Two of these situations are the "soft hand" and the "double down."
If a player is dealt a soft-hand, he or she is in a position to make a strong play. However, it's imperative to know what, why, how and when. The term “soft-hand” refers to a players hand that contains an ace and any other card that has a face value under ten (obviously if one had an ace and card with a value of ten, they would have "blackjack"). The name originates because the ace can be played as a one or an eleven. The benefit of having a soft hand is you can take a hit without worrying about “busting”. However, this does not mean that you should be careless. Make sure that you have checked the dealer’s card and play your soft-hand accordingly.
Here's the best strategies to use when dealt a soft-hand:
· - If your hand contains an ace and a card that is valued at 8 or above do not take any hits. Your hand already totals 19 so you can stand on it.
· - If your hand contains an ace with a card that is valued at 7 or below, take a hit only if the dealer has revealed a card that is valued at 9 or above.
· - If your hand contains an ace and another card that is 6 or lower it is safe to take a hit. Your ace could always be played as a 1 if you were to be hit with a card over the value of 4.
The Double Down
Doubling down is another term that you need to be familiar with if you want to become a winner at Blackjack. The term “doubling down” means you are doubling your initial bet. If you play your hand correctly you can offset the house advantage which is something that you do not want to miss out on! When considering doubling down make sure that you are familiar with the rules of the casino because they vary.
The standard rules for doubling down are below:
· - If your cards value 9 to 11 then you will want to double down. Probability is in your favor because there are numerous cards valuing 10 available for you to draw.
· - If you have a 9 it is wise to only double down if the dealer has a card of 3 or 6 revealed. Even though you cannot see the dealer’s hidden card it is more likely that they are going to bust.
· - If your hand is soft only double down if you can exploit a weak card in the dealer’s hand. When doubling down with a soft hand you will want to keep the following things in mind:
o If you have an ace and an 8-9 in your hand just stand. Your hand is too strong to risk doubling down.
o If you have an ace and a 6-7 in your hand only double down and ask for a hit if the dealer has a 3-6 in their hand, preferably a 4-6.
o If you have an ace and a 4-5 in your hand double down when the dealer has a 4-6.
o If you have an ace and a 2-3 in your hand double down when the dealer has a 5-6.
These simple, yet proven blackjack strategies will help you take advantage of your hands when probability is on your side.