BlackjackGuru's Blog

For Smart Women Only: Make Blackjack Pay

Your Blackjack hand: A-6

Posted by blackjackguru on June 22, 2009

6 decks, S17, DAS, No Surrender, Peek
Estimated casino edge for these rules: 0.44 %
Dealer Upcard
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
A,6 H D D D D H H H H H

Do not stand on soft 17 at ANY time. The Advantage Player realizes that 17 is a very weak hand, since the only way to win is if the Dealer busts, which is only about 28% of the time. A soft 17 must be hit, because the drawing of one or more cards might result in a better pat hand.This rule “hit all soft 17’s” applies in any combination of cards with an Ace, such as A-3-3, for example.

More important, look for the opportunities to double down A-6 against Dealer’s 3, 4, 5, 6.The long-run win rates of doubling down, compared to just hitting, are as follows:

Double down A-6 vs 3: Doubling wins 6% of total wagers placed. Hitting wins 3%

Double down A-6 vs 4: Doubling wins 12% of total wagers placed. Hitting wins 6%

Double down A-6 vs 5: Doubling wins 20% of total wagers placed. Hitting wins 10%

Double down A-6 vs 6: Doubling wins 26% of total wagers placed. Hitting wins 13%

Common Loser Mistakes:

  • Standing on soft 17 vs Dealer stiff upcards of 2 to 6.  The scared loser player tries to avoid taking “the Dealer’s bust card” expecting the very next card to be a 10. The Advantage Player always hits her soft 17 without fail, because she knows if she stands on soft 17 her long run expectation is actually a loss against a dealer’s 2 to 5. She converts this expected loss into becoming a long-run winner by hitting.
  • Doubling down A-6 vs Dealer 2. The overaggressive loser player thinks the Dealer’s 2 upcard is a “bust card”, and he doubles down thinking he makes more money. The opposite is true. The Advantage Player just hits A-6 vs 2, and enjoys a long run win rate of tiniest 0.1%, but that is better than doubling down which in the long-run will lose about 0.4% of total wagers placed.

Did You Know..?

There exists an Advanced Strategy that calls for doubling down A-6 vs 2. If you see somebody do it sometimes and not other times, she may be an Advantage Player and a long-run winner, so don’t judge. You can learn about Advanced Playing Strategies at a future lesson.


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