When to Stand with a Soft Count
Soft hands are versatile in nature, in that they may possess more than one value. In blackjack, a hand that contains an ace, such as A-4 can be valued at either five or fifteen. A hard hand is one that has an absolute value. A hand such as 10-5 has an absolute value or hard count of fifteen. That value cannot change because the numeric cards possess a static value. In blackjack, an ace can be counted as either one or eleven, which is why hands with aces are considered soft count hands.
Because soft counts are flexible and the risk of busting has been eliminated in soft hands, players at FullTiltPoker.com often mistakenly believe they should hit their soft hands regardless of the situation. However, before considering whether to hit, stand, or double down, a player should check the dealer’s visible card. The dealer’s card is the most important factor to consult when deciding if you want another card, as the object of blackjack is to beat the dealer by having a higher total than he has or by allowing him to bust.
While the dealer’s up card is the first thing one should consult, it is not the only determining factor in deciding the best and most profitable course of action. Players should also add up their soft count and consider its value, as well as the dealer’s up card total when determining what to do with the soft hand. When holding a soft hand that is valued at a soft nineteen, soft twenty, or soft twenty-one – the player should always stand. In these instances, it does not matter what the dealer is showing. Standing is the best and most profitable course of action.
On the other hand, a player should not stand when their soft count is eighteen or less. Instead of standing, a blackjack player with a soft total should decide between hitting and doubling down when they hold a soft count on UltimateBet.com of eighteen or less. Deciding which course of action (hitting or doubling down) depends on the dealer’s card that is showing. If the player holds a soft sixteen, soft seventeen, or soft eighteen – a double down is appropriate when the dealer holds a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 as their up card. Taking a hit is best when the dealer shows a seven or higher. In the event the player holds a soft thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen – hitting is the right move regardless of the dealer’s holding. Hence, it is correct for the player to stand when holding a hand valued at a soft nineteen or better, regardless of what the dealer has.