Hit on Blackjack Hand of 18?

There are a lot of mistakes that new players make in the game of blackjack, but perhaps the biggest one is not taking the larger picture into consideration. Often people simplify the game by saying that you “try to get as close as you can to 21 without going over.” That is not the object of the game. The object is to beat the dealer by any means necessary. To do that, either the dealer busts or you outdraw the dealer without going over 21. If the dealer busts, you can win with a 2!

This misguided thinking is very clear when you see people misplay a soft 18. Many new players will always stand on a soft 18. After all, 18 is a pretty high number and there isn’t a great chance of improving that hand. However, since it’s a soft hand, there is no risk of busting, so depending on the dealer’s hand, you might want to hit or even double down.

With a soft 18, you will stand if the dealer shows a 2, 7 or 8 as his up card. That is because if the dealer has a 2 as the up card, he has a good chance of busting, so you might as well stand. If the dealer shows a 7 or 8, there is a good chance that you have already outdrawn the dealer, so it is best to stand and not risk lowering your hand value.

If the dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5 or 6, you want to double down. That is because there is such a high probability of the dealer having a stiff hand, which usually results in the dealer busting. Since the dealer is likely to lose no matter what your hand value is, it is good to put double the money on the wager and hope for the best.

Lastly, you should hit if the dealer shows a 9, 10 or ace. That is because even with an 18, there is a good chance that the dealer already has you beat. If you simply look at your own hand, an 18, you will think that you have a good hand and should stand. However, in this case the dealer likely has a better hand, so you want to try to improve your hand.

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