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Tip 10: Blackjack Rules. The Rules That Dealers Must Follow

Believe it or not, the blackjack dealer…

This is the 10th tip in our series, “How to Play Blackjack: 21 Winning Tips.” If you would like to view these tips offline and at your leisure, just click for the Fort Myers Beach location or the Myrtle Beach location.

…actually plays by a different set of Blackjack rules than the player.

The dealer must always play by the Casino rules.

However, this does not give an advantage or disadvantage.

A blackjack dealer must play his hand in a specific way…no choices allowed.

There are two popular rule variations that dictate what total the dealer must draw to.

The Blackjack tabletop should be labeled to let you know which rule is played.

The two most common rules used by blackjack dealers among most casinos are the following:

  1. Dealer Stands on All 17’s:

  2. With this rule, if a dealer’s hand total is less than 17, they must continue to “hit”.

  3. For example, if you have a hand totaling 12, and the dealer’s hand is 14, even though it beats your hand they cannot “stand”.  This may increase the dealer’s odds of going over 21 or “busting.”

  4. The dealer must continue to take cards, or “hit” until his total is 17 or greater.

  5. If cards total 17 or greater, the dealer must stop drawing cards, or “stand.”

  6. An Ace in a dealer’s hand is always counted as 11, if possible without the dealer going over 21.

  7. Dealer Hits Soft 17:

  8. Under this rule, a dealer must hit if they get a “soft 17” The house advantage is slightly increased when this rule is used.

  9. A hand that contains an Ace counted as 11 is called a “soft hand.”

  10. The following hands are examples of “soft 17” (Dealer “hits” these hands)

  11. Ace, 6

  12. Ace, 5, Ace

  13. Ace, 2, 4

  14. Dealer “stands” on soft 18, hard 17, or higher.

The dealer does not have the option of “Doubling Down” or “Splitting.” (See Tip 8 to learn more about “Doubling Down” or “Splitting”)

Make sure that you know what the blackjack rules are before you sit down at a table, so that you know exactly what you’re playing.

“How to Play Blackjack – 21 Winning Tips” is also available as a free eBook at or

If you are interested in playing either Florida Blackjack or South Carolina Blackjack or simply want more information – feel free to contact us, or call us.

For our Fort Myers Beach location contact us or call us at (239) 765-7529 or

For our Myrtle Beach location contact us or call us at (843) 249-9811.

*Photo courtesy of Joe Loong.

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