In blackjack, hard hand is defined as a hand that doesn’t contain an ace or contains an ace that can only be counted as one. A soft hand is a hand that contains an ace that can be counted as either 1 or 11.
The value of a soft hand can change based on what cards are drawn, which is why it’s considered soft.
The distinction between hard and soft hands is important because it alters the basic strategy of blackjack. For example, with a hard 10, you would always stand because the chances of busting are high; however, with a soft 18, you would always hit because the chances of improving your hand are good.
The basic strategy for hard hands is to stand on all17s or more, and hit on all16s or less. With a soft hand, you should hit on all18s or less, and stand on all19s or more.
In blackjack, knowing whether you have a hard or soft hand can help you make the right decision and improve your chances of winning.