Blackjack is one of the casino games which have been around for quite some time, and it has grown to become many gamblers’ first choice. The immense popularity of the game can be ascribed not only to its innate entertainment value but also to the fact that it is suitable for all kinds of gamblers, be it total novices or old hands.
It goes without saying that if you wish to enjoy positive results when you revel in your favorite blackjack variation, you should make sure that you have proper knowledge of the game itself. Being a skill-based game, blackjack might turn out to be a great source of entertainment for you, if you are aware of all its peculiarities, including the lingo which is utilized at the tables. Another precondition of being a successful blackjack player is to be well aware of the difference between soft and hard hands. That is the reason why in this article, we will endeavor to provide you with the requisite knowledge.
What is a Hard Hand in Blackjack
It does not matter whether you are a recreational blackjack player, or you are gambling with the purpose of earning some serious cash, you should make sure that you are alert to the betting action. Being aware of the rules of your game of choice is vital due to the fact that otherwise, you will not be capable of making the best decisions.
If blackjack is your preferred casino game as well, and you are a total fledgling, the first thing you should do is to learn how cards are valued. Luckily, it is unlikely that inexperienced players will end up bewildered as blackjack’s card system is quite simplified. It is essential to commit to your mind that the Ace is the strongest card in the game, and it can be counted either as 11 or as 1, and it rests with you to decide about its value. Next come the Jack, the Queen, and the King due to the fact that they will bring you ten points each. The number of points the rest of the cards will bring you depends on their numeric value.
Once you have gained knowledge about the manner in which cards are valued in blackjack, you can rest easy that understanding what hard hands are will require no effort. In blackjack, hard hands are hands in which you have an Ace, which is counted as one, or in which there is not an Ace at all. Therefore, if your hand is made up of a 3 and an 8, for example, this will mean that you have a hard 11. If you happen to receive two 6s, this will mean that you have a hard 12. In the event that your hand looks like this: 9-4-A-5, you will have a hard hand the total of which is 19. Although you have an Ace in your hand, the value we will assign to it will be 1 as otherwise, you will bust.
Blackjack lovers should also be aware that if the total of their hard hand is between 12 and 16, it becomes a stiff hand. Generally speaking, such hands are considered quite risky due to the fact that gambling enthusiasts are odds-on to bust if they decide to draw yet another card. Still, this does not refer to hands which have a smaller value as in such cases, gamblers should definitely endeavor to improve them.
Difference Between Hard and Soft Hands
So as to thrive while playing the game of 21, gambling enthusiasts should ensure that they do not simply know what hard hands are, but also what is the difference between hard and soft blackjack hands.
As we already clarified, hard hands are hands in which there is not an Ace at all, or there is an Ace the value of which is one. The distinction between hard and soft hands in blackjack stems from the fact that the latter, contain an Ace which is assigned a value of 11 or 1. It is important to note that the value the Ace will be assigned will hinge upon your preferences. Blackjack lovers should be aware that depending on the situation, if at the beginning, you have had a soft hand, and you have drawn several additional cards, your hand can become a hard one.
We mentioned on several occasions that knowing the difference between soft and hard hands in blackjack is vital, and this is definitely not an exaggeration. In essence, gamblers should ensure that they can tell hard hands apart from soft hands simply because they should be guided by the type of their hand while making up their mind about their next move.
Hard 15 and Hard 16
Having a hard 15 or hard 16 might turn out to be quite risky due to the fact that if you decide to improve such hands, you are quite likely to lose the round. It is essential to remember that there are several things you should take notice of before you decide how to act.
The most important thing you should consider when you have a hard 15 or hard 16 is the upcard of the dealer. Thus, as long as the value of the dealer’s face-up card ranks between 2 and 6, the best thing blackjack mavens can do is to stand. As you can probably guess, if the up card of the dealer has a higher value, hitting would be the way to go. The scenario would be different as long as your hard 16 is made up of two 8s. In such cases, it would be best if you split your hand due to the fact that thus, your newly-formed hands will have better chances to turn out to be winning ones.
As long as you have a hard 15 or a hard 16, you should also check whether the option to surrender is at hand. Unfortunately, many operators have eliminated this option, which is the reason why you might have a hard time finding a casino in which you can make use of it. Still, gamblers should not make use of this option too hastily due to the fact that resorting to it is recommended only if the face-up card of the dealer is a powerful card such as an Ace or a ten.
Thus, if you are convinced that you are bound to end up losing, and the option to surrender is at hand, you will simply give up on one half of the stake you have originally made.
Strategy for Playing Hard Hands
Making use of a strategy is undoubtedly a must, especially if you wish to inflate your winnings. The good news is that gambling aficionados can attain this goal even if they make use of a basic blackjack strategy. The most essential thing you should invariably have in mind is that while you are making up your mind about your next move, it is advised to take into account not solely the cards you were dealt, but the visible card of the dealer as well.
According to the basic blackjack strategy, it would be best if gambling enthusiasts make up their mind about their next move, presupposing that the dealer’s face-down card is a ten. To put it in another way, you should simply pay attention to the visible card of the dealer, and add ten to its value. Thus, as long as the dealer’s up card is an 8, for example, you should assume that the total of his/her hand is 18.
Still, this does not apply to situations in which you have a hard hand, which is totaling five through eight. The reason why you should not put your mind to the dealer’s face-up card that much is that in such cases, the smartest move is to hit. If your hand has any of the aforementioned totals, it is advised to keep on drawing extra cards until you win the round, or until you reach a total of 17.
In the event that the total of your hand is 9, and the visible card of the dealer is 3 through 6, you should contemplate doubling your original stake. Doubling down is also advised, provided that the total of your hand is 10 or 11. Yet, this does not refer to situations in which the dealer shows up an Ace or a ten.
And last, if the total of your hand is 13 through 16, and the dealer’s face up card is 2 through 6, the best thing you can do is to stand. If the visible card of the dealer differs from the values we mentioned, you should definitely endeavor to refine your hand.