Even with basic strategy on their side, there are many blackjack players that misplay soft hands. It seems so easy, I mean, the chart is right there either next to them on the table or pulled up in another window on the computer. If that’s so then how is it that soft hands keep getting misplayed?
The answer is quite simple. Laughably so really.
Blackjack players will play them as hard hands!
Yes, they will play soft hands as hard hands.
Well, if you take a look at that basic strategy chart you will see that hard hands have their own section of the chart and soft hands have their own section. There is a reason for this you know.
And that reason is the Ace. It all comes down to the Ace that makes a soft hand what it is. This is because an Ace can be played as 11 or as 1. That versatility dictates that another approach to how to play this hand is necessary. Hence, soft hands having their own section on the basic strategy chart.
They are not meant to be played like a hard hand.
For example, if you were dealt a hard 16 against a dealer’s up card of 3 you would stand. Basic strategy tells you to stand. But you would be surprised by how many blackjack players would also stand on an Ace/5. In the case of an Ace/5 against a dealer’s up card of 3, basic strategy says to hit.
I think what causes the issue is the hand total. When you are dealt a hand you immediately add up the total of both cards. You focus on the number, not what the cards actually are. And that’s how you end up seeing and playing an Ace/5 as a hard 16. It’s the 16 that you see, not the Ace.
What you can do for yourself is to slow down when you’re playing blackjack, both online and at a table. Slow down and look at what cards you actually have in your hand. Train yourself to see the cards for what they are rather than just focus on the total. In this way you can avoid some costly mistakes, even win more hands and increase your profit.