Playing 15 vs. 6 in Blackjack

Here's the situation:

You're playing in a multiple deck game. You're dealt a 7 and an 8 two-card 15, which is not a good hand to have. But the dealer finds himself in a bad situation too, with a six as his upcard. Your decision is whether to take a hit and chance busting out, or staying with what you've got and hoping for the dealer to bust. What do you do?

Well, we play the percentages in this game, and in this particular instance, the percentage play is to stand.

Let's face it - you're in worse shape than the dealer. When he's got a six for an upcard, the dealer only breaks an average of about 43% of the time. So if you stand with your 15, you're going to be facing 57% losses.

However, when you analyze situations like this, you have to consider what yield the alternative play is going to bring. So let's look at what would happen if we HIT this hand.

Obviously, there are a limited number of cards we can draw which will help us - 2,3,4,5, or 6. At most, that's 20 hands per deck - well, actually a little less since the dealer has one of the sixes.

You're likely going to bust with this hand, and in point of fact, if you do hit it, you're going to win 30% and lose 66%. When you compare the percentages, there is a very obvious gain to staying with this hand and hoping for the bust. You will have a LOT less money doing it that way.

US vs. THEM Blackjack Strategy Series
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By Charles Jay

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