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Hit Me! How to Play Soft 17 in Blackjack

Hit Me! How to Play Soft 17 in Blackjack

Blackjack is undoubtedly one of the most engaging and strategic games in the realm of online casinos. This guide is designed to enhance your gameplay by offering insight into its blend of chance and skill, promising a thrilling ride for every player. Central to mastering this game is understanding certain key strategies, one of which is knowing how to play a “soft 17.”

The term is a unique scenario in Blackjack that could potentially tilt the odds in your favor. This guide aims to help you understand and navigate through the nuances of this important concept in your online Blackjack journey.

Soft 17: Understanding the Basics of Blackjack

Before delving into the specifics of “soft 17,” let’s revisit the basic rules of Blackjack. The game begins with each player being dealt two cards, with the goal of reaching a total score of 21 or as close to it as possible without going over. If your cards exceed 21, it’s called a ‘bust,’ and you lose the round.

In Blackjack, the terms ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ are used to refer to the nature of the hand you’re holding. A ‘hard’ hand is one where the Ace can only be counted as 1 because counting it as 11 would cause the hand to bust. In contrast, a ‘soft’ hand is where the Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11 without busting. Herein lies the flexibility and potential advantage of this hand.

For additional pointers on how to better play the Blackjack game, make sure to read our Blackjack Guide.

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Soft 17 Explained

A “soft 17” hand in Blackjack refers to a hand consisting of an Ace (counted as 11) and a 6. This combination can either be valued at 7 or 17 due to the Ace, hence the term “soft” as it possesses two potential values.

However, a “soft 17” isn’t limited to this single card combination. You might find yourself with a “soft 17” through various card combinations involving an Ace. For instance, you could be holding an Ace, a 2, and a 4, or an Ace and a pair of 3s. The flexibility offered by the “soft 17” allows more room for strategic decisions, making it a crucial element in any Blackjack game.

Playing Smart: The Soft 17 Strategy 

Blackjack is not just a game of chance, but also of strategy. This strategic element becomes increasingly critical when you’re dealt a “soft 17.” The flexibility of this hand provides unique opportunities to optimize your gameplay.

The “soft 17” strategy varies from other Blackjack strategies due to its inherent versatility. The ability to count the Ace as either 1 or 11 means you can alter your strategy based on the dealer’s up card. For instance, if the dealer shows a weak card (anything less than 7), you could consider doubling down to maximize your potential profit. If the dealer shows a strong card (7 or higher), hitting might be a safer choice to aim for a higher total.

Whether to hit, stand, or double down on a “soft 17” largely depends on the dealer’s up card and the specific rules of the Blackjack game you’re playing. For instance, in a game where the dealer must stand on 17, you might be more inclined to take a risk and hit or double down on a “soft 17”. Alternatively, considering blackjack insurance as a safety net could be a viable strategy, depending on the game’s context. The right decision can vary, but understanding these dynamics, including when to utilize blackjack insurance, is a crucial aspect of mastering the “soft 17” strategy.

Common Mistakes

Even seasoned players can make errors when it comes to the “soft 17” strategy. One of the most common mistakes is treating it as a hard hand. Remember, the flexibility of an Ace allows you to adapt your approach based on the game’s progression.

Another common misconception is always standing on a “soft 17”. Depending on the dealer’s up card and the specific game rules, hitting or doubling down might be a more profitable decision in the long run. Understanding the mathematics and probability behind these decisions is crucial to minimize mistakes and optimize your strategy.

Variations in Rules

While the basic rules of Blackjack are generally consistent, some variations can significantly affect your “soft 17” strategy. One such variation is the rule on how a dealer handles this hand. In some blackjack casino games, the dealer is required to hit on a “soft 17”, while in others, they must stand.

This rule can greatly influence your decision making. For example, if you know the dealer must hit on “soft 17”, you can factor that into your own decision to hit, stand, or double down.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the Blackjack game you’re playing. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make the best decisions when this hand lands in your hand.

Advanced Strategies

Once you have mastered this basic strategy, there are several advanced tactics you can employ to enhance your chances further. Techniques such as card counting and shuffle tracking can be quite beneficial.

Card counting involves keeping track of the ratio of high to low cards remaining in the deck. This information can help you make more informed decisions when faced with a “soft 17.” Shuffle tracking, on the other hand, requires you to follow specific clusters of cards during the shuffle, enabling you to predict when and where these card groups might appear during the game.

While these strategies can improve your odds when holding this hand, keep in mind that they require a considerable amount of practice to execute effectively.

Practicing Your Blackjack Strategy

Practicing your “soft 17” strategy is crucial for refining your Blackjack skills, including your approach to Blackjack Side Bets. Luckily, there are several ways to do this. Free online Blackjack games and simulations provide an excellent platform for practice without the risk of losing money. While practicing, it’s also a good opportunity to experiment with different strategies related to Blackjack Side Bets, allowing you to understand when and how to place these additional wagers effectively.

Remember, patience and constant practice are key in mastering the this strategy. It’s a journey of trial and error that will ultimately sharpen your decision-making skills and enhance your overall Blackjack gameplay.


The concept of “soft 17” holds great importance in the game of Blackjack. Understanding its dynamics and applying the right strategy can significantly improve your odds of winning. As you venture into your online Blackjack journey, remember to keep learning, practicing, and refining your strategies.

For novice players, don’t be disheartened by initial hurdles. Mastery comes with time. Start by learning how to play blackjack at home, where you can practice strategies and techniques like managing this hand in a stress-free environment. Most importantly, always practice responsible gambling, whether playing blackjack at home or in a traditional casino setting. The thrill of the game should never compromise your well-being or financial security.

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FAQs – Hit Me! How to Play Soft 17 in Blackjack

Is it always beneficial to hit on a soft 17?

Not necessarily. The decision to hit, stand, or double down on a “soft 17” should be based on the dealer’s up card and the specific rules of the game you’re playing.

How does the dealer play a soft 17 in different casinos?

This can vary based on the casino’s rules. In some casinos, the dealer is required to hit on a “soft 17,” while in others, they must stand. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules before starting a game.

Should I always double down when I have a soft 17 and the dealer has a weak card?

While doubling down can be a strategic move when the dealer shows a weak card, it’s not always the best choice. Always consider the game’s specific rules and the remaining cards in the deck.

Remember, the world of Blackjack is rich and dynamic, and the “soft 17” is just one aspect of it. Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the game.