2-Deck Blackjack: Dealer Stands Soft 17


2-Deck Blackjack Strategy

2-deck blackjack, also known as double-deck blackjack, is played with two decks and the dealer stands on a soft 17. The dealer deals the initial hand of two cards to the player face down. If the player hits after the original deal, their new card (or cards) will be dealt face up.

2-deck blackjack rules may be different from one casino to another. Make sure you are familiar with the rules and basic strategy, whether you are just out to enjoy a few hours of fun at a casino or you aspire to be a professional gambler.

Some casinos require dealers to stand on any hand that is worth a total of 17 points, whether soft (made up of an Ace counted as 11 plus a Six) or hard (a face card plus a Seven). If this rule applies, it will be indicated on the blackjack table layout, which will state: “Dealer Must Stand on all 17.”

If the dealer is not required to stand on all 17, the table layout will say: "Dealer Hits Soft 17." In such a case, the dealer may hit whenever he or she has 17 consisting of an Ace together with a Six. When this rule is followed, it results in a slightly higher edge for the house.

Click for information on history, how to play, terminology/glossary, table layout and blackjack card counting.

2-Deck Blackjack Strategy Chart - Dealer Stands on a Soft 17

2-Deck BJ

Blackjack Player's Choices

You as a blackjack player will choose one of these strategies after the initial deal: hit, stand, pair splitting, doubling down, even money or surrendering.

Hit: Request another card from the dealer. You can show your intention by using your finger to beckon to the dealer or to tap on the table top behind your existing card pile. If the additional card makes your total exceed 21, you are out of the game for that round and lose your wager.

Stand: Wave your hands above your card pile or turn your cards sideways to show you do not want any additional cards.

Pair Splitting: When the initial hand dealt to you turns out to be a pair, you may split the cards – that is, divide them into two hands of one card each. Then place a bet on the additional hand which is the same amount as your original bet. When playing by classic blackjack rules, you may only split a pair of identical face value (such as 2 Jacks), and are allowed to split just once per round.

Other versions of the game are more lenient in permitting pairs that have the same point value (a Ten plus a face card or 2 face cards) to be split, although this is not generally advisable. They may also allow resplitting – sometimes freely, or sometimes up to a certain number of times.

Splitting a pair of Aces is universally accepted as good blackjack strategy, even though the majority of casinos will only allow a player to draw one additional card on a hand that has been created in this way.

Doubling Down: After viewing your first 2 cards, you may opt to double your initial wager. This is a desirable strategy if you start out with a strong hand. To show your intention, simply place an additional chip next to your original chip wager. If you take this action, you will be permitted to draw only one additional card. According to the rules of some casinos, doubling down is allowable only if the player’s first two cards total 10 or 11 points.

Surrendering: If you do not wish to continue a round with the cards you have been dealt, most casinos will permit you the option of surrender (also called “late surrender”) after the dealer has checked their own cards for blackjack. (In rare cases, you may be able to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack.) This means that you will forfeit half of your wager, your cards will be removed and you will sit out the rest of the current round.

Even Money: An even money bet, made available to a player with blackjack when the dealer’s up card is an Ace, is known as “insurance.” This insurance will pay out 1:1 if the dealer’s hole card turns out to be a Ten. Insurance is generally considered an unnecessary expense.

Summary

Strategy, skill and Lady Luck combine in the game of blackjack, which is why it is so intriguing to players at all levels.

The rules and strategies discussed here in our website are for your entertainment only. We ask you to gamble responsibly, bearing in mind that the house edge means the casino always wins over the long haul.

Blackjack Resources

Click for a full range of blackjack resources like the history of the game, how to play, card counting, glossary and much more: