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Blackjack Strategy: Playing 16 vs 10 Blackjack

16 vs 10 Blackjack

In the strategic game of blackjack, every hand presents players with decisions that can significantly impact the outcome.

One of the most debated and challenging situations occurs when a player is dealt a hand with a total value of 16, and the dealer’s up card is a 10.

This scenario introduces a dilemma that requires careful consideration and an understanding of basic blackjack strategy. 

In this article, we’ll explore the dynamics of playing a 16 against a dealer’s 10 in blackjack, providing insights into the decision-making process and the factors that influence the best course of action.

What is 16 vs 10 Blackjack?

Suppose you are playing blackjack and the dealer deals the cards. You get two cards of seven and nine which makes the total of 16. After dealing, the dealer shows his cards which sums up to be 10.

This situation is called 16 vs 10 blackjack, where after dealing your cards sum in sixteen and your dealer cards sum is ten.

16 vs 10 is the worst position for a player to be in as it brings more losing Percentage than winning because whatever you do in this spot will only bring losses to you.

The only thing you can think about in such a situation is not to think about winning but how to minimize your losses here.

Understanding the Basics:

In blackjack, the goal is to achieve a hand value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it, while also beating the dealer’s hand.

A hand with a total value of 16 is considered a challenging position because it’s at risk of busting if another card is drawn.

However, when the dealer’s up card is a 10, the situation becomes even more complex due to the higher likelihood that the dealer has a strong hand.

A Thumb Rule

Whenever you are in any situation where your losing Percentage is higher than your winning percentage, think about how to minimize your losses in that situation. Do not think about how to win in that situation.

Why 16 vs 10 is considered A losing Deal?

When you are playing blackjack, when it’s your turn to play you have two options whether to hit or stand. In 16 vs 10, it does not matter whichever option you play it will only bring more losing chances than winning for you. That’s why it is considered a bad deal or a losing deal.

  •  If you stand, your chances of winning are 23% and if you hit your chances of losing are 77%.
  •  If you hit your chances of winning are 27% and losing chances are 73%.

Both of them bring more losing Percentage than winning that is the reason this 16 vs 10 situation is called a losing deal in blackjack.

The Options

Players facing a 16 vs 10 situation have several options:

1. Hit: Take another card in an attempt to improve the hand’s total value.

·         Winning Percentage= 27 %

·         Losing Percentage= 73 %

2. Stand: Declining additional cards and playing the current hand against the dealer’s up card.

·         Winning Percentage= 23 %

·         Losing Percentage= 77 %

3. Surrender: In some variants of blackjack, players may have the option to surrender, forfeiting half of their bet in exchange for not playing out the hand.

4. Double Down: If the casino rules allow, players may choose to double down, doubling their original bet and committing to taking only one more card.

Strategies for 16 vs 10 Blackjack:

16 vs 10 blackjack is a very bad position to play in. You may lose almost 77% of the time but there are strategies you can use in such a situation.

1. Limit your Losses

16 vs 10 is a losing battle and one thing you can do here is to limit your losses. Whether you stand or hit, the decision will always go against you, and you will lose in the long run.

·         If you stand your chances of losing are 77% of the time.

·         If you hit your chances of losing are 73% of the time.

Here we can conclude that by hitting your chances of losing are relatively low as compared to standing where you lose 77% of the time.

Yet both of them have more losing chances than winning, you should hit again and again to minimize your losses and take the best of the winning percentage.

2. Play at a Casino that allows you to surrender:

Surrender is an option that you can use when you realize that your chances of winning are comparatively low compared to losing. Such is the case in 16 vs 10 where your chances of winning are low.

Surrendering in this situation is always a better idea. Surrender is an option available on only some of the casinos. 

Most of the casinos do not allow this option because they want players to lose more money and the house to get more profit in the form of house edge.

So always find and play blackjack in a casino that gives you the right to surrender whenever you want. This will allow you to minimize your losses.

Factors Influencing the Decision

1. Basic Strategy:

The basic blackjack strategy provides a mathematical approach to decision-making based on the player’s total and the dealer’s up card.

According to basic strategy, players are advised to hit on a 16 against a dealer’s 10, as the risk of busting is high, and the goal is to improve the hand’s chances of winning.

2. Risk Tolerance:

Some players may opt to deviate from basic strategy based on their risk tolerance and playing style.

While hitting 16 vs. 10 aligns with the basic strategy, it’s important to recognize that there are no guarantees in blackjack, and deviations from the recommended strategy carry inherent risks.

3. Card Counting:

Advanced players who employ card counting techniques may consider the composition of the remaining deck. Card counters may adjust their strategy based on the ratio of high to low cards remaining in the shoe.

4. Table Rules:

The specific rules of the blackjack variant being played may influence the decision. For example, if surrender is allowed, it may be a viable option for players looking to minimize losses in unfavorable situations.


The decision to hit or stand on a 16 vs 10 blackjack is a critical moment that requires a combination of strategic thinking and an understanding of the game’s dynamics.

While basic strategy provides a solid foundation, players must also consider their risk tolerance, the specific rules of the game, and, for advanced players, the principles of card counting.

Each decision at the blackjack table contributes to the overall strategy, and mastering the nuances of these scenarios is key to becoming a skilled and successful blackjack player.

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As an avid enthusiast of the thrilling world of poker, casino gaming, baccarat, and sports betting, Anna Harley brings a wealth of passion and expertise to the virtual pages of With a keen eye for the nuances of the gambling industry, Anna Harley has been dedicated to delivering insightful and engaging content that resonates with both seasoned players and those new to the excitement of games of chance.