Soft 17 in Blackjack – How to play?

Blackjack is a game of strategies and important decisions that need to be taken every time a card is dealt with. And one of the most confusing situations of all is when a player is dealt a soft 17. Being given a soft 17 makes the player account on many important factors considering if they should hit, stand or double down. Let’s get to know some facts on how to deal with it!

What is Soft 17?

This is actually hand at which the players are given cards that contain an ace. An ace is counted 11 in Blackjack. Therefore it can be anything like ace-6, ace-3-3, ace-2-2-2, etc. This is very much different from a hard 17 i.e. the deal that doesn’t contain an ace like 10-7. Although both might come down to the same number, the way of dealing with a soft 17 is pretty much different from a hard 17. After all, a player cannot bust with just one card show!

The basic strategy!

No matter if a player is playing in a real casino or in an online casino – the blackjack game rules almost remain the same. If dealing with a soft 17 and you are short on counting cards strategy the best thing is to follow the basic strategy.

“The basic strategy for having a stand on Soft 17 is – to never stand at 17!”


Regardless of what the dealer deals to you, standing at 17 is not the right decision. One might think that 17 is a much safe and right position to wait for the dealer, but the fact remains that you aren’t playing good enough when you stand at 17. You might lose more money!

One key reason for this is that even the casino rules imply the dealers to not make a stand at 17. This is because the house edge winning has to be high and the casino knows that standing at 17 brings more loss than wins.

Double down

Double down is not preferred by players on a soft 17 because there is no motivation to do so. But the reason to do it is to outdraw the dealer and make more money while letting the dealer get vulnerable for busting. A dealer is more likely to bust the card when he shows a low-value upcard.

For multi-deck or double-deck games, dealer’s upcard is of 3 or through 6 – double down! Also, double down when in a single deck game, the dealer’s up card value is low i.e. 2 through 6.

Know more: When to Double Down – Blackjack Strategy

Hit at a multi-card

When you get a multi-card soft 17, i.e. a 4-2-ace after having hit for the first time, the casino prohibits the players from making a double down. And this rule is the same for most land and online based casinos. This is the time when you should make a hit. A hit at this moment gives you an upper edge!

Hit at Soft 17

If your dealer has an up-card of 2 through 7, the best move is to make a hit. This is the same for both a single-deck game and a multi-deck game. The fact that the dealer might have an ace and is going to hit stays a possibility.

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Author: Richard

Posted On: 05/03/2019

Soft 17 in Blackjack – How to play?
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