Principles Behind Soft Hand Play in Blackjack

Playing the soft hands in blackjack should be part of every player's strategy. Beginners and average players have their share in making the mistakes with the soft hands. Players should be able to master how to play the soft hands, and if they do they will eventually reduce the house edge.

There are only three moves available to blackjack players when playing the soft hands. They are the following: stand, hit, and double down. Players are sometimes confused regarding when to hit, when to double down or when to stand.

You'll immediately notice that there are only a few instances when you'll have to stand when playing the soft hands in blackjack. To give you an idea, a soft hand simply put is a hand that doesn't have an Ace. The Ace in blackjack is either valued as eleven or one.

Here's a rule of thumb when playing soft hands. Always count the Ace in any soft hand as eleven if your hand totals 21 or maybe less. When you draw or get a card that makes you go over 21, count the Ace as one.

There is also this rare case when you get two Aces. Remember that if this ever happens to you, count one Ace as eleven and the other Ace as one. An example would be if you were dealt an Ace and a Three, that's 14, you hit, then you get another Ace, now that totals to 15.

The key feature of soft hands in blackjack is that you can never bust with a soft hand with just a single hit. This is one of the big reasons why strategies involving soft hands are handled differently than others.

Let's look at another situation involving soft hands. In blackjack, getting a total of 17 is a sure fix for disaster. You will never like it when you get that hand in a game of blackjack. If ever you're dealt with a Ten and a Seven (totaling to 17) hitting would prove to be very risky.

There is always that chance you will bust in a hand that totals 17, unless you have a soft hand. The case is rather different with the soft hand when it totals to 17. If your hand totals to 17 and its not a soft hand, you gamble, either you hit, bust, and lose or hit and win (or stand and probably lose as well). With a soft hand that totals to 17 (a.k.a. soft 17) you never stand regardless of what up card the dealer has.

Understanding the principles behind blackjack soft hands prepares you better to make those decisions. Understanding them also helps blackjack players build their own playing strategy.