How to Correctly Play 16 Against a 7

Plays made against a dealer’s up card of 7 are usually misplayed. Novice players seem to not know what to do when faced with that 7.

This seems to happen most often when you have a sixteen and he has a 7 showing. Many players will stand here rather than hit. And hitting is what you should be doing. Even a basic strategy chart will tell you to hit a hard 16 against a dealer’s 7.

Now let me briefly ask you, what would you do if the dealer was showing a 10 or a face card and you had a hard 16? You’d hit and you’d have no problem doing so.

But in all actuality the dealer is more likely to bust with a 7 than with a 10. He will bust 23 times out of 100 with a 10, but will bust 26 times out of 100 when he has a 7 showing. And you? You have the same chances of busting in with this hand regardless of whether he has a 10 or a 7. And even though he has a greater chance of busting with a 7, so many novice blackjack players will stand against that 7.

And this is where it doesn’t make sense. If you have the same chances of busting, and he has a greater chance of busting on that 7 rather than with a 10, why would you stand against the 7 and not the 10?

Yes, you should be hitting against them both, and bravo if you are. But the standing against a 7 has got to stop. And this applies to both land based blackjack and online blackjack. If you’re standing against the 7 you’re not playing this hand to its best opportunity. Just remember, hit a hard 16 against a dealer 7. And make the most of this stiff hand because when do we really have a lot of opportunity with a stiff hand?

And if you answer with a hard 12 you will have made me proud.