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To win at blackjack, a player must have a better hand than the dealer by getting closer to 21 without going over. If the player or dealer goes over 21, it is considered a “bust” and is automatically out of the hand. The player must finalize their hand before the dealer so they have the first chance to bust and thereby an advantage.

What is the book?
When a person says that they play by the book, they mean they play by the odds listed by blackjack instruction manuals. There are several books out there on how to increase your odds of winning. There are slight variations here and there and depending on the situation, but there are certain rules in situations that every “book” is in agreement in making the same move.


Rule #5
What does hard 16 vs. 6 mean?
It means that you have a 10 equivalent card and a 6, thereby you have a hard 16 as opposed to an Ace and a 5, which is a soft 16. The dealer is showing a 6 with a card in the hole (upside down). The reason why this is an easy decision is that a lot of “books” out there say that you should always assume that the card in the hole with the dealer is a 10 or 10 equivalent and assume that every following card is a 10 or a 10 equivalent because there are 16 cards with 10 value in a deck, more than any other.

In this situation, the dealer is considered having a bust card. Since the dealer has to hit his hand until he reaches at hard 17 or a hard 18, there is a good likelihood that he may bust. The assumption is that the dealer has a high card in the hole then will draw another high card to bust. Since this can happen in combinations with card values as low as 6 and as high as 10, there are multiple ways the dealer can bust. Thereby, if you hit your 16 and bust, you may be taking the bust card away from the dealer. This generally will make other players who play by the book at the table upset at you for hitting a bust hand when the dealer is showing a bust card.

If you stand on 16 every time the dealer is showing a 6:
Chances of the dealer winning is 59 percent
Chances that there is a push is 0 percent
Chances that you will win is 41 percent

Because you don’t actually know what the dealer has until everybody at the table has made their decision, they still have an advantage. But a 41 percent chance of winning is high enough to stick to this rule every time.

When you have a hard 16 and the dealer is showing a 6: Always stand

When you arrive at Sycuan to play Blackjack, find yourself a nice table that you’re comfortable with, especially the limits. If you ever wonder what you’re supposed to do, the dealer will always be nice enough to tell you what the “book” says. Remember, most people play the “book” so if you decide to go against it and it causes the players at the table to lose, people may get upset with you.

It’s always awesome when the whole table wins but it’s never fun when you are the cause to the house winning. Be respectful of the dealer and the other players but never forget to always have fun!