# "Dealer must draw to 16"

• KenSmith

"Dealer must draw to 16"

An email I got today made me realize that this phrase emblazoned on every blackjack table is a little ambiguous. Assuming it’s a S17 house, the table generally says “Dealer must draw to 16 and stand on 17.”

The ‘draw to 16’ part could also be taken to mean ‘draw until 16’, meaning they would stand at 16. Of course, with the rest of the phrase tacked on the end, it’s not much of a problem. However, as my email from earlier today indicates, it can be confusing for someone new to the game.

I wonder how a dealer would respond if after he drew a 5 on his 16, you called the floor over and started in on him: “Well, the table says he’ll draw to 16, but he got to 16 and just kept on going!”

• Mikeaber

Can’t Wait!

I can’t wait to find a table labeled like that! Taken literally though, “Draw to 16” would mean to me that he had to hit sixteen (draw to a sixteen.) Everything else he’d have to stand on! An implied S17. If the table were labeled that way and he tried to hit a Soft 17, I’d probalby go a little balistic

• mdw

I am new to the game and trying to understand the outcomes from basic strategy as I play. One table rule I can’t seem to quite figure the outcome, is the soft seventeen rule. I believe that the dealer standing on a soft seventeen is better for the b.s. player, but not sure why. I have a few ideas about how the hand would play out. Playing b.s. , I am going to stand on a hard seventeen or better. If the dealer stands on a soft seventeen, I have been playing against the dealer’s up card of an 6 or ace and if I have a 17 we push. If I had an 18 or better I would win the hand. Sounds good to me. If I have a seventeen and the dealer has to hit his soft seventeen and he draws a 10 he has a hard seventeen. I am standing on a hard 17 or better we push or better yet I win the hand. Similar outcome, good for me. If he has a soft 17 and draws something other than a ten, doesn’t he also have a good chance of busting trying to make a hard 17 out of his soft seventeen? If the dealer had a 6 showing I would have been standing or doubling down depending on my hand. If his up card was an ace I would have been drawing cards to a hard seventeen or better. In either case I have already played my hand. If you tell me to just accept that the dealer standing on a soft seventeen is statistically better I am fine with that, I was just wanting to know why. Thank you. P.S great site.

• KenSmith