Should I Hit Or Stand On 17?
The biggest conundrum of blackjack is deciding whether you should hit or stand. It is even harder when dealt a hand of 17.
Should I hit or stand on 17? Casino players are all always advised to always stand on a hand of 17, and never to hit. The value of this hand is strong enough to give you a higher chance of busting rather than winning.
I will be giving you more basic tips on how you should deal with a hand of 17.
Hand Of 17
To hit on 17, the dealer must show a card of 17 before he stops drawing the deck. When landing a hand of 17, there are only four possible totals that can beat your hand value.
When the dealer shows a 7 up-card, there’s a high chance that his/her card will be worth 10. If you’re lucky enough, you can level yourself with the dealer, and a push will happen.
There are two variations of blackjack that can dictate how the dealer may proceed with a hand of 17.
- The dealer stands on all 17s. This will strengthen the importance of a player standing on a 17.
- Hitting on a soft-17. This increases the house’s edge against the player.
Your 17 against the dealer’s 8, 9, 10, or Ace will immediately significantly drop your chances of winning.
When you are in this position, it’s even more tempting to take a hit. However, the blackjack strategy will recommend that you stand, hoping the dealer will bust.
Hitting or standing will also depend whether you’re dealt with a hand of soft 17 or a hard 17.
Dh = Double down if permitted, otherwise hit.
H = Hit
Hard 17 And Soft 17
When you are dealt with a hand of 17, it can either be a soft 17 or a hard 17. Experienced blackjack players know very well that these two are different.
A hard 17 is composed of any variety of cards, except Aces, with a total value of 17.
- 10 and a 7, a 7, 9 and an Ace
- 10-valued card, 5 and a Deuce
A hard-17 is considered to be a strong combination of a hand of 17, but the poorest hard total for players to hit on. The heeded blackjack will tell you never to hit on a Hard 17.
This is a hand with a value of 17, but can also be counted as a total value of 7. However, this hand does not have an Ace.
The Ace can be played at either a value of 1 or 11. Therefore, when dealt with a soft 17, the player should always hit.
- Ace and 6
- 3, Ace and a Deuce
- Number of other combinations
Playing A Soft Hand Containing Three Or More Card
If you are dealt with a soft 18 against a 4, you should double. However, if you are dealt with an Ace-3-4, do not double down.
If your soft hand is made up of 3 or more cards, the casino rules will not permit you to double down.
Remember these basic and simple rules to have a perfect play.
- Stand when you are dealt with a soft 18 to 21.
- Hit a multi-card soft 18 against the dealer’s 9, 10, or Ace.
- If you got a soft 17 or less, hit.
- Never stand with a soft 17.
Standing On Soft 17
Never stand on a soft 17! This idea contradicts the idea of a hard 17.
Regardless of the dealer’s upcards, you should never dare to stand. This may seem suspicious because most players are led to believe that 17 is good enough to stand.
Standing on a soft 17 will not increase your chance of winning, but it will increase your chance of losing more money.
I’m emphasizing my point to “never stand on a soft 17” only because I want to help you.
Let me explain further.
Think about the dealer’s rule for soft 17. Casinos will most likely specify that dealers must hit their soft 17 rather than standing to increase their edge. This means that hitting a soft 17 is better for the dealer. This goes the same for the players.
Doubling Down On Soft 17
Some players do not understand the real logic of doubling down, so they often pass up this opportunity.
Doubling down on soft hands doesn’t mean outdrawing the dealer as it is to get more money on the table. The dealer may be vulnerable but still won’t be enough to draw more money.
The latter happens more when the dealer shows a low-value upcard.
- Double down if the dealer’s upcard is 3 through 6 (double and multi-deck)
- Double down if the dealer’s upcard is 3 through 6 (single-deck game)
Multi-card Soft 17
You may hit your hand and after drawing one or more cards of a soft 17.
Situation: Assuming you were dealt with a hand of 2 to 4 and the dealer has an upcard of 6. Your move is hitting and drawing an ace giving you a soft 17 of 2-4-A.
The playing rules in the majority of online casinos and physical casinos will not allow you to double down on a hand once you draw a third card. So, if you are holding a multi-card soft 17, you should hit.
However, some physical and online casinos that allow players to double down but only on hard 17. But, 99% of video blackjack games in any physical casino does not allow players to double down on soft hands.
My point here is: If you hold a multi-card soft 17 and the casino rule is prohibiting you from doubling, then you should hit.
Also, the rules in most video blackjack games in land-based casinos don’t allow players to double down on soft hands. So, the bottom line is this:
If you are dealt with a soft 17 multi-card or the rules don’t allow soft doubling, always hit.
Hitting Soft 17
Basic strategy rules:
- Hit when the dealer’s upcard is a 2 or 7 through ace (for double and multi-deck games)
- Hit when the dealer’s upcard is 7 through ace (for a single-deck game)
Your next move after hitting a soft 17 will depend on the total of your hand and the dealer’s upcard/
Card Counting And Soft 17
Card counters sometimes vary their playing strategy depending upon the count. Despite this, it is rare for a card counter to deviate a soft 17 since there’s not much to gain.
The 2 times card counter might consider doing the following:
- The negative count should be hit against the dealer’s 3 through 6
- The positive count is doubled down on soft 17 against the dealer’s 2 upcard
To be more precise, you should study the index numbers for the counting system you are using.
Playing Rules On Casino’s Edge In H17 Games
- ls: Late surrender is offered
- Das: The player can double down after pair splitting
- H17: The dealer hits soft 17
- Rsa: The player can split aces
h17, das, ls 0.54%
h17, das, ls 0.54%
h17, das, ls, rsa 0.46%
h17, rsa 0.69%
h17, ls 0.67%
h17, rsa 0.15%
h17, das 0.06%
h17, rsa 0.48%
h17, das 0.40%
h17, das, rsa 0.35%
h17, das, rsa, ls 0.28%
Go to a casino that offers the Soft 17 rules rather than H7. This will allow you to reduce the casino edge in 6 or 8 decks.
The greatest example of this is the strip casinos. They offer players a set of rules in their 6-deck games: rsa, das, s17.
The casino’s edge over the basic strategy of players is .20% lower than the best deck, h17 games. This makes the casino edge at only .26%. The same goes for a 2 deck, s17, das game that has a casino edge of .19%.
This is .21% lower than the equivalent 2 deck, h17 das games.
The S17 rules are more tolerable in a single deck game with no restrictions on doubling. If das, rsa os Is is offered, it is also tolerable in a double deck-deck game.
If you are given a choice between hard 17 or soft 17 in a 6 or 8 deck game, you better play the s17 game.
Soft 17 Basic Strategies
You should hit when:
- Soft 17 vs 2
- Soft 17 vs 4
- Soft 17 vs 6
- Soft 17 vs 7
- Soft 17 vs 9
You should double down when:
- Soft 17 vs 3
- Soft 17 vs 5
You must understand the creation of hands in the soft 17 rule and know how to change game strategies. Hitting or standing on a 17 will vastly depend on whether you are dealt with a soft 17 or a hard 17.
Players will have the edge if the dealer has to stand on all 17 hands, but with the Soft 17 rule.