Adjusting Blackjack Strategy when the Dealer hits on Soft 17
Few casino games have the sheer variety of rule variations that blackjack games do. And as most experience blackjack players know, a single change to the rules can lead to the need for some major adjustments in the way you play the game. It is therefore very important to examine the rules of each blackjack game variant before opting to play it and then adjust your strategy accordingly in order to consistently play a winning game.
One of the most common variations in blackjack rules that will significantly affect your blackjack strategy is the way that the dealer treats a soft 17. In some games the dealer stands on soft 17 and in others he/she will hit.
In standard games, dealers generally stand on soft 17, but this is not the case in every game and if you play a game where the dealer hits on this total, you will be faced with a number of atypical game play options that can in fact increase your payouts.
The first of which is the surrender option. When a dealer hits on soft 17 you will generally use the surrender option more often against an Ace card. This may mean that surrendering a hard 15 or 17 total when faced with an Ace can be correct, especially in multi-deck games due to the lack of influence of card removal.
Another area of play that will be affected will be soft hands against a weak dealer card. In these instances you will need to increase your advantage because the dealer will be more likely to hit and bust.
These scenarios will definitely need to be accounted for when adjusting your game play strategy. This means that you should always double if you are holding soft 18 against any cards valued at two to six, which is atypical as you would generally stand against a two. Also, you should double on a soft 19 if you're up against a dealer's six.
Finally, the most specific alteration in game play that you should make is one that most players don't know about. In a standard blackjack game where the dealer stands on soft 17 and is holding an ace, players generally split paired eights instead of surrendering. However, in games where the dealer hits on soft 17, and holds an Ace, you should always surrender. This is an atypical play, but one that can save you a great deal of money in the long run.