Stiff hands are the worst hands to get in blackjack. They are not automatic losses; players still have a chance to win the round, but the odds are not with the player, they are with the dealer. But how often do blackjack players really have to contend with stiff hands?
Stiff hands, for the record, are hard 12s through hard 17s. I include hard 17 in this because even though players always stand on it for being too high to hit, it does not have the odds that blackjack players believe. As for how often players should expect to be dealt a stiff hand, it is about 43% of the time.
I know, that is a lot. But stop and remember that blackjack players will lose to the house 52% of the time; most of those losses are wrapped up in that 52% of total losses. Around 83% of your money that goes to the house happens with those stiff hands. And all you can really do is make you play and hope for the best because the odds are not on your side with those hands.
So what do you do when you are dealt one of those stiff hands, knowing that you are looking at odds stacked against you?
The best option blackjack players have in the instance of stiff hands is to play the best statistical play; and we all know that those plays are found on a basic strategy chart. That chart will tell you if it is better for you to hit, stand or even surrender (if the casino gives blackjack players that option).