Blackjack: Why You Should Think About Staying On 16

Every person that has played blackjack has been in this position... You're sitting at the table. Smoke barreling into your nostrils from the 64-year old woman smoking menthols to your right. You're down to your last $20 bucks. F*** it. I'm either doubling my roll and continuing the fight, or I'm going out with pride knowing I went for it.

First Card... Jack. BEAUTIFUL. Second Card... six. F%$%. Anything but a stupid ass six. You've got 16. Still got a shot here. Give the dealer a bust card. PLEASE for the love of all that is holy, give this idiot dealer one bust card. Dealer has an eight. Shit. 16 against a potential 18. Tough spot. You gotta hit right? All of the casino hardos and the "real" players would kill you if you don't hit on 16... F*** it. You wave your hand over the cards. Fred, the forty year old twice divorced dude that has $50 on this hand, scoffs, give you a look, and goes back to drinking his 7 & 7. Whatever dude. Play your cards, I'll play mine.

Dealer turns card underneath his eight. Four. YES. Face card. Face card. Give me a face card once in my life... Dealer turns... QUEEN! QUEEN! It's a QUEEN! Dealer busts, 16 wins the hand!

Okay so it doesn't always go that way, but seriously people have to sometimes wonder if it's worth hitting on sixteen. Most people that go to the casino know about certain "table/game etiquette" that is "supposed" to be followed at the blackjack table. For instance, if you have a 12 against a 6, you should stay because the dealer has the best bust card in the deck showing. Or, if you have two face cards (20) against an 8, you're NOT supposed to split to try and make it two 20's. And of course, if you have a 16 against a potential 17+, you would usually hit. But here are some reasons why you should think otherwise:

With a sixteen, the only cards that would help you are... A, 2, 3, 4, and 5. That means, yep were gonna put them all down, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, and K will all result in a bust. The odds themselves are not in your favor. Looking on the dealer's side of things, let's say they are showing a ten. Usually, they have to hit on anything less than 17, so that leaves you rooting for the dealer to turn an A, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, which would make them hit again and hopefully bust. 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K gives them the win over you. It's very close with those odds. I could see where if you have a sixteen and the dealer is showing a ten, you'd probably hit because of the odds. You "usually" have to play as if the dealer has a ten/face card as their underneath card. If they are showing anything less than ten that is not considered a bust card (especially a 7), it makes sense for you to stay with 16. Again, usually the dealer has to hit on anything less than 17. So, if they are showing a seven, the only cards that can hurt you are 10, J, Q, K, and A. That leaves 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 as cards that keep your fight alive. Those odds are very much in your favor and that's why, to me, you should ABSOLUTELY stay on 16 against a seven and even an eight. It's all about what cards can and cannot hurt you.

The one thing that could get you in an awkward situation at the table is if you're not playing 16 the same way throughout the hands. Again, you shouldn't worry about what other players think or say. However, if you want a chill game with no animosity towards you, you usually have to be consistent. If you keep changing your mind on whether you hit on 16 or not, hardo blackjack players will get super butt hurt, especially if you "mess up" their cards. It's dumb and you shouldn't let them shake you, but unfortunately it can happen.

My advice is to just play your cards. If you want to hit on 16 because the dealer is showing ten, then go for it. If you don't want to hit on sixteen because they are showing a seven, then that's fine too. If you can take the other players being pissed off and making comments towards you at the table, then play the way you want. If you just want to have fun, see where the luck takes you, and not piss anybody off, then be consistent.

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