The 5 Most Misplayed Hands in Blackjack

With Blackjack being a game with one of the lowest house-edges, it is no surprise it is a lot of peoples game of choice at a casino. Blackjack can have a house edge of under 0.4%, giving you, the player, a great chance to turn a profit. However, the game of Blackjack is not all about luck. Blackjack is a strategy game. You must know when to hit, stand, double up, or when the game lets you, surrender. This is where mathematics comes into the game. If you know the mathematical percentage of winning each hand with the cards you have been dealt then it makes making decisions a lot easier and will give you a far greater chance of walking away from the table with a profit.

In this article we will talk about the 5 most misplayed hands in Blackjack. A lot of the time these hands are played wrong, even by people who put in a lot of time at the Blackjack table. However, as Blackjack is a game of mathematics, there are right ways to play them that will give you a better chance of winning on average.


Number 1 Most misplayed hand in Blackjack

9 9 vs 9 –

Number 1 Most Misplayed Hand in Blackjack

When dealt a hard 18 it can be very tempting to stand. However, when dealt a hard 18 in the form of two 9 cards you have the option to split. Splitting 9’s is not always recommended but it is mathematically correct to split 9’s against a dealers 9.

Odds : If you stand with 18 against a dealers nine you will win the hand, on average, 8 out of 20 times. However, is you split 9’s against a dealers 9 then your chances of winning the hand increases to an average of 9.5 out of 20. Therefore you have increased your chances of winning the hand from 40% up to 47.5% by splitting.


Number 2 Most misplayed hand in Blackjack

Your 12 vs dealers 3

Number 2 Most Misplayed Hand in Blackjack

Most blackjack players know that you should generally stand when the dealer shows a weak card in the hope that they bust. However, in the case of a 12 vs the dealers 3 it is wise to hit. Firstly there are only 4 cards that can bust your hand when holding a 12 – a 10, Jack, Queen or King and there are 5 cards that can put you in the 17-21 range. Also, the dealer only has a 37.4% chance of busting on a 3 which is your only chance of winning. Therefore it makes sense to hit, which will give you a 38.5% chance of landing in the 17-21 range, rather than standing which will give you a 37.4% chance of winning.


Number 3 Most misplayed hand in Blackjack

Hard 16 vs dealers 10

Number 3 Most Misplayed Hand in Blackjack

This one only applies if you are playing a version of Blackjack that allows you to surrender. Blackjack surrender is a game where you can ‘fold’ your cards after they have been dealt but you only receive half your stake back. If you are allowed to surrender then it is in your best interests to do so. You will lose half your stake but maths shows that you are better off doing this than hitting or standing. The reason being is that you have less than 50% chance of winning with a hard 16 against a 10 and so you will be better off surrendering and losing 50% of your stake.

If surrendering is not an option then your best best is to hit in this situation.


Number 4 Most misplayed hand in Blackjack

Soft 18 vs dealers 9, 10 or Ace

Number 4 Most Misplayed Hand in Blackjack

If you are dealt a soft 18 against the dealers 9 or higher card then you will increase your chances of winning by 5% if you hit. Mathematically you will win 8 out of 20 hands if you stand with a soft 18 against a 9, 10 or an Ace. However, if you hit, you increase the chances of winning the hand to 9 out of 20. An increase from 40% to 45%.



Number 5 Most misplayed hand in Blackjack

A pair of 8’s vs dealers 10

Number 5 Most Misplayed Hand in Blackjack

This hand is probably one of the most debated hands at the Blackjack table. Some people agree with hitting, some people swear by splitting. However, we only care about the true odds and what gives you, the player, the best chance of winning. And the answer is………….SPLIT.



If you stand, you will have a hard 16 against a 10 which will give you a 23% chance of winning. However, if you split 8’s against a 10, you will have a 38% chance of winning. It’s funny how this is one of the most talked about hands in Blackjack yet the mathematically-correct answer gives you a 15% chance more of winning.

So there you have it. The 5 Most Misplayed Hands in Blackjack. Which of the hands from above have you been playing wrong? Let us know. We won’t judge 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.