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Understanding Blackjack Hands

While Blackjack itself is an easy game to play, there are some elements that may need a little explaining to novice players. One aspect of the game that deserves some extended explanation is that of Blackjack hands. One of the reasons for Blackjack’s appeal across the world is that the game offers the smallest statistical advantage to the house. While all casino games give the edge to the house, the house edge in Blackjack is the smallest percentage. This means that players have a better chance of winning. Casinos don’t stay in business by simply giving money away, which is why the house edge was put into place. That means that every game is going to favour the house to a certain extent. In Blackjack, the house edge is as low as 3%. And if you’re an experienced player, this edge can drop all the way to less than 1%. Simply put, Blackjack is the most generous casino game that gives players the best chances to evenly match the house edge. Here we talk about the best choices a player can make during gameplay to minimise the house advantage.

Understanding Blackjack Hands

Hard and Soft Blackjack Hands

When playing Blackjack, you may come across certain rules and terms that are game specific. To understand the rules of the game you need to first understand what hard and soft hands so that you can progress. In Blackjack, an Ace is valued at either 1 or 11. If a hand does not feature an Ace or if all the Aces are valued at 1, it is referred to as a ‘hard hand’. On the flip side, a hand where the Ace is valued at 11 is referred to as a ‘soft hand’.
The hard and soft hand rule is important in Blackjack, This is because it defines how the dealer must play his hand. Additionally, the hard/soft hand concept is a influence your Blackjack strategy should you have one. A soft hand is a pleasant hand to receive in Blackjack. This because as long as you are holding a soft hand, there is always a possibility to draw another card without having to go bust. In fact, most experts will advise, in certain circumstances, continuing to hit with soft hands until it becomes hard. There is a third Blackjack hand – the stiff hand – which is a hard hand valued between 12 and 16. Stiff hands are not ideal as it usually means your hand is too low to beat the dealer yet too high to hit without risking going bust.
The concept of hard and soft hands can make your break your game. If you are planning a Blackjack strategy, it is advised that you play any hard hands as follows:

  • Hard 11 or lower – Hit or double down
  • Hard 17 or higher – Stand
  • Hard 12 through 16 – Hit, stand or surrender
  • Soft hands are generally more easy to figure out:
  • Soft 19 or 20 – Stand
  • Soft 17 or less – Hit or double down
  • Soft 18 – Hit, stand or double down

Online Blackjack is a popular game for a reason. Despite the possible confusion regarding hands in the beginning stages, it will prove to be very rewarding as you continue. And with that impressively low house edge, it will be worth trying your hand at hard and soft hands when you play blackjack online. While may all seem a bit complex, once you are more familiar with the concept and rules it will be like second nature to you, especially if you have a solid strategy going. Players are advised to study the concept of hard and soft hands, and even stiff hands to get the most out of your online gambling experience.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the hands used to play, you can visit our live blackjack dealers to test your new skills!

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Name: Understanding Blackjack Hands

Description: Understanding Blackjack hands is easier than you think! Find useful tips and tricks for your next blackjack game. Our easy to read guide explains all!

Posted On: 16/11/2017

Author: Andrew Smith