Soft 17: Soft 17 Rule

2021-9-24     แหล่งกำเนิด:


  17 Rule

  by Henry Tamburin

  ”I played blackjack in a casino and noticed that whenever the dealer

  had a soft 17 hand, he would take a card. I thought dealers were supposed

  to stand on 17.”

  As a general rule, casino rules specify that dealers must draw on “16

  or less” and stand on “17 and more”. In fact it states that

  right on the layout. 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).

  So what’s the big deal you say. Does it really make a difference on that

  one hand whether or not the dealer stands or hits? Well it is a big deal because

  that one slight rule change increases the casino’s edge over players by about


  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. The net result is soft 17 the

  casino’s edge increases by 0.2%.

  Your best bet is to not play blackjack in casinos that have the soft 17 rule

  especially when 6 decks of cards are used. But if you have no choice, then

  you should modify your basic playing strategy on these three hands (for a

  typical 6-deck game). They are as follows:

  Double down on 11 (e.g. 6,5) against dealer’s ace upcard (instead of standing)

  Double down an soft 19 (Ace, 8) against dealer’s 6 upcard (instead of standing)

  Double down on soft 18 (Ace, 7) against dealer’s 2 upcard (instead of standing).

  Sometimes new casinos come under a lot of heat from blackjack players when

  they implement the soft 17 rule at their blackjack tables. This was the case

  in a new Mississippi casino that opened with this player unfavorable rule.

  Critics (myself included) and players voiced their discontent loud and clear

  especially since most of the other near bye casinos did not have this rule.

  It didn’t take long before the casino changed the rule to “dealer’s standing

  on soft 17″ and took out ads in local papers to announce the change.

  The soft 17 rule historically has been part of the blackjack games in the

  downtown Las Vegas and Reno casinos. Here you’ll find mostly the more player

  favorable single deck (vs. 6 deck) blackjack games. The casino’s offer the

  more favorable single deck games but then take some of that player advantage

  away by implementing the soft 17 rule. But still a single deck game with the

  soft 17 rule is a better game for most blackjack players than a typical multiple

  deck game.

  The following chart that summarizes the effect of the casino’s advantage

  over the basic strategy player when the soft 17 rule is in effect (i.e. dealer

  must hit soft 17). H17=dealer hits soft 17. S=17 means dealer stands on soft

  17. DAS=double after pair splitting allowed. NoDAS=doubling after pair splitting

  is not allowed.

  # Decks Rules Casino Edge

  1 H17, noDAS 0.18%

  1 S17, noDAS -0.01%(Player has the advantage)

  1 H17, DAS 0.06%

  1 S17, DAS -0.13% (Player has the edge)

  2 H17, noDAS 0.40%

  2 S17, DAS 0.19%

  6 H17, DAS 0.63%

  6 S17, DAS 0.41%

  You can see why casinos that offer single deck games usually implement the

  soft 17 rule. If they didn’t a typical basic strategy player would have the

  edge. Notice the casino’s edge in 6 deck games with the soft 17 rule. Their

  edge is 0.63% which is fairly high for most blackjack games.

  Fortunately in all of the Gulf Coast casinos, the rules specify that the

  dealer’s must stand on soft 17. In the Tunica based casinos, currently all

  the casinos hit soft 17 except the Isle of Capri and the Grand (the Grand

  has a mix of hit and stand soft 17). The casinos in Tunica compensate for

  the hit soft 17 rule by offering more player favorable single deck games then

  the casinos along the Gulf Coast.

  The bottom line is that the soft 17 rule is palatable in single deck games,

  but with 2 and 6 deck games you should try to play in casinos where the rules

  specify that dealers must stand on soft 17. That’s the smart way to play blackjack.

  Dr. Henry Tamburin is one of America’s most popular casino gaming writers

  and the author of 6 best-selling casino books including his Blackjack: Take

  The Money & Run. For a free copy of Tamburin’s Blackjack Insider Newsletter

  visit his web site at For a free copy of Tamburin’s Casino

  Gambling Catalog call 1- 888- 353-3234.


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