How to Play the Soft Hands in Blackjack
The Ace has a special method of valuation in blackjack. It can either be valued at 11 or one. The Ace will take the value that will not make you bust or the one that will give you the highest value for your hand. In short, whatever value that gives you the most benefit will be the value of your Ace.
Let's say you have an Ace and a two. In this example you'll get a total hand value of 13, which means the Ace takes an 11. However, let's say you have a ten and a four, which gives you a hand value of 14. After you hit you then get an Ace. Your Ace will take a value of one since if it takes an 11 it will make your hand bust.
If ever you are dealt an Ace as one of your first two cards in blackjack, your hand is called a soft hand. Soft hands are easy to play since you don't have to worry about busting since your Ace can either take one or 11. However, even though your decisions with soft hands are easy enough, blackjack basic strategy will still point you to the optimum moves.
Here is the basic strategy you should play for your soft hands in blackjack.
Soft 13 (Ace and Two): You should double down if your dealer has six or five for a soft 13. If your dealer has any other up card you should rather hit.
Soft 14 (Ace and Three): You should play this soft hand like a soft 13. You'll also have the same options as your optimum moves.
Soft 15 (Ace and Four): Check if your dealer has four, five, or six for his up card. If your dealer does that up card then you should double down. If it is any other card besides these three your best move is to hit.
Soft 16 (Ace and Five): Play this soft hand as you would a soft 15.
Soft 17 (Ace and Six): If your dealer's up card is within the range of three to six then your best move is to double down. You should hit if your dealer has any other up card on the table.
Soft 18 (Ace and Seven): Your best move is to stand if your dealer has an eight, seven, or two. You should double down if it is within three to six and hit if it is not in any of the numbers mentioned for this soft hand.
Soft 19 (Ace and Eight) and Soft 20 (Ace and Nine): Your only option is to stand.
Soft hands are easy to play in blackjack. You won't have to worry about busting your hand since your Ace's value is dynamic. Remember the strategy mentioned here to optimize your blackjack moves.