Basic strategy is everything for a blackjack player. Players using the mathematically correct moves for every hand leads to a lower house edge for the casino than someone who doesn’t have this skill.
We recently focused on how to make the correct plays when doubling down and splitting. These are great hands to focus on. However, they’re not the only hands that can be greatly impacted by using the correct basic strategy.
I was recently reading an article about a player yelling “Ace” every time they received the card. The story was fun but unfortunately, the player didn’t know the basic strategy to make the correct plays.
This person would always double on a pair of Aces instead of properly splitting the pair. One of the first tips I learned when starting to play blackjack was “always split Aces and Eights.”
Even my recreational gambling friends know to do this despite their lack of interest in learning the basic blackjack strategy. If there’s one person that doesn’t know the correct play when dealt Aces, there are probably more. Let’s take another dive into the correct basic strategy moves when a player is dealt at least one Ace.
Being Dealt An Ace
Using the basic strategy when playing blackjack is simple. It doesn’t take someone with supreme intelligence to memorize the correct plays. If a player doesn’t feel like memorizing the correct plays they can use a physical basic strategy card at the table. Sorry, phones are not allowed.
Sometimes the easiest way to memorize something is to break it up into smaller pieces. Today we’re going to look at the correct basic strategy plays when a player is dealt at least one Ace.
Hands with an Ace can sometimes be confusing to a new blackjack player. The hands are considered “soft” because they can be played in two ways.
For example, when a player is dealt an Ace and 5 the hand can be played as a 6 or 16. Even somewhat experienced blackjack players will sometimes struggle with the correct moves on a soft hand.
I’ve shared my struggles remembering when to hit a soft 18 numerous times. Hopefully, we can demystify playing hands with an Ace today.
Basic Strategy Guide When Dealt An Ace
Note “10” reflects all cards with this value. These cards include a 10, Jack, Queen, and King.
Ace, Ace – Always split
Ace, 2 – Hit against a dealer showing 2, 3, 4, or 7, 8, 9, 10, Ace. Otherwise, double down.
Ace, 3 – Hit against a dealer showing 2, 3, 4, or 7, 8, 9, 10, Ace. Otherwise, double down.
Ace, 4 – Hit against a dealer showing 2, 3 or 7, 8, 9, 10, Ace. Otherwise, double down.
Ace, 5 – Hit against a dealer showing 2, 3 or 7, 8, 9, 10, Ace. Otherwise, double down.
Ace, 6 – Hit against a dealer showing 2 or 7, 8, 9, 10, Ace. Otherwise, double down.
Ace, 7 – Hit against a dealer showing 9, 10, or Ace. Double down against 3, 4, 5 or 6. Otherwise stand.
Stand when dealt the following three hands.
The basic strategy for hands with an Ace can be a little confusing at first. Using the correct strategy will keep the house edge for a blackjack game low. It should allow a player’s bankroll to last longer.
Playing more hands for the same amount of money should lead to more fun in the casino. It could also lead to spending enough time at the game to hit a hot shoe and possibly walk away as a winner.
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