Enjoy your time at Springbok Casino
As far as online casino games go, Blackjack is one of the best. It is fast moving, gets the brain gears moving and it is fun to play! When you work hard at your skill levels you can beat the edge at Springbok Casino. Having said that, there are some hands that are baffling in the extreme… and soft 17 is exactly that!
Before we get into the smart strategy required to transform soft 17 into a potential winner, here is a crash course of what soft versus hard actually means in the context of Blackjack.
A soft hand is simply a hand that contains an ace – and we all know an ace in blackjack counts as 1 or 11. That is the first clue to resolving the soft 17 conundrum. In these types of hands, the ace is agile and dynamic. It can change numerical roles within the same game round and that gives you plenty of leeway when it comes to determining the next best move.
On the flipside, a hard hand in blackjack is one that does not contain an ace. The value of the cards is immutable. As a result, there is zero flexibility. In a sense, that makes decision-making a little easier – and in the wonderful world of online casino games the mantra is ‘the easier the better’!
What does soft 17 look like? As it refers to the first two cards you are dealt, soft 17 is A-6. As we all know, aces are either 11 or 1 and the value of the hand is consequently 17 or 7. That is not the only combination of cards that counts as soft 17. There are multi-card sequences too, such as A-3-3; A-4-2 and A-2-2-2.
The beauty of all these hands is the fact that you simply cannot go bust when you draw one more card. Even if you do hit a value over 4 – which, by the way, gives you 21 and a potential 1 to 1 payout – you are completely safe. Why? When you draw a card over 4, the hand automatically reverts to a 7-value hand and no card in the pack can pose a threat!
What is hard 17? Hard 17 is 10-7, 9-8 or 10-4-3 and so on. There is no ambiguity about the value of these hands. As a result, the actions outlined in the basic blackjack strategy chart should ideally be adopted and based on what the dealer is showing at the time.
Under normal circumstances, you would stand on a total of 17 – regardless of the dealer’s up card. Soft 17 on the other hand isn’t normal in that it can morph from 7 to 17 and back again. How do you play soft 17 and get the best possible results? Do you stand, hit or in the case of A-6, double down?
The first rule – and it is one that is cast in stone – is never stand on soft 17. Why? The simple truth is you can’t go bust but you can get a much better hand, including 21. In certain circumstances you can and must double down as the odds of beating the dealer are so high, you really do want the maximum number of chips on the table.
When do you double your wager and go for broke with soft 17? When the dealer shows 3, 4, 5 or 6. With low card values like that there is a high probability the dealer will go bust. How come?
The dealer, which is really the casino software, doesn’t have the luxury of standing when a threat is detected. What does that mean in terms of rands and cents? In online casino games speak, there is double the money en route to your Springbok Casino account!
The best play soft 17 rules do change when you have a sequence of three or more cards. Why? When you play Blackjack at Springbok Casino, you are only allowed to double on the first two cards. That automatically precludes you from doubling down on the likes of A-3-3; A-4-2 or A-2-2-2.
What do you do in situations such as these? Well, you hit, of course… but only when the dealer’s up card is 2 or 7, 8, 9, 10 or A. What do you do thereafter? That all depends on the value of the drawn card and what the basic blackjack strategy chart tells you to do based on the new total in your hand and what the dealer is showing!
Although it may be intuitive to stand on soft 17, just as you would on hard 17, the variability of the ace means you have a lot more flexibility in terms of the perceived hand total. Think of it this way. You can’t bust on a two-card 7 but you can win double the money if you draw 4 or less to A-6!
At the end of the day, the decision you make is ultimately based on the dealer’s card. Best of all, you have all the direction you need from the online casino games strategy tips outline above. When you combine those with the information displayed on the basic blackjack strategy chart, there is a better than average chance you will win more soft 17 hands than you will lose when you play Blackjack online at Springbok Casino!