Most Profitable Starting Hands in Blackjack

Most Profitable Starting Hands in Blackjack

When it comes to the ever-popular game of blackjack, a common question that pops up among beginners, intermediate advantage players and many others is what the exact mathematical theoretical value for certain types of starting hands.

More precisely, which are the most valuable types of starting hands for a player? And how much more value do they have over others? These are essentially the tips best suited for those trying to utilise a betting strategy and win at blackjack:

5 Top Types of Hands

When referring to types of hands, we are essentially talking about the Soft Totals, Hard Totals, Double Downs and of course, splits that can ultimately be used in your basic blackjack strategy.

Let’s take a look at what are considered to be the most valuable starting hands in blackjack, from the highest, which would obviously be the Traditional 21, right down to the Soft 20 starting hand.

Traditional 21

The most lucrative hand type that you can receive at the start of a game of blackjack is the natural 21, which will pay out 1.5 times the player’s stake or 3:2.

The natural 21 consists of a value card, which could be a 10, Jack, Queen or King and an Ace. This is the hand that can never lose in blackjack, therefore making it the best hand to start out with.

Soft 18

Consisting of an Ace and a 7, the soft 18 holds a value of 0.3996 of the player’s original bet, which ultimately means that in the long run, the player will secure $39.96 for every $100 that the put down.

When receiving this hand, the best thing for the player to do is to follow the adapted index numbers and then double their bet once their true count value exceeds 22. This means utilising the USTON APC count, which doesn’t happen very often.

Hard 11

The hard 11 is the next most valuable starting hand type, which means landing an 8 and 3, a 9 and a 2, a 7 and a 4 or a 6 and 5. The totals for these hold a value of 0.6674 of the player’s original stake, which means every $100 wagered will gain $66.74 for the player.

Again, players are required to follow the index numbers, once adjusted, before doubling their bet as soon as their true value count exceeds -16, utilising the USTON APC count that happens more than 97% of the time.

Hard 20

Another one of the most lucrative starting hand types in blackjack refers to an instance where the player receives a 2 card hard total to the value of 20 with two 10s. This would mean the player receives 0.7918 of their original bet or, in other words, they will gain $79.18 each time they put $100 down on the table.

Here, much like in all of the other cases, the player is required to hold off on splitting the 10s in just about every instance. Sometimes mathematically justified, splitting 10s tends to draw too much attention, which is why the index number has essentially been omitted from this strategy.

Soft 20

While it may not be the very best starting hand to receive, a soft 10 is still a highly valuable starting hand type. This refers to instances where a player holds an Ace and a 9, with a total value of 0.7918 of the original wager. You’ll notice that it is the same as the Hard 20, which is why this hand is still a great one to start with.

In the long run, the player is set to receive $79.18 for every $100 they bet. They are also required to double as soon as the index value exceeds 7 while utilising the USTON APC count. In some cases, this form of doubling can look natural, but you should always be wary of the pit watching.