What Are Soft Hands in Blackjack?

Blackjack is a popular card game that is played in casinos all over the world. It is a game of strategy and luck, and players must make quick decisions based on the cards they are dealt.

One of the most important strategies in blackjack is having “soft hands.” In this article, we will explore what soft hands are, how they affect gameplay, and how to play them effectively.

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What Are Soft Hands in Blackjack?

A soft hand is any hand that contains an Ace that can be valued as 11 without busting. For example, if you have an Ace and a 6, your hand would be considered a soft 17 because the Ace can be valued as either 1 or 11. A soft hand gives players more flexibility when making decisions because they can choose to hit or stand without worrying about busting.

Soft hands are important in blackjack because they give players a higher chance of winning. When you have a soft hand, you can afford to take more risks because you are less likely to bust. This means you can hit more often and try to improve your hand without worrying about losing your bet.

How Soft Hands Affect Gameplay

Soft hands have a significant impact on gameplay in blackjack. They allow players to take more risks and make more aggressive plays without worrying about busting. For example, if you have a soft 17 and the dealer has a showing card of 6 or lower, it is recommended that you hit rather than stand.

PRO TIP:In Blackjack, soft hands are hands that contain an Ace card. A hand with an Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11, depending on which is more advantageous. This gives the player more flexibility in terms of possible strategies and can lead to a higher chance of winning.

If you have a soft hand with an Ace valued at 11, it is important to remember that it can become a hard hand if you hit and receive another card valued at 10 or higher. For example, if you have an Ace and a 5 (valued at 16), hitting and receiving a King (valued at 10) would cause your hand to become a hard 16 rather than a soft one.

Playing Soft Hands Effectively

To play soft hands effectively in blackjack, it is important to understand basic strategy. Basic strategy is a set of rules that guides players on when to hit, stand, split, or double down based on the cards they are dealt and the dealer’s showing card.

When playing a soft hand, basic strategy dictates that players should hit if the dealer’s showing card is 9, 10, or Ace. If the dealer has a showing card of 2 through 8, players should double down if possible. In some cases, it may be appropriate to stand depending on the specific situation and the player’s risk tolerance.


Soft hands are a key strategy in blackjack that can give players an advantage over the dealer. By understanding basic strategy and playing soft hands effectively, players can increase their chances of winning at the blackjack table.