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What is Considered a Soft 17 in Blackjack?

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, played by millions daily. Still, it can be helpful to understand the various rules that can impact the game, especially the soft 17 rule.

What is the Soft 17 Rule?

In blackjack, a ‘soft 17’ is a hand containing an Ace counted as an 11 without the hand going over 21. For example, an Ace and a Six would make a soft 17, as the former counts as either 1 or 11. It gives a total hand value of either 7 or 17. 

In blackjack games with the soft 17 rule, if the dealer receives a soft 17 hand, they must hit, meaning they will draw an additional card. This rule can affect the basic strategy for playing blackjack

Soft 17

Impact of the Soft 17 Rule on the Player

The soft 17 rule can significantly impact a player’s strategy. If the dealer has a soft 17, the player may need to adjust their decisions based on the likelihood that the dealer will go for a hit and end up improving the hand they were initially dealt. For example, suppose the dealer has a soft hand, such as an Ace and a 6. 

In that case, they must hit. On the surface, it may seem that the dealer will bust more often than not – since their hand may go over 21 – in which case, it’s a win for the player. Statistically speaking, however, there is about a 0.20% increase in the house’s chance to win over an extended time. 

Generally, if the dealer must hit at a soft 17, the house edge will be slightly higher than if the dealer stands on all 17s. It is because the dealer has a better chance of improving their hand with an extra card than busting, which can result in more wins for the casino over time. 

Overall, the soft 17 rule can make blackjack more challenging for players. They must pay attention to the dealer’s hand and adjust their strategy accordingly. However, this can also make the game more exciting, as players must make real-time strategic decisions about hitting or standing when the dealer has a soft 17 in hand.

Blackjack cards

How to Determine if the Soft 17 Rule is implemented?

Suppose you are playing blackjack at a casino or online. In that case, it is crucial to determine whether the soft 17 rule is implemented. 

This information is usually posted on the table. Still, you can ask the dealer or the casino staff if you need more clarification. Additionally, if you are playing online, the rules for each game should be clearly stated in the game’s instructions.

In conclusion, the soft 17 rule is essential to understand when playing blackjack. It can impact the player’s strategy and the casino’s edge. Understanding the soft 17 rule and adjusting your strategy accordingly can improve your chances of winning at blackjack and enjoying this thrilling game.

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