Blackjack Strategy Chart: Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Our default chart is built around the conditions we see most often on the Las Vegas strip:
- Multiple decks.
- Double down allowed on any 2 cards.
- Double after splits allowed.
- Dealer hits soft 17.
|D||Double if allowed, otherwise Hit|
|DS||Double if allowed, otherwise Stand|
|X/H||Surrender if allowed, otherwise Hit|
|X/P||Surrender if allowed, otherwise Split|
|X/S||Surrender if allowed, otherwise Stand|
The player has an edge if the casino dealer has to stand on soft 17. If the casino dealer gets to hit a soft 17 then we have some different decisions from most charts out there and they all involve the ace:
- Double 11 versus ace.
- 15 versus ace is surrender instead of hit.
- 17 versus ace is surrender instead of stand.
- A,7 (soft 18) versus 2 is double down instead of stand.
- A,8 (soft 19) versus 6 is double down instead of stand.
- 8,8 versus ace is surrender if allowed, otherwise split.
It is important to know which rules are more important than others. The World’s Greatest Blackjack book talks about this on page 55. Here are the key rules that are favorable to the player in order of importance:
- Early surrender
- Doubling on any 2 cards
- Drawing any number of cards to split Aces
- Doubling allowed after pair splitting
Here are the key rules that are unfavorable to the player in order of importance:
- Two or more decks
- Dealer hits soft 17
- No soft doubling
- No re-splitting of Aces
You can vastly improve your odds of winning by following a few basic tips:
- Always follow a chart based off the games rules you are playing.
- Memorizing the actions is one way to get better, but you can improve even faster by practicing on a blackjack simulator.
- Never take insurance.
- Never put money on any side bets as these are hugely -EV.
- Always make sure you have enough chips for double downs and splits.
- Don’t sit at third base (the last seat on the left) if you’re playing with drunks because they’ll blame their “bad luck” on your decisions.
- Learn how to keep a basic Hi-Lo count.
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The only way to get better at Blackjack is to practice. However, if you only practice at a casino, you won’t be sure if the time you’re putting in is benefiting you. What if you’re making the same mistake over and over? The casino surely won’t tap you on the shoulder and explain to you the best play – they want you to play worse!
This is why our Blackjack Strategy Trainer is so valuable. Our trainer simulates a real blackjack table that you will find at a casino or online but also tells you when you make a right or wrong move. Did you hit those pair of 4s against a 5? You were actually supposed to split! For every action you make, we tell you if that action was the best choice or not.
Then all you have to do is keep playing, and eventually you will be playing optimally. The trainer also keeps track of your overall score so you know you’re getting better.
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