Michigan lawmakers have been discussing a bill that would legalize “soft 17” in the state. This would allow casino dealers to offer players the option of using their first two cards to form a soft 17 instead of forcing them to hit.
Supporters of the bill argue that it would increase tourism and bring in more revenue for the state. Opponents, however, say that the change would lead to more gambling addiction and crime.
A recent poll showed that 56% of Michigan residents support the legalization of soft 17, while 37% are opposed.
The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is currently being considered by the Senate.
In a recent decision, the Michigan State Gaming Control Board ruled that casinos in the state will continue to offer a soft 17 – a hand where the player is dealt two cards and the total is six.
This ruling comes as a bit of a surprise, as other states have been moving away from this rule in favor of more stringent policies. For instance, New Jersey eliminated the soft 17 rule in 2016, and last year Pennsylvania followed suit.
The Michigan State Gaming Control Board says the decision was based on feedback from casino operators and players. Officials say that many casino customers prefer the softer 17 rule because it gives them more chances to make a winning hand.
Some experts believe that eliminating the soft 17 rule could lead to an overall decrease in gambling revenue, as players would be less likely to gamble on borderline hands.
So far, there has been no indication that Michigan plans to follow New Jersey and Pennsylvania in eliminating the soft 17 rule.
There are a range of house rules which can be applied in blackjack games, and one of these is the soft 17 rule. This rule affects when dealers must take another card to make a total of 17 and whether this is counted as a hard or soft total. In some areas, such as Michigan, the use of the soft 17 rule is mandatory in order to create a level playing field for all players.
The main aim of the soft 17 rule is to stop the player from having an advantage over the dealer by taking a card to make their total 17. The dealer must also draw another card if they have a total of 16, but this is counted as a hard total rather than a soft total. This gives the player an opportunity to improve their hand without giving the dealer too much of an advantage.
The soft 17 rule has been in place in blackjack games for many years, and it is one of the most commonly used house rules across the world. It is particularly popular in areas where there are lots of casino players, as it helps to create a more level playing field.
The Michigan State softball team is ranked No. 17 in the nation in the latest ESPN poll, released on Feb. 26.
This is the team’s highest ranking in school history. The previous high was No. 22, which the Spartans achieved in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Michigan State is coming off of a 2017 season in which it finished 43-16 overall and 15-9 in Big Ten play. The Spartans reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by eventual national champion Florida State.
Now ranked No. 17 in the country, Michigan State looks poised to make a run at the NCAA Championship this season. The Spartans have a very balanced squad, with seven players batting .300 or better last season.
Leading the way offensively for Michigan State is junior outfielder Haleigh convenient, who hit .341 with six home runs and 39 RBIs last season. Other key contributors include sophomore infielder Sydney Allen (.317 batting average), junior catcher Payton Hunt (.311 batting average) and sophomore pitcher Meghan McIntyre (22-8 record, 2.48 ERA).
Defensively, Michigan State returns its entire infield from last season, led by junior shortstop Emma Becker. Becker led Michigan State with a .989 fielding percentage last season and was named a First Team All-American by both ESPNW and Softball America.
The Spartans also have a strong pitching staff, led by McIntyre and senior pitcher Tori Jansen (23-7 record, 2.60 ERA). With so much talent returning from last year’s squad, Michigan State is definitely one of the teams to watch this season as it pursues its first NCAA Championship title.
Gambling establishments around the state of Nevada are lobbying to have a set of standard rules for how to handle a soft 17 – a hand that totals 17 when the ace is counted as one. Currently, the house can make its own rules on how to deal with a soft 17 and some establishments require players to hit when they hold a soft 17 while others allow the player to stand.
Nevada gaming regulators are currently considering a proposal that would require all casinos in the state to deal hands in the same way with regards to soft 17s. The Nevada State Gaming Control Board (NGCB) is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, September 12th to discuss and vote on the proposed regulation.
The Gaming Association of Nevada, which represents over 90% of casino operators in the state, submitted the proposal. According to Jim Ryan, president of the Gaming Association of Nevada, it is important for there to be consistency in how soft 17s are treated at casinos throughout Nevada:
“This is something that’s been needed for quite some time so that there’s some uniformity statewide in how those games are played. There are different interpretations out there now so it puts players at a disadvantage if they go from one jurisdiction [casino] to another.”
Dennis Neilander, chairman of the NGCB, agrees that there should be some standardization with how soft 17 hands are treated:
“I think it would make sense because you go into another casino and they hit on everything and then you go into another casino and they don’t hit anything, it could be confusing for tourists or locals. It makes more sense just to have one policy statewide.”
If approved by the NGCB, the new regulation would take effect on January 1st, 2019.