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.
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 it is. Gambling News Casino Gambling Online Gambling Blackjack Video Poker Slots Craps Poker Roulette
A soft 17 includes an Ace being counted as 11. Ace-6 is a soft 17, as are Ace-2-4, Ace-3-3, Ace-Ace-5 and others. When the dealer hits soft 17, the house edge against a basic strategy player is about two-tenths of a percent higher than if he stands. That brought a question from a reader, who wondered why. “Does the dealer bust more often if he stands on soft 17?” the reader wrote.
According to some casino rules, the dealer hits on soft 17. Soft 17 is a blackjack hand made up of a Six and an Ace which is being counted as 11 points. Any other combination that adds up to a value of 17, for example Ten plus Seven, is called “hard 17.
However, when the dealer's 17 contains an ace that is counted as 11, the hand is known as a soft 17 (e.g. Ace, 6 or Ace 2, 4 are soft 17's). And in some casinos, the rules specify that dealers must hit their soft 17 rather than stand and it will state that on the layout (this is known as the soft 17 rule).
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.
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. Agreed?
Nearly all low-limit tables, even those that use multiple decks, now have the dealer hit soft 17. That rule adds about two-tenths of a percent to the house edge, and we as players need to make a few adjustments. Remember these changes at games of four decks or more where the dealer hits soft 17.