How to Play Soft 19 in Blackjack
By Henry Tamburin PH D.
One of the hands that blackjack players sometimes misplay is soft 19. This is a hand that totals 19 and contains an ace counted as 11. Examples of soft 19 hands are A-8 and A-3-5.
The reason the above hands are classified as “soft” 19 is because the strategy for playing them is different from a hand that totals 19 and either doesn’t contain an Ace (e.g., 10-9), or, if an Ace is present, it is counted as 1 (e.g., 5-9-A-4). (These are known as “hard” 19 hands, because if you hit them, they can break. By contrast, a “soft” hand cannot break if it you hit just one time.)
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