Blackjack Basic Strategy For Hard Hands

How to Play Hard Hands in Blackjack

Hard hands: Hard 8 or less - Hard 9 - Hard 10 - Hard 11 - Hard 12 - Hard 13 - 16 - Hard 17 to 21

Soft hands: Soft 13 - 14 - Soft 15 - 16 - Soft 17 - Soft 18 - Soft 19 to 21

Splitting pairs: Aces - 2's - 3's - 4's - 5's - 6's - 7's - 8's - 9's - 10's

I'm only going to include a few basic hints and tips for playing hard hands in blackjack, so that there will be something interesting to read in the sections on the specific hands.

The first thing you need to know is that you will always hit a hard 8 or less.

The next thing you need to know is that you will always stand on a hard 17 or better.

That only leaves strategy for eight more possibilities; all other possibilities are covered by the two strategies above. (And to make learning the strategy even easier, the same strategy applies to any total of 13, 14, 15, or 16, which reduces the total number of possibilities to 5.)

Stiff Hands

Hard 12's through hard 16's are called "stiff hands". These hands are always a bummer because they're often not good enough to beat the dealer's hand, but they also have a good chance of busting.

Potential Double Down Hands

A hard 9 through a hard 11 is a potentially good hand for doubling down. See the individual strategy pages for each total to figure out exactly what to do with one of these totals and why.