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Black Jack School

Your 14 vs. the Dealer's 2

How to Play Your 14 When the Dealer Has a 2 Showing
by Charles, Predictem.com

We really want you to be able to make the right decisions at the blackjack table quickly and correctly. That is why we preach learning the basic strategy, which really lays out all the right moves for each player versus dealer situation. You can get a basic strategy from a number of different places, but the question is whether you can be convinced why the decisions are made. You see, we know that if you can understand the logic behind everything, you will follow the right strategy more cheerfully and faithfully. As a side benefit, when you are at the tables, you'll be able to make those decisions in a split second, which will give you more time to gaze at the attractive dealer and chat with the other players (only half-kidding).

Let's take a look at a situation that sometimes brings great consternation and indecision to novice blackjack players.

14 vs. 2

You are playing in a multiple-deck game and are dealt an eight (8) and a six (6) for a total of 14. That certainly doesn't create any excitement in your mind, and we understand that. Then you look up and the dealer is showing a two (2) as her upcard. This is not a very easy card to play against, although it is better than if she had, say, a ten-value card (10, Jack, Queen, King). It's decision time, as you can hit your hand or stand with it. You know that if you hit, you could bust. You also know that if you stand, you have no choice but to hope that SHE busts.

What's your move?

Well, the correct play for you in this situation is to stand with the hand.

It's something of a close call, but we should point out that this is not a situation that is really good for you. This is one of those cases in which you have to make a defensive play in order to salvage your bankroll. Since Blackjack is a negative expectation game (The house has a built in advantage due to odds) and you're going to be a long-run loser, you're trying to keep those losses to a minimum by always making sure that you're making the best move with regards to odds and probable outcome, even if those situations are split by 1%!

As we mentioned, if you stand in this situation you are going to be hoping for the dealer to bust. Generally speaking, that would require her down card to be a ten and another ten to be hit to that hand. Otherwise, a "pat" or standing hand can probably be made. Your losses by standing will amount to the percentage chances of a bust-out by the dealer with this upcard, which would be slightly less than 65%. That means about 35% wins. So what is the scenario if you hit your 14? Well, you'll actually lose more (66%) and win 29% of those hands. When you do all the math, you will gain 11.5% by standing. Stand on your 14!

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Interesting Facts

Did you know... that the chances (probability) of being dealt a blackjack is .024%, which equates to one BJ approximately every 42 hands dealt?