Posted by 5640dlm
Nov 17, 2010


I play a lot of blackjack. Most of the better players claim you should hit 16 if the dealer's up card is 7 or greater. I have dealt myself over 5000 experimental hands which definitely shows better odds of winning the hand by not hitting 16. Many players argue that this cannot be true, otherwise the house would not hit 16. Therefore since the house hits 16 the odds must be better by hitting 16. My response is that the house hits 16 not because the odds are better, but because they get to go last, which is a huge advantage. In going last, they know that those who are still in the game probably have 17 or better, therefore it makes sense to hit 16. This knowledge is surely built into the house decision on whether or not to hit 16. If the roles were reversed, whereby the dealer had to hit or stay first, but the players were required to hit 16 or less, I believe the house would then stay on 16 rather than hitting it. Has anyone done any probability testing on whether it is better for the player to hit or stay on 16?


FleaStiff Nov 17, 2010

Heck, I once even hit a hard 18 and was rewarded with a 3. Dealer had 20.

If you had some way of knowing that next card was a 5, you would hit 16 also.

I guess the math indicates you should hit 16 but its the worst players hand to have so does it really matter? The optimal play is still not looking good for you so if you want to go against the book you ain't got much to lose.

This always split 8s isn't because 8 is a good card, its because 16 is bad.

I've played online trainers and have Stayed on 16. Often it does work out to be the right thing to have done.

dm Nov 17, 2010

A refinement often suggested is to hit only 2 card 16's, especially with fewer decks.

appistappis Nov 17, 2010

as a dealer i would say yes hit your 16's......as a player i always do.......if you decide not to, don't waver, decide now for the rest of your life you are either going to hit them or not...the switching will drive you nuts...the math shows you are better off hitting and from what I see i believe in it.

an alternative play if you are the wishy washy type, if your 16 contains a 4 or 5, don't hit.

if your 16 does not contain a 4 or 5 hit it.

benbakdoff Nov 18, 2010

Using basic strategy with surrender unavailable, staying or hitting on a three card 16 vs 10 is close. This rule only applies when the dealer is showing a 10. If you have a 16 vs the dealer's 7, hit and hope.

Malaru Nov 24, 2010

I have always hated hitting a hard 16. theres only 5 out of 13 chance you get better hand- there is an 8 to 5 chance you bust with it. Why take a high chance of busting vs the dealers relative high chance of 30% to bust?... I think of standing on 16 as savbing yourself form busting and hoping the dealer does. But still, I do know that the charts say its best to hit.

What do I do personally? I only hit a hard 16 if the dealer has an A showing- I figure an A up is a pretty great chance the dealer will finish between 17 and 21 and not bust out- everything else I stand on 16 unless I noticed a lack of low cards recently (and I do scan the tables though I try not to count much).