January 20th, 2011
After all the players¬† have acted on their hands,the dealer turns over her hole card for all to see and either stands or hits her hand.She cannot double down or split those are options reserved for the players.Assuming she doesn’t¬† have a natural,the dealer¬† ha¬† to play her hand according to a fixed casino rule.In most casinos that rule is:Dealer must draw on all totals of 16 or less, and stand on all¬† totals of 17 or more.The rule is always imprinted on the felt tabletop ,and is usually stated as:Dealer must draw¬† to 16 and stand on all 17s.
This rule is standard in most venues, including Atlantic City and Europe.However , many casinos have¬† modified¬† the rule so that their dealers have to take a hit if they¬† have a soft total of exactly 17.In that case, the rule¬† imprinted on the felt is stated as: Dealer must hit soft 17s.It is understood that the dealer must draw to 16 and stand on hard 17.
When the dealer hits soft 17s, it is less favorable¬† for the player and increases the casino’s edge¬† by 0.2%.This rule is mainly applied in downtown Las Vegas , some casinos on the Strip¬† ,and some casinos in Mississippi .At least it is easy to tell what rule¬† applies¬† by glancing at the tabletop,which is more than can be said for rarely posted rule variations on player¬† doubling and splitting.
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