What Is the Difference Between a Hard Hand and a Soft Hand in Blackjack?

Blackjack Hand

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games that most players prefer to play worldwide. The game’s rules are very simple and easy to understand. Blackjack doesn’t need extreme concentration to play and can allow you to win decent amounts of money. When it comes to strategies, most of them revolve around two types soft blackjack hand and hard hand. If you are new to Blackjack, you must understand what that means. To help you, here is a difference between both hands in Blackjack. It will help to make strategizing easier for all new players who are in the process of learning about the game.

Soft Hand:

In Blackjack, whenever you have an ace in your hand, it considers being 11, which means that you have a soft hand. They are very beneficial blackjack hand since you can adjust their total depending on the situation’s circumstances. If you have a soft hand, it means that you can’t go bust by hitting. It is because you can always change the value of the ace at any time during the game. One major reason why most players hope for these types of hands is that they know very well that they can’t surpass 21 and lose their bet instantly.

Hard Hand:

A hard hand is just one without an ace; its total can exceed 21. This type of hand is not good in Blackjack and is very risky. It is because when you have a hard blackjack hand, your chances of busting are extremely high, providing that you hit. For example, if you get to deal with a 7 and 8, you have a hard 15. It doesn’t apply to low-value hands whose total is 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, as they can easily increase without having much risk. In these cases, it is always better to hit, regardless of the dealer up card.

Strategy for Soft Hands:

There is a big difference between the strategy of hard and soft hands in Blackjack. To perfectly apply soft hand strategy in Blackjack, you must understand the strategy’s basics. This blackjack hand provides you with some of the best opportunities to win a fortune. To understand it perfectly, here is an example. Suppose the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6 as an up card and is in trouble.

On the other hand, you have a soft hand. So, the dealer can double down the hand to maximize the profits. However, this will not pose any threat of busting. 

Most professional blackjack players love to devise and execute a doubling-down soft blackjack hand strategy. It is because they know they can improve their soft hand. Additionally, they can use it to lower the house edge even further, a rule letting the dealer hit a soft 17 brings into place. When the dealer hits a soft 17, the house gets an opportunity to increase the hand against the player’s soft and less risky hand.

Strategy for Hard Hand:

When dealing with a hard hand, you must devise a solid hard-hand blackjack strategy. However, its success of it largely depends on your understanding of the basic strategy of hard hand. The best way to play hard blackjack hands is to stay within the basic strategy. A player with a hard hand should assume that the dealer has a 10in the hole. To understand it clearly, here is an example. If the dealer shows 10 as an up card, assume he has a 20. This estimated total calculation can be crucial in winning the hand more frequently. However, if you are with a hard hand and the dealer shows a lower card, such as 6 or lower, you must stand in this situation and hope that the dealer busts. 

While playing a hard hand, one important thing to remember is to be confident of hitting hard totals of 14, 15, or 16 against the dealer’s 10. It is because hitting is the only option compared to surrendering, which is often not allowed. It would help if you avoided the temptation to stand on these hard totals. You must always hit the hand till busting or reaching 17.


There is no definitive answer of which is better hard hand or soft hand. It depends on the situation and what cards you have. For instance, if you have a hard 16 and the dealer has a 6, it is better to consider a soft blackjack hand. You can use the ace as an 11 and get to 21. On the other hand, if you have a hard 17 and the dealer has a 2, then choosing a hard hand is the best option. It is because you can’t use the ace as an 11. Therefore, you would need to hit and risk going over 21. It is generally better to have a soft hand when you have a number under 17. If you have a number over 17, it is better to have a hard hand.

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