An Unusual Ace Hand in Blackjack

 An Unusual Ace Hand in Blackjack

Even gaming events that you’re unlikely ever to see happen can be fun to talk about, and there are enough “what ifs” that conversation about them can be endless.

One that a player brought up recently involves blackjack. There are four Aces in each deck, so in a six-deck game there are 64 Aces.

A player thought about the possibilities and emailed me to ask, “Pretend I’m playing blackjack and I have a hand with seven Aces. That’s still a soft 17, right? Are there any dealer up cards where I should just stand? I can’t double down, since I have seven cards.”

The short answer is that the best strategy for such an unusual hand is to treat it like any other multi-card soft 17 and hit against any dealer up card. You can’t bust with a one-card hit, and in building you seven-Ace soft 17, you haven’t taken any of the 2s, 3s or 4s that would make a strong hand. They’re still available.

Also, 17 is not a hand that can win unless the dealer busts. It can push a dealer 17, but lose to 18-21. So you try to improve it with a hit.

If the dealer has a 6 up in a six-deck game, you’ll average about 13 cents in winnings per dollar wagered if you stand, but are on the plus side by only about four-tenths of a cent per dollar if you hit. If the dealer has a 10 up, your expectation is negative. Your average loss will be about 20 cents per dollar wagered if you hit, but more than double that, at 42 cents per dollar, if you stand.

All up and down the line, against any dealer up card, your expectation is better if you hit.

Of course, a basic strategy player would have split the first two Aces.

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