# Basic Blackjack Strategies – Soft Total

• Soft Total

A soft total occurs when out of the two cards in a player’s hand is an Ace. This happens since the Ace can be either 1 or 11, depending on the other card(s). For example, imagine that the player has a soft hand made up of an Ace and an 8. Now, his hand could be 9 or 19.A soft hand automatically implies more liquidity and a better choice for the player.

A soft hand provides the player with some of the best opportunities to win a fortune. For example, assuming the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6 as a face up card and his game is a little tricky, and the player on the other hand has a soft hand, he can double up to maximise his profits. This will present no threat of loss, as doubling down a soft hand in blackjack is a strategy often used by expert players.

Let’s see some other examples:

1. with a soft hand of 15 or 16, double your bet if the dealer has a hand between 4 and 6. Otherwise, hit.

2. With a soft hand of 17, double down if the dealer shows a hand between 3 and 6. Otherwise, hit.

3. With a soft18 (i.e. an Ace and a 7), there are three possibilities: double (against a hand of 3 to 6 from the dealer), stand against a hand of 2, 7 or 8; and hit against 9, 10 or an Ace.

4. If you have a soft 19 or 21 hand, just stand.

Although you may think having such a hand is relatively rare, and although there are many possible combinations, the combinations are not infinite so a certain pair, trump or hand will come up in your hand, hence the importance of knowing what blackjack strategy to use when the chance comes.

As a soft hand can be improved and used to further lower the house edge, a rule was introduced that allows the dealer to hit a soft 17. When the dealer gets a soft 17, the house has an opportunity to improve the hand against the player’s soft and less risky hand.