involves understanding the game’s intricacies and the probabilistic outcomes of different scenarios.

This blog post delves into critical tips to guide both novice and experienced players in making informed decisions at the blackjack table. Through these insights, we aim to demystify complex strategies, making the game more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

Understanding the Basics


Blackjack is a game of comparison between the player and the dealer, where the primary objective is to have a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s without exceeding it. Each card has a point value, with face cards worth 10 points and aces being either 1 or 11 points, depending on what benefits the hand.

Understanding this basic goal is crucial because every decision you make, whether to stand or hit, should aim to maximize your chances of achieving this objective without going bust.

Standing in blackjack means refusing additional cards, signifying satisfaction with your current hand. The decision to stand is typically influenced by the player’s current hand value and the dealer’s visible card.

Standing is generally advisable when you have a strong hand that you believe has a high chance of winning without risking a bust. This could be when you have a total of 17 or higher, where the chances of improving your hand are outweighed by the risk of exceeding 21.

Hitting, on the other hand, involves taking an additional card to improve your hand’s total value. This move is riskier than standing, as there’s always the chance of going over 21, but it’s essential when you have a low hand value.

A key to successful hitting is understanding the dealer’s position; if the dealer shows a strong card (like an ace or a 10), the pressure is on you to improve your hand, assuming the dealer’s hidden card also contributes to a strong hand.

Advanced Strategies

For those looking to refine their blackjack strategy, these advanced tips can offer guidance on making even more nuanced decisions between hitting and standing.

Using Basic Strategy Charts

Basic strategy charts are invaluable tools for blackjack players. These charts offer a guide on whether to hit or stand (among other decisions), based on your hand and the dealer’s upcard.

While memorizing these charts might seem daunting, they are based on mathematical probabilities and significantly reduce the house edge when followed correctly. Adhering to a basic strategy can be especially beneficial for beginners, providing a solid foundation on which to build their game.

Considering Soft Hands

Soft hands contain an ace counted as 11, offering flexibility since the ace can also be counted as 1 if you take another card and exceed 21. With a soft hand, the risk of busting is lower, making it more advisable to hit in situations where you’d stand with a hard hand (a hand without an ace or with an ace valued as 1).

Understanding how to play soft hands effectively is a key component of advanced blackjack strategy, allowing players to take calculated risks to improve their chances of winning.

The Role of Card Counting


While not a direct choice between hitting and standing, card counting is a sophisticated strategy that can inform these decisions. By keeping track of the high and low cards that have been dealt, players can adjust their betting strategy and their decision to hit or stand based on the cards remaining in the deck.

While card counting is not illegal, it is frowned upon in casinos and requires a significant amount of practice and concentration. It’s more suited for experienced players looking to gain an edge in the game.

Psychological Aspects

Beyond the numbers and probabilities, blackjack is also a psychological game. Understanding the mental elements can enhance your decision-making process and help you maintain composure under pressure.

Managing Your Emotions

Blackjack can be an emotional rollercoaster, with rapid swings between winning and losing. It’s crucial to manage your emotions, preventing them from clouding your judgment. Whether on a winning streak or facing losses, sticking to your strategy rather than making impulsive decisions based on emotions can be the difference between success and failure.

Learning to maintain a level head will not only improve your gameplay but also make the experience more enjoyable.

Observing the Dealer and Other Players


While blackjack is essentially a game against the dealer, observing other players and the dealer’s reactions can provide valuable insights. Noticing patterns in their behavior or play style can inform your decisions, offering clues on when to take a risk or play it safe.

Moreover, the dealer’s body language and the way they handle the cards can sometimes give away information, although this requires a keen eye and experience to interpret correctly.

The Importance of Discipline

Discipline is paramount in blackjack. This means setting clear limits for yourself regarding how much you’re willing to bet and lose and sticking to your strategy even when temptation strikes. The disciplined player knows when to walk away, whether ahead or to prevent further losses. Incorporating discipline into your gameplay ensures that blackjack remains a fun and potentially profitable experience, rather than one that leads to regret.


In conclusion, whether to stand or hit in blackjack is a decision influenced by a deep understanding of the game’s mechanics, a solid strategy, and an awareness of the psychological dynamics at play.

By incorporating these tips into your approach, you can make more informed decisions, reduce the house edge, and increase your chances of success at the blackjack table. Remember, while strategy plays a crucial role, blackjack should ultimately be enjoyable. Play responsibly, and may luck be on your side.