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What Are Hard & Soft Hands In Blackjack?

hard and soft hands in blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most played casino games in online and land-based casinos worldwide. This game of chance was popular even before Kevin Spacey starred in the movie ’21’. Blackjack was probably played around the 1700s, but it got its name in 1899. Since then, Blackjack has evolved in some ways, and today, it’s played with the latest rules at reliable online casinos, such as King Casino. 

Today, almost everyone who plays Blackjack must know the answer to what hard & soft hands are in Blackjack to understand the game properly. Hard hands & soft hands can be important when making decisions in the game, and each offers different odds of potentially winning. 

Today, we’re going to discuss what hard hands & soft hands in online Blackjack are in detail while also telling you about the strategy you can implement when facing both situations. Let’s get started! 

What are Hard & Soft Hands in Blackjack? 

So, let’s get straight to the topic – what are hard and soft hands in Blackjack? The first thing you should know is that there’s only a difference of 1 card between these two types of hands – the Ace. This distinction is incredibly important as the Ace is a special card in Blackjack and can be used in different ways. Hence, the strategy to play hard & soft hands should be entirely different. 

Let’s look at hard hands first. In live Blackjack, a hard hand means what it implies – the hand is tough because there is no Ace. The absence of this Ace gives the players fewer options. Let’s look at an example – If the player has two 6♠, the total is 12, and it’s a hard hand. Similarly, a 10 and a Q will form a total of 20, and it’s also a hard hand. 

In contrast, soft hands are hands in which you get an Ace on one of your two cards. The presence of an Ace makes a hand soft because it allows you two options. The Ace can be turned into a 1 or an 11 (depending on the other card(s)). An example of this is the dealer giving you an Ace and a 7. Now, your hand’s total could be either 8 or a soft 18.

For more info on the various terms in blackjack, check out our Blackjack terminology article. 

How to Play Soft Hands in Blackjack 

Now that you know what hard and soft hands in Blackjack are, it’s time to figure out a potential strategy to play them both. Let’s start with the basic blackjack strategy of playing a soft hand. This type of hand can give you a great chance to win in blackjack. Let’s take a look at how.

Suppose the dealer gets a 6, 5, or 4 as their up card. On the other hand, the player (you) has a soft hand. Since the Ace can be either a 1 or 11, there’s no chance of going bust for you if you take another card. You should know that since a soft hand can be potentially improved and used to lower the house edge, there’s a rule that allows the dealer to hit a soft 17. This rule implies that when the dealer gets a soft 17, the house will get an opportunity to improve the hand against your soft hand. 

How to Play Hard Hands in Blackjack 

Now, let’s look at the strategy you should use when playing hard hands in Blackjack. The most popular way to play a Blackjack hard hand is to use the basic strategy, which implies that a player with a hard hand should always assume that the dealer has a ten in the hole. 

So, if the dealer’s first card is a 10, always assume that his next card will be another 10 and will equal 20. If you use this rule in your Blackjack calculations, you can assume the blackjack dealers advantage and total most of the time, which can assist you in making decisions. 

That said, if the dealer has a 6 or below, you may wish to stand and hope the dealer goes bust. The most important thing to remember when playing hard hands is that you might want to hit on totals such as 16, 15, or 14 against the dealer’s 10. Other than requesting no further blackjack cards, the only other option you have is hitting. In these situations, it is often argued that you should avoid standing and hit the hand till you go bust or reach 17 or over. 

Now that you know what Hard & Soft hands are in Blackjack and how to play them, why not start playing it at reliable casinos such as King Casino? We have over 1,000+ slots and online casino games sure to catch your eye. 

Hard & Soft Hands FAQs 

Can you Double Down on Soft Hands? 

Yes, you can double down on soft hands. A potential basic strategy to play soft hands is doubling down and looking to take advantage of the situation to try and maximise your profits. 

What makes a Blackjack hand Hard or Soft? 

A hard hand in Blackjack has an absence of an Ace. This gives a hand fewer possibilities and makes it rigid to play.

A soft hand in Blackjack is one with an Ace. This gives you more choices.