Blackjack Strategy: Hard 9

Welcome back to the strategy portion of my blog, my fellow blackjack novices. Earlier I have covered the complete strategy for each possible soft hand and on Monday I began the series for hard hands. Today I am continuing in that series with what to do when you have a hard 9.

Okay, that can easily be made to sound dirty. What I mean is what to do when you have a hand in blackjack with a value of nine. Though I say a “hard 9” all hands through 12 are always hard, because a soft hand, by virtue of the fact that the ace is being used as 11, can only be as low as 13. As always, the decisions to make with this hand can be found on a basic strategy chart.

If you have a hard 9 in your hands, you should double down if the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5 or 6. If the dealer has anything else as an upcard, you should hit that hard 9.

If you’re holding a hard 9, you don’t have to worry about busting. Since there is no card that can put you over 21, there is no risk in hitting. For that reason, you should never stand with a hard 9. Remember that blackjack basic strategy usually assumes that you will be dealt a 10, since it is the most common value of card in the deck. Therefore, if you hit a 9, you have a good chance of getting a 19, which is a good hand that can only be beaten by a dealer’s 20 or 21.

Having said that, you should double your bet if the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5 or 6 because your odds of winning are even better, so putting more money on the hand is a good idea. While you don’t get to see what the dealer has in the hole, hitting your hard nine here should beat it because, assuming that the dealer has a 10, she has a good chance of having a stiff hand.

Making these moves doesn’t guarantee success, since there will always be an element of chance to the game of blackjack. However, you’ll do much better if you know what to do with a hard 9 (that’s what she said).

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