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Blackjack Hit or Stand: When To Hit or Stand in Blackjack

There is no doubt that all blackjack players have faced the age-old dilemma of whether to hit or stand at least once. These are the two core actions in all variants of the game and are an integral part of the basic blackjack strategy. Learning when to make each of these decisions will directly impact your win rate at the tables.

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We will debunk the biggest mystery in blackjack — when to hit and stand based on your hand totals.

What Do Hit and Stand Actions Mean in Blackjack?

When to Hit or Stand in Blackjack

After you’re dealt the initial two cards in blackjack, you’ll be presented with several playing actions based on the format of the game. Hit and stand are the most important ones, and each involves the following:

  • Stand — When you stand in blackjack, you’re refusing to take any more cards and holding your total. This means that you’re confident that your hand will beat the dealer during the showdown. 
  • Hit — Hit is the exact opposite of stand. By hitting, you’re asking for an additional card to improve your total and your chances against the dealer’s hand. You can opt to hit for as long as you don’t go bust (exceed 21). 

Mathematically, it makes sense to stand if your total is high (close to 21) and hit when your hand is of low value. 

However, things are not so black and white because there are external factors to consider. These include the number of decks and house rules (whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17).

Hand composition (the concept of soft and hard hands) is also important. Soft hands are those that comprise an ace, while hard hands are made of other cards. 

Side bet availability should also be factored in (for example, surrender is an advisable action when the dealer’s up card is an Ace or 10).

Decisions on whether to hit or stand are outlined in the basic strategy, which can be helpful, especially if you’re a beginner. 

Learn When To Hit or Stand in Blackjack

When to Hit

Hit in Blackjack IconHitting in blackjack means that you’re instructing the dealer to give you one extra card.

One of the must-hit scenarios is when the dealer’s up card is an ace. In those situations, there is a greater chance for them to land a blackjack or a total that’s close to it. Therefore, you need a strong hand to match — preferably 17 or higher.

Likewise, if the dealer is showing a high-value card (7, 8, 9, 10), an appropriate move is to hit until you reach a total of 17 or higher. When you hold 11 or less while the dealer has 4,5, or 6, you should hit (or double down).

If the dealer’s up card is 2 or 3 and you’re in possession of 12 or lower, you should hit. Otherwise, standing is a more rational decision.

When to Stand

Stand in Blackjack IconBy indicating you want to stand, you are basically asking for a showdown with the dealer, confident that you can beat him with your total. The basic strategy implies that you should stand on totals of 17, 18, 19, and 20, regardless of what the dealer has.

As for 16, there is no set rule on what to do, as it all depends on the hand composition. If it’s a hard 16, then there’s not much you can do to improve your odds, so it doesn’t really matter whether you stand or hit — you’re likely going to lose anyway.

If you have good totals that can be split, then you should do that instead of standing. For instance, 9–9 and 10–10 can form two good hands.

In situations where you’re holding 12 or higher while the dealer’s up card is 4, 5, or 6, you should stand because the likelihood of the dealer forming a blackjack with those cards is small.

Similarly, you should stand on 13 or higher if the dealer shows 2 or 3.

Impact of Soft and Hard Hand Totals

Blackjack experts and mathematicians have devised a “blackjack hit table”, which shows you when to hit and when to stand depending on your and the dealer’s total and the respective hand compositions.

Here’s how the chart looks when you’re dealt a hard hand: 

92, 7–aceHit
1010, aceHit
122,3; 7–aceHit

When it comes to soft hands, the situation is much more straightforward. Here are a few pointers to have in mind: 

  • Always stand on soft 19 or 20 
  • Stand when you have soft 18 against the dealer’s 2–8 
  • If the dealer shows 9–ace, you should hit on a soft 17 or less

Blackjack Hit or Stand Charts

Looking for hit or stand charts for a specific game? Use the links below to select your chart.


Learning when to hit and stand is the cornerstone of the basic strategy in blackjack. When you master it, you’ll be able to bring down the house edge to the coveted 0.5% and gain as much value from your sessions as possible. With the help of techniques like card counting, you can reduce the house edge even further. 

The decision of whether to hit or stand is casino and variant-specific and also depends on some other factors. That’s why it’s recommendable that you try the demo mode (offered in RNG-based blackjack variants) before taking the plunge with real money action

In the event you are ready to put your knowledge into practice, we can recommend a few great blackjack sites for you to check out.


What does “stand” refer to? Standing is when you refuse to take any more cards, which means you’re satisfied with what you’re dealt.
What is “hit” in blackjack? Hit is when you’re asking to receive an additional card to improve your total.
Should I hit or stand on 16? If the dealer’s up card is 2, 3,4, 5, or 6, then you should stand on a 16.
When to hit and when to stand in blackjack? That decision depends on a variety of factors, namely your and the dealer’s total, the number of decks used, rules, and hand combinations.

About the Author

Author Hi all! My name is Jayson Peter, and I am the Chief Editor here at Casino USA. I have always been a huge fan of casinos, but I noticed that there are not a lot of websites out there that discuss the gambling industry in enough detail, so that’s how the idea for was born. With my extensive knowledge of the industry and the help of my team, I am ready to give you an insight into the exciting world of casino gambling in the United States.