The Dealers Strategy The dealer really employs no strategy, for his play is determined automatically by the rules of the game. If his initial hand totals 17, 18,19, or 20, he must stand. After the players have drawn, he pays all hands that are higher than his, collects from all hands that are lower, and declares a tie with all hands of equal value. If the dealer has a total of 16 or less, he must continue to hit his hand until it totals at least 17 or until he busts. He cannot hit a hand that totals 17, unless the casino has a rule that the dealer must hit on a soft 17, casino black jack meaning an ace and a six which could be counted as a 7, or a 17. Remember, any hand with an ace and a card with a value of less than ten is considered soft. Dealers must take a hit on a soft 17. This hit on a soft 17 is slightly disadvantageous to the player, like a little over one percentage point. Now, should you, as a player, ever come across a game where the dealer wins all ties, give it up, leave the building, as you are giving the house another nine-point casino black jack advantage. Players Options In addition to drawing additional cards, the player has several options that are not available to the dealer. These are splitting pairs, doubling down, taking insurance, and surrendering.