Dealer Up Card In Online Blackjack Strategy

Many new online blackjack players make a basic error in their strategy. They look at only the value of their hand while deciding whether to hit or stand. They totally ignore the face up card of the dealer. It is true that the player’s hand value is very important, but the decisions have to factor in the strength of the dealer’s face up card. Otherwise you will end up making incorrect decisions and not achieve the high average returns that online blackjack is capable of delivering.

In order to make it easier for new players, the 13 possibilities for the dealer’s face up card are not considered individually, but divided into four groups. These are characterised below.

• 9, 10, J, Q, K, A: Dealer is very strong

• 7, 8: Dealer is neither weak nor strong

• 4, 5, 6: Dealer is very weak

• 2, 3: Dealer is marginally weak

Now each of the four groups will be discussed in detail from the point of view of the player’s hit or stand strategy.

Dealer is very strong

The first thing any discerning online blackjack player will notice that over 46% of the outcomes lie in this category. This is no reason to be despairing, only to be careful. In this situation the dealer is likely to end up with a hand value of 18, 19, 20 or 21 about half the time.

If you have a hard total of 17 or more then you should stand. You are likely to bust about 70% of the times if you hit, so the chance is not worth taking. You just hope that the dealer will draw a weak second card and bust with the third. For other hard totals you hit. You can be more aggressive with soft totals, because your ace can convert from 11 to 1 and keep you in the play.

Dealer is neither weak nor strong

With hard totals you follow the same strategy as above, but with soft totals you become slightly less aggressive. You stand on soft totals of 18 and above. In this case you should also double if your dealt hand value is 10 or 11.

Dealer is very weak

In this case the dealer has a high chance of eventually busting. So it would be foolish on your part to take undue risks. For hard hands you stand on totals of 12 and more, double on totals of 9 to 11 and hit on totals of 8 or less. For soft hands you can be more aggressive.

Dealer is marginally weak

You can be a bit more aggressive than the above case, but not too aggressive.

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