Stiff hands are some of the most morale dropping hands in blackjack. As soon as you see one of those hard hands you already begin thinking that you have lost. Unfortunately there really is not a lot that a player can do in these blackjack situations.
When it comes to blackjack strategy and stiff hands the best course of action to take is to follow basic strategy and make the play that has the best statistical chances. Stiff hands require defensive playing, which in most cases with these hands is to stand.
However some of these instances the best play to make is to hit, as odd as that may sound. The reason for hitting is to take your chance of catching a low card. Hitting happens when the dealer has the least chances of busting so as a player you hit since you are damned if you do and you are damned if you do not. A friend of mine put it this way: “If I am facing a loss anyway it is not going to hurt me to try hitting.”
But with hitting comes the chance of busting. The chances of stiff hands busting looks like this:
Hard 16: 61%
Hard 15: 59%
Hard 14: 56%
Hard 13: 52%
Hard 12: 48%
The reason your chances of busting increase is because the greater the hand total, the less amount of cards there are that will not bust your hand.
With a hard 16 there are only four cards in blackjack that will not bust your hand. A hard 15 has five cards that will not bust it; a hard 14 has six cards; a hard 13 has seven; and a hard 12 has eight it could take.
Keep the chances in mind when you decide to hit a stiff hand. And make sure to follow basic strategy when playing blackjack—remember it gives you the best statistical play for your hand, even if you might think it is not the best move. Stick with it and you will lose less over time.