I have said it before and I will say it again. Soft hands are some of the most misplayed hand in blackjack. I have seen a good number of blackjack players who, while they can handle their hard hands, do not seem to know what to do with soft hands. And a soft 18 is one of those misplayed blackjack hands.
A fair amount of blackjack players will stand on a soft 18. To them it seems like there is no other possible way to play this hand. They get caught up in the 18 part and forget about the Ace.
When facing down a dealer’s 2 or 7 standing is a decent play to make. And you are most likely going to bust when faced with a dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace.
But what about when facing some of the dealer’s weaker hands, like a 3, 4, 5 or 6? Those are his weakest up cards and you do have that Ace in your hand…
The most advantageous play that you can make here is to double down. Part of your blackjack strategy is to exploit the dealer’s weaknesses. Standing is not exploiting those weaknesses. Hitting is a little better, but when faced with a 3 through 6 you really need to be doubling down.
Now, a soft 18 will lose you $18 for every $100 that you wager. This is not weak, it just is thanks to that 2, 7, 9, 10 and Ace. But by hitting and doubling down rather than just standing you can reduce that loss to $14 per $100.
The whole point of having a blackjack strategy is to take advantage and profit on the dealer’s weaknesses, and to minimalize the losses when such situations come up. Playing according to blackjack myths is not going to help you.
In the case of this myth, you might think that you are doing your blackjack strategy and your blackjack odds a favor, but the truth is that you are not. So do it, hit or double down on a soft 18 when you can.