Playing A7 in Blackjack

Ace-seven is by far the most difficult hand for the professional blackjack player to handle. Depending on what the dealer is showing, you will either hit, stand, or double down.Playing A7 in Blackjack

Basic Strategy tells us that we should double if the dealer is showing 3 through 6, stand on 2, 7, and 8, and hit on 9, 10, and A. This may come as a shock to some since common sense tells us to stay with an 18 regardless of what the dealer has. Let's look at the math behind the strategy.

First, we must look at A-7 as a plain old 18. Basic Strategy dictates that we stand on a pat 18 regardless of what the dealer is showing; we want to get to 17 or higher and then let Lady Luck determine the outcome. This isn't necessarily the case for a soft 18.

So is it really worthwhile to go against the common sense factor and hit an 18 if the dealer is showing 9-A?

The spread here, while not seeming like much, is less than the -$0.18 to -$0.10 return of staying. To minimize the damage, hitting on these cards is a necessity.

Doubling is the third option with this hand. In this case, you count the hand as an 8 and pray for a 9 or 10, or you count it as an 18 and hope for an Ace through 3.

First of all, doubling when the dealer is showing:

While the return ranges from $0.18 to $0.38 (compared to the $0.40 to $0.50 of staying), the 23% odds of improving plus the doubled amount of money pumped into the hand make doubling the most profitable choice.

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