Simplicity and a low house edge are the main qualities that make blackjack online such a popular game. The rules are easy to pick up and the learning curve smooth so the road from amateur to expert is short.

In this guide we’ll focus on the question “When does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack?” but also “When does the dealer have to hit in blackjack?”. This is an important thing to understand when playing blackjack for real money at any online casino offering this game.


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Blackjack dealer rules in a nutshell

In both blackjack single deck and double deck blackjack players can hit as many cards as they like. They are not compelled to stand at 17 or any other hand value and the only concern is not to go over 21, hence go bust. Understanding the dealer rules for blackjack is vital to play the game successfully and improve the winning ratio while reducing the house edge.

♣️ Unlike the player, the dealer must hit until he hits 17 and can’t split or double down. 

♣️ To understand when must the dealer hit in blackjack is key to grasp basic terms. Blackjack hit or stand mechanics imply that players ask for another card (hit) or stop (stand). Dealers do the same, but they must stand when the cards total is 17 or more.

♣️ Games such as European blackjack or Chinese blackjack have different rules on soft and hard hands. What does soft mean in blackjack? A soft hand is made of an ace and another card, while a hard hand doesn’t feature an ace. This is the difference between soft vs hard blackjack hands.

♣️ Does a blackjack dealer have to hit on 16 in any type of game? Definitely Yes! In some varieties of blackjack the dealer is allowed to take cards until he hits a hard 17. In other versions, the croupiers draw cards until they hit any hand total that is 17, with or without aces.

♣️ The dealer is bound by the strict set of rules and it doesn’t matter if he gets two aces in blackjack, or other combination of cards.

♣️ The rules will be printed on the felt of the table for everyone to see.

When does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack?

Before going deeper with the blackjack dealer rules, let’s take a glance at the general rules of the game. The player’s goal is to make a hand better than the dealer’s, without exceeding a total of 21.

Step 1
Players receive two cards facing up
Step 2
The dealer gets two cards, one revealed and one concealed
Step 3
Players hit for cards until they are happy with the grand total
Step 4
When the players stand, the dealer reveals the second card
Step 5
The competitor with the highest hand wins, or the stakes are returned in case of a push

In blackjack when does the dealer stop hitting depends on the soft and hard hand totals. Many casinos prefer games where the dealer hits on soft 17, because this increases the house edge. Players who just learn how to play blackjack might find the differences insignificant, but they are important.

When crafting an advanced blackjack strategy, it is vital to seek the games with the lowest house edge. In conjunction with proper blackjack bankroll management, this can greatly increase the odds of winning.

When does the dealer have to hit in blackjack - Hit or stand on soft 17

Now that you are familiar with the blackjack rules for dealer, it’s worth exploring the main question in detail. When does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack, based on soft and hard 17 totals? For this purpose, we give two examples that should be useful in blackjack for beginners. A hand made of 10 and 7 is considered to be hard 17, whereas an Ace and a 6 is a soft 17. Soft hands are the ones that include an ace, no matter how many other low value cards are used to come up with the grand total.

Players are allowed to draw as many cards as they like, to create the best hands in blackjack. The croupier doesn’t have this option and the rules state when does a blackjack dealer have to hit. The house has an advantage if the dealer is allowed to hit on soft 17. This will give the dealer the chance to draw one more card, therefore beat a player’s higher hand such as 18, 19 or 20. It will even give him the chance to split in case of 21, unless the player made blackjack with an Ace and a 10-valued hole card.

When does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack based on soft and hard hands has a direct impact on odds. For instance, if the dealer is allowed to hit on soft 17, the house edge increases by 0.22%. In the long run, these numbers add up, so it’s preferable to find casinos where the dealer is compelled to stand at soft 17.

FAQ: Your questions on the dealer rules for blackjack answered

In regular and live blackjack, the dealer always has to hit on 16. Whether you play for free, use bonus funds or play blackjack with PayPal, the dealer will never be allowed to stand on 16.
When does the dealer stand or hit in blackjack at 17 depends on the type of game you’re playing. For the player, it is better if the dealer must stand at soft 17 as the house edge is decreased by 0.22%.
The frequency at which the house busts doesn’t depend on when does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack. The blackjack payouts are also the same, but the casino benefits when the dealer can hit at soft 17.
The croupier, as well as the player can only look at the dealer’s upcard, but the second card stays hidden. This is all the information players have for blackjack card counting or any other decision-making.

Understand dealer’s actions to boost your odds of winning in blackjack

Blackjack is a fun game to play, easy to learn and difficult to master, but one carrying a very low house edge. Blackjack tips can help increase the odds of winning and choosing the right version of the game is essential. When does the dealer stop hitting in blackjack is an important question. Choose those blackjack variants where the dealer must stand at soft 17 to decrease the house edge as much as possible.