Richyrich561
Richyrich561
Joined: Jun 18, 2019
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June 18th, 2019 at 1:47:10 AM permalink
Just like, mathematically, buying insurance on a dealer ace doesn’t make sense because it pays 2-1 when the odds of the dealer drawing a 10 are only 3-1, can anyone explain how hitting on 16, as recommended in “basic blackjack strategy” makes sense when the chances of busting when hitting on 16 are 61.5%?

Only five cards (ace - 5) can improve a 16. That leaves 8 out of 13 cards (61.5%) which will bust my hand!
If I hit on a 16 I have less than a 38.5% chance of improving my hand...

I realize that the strategy ONLY calls for a player to draw if the dealer is showing a 7 - ace but that’s 61.5% of the time that I’ll be hitting on 16. Wouldnt I be better off taking my chances of not busting, since the chances of busting are much higher when hitting with a 16?

Thank you!
stooge
stooge
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Thanks for this post from:
Richyrich561
June 18th, 2019 at 5:45:01 AM permalink
Quote: Richyrich561

Just like, mathematically, buying insurance on a dealer ace doesn’t make sense because it pays 2-1 when the odds of the dealer drawing a 10 are only 3-1, can anyone explain how hitting on 16, as recommended in “basic blackjack strategy” makes sense when the chances of busting when hitting on 16 are 61.5%?

Only five cards (ace - 5) can improve a 16. That leaves 8 out of 13 cards (61.5%) which will bust my hand!
If I hit on a 16 I have less than a 38.5% chance of improving my hand...

I realize that the strategy ONLY calls for a player to draw if the dealer is showing a 7 - ace but that’s 61.5% of the time that I’ll be hitting on 16. Wouldnt I be better off taking my chances of not busting, since the chances of busting are much higher when hitting with a 16?

Thank you!



A player standing on 16 or less can only win if the dealer busts. While it's true that hitting on 16 gives only about 38% chance to improve, I estimate the chance that the dealer busts when showing a 7 is somewhere in the range of 25-28%. (I bet there are tables on this somewhere, and the exact probabilities will vary based on game rules, number of decks, etc.) The dealer's chance of busting only decreases with an upcard of 8, 9, T, or A.

So a first pass at your question is that standing on 16 against a 7 gives you a (say) 28% chance to win, while hitting gives you a 38% chance to improve. This alone isn't enough to answer the question, since you might improve but still lose, but at least it points out why hitting on 16 might be the correct play.
Richyrich561
Richyrich561
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June 18th, 2019 at 12:24:24 PM permalink
Makes sense, thank you!!
BlackjackGuy123
BlackjackGuy123
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Richyrich561
June 18th, 2019 at 3:01:22 PM permalink
"Just like, mathematically, buying insurance on a dealer ace doesn’t make sense because it pays 2-1 when the odds of the dealer drawing a 10 are only 3-1, can anyone explain how hitting on 16, as recommended in “basic blackjack strategy” makes sense when the chances of busting when hitting on 16 are 61.5%?"

The odds for a dealer drawing a 10 are 2.25:1 against. Hitting (16 v T) shows virtually the same expectation as standing and both underperform against surrender. The chance of the dealer making his hand is > 75%.
Francisco
Francisco
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June 18th, 2019 at 6:08:25 PM permalink
Wizard of odds .com blackjack appendix 9 shows the expectation of standing and hitting 16 v 7-A . Hitting is a little better than standing.
unJon
unJon
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June 18th, 2019 at 7:14:29 PM permalink
Hitting a 16 is a ton better than standing facing a 7. Facing a T is so close you should stand if you have a 4 or 5 in your hand.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
Richyrich561
Richyrich561
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June 18th, 2019 at 8:58:05 PM permalink
Yea, I get it, thanks. I was just looking at the busting odds when hitting on 16, while the odds of the dealer busting with a 7-A face card are far lower, meaning hitting is the better of the two evils, even tho the odds of busting are higher than the odds of surviving when hitting on 16.
bobbartop
bobbartop
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June 18th, 2019 at 9:31:00 PM permalink
Quote: unJon

Facing a T is so close you should stand if you have a 4 or 5 in your hand.




Especially in single deck, stand if there are more 6s remaining than 5s. The 6 is more significant than a 4 or a 5. What Sklansky would call a "key card".
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
billryan
billryan
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June 19th, 2019 at 9:49:12 AM permalink
Quote: bobbartop

Especially in single deck, stand if there are more 6s remaining than 5s. The 6 is more significant than a 4 or a 5. What Sklansky would call a "key card".



I believe you are better off standing on any three card hard 16.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
smoothgrh
smoothgrh
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June 19th, 2019 at 9:55:53 AM permalink
The other aspect to remember is that hitting on 16 means you will lose less in the long run, not win in the long run.

When you're in a situation of having to hit 16, you will lose most of the time. If you choose to stand on that 16, you will lose even more.

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