Go Back

What Is a Soft 17 In Blackjack? (& Should You Hit)

Blackjack may be a casino game that incorporates randomness, but it helps to know the game rules. One crucial element in the game is a soft 17.

Soft 17 VS Hard 17

A soft 17 is a blackjack hand containing an Ace worth 11. For example, an Ace-6 hand is the most common type of soft 17. However, an Ace-3,3 hand can also be a soft 17. It’s also possible to have a soft 17 with a hand comprising 3 or more cards, as long as the Ace counts as 11. For example, an Ace-Ace-2-4. These are all soft 17s because you can’t bust on your next hit; the Ace counts as 1 instead of allowing you to bust.

A hard 17, on the other hand, doesn’t have an Ace card. For example, a 10-7 or 8-9 hand both count as hard 17s.

The main difference between the soft and hard hands is how to play them. For example, basic strategy holds that you stand if you have a hard 17. In addition, the basic strategy states you should always hit if you have an Ace-6.

Does a Dealer Have To Hit on a Soft 17?

It depends. The dealer may have to hit on a soft 17 in some casinos and slot sites while they’ll have to stand in others. You’ll know whether the rule is applicable because it will be indicated on the blackjack table layout. For instance, the table may read ‘Dealer Must Stand on all 17s’ or ‘Dealer Hits Soft 17’.

Should You Hit on a Soft 17 In Blackjack?

Hitting on a soft 17 is always a better move than standing. However, it’s crucial to factor in the dealer’s hand before you make your move. For example;

Double down if the dealer’s face-up card shows a 3 to 6 or if it shows a 2 to 6 in single-deck blackjack.

Hit if the dealer’s face-up card is a 2 or 7. Conversely, double down in single-deck blackjack instead of hitting.

Is It Better If The Blackjack Dealer Hits or Stands a Soft 17?

If the dealer hits on a soft 17, the house edge alters by two-tenths of 1% higher than if they chose to stand. In addition, standing on a soft 17 won’t improve their hand. 

So, if the player has a 17 hand or better, the dealer’s next move would be to push. If the dealer hits on a soft 17 with an Ace face-up card, it increases their chances of making an 18, 19, 20, or 21 hand to potentially win against the player’s hand.

Therefore, it’s better for you, as the player, if the dealer stands on a soft 17.


Knowing what a soft 17 is in blackjack and what to do with a soft 17 vs hard 17 can go a long way in improving your gameplay.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.