Blackjack hit or stand chart and strategy

The perennial question facing blackjack players is whether to hit or stand. For experienced blackjack players who have developed their own strategies, this isn’t such an issue. But of course, this requires plenty of practice.

To help you next time you’re in the casino, the following tables will help you to decide when to hit and when to stand.

Hit or Stand Charts in Blackjack

Hit or Stand - Hard Chart

Hit or Stand - Soft Chart

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What does it mean to hit or stand?

To hit means to take another card from the dealer. If you have a greater probability of reaching a total closer to 21 than going bust you should hit. The most common way of signaling this to the dealer is to tap your cards or the table.

To stand confirms that you are content with the hand you have. A player stands when they believe that they may go bust with another card, or that their hand is sufficient to beat the dealer – the main objective of blackjack.

Hard totals vs. Soft totals

A hard total is when you have a hand without an ace, or with an ace counting as one. A soft total is when you have an ace in your hand being counted as eleven. The charts above will advise you on the best course of action in either case.

Play situations with the player having a hard hand

Here follows a summary of the key player actions when you are holding a hard total, depending on the dealer’s up card or visible card:

  • Hit on 11 or less, regardless of what the dealer’s up card is.
  • Hit on 12, unless the dealer’s up card is between 4 and 6.
  • Hit up to 16 when the dealer’s up card is 7 or above.
  • Stand between 13 and 16 when the dealer’s up card is 6 or less.
  • Stand on 17 or more, regardless of what the dealer’s up card is.

Differences when a player has a soft hand

Here are the main differences you should take into consideration when holding a soft hand:

  • Double down between A2 and A7 when the dealer’s up card is a 5 or 6.
  • Double down with A6 or A7 when the dealer’s up card is between 3 and 6.
  • Hit between A2 and A6 when the dealer’s up card is 7 or more.
  • Stand on A9, regardless of what the dealer’s up card is.

Refer to the chart above, and apply the strategy depending on whether you have a hard total or a soft total.

For novice players it is always important to acquire as much practice as possible. You can do this by placing small bets at a land-based casino, or making use of the free play modes offered by many online casinos. Practice makes perfect, something that is especially true of blackjack.

We also recommend you read our blackjack rules guide.

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