How to Play Your Hands in Blackjack Against a Dealer’s Ace Upcard

A sensible strategy can change the direction of any game. Much to your surprise, you may feel glad to know that a few accurate moves can turn the game of Blackjack around to keep you safe from incurring a big loss even after the dealer flips over an Ace as his upcard.

A dealer with an Ace Upcard has 11.5% chances of busting vis-à-vis 88.5% chance of getting a final hand that adds up to 17. Does that make you cold? Obviously, you can’t change the cards that have already been dealt.

Well, here’s what you can do to play the cards right.

For soft 17 on a multi-deck game, you can surrender if the game allows for a hit if you hold a hard 16. When holding a pair of Aces or 8s you can split. If holding a hard 5 through 15 you may hit. Similarly, hit in the case of A-2 through A-7 or for a pair of twos through 7s. If you hold a hard 17 through 20, you may stand. For A-8 and A-9 or a pair of 9s and for 10s you can stand.

How to Play Your Hands in Blackjack Against a Dealer’s Ace Upcard

For hard 17, you can use this strategy when the dealer shows an Ace up card:

  • First, surrender hard 15 if the game allows, or hit otherwise.
  • Double down hard 11 or hit.
  • If surrendering hard 17 is allowed go for it, otherwise, stand
  • Surrender a pair of 8s otherwise split it


That was for multi-deck and the strategies alter a little depending on the number of decks you choose to play.

Strategy to counter dealer’s Ace upcard in Single-deck blackjack

Not very different from the strategy applicable to multi-deck, you may double down hard 11 if the game allows it or else hit and stand on A-7 instead of hitting. That’s for a soft hand. For a hard hand, surrender a pair of 7s if you can or hit. Secondly, you can split a pair of 8s if you don’t wish to surrender.

It’s always a good idea to practice your game on free play mode to understand the basic rules of the game and then apply the strategies to put the best foot forward.

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Author: Richard

Posted On: 09/10/2018

How to Play Your Hands in Blackjack Against a Dealer’s Ace Upcard
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