Maryland gambling regulators assented to the request of casinos allowing blackjack dealers of drawing a card on hand popularly known as “soft 17”. This change will give advantage to the house and thus generate bigger revenue. This change was made after a voice vote held at the monthly meeting of Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission endorsed it. It needs to be approved by the Joint committee of the General Assembly on Administrative, Legislative and Executive Review.
This was however, not the case in 2014, when the staff at gaming control rejected the request made by the casinos to permit dealers to “hit” the soft 17. This is a hand which adds up to 17, inclusive of an ace counted as either 1 or 11. There is no requirement to stand pat.
When it comes to blackjack, the players strive for a higher score than dealer without exceeding 21. In Maryland casinos, dealers must draw card at 16. They can also draw less. With this present ruling, dealers can stand at 17s. No such restrictions are imposed on players.
Playing the game
It is well-known that in a casino environment, blackjacks are the most amenable game to players with the house giving a minuscule advantage for any player applying fundamental strategy. Maryland itself is considered amenable to players. To give an example, casinos in the state pay a 3 to 2 on blackjack. This happens when any player reaches perfect 21 by taking an ace and also a 10-value card. It means a $10 bet makes $15. A few casinos in states except Maryland offer 6 to 5 blackjack payouts.
According to Charles LaBoy, assistant director of the state gaming authority, allowing dealers to hit 17 will raise the advantage of the house by approximately 0.2 percent. Casinos enjoy increased flexibility to manage floors.