Soft vs Hard Blackjack Hand Strategy

The concept of hard hands and soft hands in blackjack is very crucial to strategic decisions that must be made by a player. Both hands, hard and soft, offer different odds of winning against the dealer. That is why it is important to understand the difference between the two, in order to apply the best possible strategies.

For beginners, this distinction might sound more complicated than it actually is. Basically the words ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ refer to the two kinds of hands that a blackjack player can be dealt. Depending on whether a player has blackjack hard hands or blackjack soft hands, they will make use to use a corresponding strategy for the rest of the round in order to maximize their winnings.

In this article, we will cover everything about the difference between hard and soft cars, as well as some tips on what to do with each.

Soft Blackjack Hand

A single card, calls for the difference between these two hands. At the very beginning of a round, the player is dealt two cards. If one of those cards happens to be an Ace then the player has a soft hand. Because the Ace can be both 1 and 11, depending on the other card, this hand is automatically more flexible and provides a better choice for the player. To exemplify, if a player has a soft hand comprising of an Ace and an 8. Meaning that his hand can either be 9 or 19.

Hard Blackjack Hand

On the other hand, if there is an absence of an Ace, it means that the player has a hard blackjack hand. Unlike the soft hand, a hard blackjack hand is more rigid since the player has no variety of choices to exercise in certain situations. For example, if the player has two 5’s, then he has a 10. If he is holding a 10 and a Queen, he has 20, and so on. You get the gist.

Strategy for Soft Hands

Now, let’s talk strategies. The strategy for soft vs hard blackjack hands is certainly different and a player should know how to play both. In order to be able to utilize the soft hand blackjack strategy well, the player must have an understanding of the basic strategy.

A soft hand will provide the player with some of the best opportunities to win a fortune. Let’s assume that a player has a soft thirteen. In such cases you should hit, unless the dealer’s up card is a five or a six, then it is best to double down.

The strategy you should apply for soft fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen is the same – always hit unless the dealer’s up card is a four, a five, or a six. If you have an ace and a six in your hand, and the dealer card is a three, a four, a five, or a six, you should double down. In all other cases, it is best to hit.

Now, this is where things get a bit complicated. The strategy for soft eighteen calls for three different moves, depending on the up card of the dealer. If the dealer’s car is a three, a four, a five, or a six, you should double down. However, if their card is a two, seven, or eight, it is best to stand. And lastly, in all other cases, you should hit.

And if you have a soft nineteen or twenty, you should always stand, regardless of the dealer’s card.

Strategy for Hard Hands

When dealt a hard hand, you must also rely on your understanding of the basic strategy if you wish to be successful. If your hand’s total is nine and the up card of the dealer is a three, a four, a five, or a six, you should double down. In other cases, it is best to try and improve your total by hitting.

If your hand is a ten or eleven, you should always double down, unless the dealer’s up card is a ten or an Ace. If you happen to have a total of twelve, it is best to hit, unless the up card of the dealer is a four, five, or a six. Then, it is better to stand.

When it comes to totals that equal, or surpass seventeen is the same – you should stand. As for all other possible hands such as thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, it is better to stand in case the dealer shows a two, a three, a four, a five, or a six. If the dealer’s up card is any different, try to improve your total, since the dealer is in a better position.

Final Words

These are all just basic tips when it comes to soft and hard blackjack hands. They are essential for the players to get familiar with the basics of soft and hard hands if they wish to come out as winners more often. Ultimately, blackjack is a game of skill, and every time you manage to improve your game, your chances of winning significantly increase. After all, that is precisely what makes this game so exciting and popular – the opportunity to make a profit while having fun and putting your skills and knowledge to the test.

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