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Black Jack School

How to Play Your Ace-5 vs. the Dealer's 7

What's Your Move? Advice on to Play Your Ace-5 (Soft 16) Against the Dealer's 7 in Blackjack
Charles of Predictem.com

When you start playing live blackjack you're going to find that the proceedings move along rather quickly. So quickly, in fact, that it is really to your advantage to make up your mind as soon as possible on hands. This is unlike the scenario of when you're playing online, because you are much more in control of the speed. When you're in the live game with live players, they don't want to wait forever for you and you will likely feel pressure to act fast.

This is one of the things the basic strategy in blackjack is good for. If you memorize it, you'll be able to make those decisions instantaneously, as if they are second nature to you. Of course, the strategy decisions are also mathematically correct, and that is where it takes on critical importance.

What we like to do in these "What's Your Move?" columns is not only point out what the right basic strategy play is, but also the rationale behind these plays, because we believe that if you know that going in, you'll tend to question it a lot less. And as we know all too well, playing hunches leads to defeat!


You are playing in a multiple-deck game and you are allowed the option of doubling on soft hands (that is, hands containing an Ace). And guess what? You are dealt an Ace, along with a five (5), which means that your hand could worth either six or 16 at that very moment, meaning it is not the best soft hand to have. However, being a soft hand, there is still hope, because you can play that out and make something better. The dealer gives herself a seven (7) as her upcard. It would lead to a 17 if she was able to draw a ten-value card (10, Jack, Queen, King), which is the most likely scenario.

It's likely that you know that to stand with your soft 16 is a non-starter, so your options are to hit the hand and see what happens, or exercise the option of soft doubling, which means putting more money on the table, but receiving only one card.

The dealer, when showing a seven, is going to achieve a standing hand (also known as a "pat" hand) 74% of the time. There is also a 23% chance of her getting 19 or better, and that would put you in a rougher spot. If you doubled here, you'll actually lose more times than you will win - in fact, it will happen nine more times for every 100 hands that you play. When you simply hit (and remember, you don't have to hit just once) you will win and lose about the same amount of times. So from there, it is easy to see the judicious play.

What's your move? It's to hit the hand! Doubling may be tempting but it's a losing proposition long term. Did you know that you can play online blackjack from the comfort of your own home? Check out Insta Casino (Does not accept USA players) where you can not only play 21 online, you can play multiple variations of the game! Their play for fun option allows you to check out their game before playing for real money.

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Soft Hand Strategy - We explain what to do when your holding a soft hand. Oh, and ALWAYS hit on soft 17!

Winning at Blackjack - It can be done by utilizing the correct strategies.

Interesting Facts

Did you know... that the chances (probability) of being dealt a blackjack is .024%, which equates to one BJ approximately every 42 hands dealt?