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Blackjack Strategy Chart: Dealer Hits on Soft 17

YourDealer's Card

Chart Legend

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.
DDouble if allowed, otherwise Hit
DSDouble if allowed, otherwise Stand
X/HSurrender if allowed, otherwise Hit
X/PSurrender if allowed, otherwise Split
X/SSurrender if allowed, otherwise Stand

Blackjack Rules

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:

  1. Double 11 versus ace.
  2. 15 versus ace is surrender instead of hit.
  3. 17 versus ace is surrender instead of stand.
  4. A,7 (soft 18) versus 2 is double down instead of stand.
  5. A,8 (soft 19) versus 6 is double down instead of stand.
  6. 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:

  1. Early surrender
  2. Doubling on any 2 cards
  3. Drawing any number of cards to split Aces
  4. Doubling allowed after pair splitting
  5. Surrender

Here are the key rules that are unfavorable to the player in order of importance:

  1. Two or more decks
  2. Dealer hits soft 17
  3. No soft doubling
  4. No re-splitting of Aces

Blackjack Tips

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!

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