Soft 17 Blackjack Strategy – Best Newbie Strategy Guide

What is Soft 17 in Blackjack?
Soft 17 is any hand that has a total of 17 points and contains aces. In most cases, it starts with an 11, and if you bust and go over 21, it switches to a 1. This is what makes aces such a universally powerful hand. And it also adds a safety net against bankruptcy.

Soft 17 Blackjack Strategy
Strategy will depend on several factors, unlike the dealer who must follow a fixed pattern and adjust their game play according to the dealer’s open hand. Regardless of the variant, the following Soft 17 strategy can be used.

  • Hitting when you have 4 – 8 with the dealer’s aces or 2 to 10 with an open hand
  • Hit when you have a hard 9 with the dealer’s ace, 2 or 7 to 10 upcard
  • Hit when you have a hard 10 with the dealer’s ace or 10 open card
  • Hit when you have a hard 12 with the dealer’s A, 2, 3 and 7 to 10 open cards
  • Hit when you have 13 or 14 with the dealer’s aces and 7 to 10 upcard
  • Surrender when you have a hard 16 with the dealer’s ace, 9 or 10. Hit if surrender is not an option
  • Surrender when you have 15 points and the dealer has 10 points. Surrender if surrender is not allowed
  • Double when you have a hard 9 with dealer’s 3 to 6
  • Double when you have a hard 10 or 11 with a dealer of 2 to 9. If doubling is not allowed
  • Double when you have a hard 11 with a dealer’s 10, or hit if doubling is not allowed
  • Stick to 17 and up

Soft 17 Blackjack Rules
There are usually two variants of the soft 17 rule at the blackjack table, depending on the dealer’s behavior.

  • In all cases, the dealer must stand on a hard 17.
  • However, the dealer’s behavior at soft 17s can change.
  • Live casino blackjack tables now force the dealer to stand on the soft 17.
  • This is usually written right in the middle of the table, as it is a relatively important rule.
  • Note that some tables state that “dealers must stand on all 17 positions”.
  • This includes both hard 17 and soft 17, so such tables are the same as those that state that the dealer must stand on soft 17.
  • If the table only says that the dealer must stand on the hard 17, that usually means they hit the soft hand.
  • I believe the player understands what this means – the dealer stands on the hard 17, but hits the soft 17.

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