When Does the Dealer Have to Hit in Blackjack?
Last Updated: February 13, 2024
The dealer is the house or the casino operator in a blackjack game. They ensure that all cards are dealt equally and are the primary opponent of players in a blackjack game. When a dealer finishes dealing cards to all the players at a blackjack table, their face-down card is turned up. If the card value of their cards is 16 or less, then they must hit (hitting means to draw another card). Dealers with a total card value of 17 or higher are required to stand (not take another card).
This is a bit more flexible when you consider the blackjack rules for a hard 17 and a soft 17. Dealers are always required to stand on a hard 17, but the rules for soft 17 depend on the table. Some tables allow the dealer to hit on soft 17, while others require the dealer to stand. The dealer's first ace is given a numerical value of 11, except if it busts the hand, then it is given a value of 1. It is important for players to learn the rules surrounding soft 17 at their table before they begin playing.