What does soft mean in blackjack? If you have played blackjack online for any length of time, you have probably heard the words “soft hand” before.
You might be wondering what does a soft hand mean in blackjack, and if you don’t know, that is okay. We have put together the definitive guide to help you understand.
In this guide, we will soon have you up to speed with blackjack soft hands, what they mean, how they work and when to use them. If you are ready to begin, read on to find out more…
Blackjack soft hand - The Definition
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How to use soft hands when playing blackjack
To see how to play soft blackjack hands, we would urge you to consult a Basic Strategy chart. This is ideal. Not only does it explain what is a soft 17 in blackjack, or what does a soft 16 mean in blackjack, but they tell you the best decision to make, based on the totals that appear in the hands. If you want to avoid going bust, then using a Basic Strategy chart is an ideal way to play blackjack for beginners.
Let us take a brief look at the main soft hands, what they consist of, and the reason they are essential in blackjack:
There is no such thing as a soft 21 because this hand is deemed to be blackjack. If you have blackjack, you will win automatically, provided the dealer does not have the same hand.
Soft hands - The blackjack rules you need to know
Now that you know a bit about the formation of blackjack soft hands, it is time to look at their usage. It is important to check the rules of each blackjack game before you play. Some tables see the dealer hit on a soft 17, and in some games, the dealer will stand. Asking yourself, “when does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack?” will allow you to discover what you can do when they have this hand.
What does it mean for a dealer to hit a soft 17 in blackjack? If they hit or stand ultimately determines what you will choose to do with your own hand. Allow us to briefly run through the blackjack soft hand rules to expand on this:
As touched on, a Basic Strategy chart is ideal if you want to see which of these hands is a soft 14 or discover which are the best hands in blackjack to have, given what is on the table. Instead of using further examples, check out the following chart to see what the best move to make is given the dealer’s up card:
Your Hand (Total)
Dealer's Face Card (2 - 6)
Dealer's Face Card (7 - Ace)
What can I do when I cannot double down?
- However, not all games permit doubling down.
- When playing blackjack for real money, some tables forbid doubling down on softs, save for two-card totals of 9, 10 and 11.
- This puts you at a disadvantage if the dealer has a face-up card of, let us say, six. This is because the dealer is strategically at their weakest (42% chance of busting) with a six-point card in a six-deck game if you have a soft 17. You would always want to double down in blackjack.
- If you cannot double on a soft 17, then hit. Between hitting and standing on a soft 17, if you cannot double down, hitting in the lesser of two evils.
The pros and cons of playing soft hands in blackjack
There are pros and cons to playing soft hands in blackjack, and we have detailed them for you below:
- Basic blackjack soft hands strategy is easy to learn for newbies
- Soft hands are ideal for blackjack single deck gameplay
- Blackjack card counting makes it easier to predict soft hand outcomes
FAQs: Your questions on soft hands in blackjack answered
Before beginning, take a quick look at this short but concise soft hands blackjack FAQ:
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Hopefully, you are no longer asking, “what does soft mean in blackjack?” We hope that our guide has answered that question. Now all you need to do is find somewhere safe and secure to play. Do not hesitate to read our how to play blackjack guide if you need further help and expertise. If you are ready to go, check out our top, reputable, and certified, recommended online casinos today.