How to play Spanish 21 or Spanish Blackjack
The Worst Hand in Blackjack By Henry Tamburin No other hand makes players feel queasy than the dreaded 16.
Players hate to hit the hand because they are afraid to bust.
So many chicken out and stand no matter what the dealer shows.
Then there is the 16 made up with an Ace counted as 11 i.
Some examples of a hard 16 would be 10-6 or 5-7-4 or 7-8-Ace.
The correct basic soft 17 blackjack strategy for hard 16 is to stand when the dealer shows a small card 2 through 6 and hit when the dealer shows a high card 7, 8, 9, 10, or Ace.
Following this soft 17 blackjack strategy will not guarantee that you will win every time but that you are more likely to lose less in the long run.
Suppose you are dealt a 10-6 and the dealer shows a 7 upcard.
If you hit you win on average 30% of the time and lose 70%.
If you stand you will on average win 26% and lose 74%.
Note that you improve your chances of winning the hand by 4% if you hit rather than stand.
But the dealer is still an overwhelming favorite to beat you because he will win 70% of the hands to your 30%.
But is soft 17 blackjack better to win 26% of the time by standing or 30% of the time by hitting?
You should hit because it will increase your chance of winning by 4%, not much, but every percentage will help you soft 17 blackjack the long run when you play blackjack.
So the bottom line with a hard 16 is this.
Even by following the basic strategy you will lose more hands than you win but in the long run you will loss less than following a seat-of-the-pants strategy.
Losing less on hands where you are the underdog is just as important as winning more when you are the favorite.
What if your 16 consists of three or more cards like 5-7-4?
Normally the basic strategy ignores the composition of the hand.
However, if you have a hard 16 hand consisting of three or more cards, then you should stand when the dealer has a 10 showing.
The reason is that you have consumed a few of the small cards that article source need if you were to draw.
This tips the odds in favor of standing.
Some casinos allow players to surrender.
This means you give up the opportunity to play out your hand and automatically lose half your bet.
So they rarely surrender.
In fact surrender is always the best option when your chance of winning a hand is less soft 17 blackjack 25%.
Take the hand of hard 16 against a 10.
If we hit our chance of winning is 23.
If you happen to be dealt a soft 16 like Ace-5you should never surrender and you should never stand.
Your first option is to double but only if the dealer shows a weak 4, 5 or 6 upcard.
If not, then hit.
No question that 16 is a lousy blackjack hand.
But, by following the above playing strategy you will be optimizing your chances of winning more, and losing less, in the long run.
Henry Tamburin has been a respected casino gambling writer for the past 50 years.
He is the author of the and was editor of the Blackjack Insider newsletter.
You can read his latest articles on blackjack, video poker, and his personal playing experiences at Gambling soft 17 blackjack restricted in USA.
A few states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania permit online gambling to persons over 21 years.
Land based casinos are popular and legal in most states.
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