In every blackjack game, the dealer either stands on Soft 17 or higher, or hits Soft 17, which means they can only stand on Hard 17, plus any 18 or more. After the number of decks used and the payout odds for hitting Blackjack itself, whether a dealer stands or hits on Soft 17 is the next most important rule.
More Soft 17 Blackjack Dealer images
In a game where the dealer hits on a soft 17, the correct basic strategy changes, but not by too much. The big changes have to do with some of the doubling down strategies. If the dealer hits soft 17, you should double down on an 11 if the dealer is showing an ace. You should also double down if you have a soft 19 and the dealer has a 6.
The “soft 17 rule” is a rule that requires the dealer to hit on soft 17. For many blackjack players, this rather innocuous rule doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the fact of the matter Henry Tamburin is the editor and publisher of the Blackjack Insider Newsletter and author of the best-selling Blackjack: Take the Money & Run.
In most casino blackjack games, a dealer must take a card if he hits 16 or below and stand at 17 or above. Some tables, though, say the dealer must hit soft 17, meaning he has a chance to increase his score up to 21.
It does not matter how many cards there are in the hand, as long as there is an Ace. With the Soft 17 rule, dealers must hit when they have a Soft 17, any hand combination that equals 17 using an Ace. Summary. The Soft 17 rule can drastically alter the outcome of games if players are not used to the rule. Since most blackjack games have dealers standing on all hands of 17, this rule allows them to hit, increasing the chances of getting a better hand than the player.
The reason that the player's expectation decreases when the dealer must hit soft 17 is that even though the dealer will bust slightly more often when he hits compared to standing on 17, the times he doesn't bust he will more often end up with a hand that totals higher than 17.
For a single-deck game, hit soft 17 when the dealer’s upcard is 7 through ace. For double- and multi-deck games, hit soft 17 when the dealer’s upcard is a 2 or 7 through ace. Now that you know the common mistakes made by players when holding a soft 17, the next time you are dealt this hand, you should have no problem playing it correctly.
Hitting soft 17 gives the dealer the chance to make the 18, 19, 20 and 21 hands that can win on their own against a player pat hand. This comes into play most often when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace and basic strategy players hit until they have 17 or better.
Most blackjack players are oblivious to whether the dealer stands or hits on soft 17. Dealer stands on soft 17 was the standard rule in years past, but a growing number of casinos now require the dealer to hit on soft 17 (hands like Ace, 6). Not only do most players fail to recognize the difference, some believe that the hit on soft 17 rule works in their favor since the dealer will bust more often.