Differences between Soft and Hard Hands in Blackjack

Differences between Soft and Hard Hands in Blackjack

Staff Writer
April 5, 2014

Differences between Soft and Hard Hands in Blackjack

Should you choose to play Blackjack then you are likely to come across a lot of different terms and sayings that you will never have come across before, a couple of quite important hand descriptions that you will need to be fully aware of will be in regards to Soft Hands and Hard Hands.

These are simply two different ways that a hand of the same value can be formed when playing any type of Blackjack game and many of the game playing rules concerning both the way the Dealer and you the Player can play their hands is determined by just what type of hand you are holding.

Below we will enlighten you to the differences between Hard and Soft Hands so if you do decide to give the game of Blackjack a try for the very first time then you will not be too confused, and you will find plenty of online casinos offering both free to play and real money Blackjack games so you really do not have excuses not to give them some play time once you have mastered the finer points of playing this hugely popular casino card game that is!

Blackjack Game Soft Hands Explained

A Soft Hand is the name given to any hand that contains an Ace and any other card, with the exception of a Ten valued card, if you are playing any type of Blackjack game and you are dealt an Ace and a Ten Card then you will of course have Blackjack and if that hand is not matched by the Dealer’s hand a winning payout of 3 to 2 will be coming your way, when playing most variants of Blackjack that is!

The reasons any hand containing an Ace and any non Ten valued card is called a Soft Hand is that it can have two different values, and this is due to an Ace being worth one or eleven, so for example if you have been dealt out an Ace and a Four card then your hand can be worth either 5 (4 + 1) or a soft 15 (4 + 11).

When you play all Blackjack game variants online you will notice printed on the actual Blackjack table a set of rules in regards to how the Dealer is going to play a 17 valued hand, some Blackjack game variants will make the Dealer hit a Soft 17 Hand for example and some may force the Dealer to stand either a Hard 17 or a Soft 17 valued hand, so always do check the game playing rules before playing just so you know how the Dealer will play their 17 valued hands.

Blackjack Game Hard Hands

Now you are fully aware of what a Soft Hand is, let us tell you about Hard Hands, a Hard Hand is simply any two card hand that does not contain an Ace, and therefore only have one possible value as opposed to two values which Soft Hands containing an Ace have!

When you are playing Blackjack either online or in a land based venue is it worth knowing that certain betting and playing decisions revolve around certain Hard Hand combinations, one of these is in regards to when you can Double Down a hand.

When you take the Double Down option when playing Blackjack you will have been dealt your original two initial cards and will be purchasing a third card as opposed to having one dealt out to you for free which happens when you choose to hit a hand.

You will find that some Blackjack game variants will let you Double Down any hand whilst some Blackjack variants will let you only Double Down a hand when it is worth a Hard 9 a Hard 10 and/or a Hand Eleven.

When you opt to take the Double Down option you do need to be aware that the additional stake required to buy an extra card has to be the same value as the wager you placed onto the table to set the game underway and as such will be the same value as your base game hand!

You will find the Soft Hand and Hard Hand game playing rules in play no matter whether you are playing at an online casino that is a random number and software driven variant to one of the many live online Blackjack game variants or even when you are playing Blackjack in a land based casino site.


Playing Blackjack is quite fun and of course you can experience some large swings in luck when playing it online or in a land based casino, but if you have never given Blackjack games a try before then never forget that all of our featured online casinos have a large suite of different Blackjack games on offer.

Also have a look at the payouts surrounding each variant you can play online for you are going to find both good valued Blackjack games and some which offer poor playing value. It is the house edge attached to a Blackjack game that will ultimately determine whether that game is worth your while playing or one you are better off not playing.

As you hunt around for the Blackjack games offering the very lowest house edge, as you will have the choice of literally hundreds of online casinos at which to play then use that choice to select the games such as Microgaming’s single hand Classic Blackjack game or the more unusual Playtech Blackjack Switch games to play for these two games have the lowest house edges.

As you can also give any Blackjack game online as much play time as you like via the free play modes, then why not give some of the current crop of Blackjack games some free play time at no risk and see for yourself just how easy it is to spot both Soft and Hard hands and how these hands actually influence the games!



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