1 September, 2019 16 September, 2019


The arguable hardest hand to play in blackjack is 16 and chancer are that you’re asking yourself. How on earth do I properly play it?! We have the answers to all your questions regarding how to play 16 in Blackjack

How To Play 16 In Blackjack

Publicerad: 1 September, 2019

Even though blackjack is well-known for its simplicity, this casino game requires a fair amount of skill after all. That is, you need to have a certain knowledge of the game if you want to win a lot of money playing blackjack.

For instance, some hands in blackjack can be more challenging than others. One such hand is the notorious 16, and our in-depth guide will cover everything you need to know about this hand. In the end, you will be ready to join a session of blackjack at some of top US online casinos out there. More importantly, you will have great odds of collecting a big bag of dollars.

Why Is 16 The Worst Blackjack Hand?

As you know, in each hand of blackjack, the dealer provides players with two cards. Both cards are dealt face-up, and the goal of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand. The one who gets closer to 21 without going over it will be the winner of the hand.

Since 21 is the holy grail of blackjack, players can use different methods to get as close as possible to this number. But, the dreaded number 16 falls in no man’s land, and that is why this hand is the worst blackjack hand you can get. As luck would have it, 16 is dealt quite often and this makes things even more difficult for the players.

Because of its bad reputation, many players are afraid of getting 16 in blackjack. Even casino lovers who visit the top New Jersey online casino can feel queasy when it comes to playing the dreaded 16. However, there are ways in which you can tip the odds in your favor. The secret is in being smart and calm. This particular mental state can offer you a chance of beating the casino. On top of that, if you follow some of our tips, you could leave a US online casino with thousands of dollars on your bankroll.

But, before we show you the proper methods of playing the worst hand in blackjack, we need to take a look at the so-called Hard 16 and the Soft 16.

Hard 16 vs. Soft 16 In Blackjack

As a rule of thumb, blackjack players across the globe are using the terms soft and hard to distinguish two types of hands. In addition, stiff hands may be heard every once in a while. But, the soft and hard hands are in common usage. Here is why.

The main difference between these two categories of hands is in the presence of an Ace. As we all know, Ace in blackjack is the most valuable card. Of course, the value of an Ace comes from the fact that this card can be counted in two different ways. In other words, you can count an Ace as 1 or as 11.

Well, the hands that contain no Ace or they feature an Ace counted as 1 are called the hard hands. So, a few examples of a hard 16 are 10+6, 5+7+4, or A+7+8. As you can see, there are two ways in which you can ‘create’ a hard 16 – as a two-card hand or as a three-card hand. Depending on the number of cards, your playing options will slightly vary. But, we will elaborate more on the betting strategies in a short while.

For now, we need to mention that the so-called soft 16 is a combination that includes an Ace as an 11. For instance, A+5 is a common example of soft 16. Of course, this hand also comes with bad odds for the player. Even so, you can minimize the damages by following certain guidelines. Here are some of the things you should do when playing 16 in a New Jersey online casino.

Should you hit or stand on 16?

The choice of whether to hit or stand on 16 will depend on the dealer’s upcard. But before that, it is important to understand that the player is an underdog in this situation. As a matter of fact, both of these options are somewhat suicidal and counterintuitive. Even so, both of them are a better choice than chickening out.

To clarify, the odds of winning a hand when you play 16 in blackjack and you decide to stand are 26%. Meaning, the dealer has a 74% chance of getting away with your bet. Likewise, your odds of winning when you decide to hit with 16 in your hands are 30%. In translation, the dealer once again has favorable odds on his side.

Even so, in the long run, the decision to hit is a better one. By doing so, you will minimize the losses and earn more money than if you were doubling down or standing every time you play 16. The difference in favor of hitting is 4%, which may not seem like such a big deal. Yet, experienced blackjack players are more than aware of the benefits that come with this difference. Once again, 4%, in the long run, can save you a lot of money.Β 

Hard 16

To sum up, here are the main ‘rules’ for hitting or standing if you have a hard 16:

  • You should STAND if the dealer has a small upcard (2 through 6)
  • You should HIT if the dealer has a high upcard (7 through A)
  • You should STAND if you have a three-card upcard and the dealer is showing a 10-value card

The last tip on this list is also a logical one. For instance, if you have a 5+4+7 on your hands, and the dealer shows a 10, you should stand. Why? Because you already ‘used’ one or two of the ‘small’ cards, which reduces the chances of getting another one. In other words, since there are less small cards in the deck, you will face a greater risk of busting if you decide to receive an extra card.

Soft 16

When it comes to the soft 16, here are the guidelines you should follow:

  • Never stand on soft 16
  • Never surrender on soft 16

So, what should you do? The first option is to double down, and you should make this move if the dealer is showing a weaker card (4 through 6). In all other cases, you should hit!

Once again, simple rules of logic are at play here. If you receive one more card, the Ace you already have will be counted as 1. Meaning, your chances of busting are almost non-existent. But, you will still have to be better than the dealer’s hand, which will not be the case at all times. Even so, you should save a lot of money by applying these betting strategies.

When To Surrender On 16?

The third major option when playing 16 in blackjack is to surrender. But, not all US online casinos allow this option. In a way, this tells a lot about the characteristics of this move.

In short, surrender is a better option than either hitting or standing on 16. Moreover, you should always surrender when the dealer is showing a high upcard (9 through A).

However, many blackjack players in New Jersey online casinos are reluctant to use this option, even if it is available. To clarify, surrender means that you will lose half of the bet. In a way, players see this move as if they are giving up without a fight. Of course, the well-known American pride kicks in at those moments. Nonetheless, we advise you to keep a clear head at all times and follow the basic strategy chart for instructions on how to play online blackjack.

Pair of 8s

Last but not least, we should mention the possibility of getting two 8s in a game of blackjack. Well, the correct play for this type of hand is to split, no matter what card the dealer is showing. Admittedly, you will sometimes lose both bets. But, if you split the 8s, you will have the chance of playing with two decent hands. As a result, your losses will be smaller in the long run.

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There is no doubt that 16 is one of the worst hands in blackjack. The odds are against you if you receive either a soft or hard 16. Even so, certain strategies are better than others when it comes to playing this hand. Therefore, make sure to follow the guidelines we mentioned in this guide. By doing so, you will extend your playing session and even win a few dollars at some of the best US online casinos.