Sure a 2 does not seem like that big of a threat. It is a tiny card, the tiniest card in a game of blackjack. But when facing down a dealer
Stiff hands are the most awful hands to get in a game of blackjack. In terms of your blackjack moral, you immediately feel bummed out because you know that stiff hands are the toughest hands to play out. And in terms of blackjack odds, well, they are just hard on your blackjack odds.
In blackjack, stiff hands are any two card hard hand with a total of 12 through 16. But for today
Name one of the worst hands to be dealt in a game of blackjack.
If you named one of the stiff hands then you have chosen wisely.
Stiff Hands are some of the worst hands to be dealt, and not just statistically speaking or in terms of blackjack strategy. They are a bummer to moral too. You know as soon as you see those two cards tallying up to 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16 you just have this sinking feeling.
Those are, by the way, the stiff hands, hard 12 through 17.
And there is also a feeling that your blackjack strategy cannot help you when you are facing down a stiff hand.
Unfortunately you can look to being dealt a stiff hand around 43% of the time when you are playing. This percentage applies to both blackjack played in a brick and mortar casino and to blackjack online. Both games at their core are the same.
On that note you are lucky as your blackjack strategy will not vary regardless of where you are playing blackjack.
What makes blackjack strategy for stiff hands seem so ineffective is that you know that you still are the underdog and that your chances of losing are still pretty high. Blackjack players are used to turning to their blackjack strategies to make their odds at winning better. But that is not the sole purpose of blackjack strategy.
That other part of blackjack strategy is minimizing your losses, and it goes hand in hand with playing out stiff hands. It is true that even with a strategy tool are great as basic strategy that you are still the favorite to lose as unfortunate as that sounds.
Knowing that you are the underdog, what you want to do with your blackjack strategy is to minimize your losses. I know, this sounds easier said than done, but that is how players must look at it.
As a rule of thumb, and according to basic strategy, the best thing for you to do if you find yourself with a hard 13 through hard 17 is to stand if the dealer is showing a 2 through 6 and hit if the dealer is showing a 7 through Ace. Now, with a hard 12 you will want to hit if the dealer has a 2, 3 or 7 through Ace, and stand if he has a 4 through 6.
When your first two cards reveal a stiff hand, switch your mind to thinking that you must now minimize your losses. Once you have that in mind, next focus on how your blackjack strategy says to handle the stiff hand you have been dealt.
After my post yesterday afternoon I started giving some thought to blackjack strategy in regards to a two card hand versus blackjack strategy for multi card hands. This came to me after discussing how a two card soft 18 is played that same as a three card soft 18. This lead to the aforementioned thinking.
Is there really a difference between a hand that is made up of two cards and a hand that is made up of more cards?
In some cases it does. Naturally a two card blackjack is worth more than a hand with three or more cards that totals to 21. And a pair can only be split in the first two cards; you cannot have a 4/8 and hit for another 8, and then split. Also, you generally can only double down on two cards. Some casinos will allow for doubling on three cards but it is not a common house rule; and online casinos only offer double downs on two cards.
But in most cases it does not matter if you have a hand total made up of two cards or a hand made up of more than two cards. Take a look.
While there are some things that are different between online blackjack and blackjack in a brick and mortar casino, there are still some things that are not any different. When it comes to online blackjack one of the similarities is stiff hands.
Just a quick recap a stiff hands are another name for certain hard hands. Those hard hands are hard 12 through hard 16. They are considered stiff hands because they are on the hard side to play with. These are typically underdog hands that are, truthfully, hard to win with. Your playing options are stiff, hence stiff hands.
How often are you likely to be dealt a stiff hand in online blackjack? You stand about a 43% of being dealt one of the stiff hands when you are playing online blackjack.
Now if you were playing blackjack in a brick and mortar casino you also stand about a 43% chance of being dealt a stiff hand.
So when you are playing online blackjack your playing strategy for stiff hands is not any different: abide by basic strategy.
Basic strategy not only is the key to the best statistical plays for every hand in blackjack, it is also the best strategy for online blackjack. The reason basic strategy is the best strategy tool for online is not only because it is the best play for every hand, it is essentially the only strong strategy tool since card counting is not possible in online blackjack.
Since card counting is not possible in online blackjack the best thing that you can do when you have a stiff hand is to play according to basic strategy. Since stiff hands are underdog hands regardless of whether you are playing online blackjack or not, basic strategy is your best bet.
Do you know what the best play in blackjack to make when you have a hard 15 or hard 16 versus a dealer
A natural blackjack is not the only thing that a player is hoping for when they sit down. Each player is hoping that if they cannot be dealt a natural blackjack that they will receive a 20. Or a 19. Or an 18. Or at least a 17
For blackjack players who play according to basic strategy, I know, this myth does not make any sense.
And players believe this regardless of whether they are playing online blackjack or blackjack in a brick and mortar casino. Some are absolutely steadfast in this myth.
In truth they are only hurting their own blackjack odds.
Here is what happens in the mind of blackjack player who believes this myth
It is never fun to be dealt a stiff hand in blackjack. You always feel like you have lost the round before it is even your turn to play. Or in the case of online blackjack, as soon as you see the cards you have been dealt.
You wind up basing your play off of whatever up card the dealer has. For hard hands 13 through 16 you stand if the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. And if he is showing a 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace you hit. A hard 12 is the same except that you do hit when the dealer is showing a 2 or 3, so it is a little more flexible.
So if four of the five stiff hands are all played the same, which one is the worst one?
It would be the hard 16. Players have a 61% chance of busting with this hand. This is because when the dealer has a 7 or higher showing, the player
Stiff hands are miserable to get in blackjack. There is a feeling of losing before the round before the game really gets going. And in blackjack