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Last Updated: January 17, 2019

Composition-Dependent Strategy for Single Deck and Dealer Stands on Soft 17


This appendix shows the composition dependent strategy when a single deck is used and the dealer stands on a soft 17. As far as I know the number of land casinos in the world with these rules is zero. At one time, when I created this page, you could find such rules at some Internet casinos.

This page is based on the defunct Boss Media blackjack rules, as follows:

  • Single deck
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack
  • Double after split allowed
  • Player may split only once
  • No surrender
  • Split aces get one card only

Using the ordinary total-depenendent basic strategy the player advantage under the Boss Media rules is 0.11%, and under the Microgaming rules the house edge is 0.13%. These strategies can be found in my Boss Media and Microgaming reviews. The total dependent basic strategy shows the best play based on the total of the player's cards. However sometimes, especially in single-deck, there are exceptions according to the exact cards in the player's hand. For example, all things considered it is better to stand than to hit a 13 against a dealer 2. However with a 10 and 3 against a dealer 2 it is better to hit. The following tables are the composition dependent basic strategy, which is the best play based on the exact composition of the player's hand. With three or more cards the strategies are the same. Using the composition dependent strategies on this page will lower the house edge by 0.04%, or to be specific under the Boss Media rules the player will have an 0.1541% advantage.

The following tables are appropriate for the Boss Media rules. They may also be used under the Microgaming rules, except the player should not double on 11 or split eights, against a 10 or ace, because the dealer does not peek for blackjack under the Microgaming Classic Blackjack rules. Microgaming also does not allow doubling on 8.

It should be noted that the six-card chart has some impossible situations involving five aces. For example, player A-A-A-A-3-9 vs. dealer ace. Please just ignore those situations.

Strategy Exceptions by Number of Cards

If the tables above are too much information, you can get nearly the effectiveness with the tables and lists below that show situations where the right play depends on the number of cards in the player's hand. This is also based on a single-deck game where the dealer stands on a soft 17.

1 Deck



2 to 8 Decks

There are only a few exceptions for 2 to 8 decks, as follows.

  • Always: Stand on 16 vs 10 with 3 or more cards.
  • Two decks, dealer stands on soft 17: Stand soft 18 vs A with 3 or more cards.
  • Four or six decks, dealer stands on soft 17: Stand soft 18 vs A with 4 or more cards.


Several player through the years have found some omissions in my charts. Here are some I can remember.

  • "Tank"
  • Scott E. (Scott claims the player edge is only 0.1531% under the Boss Media rules)
  • Don Schlesinger

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