• Last Updated : December 17, 2018, 1:35 am

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How to Play the Hard Hands in Blackjack

Hard hands are a bit tough to handle in blackjack. It wouldn't be uncommon to find new players fumbling on hard hands than any other hand you can get in the game. The difficulty lies in the fact that you don't have an Ace in this type of hand. There is a strong probability that a hard hand will bust if you don't know what you're doing.

On the other hand, soft hands are easier to play simply because these hands have an Ace. Soft hands have a low probability of busting so it is safe even if you make the wrong move and hit instead of doubling down or any other option you take. That is not true when dealing with hard hands especially if your hand value is from 12 to 16.

To help out anyone struggling with hard hands in blackjack, we have outlined what you should do depending on the cards you see on the table. You do not only lower the house edge in blackjack if you use basic strategy. You also lower the probability of busting your hard hand if you use it during play.

Hard eight or less: With this total, your only option is to hit. It is obvious that you won't have to worry about busting your hand if you hit once since this hand value is really low.

Hard nine: A hard hand with this value will be just as easy as the one with a total value of eight or less. See if the dealer's up card is within the range of three to six. If it is, then your option for a hard nine is to double. If it is not then your move for this total is to hit.

Hard ten: You should double down if your dealer has anywhere between two to nine. You should hit with a hard ten if it isn't in that range.

Hard 11: You are obliged to double down if your dealer has his up card anywhere from two to ten. If you see that your dealer has an Ace you should hit with a hard 11.

Stiff totals: If your hard hand is anywhere between 12 to 16 you've got a tough situation. If you have a hard 12 stand if it is four to six and hit if it is anything else. Hard 13 to hard 16 are played the same. You should stand if the dealer has two to six, if not then you should hit.

Hard 17 to Hard 21: You only have to stand given these hand values.

Hard hands are tougher to play than soft hands in blackjack. The decision gets tougher when you deal with stiff hands. However, if you use blackjack basic strategy you should be just fine and would be able to bring down the casino's built in advantage.

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