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Home > Blog > Glossary > Stiff Hand

Stiff Hand

In the context of blackjack, a stiff hand is a hand valued between 12 and 16. Having a stiff hand is highly undesirable as it is likely to bust if the player hits and, at the same time, it is unlikely to win if the player chooses to stand.

What Makes a Stiff Hand Bad?

Possibility of Busting

As there are four ranks of cards with a value of 10 in blackjack, the player has an approximately 30% chance of busting if they were to hit on a score of 12. As the player nears 16, the chance of busting only increases. At 16, the chance of busting is a whopping 62%. 

Low Chance of Winning Without Hitting

Being situated between 12 and 16, a stiff hand can only win if the dealer busts, since the house is required to draw cards until at least 17.

How to Cope With a Stiff Hand in Blackjack?

The best way to handle a stiff hand is to follow basic strategy, which it was developed to ensure the maximum possible success rate in blackjack. In addition to that, card counting can help players make more informed betting decisions, especially in single-deck blackjack.

Stiff hand:

  • A blackjack hand valued between 12 and 16.

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