Win your next blackjack game with the soft 17 rule
Unlike other casino games like poker that require skill at the table, blackjack is a straightforward game. However, even though it has one of the easiest rules to learn, there are also a lot of strategies like the soft 17 rule that will help you think of a better approach when playing your hand. With this tactic, you can anticipate the dealer’s next move and use this knowledge to your own advantage!
If you want to beat the dealer and become a professional blackjack player, understanding the soft 17 rule is a game changer—of course, given that you know how to play your cards right! Find out all about this blackjack strategy here at Bitcasino.
What is a soft 17?
To understand the soft 17 rule, you must first understand what a soft 17 is. It is a blackjack hand that includes an Ace that is either counted as 1 or 11. A soft 17 can be formed in different ways, including having the following cards:
- Ace - 6 hand
- Ace - 2 - 2 - 2 hand
- Ace - 3 - 3 hand.
What makes this card value appealing to most blackjack players is that you can always add another card without the risk of going bust. This is because you can change the value of the Ace anytime to a 1 or 11, saving your hand from losing the round. So while a card value of 17 is already a good hand, the player can go for a higher total with a soft 17.
In contrast, a hard 17 is a blackjack hand without an Ace or an ace that can only be considered as 1 since if it is counted as 11, your hand total becomes a bust.
Understanding the soft 17 rule
As a blackjack player, you’re allowed to play your hand however you want. You can either hit, stand, split or double down, depending on the cards you’re dealt. On the other hand, the dealer doesn’t get to make judgement calls when playing their hand. They have to follow the casino’s guidelines for how dealers must play hands to win each round.
In blackjack, the dealer either has to stand or hit on soft 17, depending on the casino. You can determine which rule the dealer has to follow on the table layout usually found next to the blackjack odds.
If it says S17, it means that the ‘Dealer Stands on Soft 17’. However, if you see an H17 sign, it means that the ‘Dealer Hits on Soft 17’. Keep these in mind and don’t get confused!
So, what happens when the soft 17 rule is used by the dealer? There are two possible scenarios: either the dealer busts their hand total or they make a better total which often ends up being a higher hand that defeats the player.
With the soft 17 rule, their chances of busting increase by 0.4%. But at the same time, their chances of forming a hand value of 18 or more increase by about 0.80%. In a nutshell, the soft 17 rule typically favors the dealer in most cases, and not the player.
Fortunately, you can make use of the blackjack soft 17 strategy to turn things around and win against the dealer. What makes soft 17 significantly different from other hands is that it also improves your hand total without making you lose your bets altogether.
Adjusting your strategy using the soft 17 rule
With the soft 17 rule, you can make way for better blackjack strategies to increase your chances of winning. However, your strategy will vary depending on the decks of cards being used in the game. Take a look at the examples below:
When you’re playing your hand, always remember to make the following actions:
- Double down on 11 if the dealer is showing an ace
- Double down on soft 19 against the dealer’s 6
- Double down on Ace to 7 against the dealer’s 2
For single deck
- Hit soft 18 against a dealer’s ace
- Surrender hard 15 or hard 17 against an ace
- Split a pair of 9’s against a dealer’s ace
For double deck
- Double down on soft 19 against a dealer’s 6
- Double down on soft 14 against a dealer’s 4
- Double down on soft 18 against a dealer’s 2.
As long as you’re familiar with soft and hard blackjack hands, you’re on the road to becoming a professional blackjack player!
Play your hand at a game of blackjack!
Whether you’re a rookie or a long-time blackjack player, put your skills to the test with the soft 17 strategy! Here at Bitcasino, there are plenty of blackjack games you can play like Evolution’s Bombay Club Blackjack and many more. Lots of big prizes await, so don’t miss out on the chance and play now!
Words by: Rachelle Bulalacao