Standing may not be exciting, but it’s effective. Mr Blackjack covers how basic strategy will guide you around the best and worst hands to stand on in 21.
Standing isn't the most exciting move in blackjack, but it's one all players should consider more often than they do.
In many instances at the blackjack table, you will find it advantageous to stand.
If we are talking about the basics, you should stand on any two cards that equal 17 or more, regardless of the dealer's up-card. You don't want to take a card and risk the chance of going over 21 and busting.
The basic strategy behind standing gets trickier on hand values of 12-16. In this instance, you always look at the dealer's up-card to guide you. Basic strategy will dictate when you stand, and when you hit, based on that card.
If the dealer is showing a bust card between 2-6, the math will tell you that it is better to stand and not take any more cards if you have 13 and over. The 12 is a tricky one, and we will ask you to refer to the strategy chart provided to you by Onlinegambling.com as to when to hit and when to stand when you have 12.
Here are a few examples on when to stand:
- Player 13 on a dealer 2
- Player 17 on a dealer 9
- Player 12 on a dealer 6
It's likely the dealer will bust on these hands, so you're better off staying in the game on a weaker hand and waiting for the dealer to lose.
So, to recap. You should stand if:
- Your hand value is 17 or more
- You have 13 on a dealer's 2
- You have 17 on a dealer's 9
- You have 12 on a dealer's 6
Next, we're going to look at split, one of the most fun moves in blackjack. Learn the best and worst hands for splitting with us, next.
What this lesson covers
- The best hands to stand on
- The worst hands to stay on
- Tricky hands you should stand on in blackjack
- How to apply basic strategy to staying
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
- What’s the difference between ‘stand’ and ‘stay’?
Both terms refer to the same move in blackjack: you don’t want any more cards. Learn more about the lingo to 21 with our blackjack terminology guide.
- Do you stay on 15 in blackjack?
You should stay if the dealer’s up-card is 2-6. If they have a 7 or higher, then you should hit or surrender.
- Why does basic strategy suggest standing on low hands when the dealer has a low up-card? Surely I can beat them easily?
Basic strategy looks at the probability of you winning or losing based on your hand and the dealer’s up-card. The dealer is more likely to bust hitting on their low up-card than you are to win by hitting on your weak hand. In these situations, basic strategy proves you will more likely win by staying than hitting.
- Why is 6 a bust card?
It all comes down to blackjack odds. Few other cards can combine with six to make 21. You’re more likely to create a weak hand or go over 21 if you have a six.
- When should I hit or stand in blackjack?
Generally, you should stand when you hand value is 17 or higher, or when you have 13 or more and the dealer has a bust card. You can find charts highlighting the exact hands to stand on in our blackjack strategy guide.
- Can a dealer ever stand on a hand value less than 17?
The casino ultimately decides on their table rules, but it’s unlikely you will find one that makes a dealer stand on anything under 17. This would give players a considerable edge and mean the casino would lose more cash in real money blackjack games.
- Why do some strategy charts suggest standing as a secondary move?
Some casinos add restrictions to moves in their blackjack games, particularly when you can split, surrender, and double down. When these moves aren’t available, basic strategy may suggest your second-best option is to stand. Strategy cards will reflect this advice so you can use them in any blackjack game.