Blackjack Soft Hand 13 to 17

During the course of every game, players face a lot of tough choices and in order to be able to tackle them successfully, gamblers need to prepare beforehand and know what are the odds and possible outcomes of the situation.

Along with solid knowledge and very good strategy, players need to have a decent bankroll, discipline and money management. The best way to learn is through practice, however if players don’t want to lose a considerable amount of money, they need to make sure they are familiar with the casino and the game’s rules and requirements before they play.

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What Are Soft Hands

Players need to know how to proceed in cases where they have soft hands as such situations occur more often than gamblers realise. Players have such a hand when one of the cards is an ace valued as eleven, meaning that they won’t go bust next time they take an extra card. The reason for it is that any other card in the deck will either be equal or less than twenty one and there is no chance for players to go over it.

It is very crucial for gamblers to understand that having an ace in their hand gives them the opportunity to be very flexible and decide whether they would like to value it as one or eleven. It allows them to change their hand’s total value accordingly and it is the card gamblers hope for the most.

In order to illustrate how players should proceed in cases where they have a soft hand thirteen to seventeen, it will be best to consider some example situations which players struggle to deal with the most. Gamblers need to bear in mind that whenever they have an ace in their hand, they have a soft hand and need to take full advantage of this situation.

Such type of hands give players the chance to double down and it can really work in their favour. However, players need to make sure they understand thoroughly what the term soft hands means in order to make the best possible move.

Soft 13 Cases

A very favourable situation is when players’ two cards are a deuce and an ace as this leaves them with a soft thirteen hand, of course if they decide to value the ace as an eleven. The reason why this is an advantageous position for them is that whatever card players draw next, they can’t go bust as the ace gives them the needed flexibility to change it accordingly.

If gamblers get, let’s say, a ten, they have the opportunity to easily switch and value their ace as one which leaves them with hard thirteen hand.

In such cases where players have a deuce and an ace as the two cards in their hand, it will be best for them to be prepared in advance how to proceed. If the dealer’s up card is five or six the players should double down. For the rest of the dealer’s possible combinations of the up card, players should hit. If players follow this strategy, their chances of going bust are significantly decreased.

Player is dealt a Soft 13. Dealer’s Up card is a King. Player should Hit.

Soft 14-15-16 Cases

Whenever players have a card combination which leaves them with any of the following hands – soft fourteen, fifteen or sixteen, they should choose to make the same move as the strategy applies to all of them. If the dealer’s up card is a four, five or six, players need to double down. For the rest of the possibilities for the up card of the dealer, players need to hit. It is observable that the only difference between the strategy for soft thirteen and soft fourteen, fifteen and sixteen is when players are against four as the dealer’s up card.

Let’s have a look at the following case where gamblers have soft fifteen and the dealer’s up card is six and what will be the possible outcomes of this situation, providing players will follow the strategy and double down.

If gamblers get a three, this leaves them with a total of eighteen for their hand which is pretty good but still we need to remember that the average winning hand is 18.5 and eighteen doesn’t guarantee us winning.

If players get a two, then their hand totals seventeen and if they draw an ace, the total value of their hand will be sixteen. What players need to hope for is to get a four,five or six as this will leave them with a hand totalling respectively nineteen, twenty and twenty one. The rest of the cards will form a hand totalling fifteen or less which is unfavourable for the players.

Player is dealt a Soft 15. Dealer’s Up card is a 6. Player should Double Down.

Soft 17 Cases

If players have an ace and a six in their hand means that they have a soft seventeen hand. In order to be able to make the best possible move, gamblers should always act according to the dealer’s up card and their hand’s total value. In this sense, if the dealer’s up card is three, four, five or six, players’ best move is to double down.

The reason for it is that if players have soft seventeen and get a ten or any of the face cards, this will leave them with a hard seventeen. In this case if players decide to follow this strategy and double down they have a better chance to win more money as it places them in a favourable position.

Player is dealt a Soft 17. Dealer’s Up card is a 6. Player should Double Down.


It is of crucial importance for players to be aware of the meaning of soft hand as it will give them a better understanding how the game works. Due to the fact that this phrase is not a basic rule, many gamblers who play for years still don’t know what it means. In order to play their hand in the best possible way, players need to know what will be the result of every move they make.

Soft hands can be formed in a number of ways and this is the reason why gamblers need to know the meaning behind this phrase. Only then they will be able to make wise choices for every hand and achieve the desired result.

Soft 13, Soft 14, Soft 15, Soft 16 and Soft 17 Basic Strategy Chart
Players’ Hand Dealer’s Up Card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
A-2 H H H D D H H H H H
A-3 H H D D D H H H H H
A-4 H H D D D H H H H H
A-5 H H D D D H H H H H
A-6 H D D D D H H H H H
H = Hit, D = Double Down