Blackjack Strategy: Soft 19-21

Welcome to the final segment in our ongoing series on blackjack strategy for soft hands. It’s been a fun journey, but all things must come to an end. Once you’re done learning this strategy, you will be ready to go out into the world with your newfound knowledge and make some money at a casino. Just make sure you have the rest of blackjack basic strategy memorized as well.

If you have a soft 19, 20 or 21, the strategy is very simple. Always stand. Stand if the dealer shows an ace. Stand if the dealer shows a 2-9. Stand if the dealer shows a 10. You should even stand if the dealer shows a 12. I realize that there is no card that has a value of 12, but if there was, you should stand then as well. Always stand.

Why should you stand? Well, because your cards are already pretty darn good. If you have a 21, there is no way to improve the hand and you cannot lose. At worst, you push, but you have a great chance of winning.

If you have a soft 20, then the only way you can improve your hand is by drawing a 1, and the odds are stacked against that happening. Anything else would make you turn the ace into a 1 and go with a hard hand that has a lower value than your 20.

If you have a soft 19, there are only two cards that can improve your hand: an ace or a 2. Your odds of drawing either of those cards is slim, so you have a better chance of winning if you stand and hope that you either beat the dealer’s hand or the dealer busts.

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