This Is Why The Dealer Hits on 16

Does the Dealer Hit or Stay on 16?

The usual dilemma that a player faces is when to hit or stand. Professional players have a basic blackjack strategy to guide them as to when it’s the simplest time to face and when it’s the simplest time to hit.

Does the dealer hit or stand on 16? Dealers have no choice other than to hit on 16 until they reach a standing position of 17 or greater. In some casino games, the dealer is just another player like you, but this is not the case with blackjack.

Dealers must perform their duties to the casino and make more revenue. Often, they are left with other options to carry out their job responsibilities.

The Dealer in Blackjack

Blackjack dealers are not given any options about to do within the game. The dealer has a strict set of rules and things they must do to support their cards. This is to prepare for a case in which blackjack is revealed, and thus the hand ends.

If the hand has not led to blackjack, the players will have their turns before the dealer shows the second card. The dealer must hit on anything 16 and below, and stand on 17 and higher. The dealer doesn’t have the option to stand, split, or double down.

In other variations, it matters as to whether it’s a hard 17 or a soft 17. The card variation will affect whether the dealer must hit or stand on a soft 17.

The blackjack principle is for the dealer to hit until they get 17 or greater, regardless of the player’s hand. In some casinos and other blackjack formats, a dealer will hit again on a soft 17.

Similar to other casino games, the blackjack dealer has little discretion on their gameplay. However, the gameplay adheres to extremely strict standard methods.

The Dealer’s Role in the Casino

  1. Deal with many hands at the same time
  2. Provide a fun experience to the players
  3. Determine whether players are card counters and people trying to thwart the casino
  4. Report any suspicious activities during gameplay

Dealers are given some other options, such as:

  1. The dealer can assist the players by adding the total value of the players. This can sometimes be confusing because aces can have two values. Often, this forces them to make a fast decision, even taking it for the slow players.

  2. The dealer can give advice. Usually, the dealer starts by saying, “The rule book says…” and offers basic strategy cards for free. These cards are sometimes flawed. In any event, the house would still have a 6% edge with a six-deck boot.

  3. Determining whether a player is a card counter or not is the most difficult part. Card counters are very discreet. They are often camouflaged, acting like newbies or tourists trying out casino games. They mostly dress like high-rollers, wearing expensive clothing and jewelry.

  4. Suspicious activities could mean bizarre decisions such as doubling down on 12 and 80, splitting 10s, etc. Other bizarre activities include betting trumps, like starting with $10 bets and finishing with $1000 bets.

However, scammers are not easy to detect. This is why the casino gives other options to the dealer:

  1. Slowing down or going faster
  2. Assisting in totaling cards or not
  3. Being pushy or helping players by being charming as tips are how they’re really paid
  4. Reporting suspicious activity or not
  5. Reporting a player as a possible counter or not
  6. Moving the cut card toward the middle of the boot


Players can decline additional cards on any total they deem fit, but the dealer must hit. This will place the dealer in a volatile position, increasing their probability of a bust.

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