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Your Blackjack hand: A-A pairs

Posted by blackjackguru on June 26, 2009

6 decks, S17, DAS, No Surrender, Peek, Estimated casino edge for these rules: 0.44 %
D=Double down, H=Hit, P=Split, S=Stand

Dealer Upcard
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A

In poker it’s called American Airlines or a pair of bullets. In blackjack, it’s the 3rd best starting hand you can get, next to a Natural (Blackjack) and two 10’s. Technically, you have a total of 2 or 12 because of the dual value of the Ace being a 1 or an 11.

Basic Strategy calls for you to split Aces against every dealer up-card. That is because by splitting, each Ace contains a starting value of 11, and easily becomes 21 on each Ace. In most casinos, the Ace only gets one card each, with no option to the player to draw (hit) another card after the split.  Still, splitting is the way to go. The saying goes “always split Aces and Eights” and it is certainly true.

Common Loser Mistakes:

Failing to split A-A vs dealer’s 10 or Ace. The loser does not want to risk more money on the table. So he hits his Aces, instead of splitting. Wrong, wrong, wrong! The Advantage Player always follows Basic Strategy. The long run win as a percent of total wagers placed are:

A-A vs dealer’s 10: Splitting wins 19%. Hitting loses 4%. Doubling down loses 5%. Standing loses 5%.

A-A vs dealer’s A: Splitting wins 13%. Hitting loses 2%. Doubling down loses 6%. Standing loses 7%

Conclusion: Always split your Aces, even against 10 or A.

Did You Know…?

  • There is an Advanced Strategy that in certain instances calls for just hitting A-A vs dealer’s Ace. You will learn about that later. For now, you should follow Basic Strategy perfectly and always split Aces.

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