Playing A-2 vs. 6 in Blackjack

Here's the situation:

You're playing in a multiple deck game, where soft doubling is allowed, and are dealt an Ace and a two. The dealer has a six as his upcard. You obviously won't be standing, because you can take a risk-free hit to your hand which can only improve things for you. But there's also another option - you could double on the soft hand. Is such a move appropriate?

Before we start, let's reiterate what we usually do when we talk about soft hands - it's not "3 or 13" or "Soft 13." It's always referred to as "Ace-two."

That having been said, yes, with this hand, you've got the total of either 3 or 13. And the dealer is sitting with an upcard that is rather disadvantageous for him; one he'll bust with about 43% of the time.

You can't really be any worse off by adding any card to this hand, but think about the cards which will enhance what you're doing - a four, a five, a six, a seven or an eight. With each one of these cards added to what you already have, you're putting yourself in a position where you have a pat (standing) hand. You've got about a 9% positive margin here between winning and losing hands, representing a nice positive expectation.

If you simply hit the hand, you'll make a better hand than the dealer 55% of the time, but once again, the difference which makes doubling down a little better is that, of course, you've got double the action out there.

In this case, you're better off getting more money out there on the table.

US vs. THEM Blackjack Strategy Series
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