- Always hit when you have been dealt 8 or less. You have no chance of busting, and you need to get closer to 21.
- Always stand on hard hands of 17 or more, regardless of what the dealer is showing. A hard hand is a hand that has no aces or has an ace or aces that must be worth only one point because to be worth more would mean a bust. (e.g., 6, jack, and ace). If you hit, odds are you bust.
- Always hit if you have 16 or less and the dealers card is a 7, 8, 9, 10, or ace. These are the best cards and it is likely that the dealer will beat you. Although you have a good chance of busting, it is worth the risk of getting closer to 21.
- Always stand on hard hands of 12 or more if the dealers first card is a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. These are the worst and it is likely that the dealer will bust. But, you don’t win if you bust first!
- Always stand on soft 19’s and 20’s. A soft hand is one that has an ace that can still be valued as either one or eleven. Don’t risk losing the good hand by trying to get a “better” hand.
- You can split pairs when you are dealt two of the same cards, for example two 9’s or two 7’s. You can place money on each pair and treat them as separate hands. Never split 4’s, 5’s, or 10’s. Always split aces and 8’s. For other pairs, look at this table: