What is the Worst Hand in Blackjack?

Playing blackjack gives you the chance to aim for great hands like 20 or 21, which are sure to make you feel confident about winning money. However, there are also some hands that you don’t want to see but are sure to receive at some point. Working out how to play some of the poorest hands in blackjack is crucial if you hope to win money from this game.

16 is the Worst Hand, Unless You Get Two 8s

16 is commonly described as being the worst starting hand in blackjack, especially when the dealer has a 10 or an ace for their first card. There is a good chance that the dealer gets a higher figure than 16, while you run a great risk of going bust if you ask for another card.

There might not seem like a lot you can do most of the time when you receive cards worth 16, but don’t give up yet. A good idea is to base your move on what the dealer has as their first card. If they have a total between 2 and 6, this is a pretty poor hand and there is a decent chance that they go bust, so you could stand on 16 and still hope to win.

If the dealer has between 7 and ace, there is a much higher probability that they can beat 16 without going bust. It makes sense to hit in this situation and take your chance with another card that might get you to closer to 21 without going bust. If you stand on 16 against a good first dealer card, you will probably lose, so it’s worth taking a chance.

The one exception to this is if you get a hand of 16 made up of a couple of 8s. This can be converted into two stronger hands by splitting out the cards. You need to double your bet to do this, and will receive an extra card in each hand. With a bit of luck, you might get a 10 or ace to make a far better hand than 16 on at least one of them.

12, 13 or 14

These are also difficult hands to play, because for most people the total feels far too low to stand. Yet, if you hit on this hand there is a good chance that you get a card that is too high and causes you to go bust. There is no ideal solution here, as you have a poor hand that either means standing on a low number or else hitting with quite a high chance of going bust.

The best you can hope for is a pair of cards you can split out, like 6s or 7s. It’s still not a great hand but if you have a 7s and then get a 10 the total of 17 is a lot more promising than 14. As with the hand of 16 we looked at earlier, you need to look at what the dealer’s first card is.

If the dealer has a weak hand, you probably want to stand even on a poor total of your own. You might feel uncomfortable about standing on something as low as 12 or 13, but if the dealer goes bust then you win with a hand like this.

Why You Should Study Basic Blackjack Strategy

Not taking the dealer’s first card into account is one of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced blackjack players. Yet this is vital, as we have seen in these examples of how to deal with poor hands. You can’t weigh up the options without considering how likely it is that the dealer goes bust or reaches 21.

With so many different possible outcomes, you might think that it is going to be impossible to work out what you should do in each situation you come across. Thankfully, help is at hand in the shape of basic blackjack strategy sheets.

These are simple charts that show you when to hit and stand, depending upon your first couple of cards and the initial dealer card. It isn’t foolproof, because you never know what cards will be dealt next, but it gives you the security of knowing that you are giving yourself the best possible chance of winning on each hand.

If you play online blackjack games at bovada.lv, you may have noticed that the return to player (RTP) is close to 100%, making it one of the games where you have the best chance of winning money. However, this figure is based on you using perfect basic strategy on every hand. If you don’t, you are almost certain to lose some hands that you should have won.

No matter what cards you receive, you can use good blackjack strategy to make the most of the situation and win as often as possible.

Josh Linus
Josh Linus
Josh can talk films for hours on end, discussing the really good cinema, the really bad, and anything in between. He enjoys everything - from epic fantasies to horror, from rom-coms to crime and action thrillers, from sci-fi to musical dramas.

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