Mastering the Art of Drawing in Blackjack

Blackjack, also known as 21, is a classic card game that combines skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. One of the key elements of the game is the decision to “draw” or “hit,” where players can request additional cards to improve their hand. Drawing in blackjack requires careful consideration and understanding of the game’s dynamics. In this article, we will delve into the art of drawing in blackjack, exploring when to hit, when to stand, and the factors that influence these decisions.

The Basics of Drawing:

In blackjack, the objective is to achieve a hand value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. Numbered cards are worth their face value, face cards (king, queen, and jack) are each worth 10 points, and an ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on which value benefits the hand more.

Drawing occurs when a player decides to take an additional card to improve their hand. This decision is crucial, as it directly impacts the player’s chances of winning the round.

Factors Influencing the Decision to Draw:

Current Hand Value:

If a player’s hand value is relatively low, drawing is often necessary to get closer to 21. However, players must be cautious not to exceed 21 and bust.

Dealer’s Upcard:

The dealer’s upcard plays a significant role in the decision-making process. If the dealer has a weak upcard (2 through 6), players might be more conservative, as the dealer is more likely to bust.
Player’s Risk Tolerance:

Some players prefer a more conservative approach, opting to stand on lower totals to minimize the risk of busting. Others may be more aggressive, drawing even on riskier hands.

Counting Cards:

Advanced players may employ card counting strategies to gauge the ratio of high to low-value cards remaining in the deck. This information can influence whether to draw or stand.

When to Draw:

Soft Hands:

Soft hands, which include an ace valued as 11, offer flexibility. Drawing on a soft hand is generally less risky, as the player can revert the ace’s value to 1 if needed.

Low Hard Totals:

Drawing is advisable on hard totals below 12. Since the player cannot bust with a one-card draw, taking an additional card is a logical strategy.

Doubling Down:

When the player has a favorable starting hand, such as a total of 9, 10, or 11, doubling down by drawing one additional card and doubling the bet can be a powerful move.

When to Stand:

High Hard Totals:

With hard totals of 17 or above, standing is often the prudent choice, as the risk of busting is significant.

Dealer’s Weak Upcard:

If the dealer has a weak upcard (2 through 6), players may choose to stand on lower totals, as the dealer is more likely to bust.


Mastering the art of drawing in blackjack is a delicate balance of risk and reward. Understanding the factors that influence the decision to draw or stand is crucial for success in this classic card game. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced player, applying strategic thinking to your drawing decisions can significantly enhance your blackjack gameplay.