The Basics of Soft Hands
Soft hands are an important aspect of playing blackjack and understanding how to handle them can greatly improve your chances of winning. In blackjack, a soft hand is a hand that contains an Ace that can be counted as either 1 or 11 without going over 21. For example, an Ace and a 6 would be considered a soft 17 because it can be counted as a 7 or a 17.
Why Soft Hands Matter
Soft hands give players an advantage because they can choose between two different values for their Ace. This flexibility allows players to make strategic decisions based on the dealer’s upcard. For example, if the dealer has a weak upcard like a 4 or a 5, it may be beneficial to hit and try to improve your hand. On the other hand, if the dealer has a strong upcard like a 9 or a 10, it may be better to stand and hope the dealer busts.
Playing Soft Hands
When you have a soft hand, there are several strategies you can employ to maximize your chances of winning. One common strategy is to always hit on soft hands of 17 or lower. Since you can’t bust with a soft hand, there is no risk in taking an additional card. Another strategy is to double down on soft hands of 13, 14, 15, or 16 when the dealer has a weak upcard. By doubling your bet and taking one more card, you increase your potential winnings.
Advanced Soft Hand Strategies
Once you’ve mastered the basic strategies for playing soft hands, you can move on to more advanced techniques. One such technique is known as “soft doubling.” This strategy involves doubling down on soft hands of 18 or 19 when the dealer has a weak upcard. By doubling your bet and taking one more card, you can significantly increase your chances of winning.
Another advanced strategy is known as “soft standing.” This strategy involves standing on soft hands of 18 or higher, regardless of the dealer’s upcard. The reasoning behind this strategy is that you already have a strong hand and there is a higher chance of the dealer busting if you stand. However, this strategy should only be used in certain situations and requires careful consideration.
Practice Makes Perfect
Mastering the soft hands in blackjack takes time and practice. It’s important to study the different strategies and understand when to use them. One way to improve your skills is by playing blackjack online or at a casino with a low minimum bet. This allows you to practice without risking a large amount of money. Additionally, there are many blackjack strategy charts available that can help guide your decisions when playing soft hands.
Understanding and mastering the soft hands in blackjack can give you an edge over the dealer. By utilizing different strategies based on the dealer’s upcard, you can make better decisions and increase your chances of winning. Remember to always practice and study the game to improve your skills. Good luck at the blackjack tables!