Maryland Says “Yes” to Hitting on 17

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore Celebrates Grand OpeningLast month decision makers in Maryland concluded it would be beneficial for local casinos to allow dealers to hit on Soft 17s. This mathematically ensures House edge is increased to 0.2%, revenues obviously following suit to add up over time.

Maryland establishments had been trying for quite some time to change gaming rules to permit dealers taking a card when hands total 17, but include an Ace, thus creating a Soft 17. Operators are hoping this fresh advantage will counterbalance their payout odds of 3:2 on player blackjacks, which are much friendlier than other states, as usually 6:5 is found.

The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission approved the initiative, but it must be confirmed by the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review, the ultimate  determinators for blackjack rules in the state. As this legislation would raise profits for both casinos and the government, it’s almost a foregone conclusion it will be passed.

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