What’s the Best Blackjack Hand?
The best blackjack hand is blackjack – an ace and ten (as the name suggests), jack, queen, or king. With a starting total of 21, you automatically win the game if the dealer doesn’t also have 21. If you and the dealer have 21, the game ends in a tie, and you receive your bet back.
While these are the best starting hands, a longer game can be more entertaining for pro players. Many gamblers prefer the experience over immediate wins, and we agree! So, let’s get into the worst and best hands and how to play them.
Best Blackjack Hands
So, what is the best blackjack hand when you’re at a casino table? Well, there are a few options if you’re not dealt out a natural 21. It’s called a push when you have a tie and win your bet back from the casino.
Since you must aim to get 21 before the dealer, your best hands are those with a high total. It’s usually a two-card hand, but you can have up to five to get your final total without splitting or choosing to double down.
In most variants, your blackjack hand needs to be one of these combinations to win:
- Ace with King, Queen, Jack – another combination that wins unless the dealer has 21.
- Ace with 10 – or blackjack immediately wins if the dealer has a lower total.
- Cards totalling 17 to 21 – these are the highest totals that can win.
- Pair Aces and Eights – these should never be spilt because you can win.
|Hand Value||Probability of busting|
|11 or less||0%|
Worst Blackjack Hands
So, what’s the worst blackjack hand you could have that would lose you the game? When you receive these combinations, you will need to think carefully about your next move. These are the cards you need to compare to the dealer’s cards in basic blackjack.
- 16 against 10 or 9 – when the dealer has a ten or nine with the other card face-down, your odds of winning are low.
- 16 against Ace – when you have a two-card 16 against an ace, your hand is much weaker.
Blackjack Hand Cheat Sheet
- Never split tens and fives
- Never take insurance
- Stand on 17 and over
- Stand on soft 19 and 20
- Hit on 12-16 against dealer seven or more
- Double on 11 (except when the dealer has Ace)
- Double on ten (when the dealer has nine or less)
- Hit on eight or below
- Double on soft 13-18 if the dealer has 4, 5 or 6
- Double on nine when the dealer has six or less
- Split threes and twos when the dealer has six or less
- Split eights and aces