What does the ace count in blackjack ?

If you've ever been blackjack've ever wondered..:

How many is the ace worth in blackjack?

What does the ace count for in blackjack?

The ace in blackjack usually counts as 11 points. If the 11 points of an ace would exceed the maximum score of 21, the ace is only counted as one point.


Burning Ace Black Jack

The ace is the most important card in blackjack. Only with an ace is it possible to have the best possible card combination "Black Jack". A Black Jack always consists of an Ace and a ten value card such as 10, Jack, Queen or King.

In addition, the ace plays other important roles in blackjack.

  • Player can play so-called soft hands with an ace double
  • Dealer rule: With a soft 17 of ace and 6 still draw card or not?
  • Sharing aces only allowed once or more often?

Soft hands: Starting hand with an ace

A soft hand is a starting hand consisting of the first two cards, one of which is an ace.

A soft hand offers various possibilities that "hard hands" without As do not offer.

First, the ace is scored as either 11 or 1, whichever is more advantageous to the player.

For example, if the player already has 17 with an ace and 6 and draws another card and would get to 27 with a 10, the ace simply counts as 1 and the player again only has 17.

Also, you can double up soft hands to maximize your winnings.

The Blackjack strategy Table shows exactly in which situation it is advantageous for the player to double the bet with a soft hand and get only one card.

Simply put, this is usually the case when the dealer has a low card less than 7.

So if the dealer has a 6 or less, you double down on most soft hands because you have a high probability of winning and the dealer has to draw at least a third card with a low card. This ultimately increases the dealer's risk of going over the maximum score of 21 and busting.


ace at blackjack

Also for the dealer the ace always counts as much as it is useful at the moment. If the dealer threatens to overbid with an 11, the ace only counts for 1.

Basically, the dealer has the obligation to draw cards until he has at least 17.

However, if his first two cards form a so-called Soft-17 with an ace and a 6, then it depends on the respective Black Jack Rules in the casino, whether the dealer has to draw another card or also stands with this Soft17.

There are two rule variations regarding this dealer draw rule.

  1. Dealer must hit any 17
  2. Dealer stands on Sof17

This rule is usually printed directly on the blackjack table or on a sign next to the dealer. If you are unsure as a beginner, just ask.

Dealer must hit any 17

In this rule variation, the dealer must draw again with a soft 17. This is an advantage for the dealer, which is why this rule is more often used in "tourist casinos" like on the Las Vegas Strip.

Since a 17 is a low sum, the dealer can improve his score by drawing again without risk (he can't overbid because the ace is then counted as a 1).

Dealer stands on Soft17

If the phrase "Dealer stands on Soft17" or similar is printed on the table, it means that the dealer stands with any 17. This means that the dealer must also stand with a Soft17 consisting of an Ace and a 6. This is advantageous for the player, as the dealer has a weak hand and has a lower probability of losing the game. win than if he were allowed to take one more card.

If the dealer draws a small card with a soft17 and does not overbought (2,3 or 4), the ace counts as 11 points as normal.

If the dealer draws a card higher than 4 with a soft17 and overbids, the ace is counted as one and the dealer must continue drawing until he has at least 17 again.

Each additional ace is also counted as 1. So, for example, with a 6 and 5 Aces, the dealer may only have 11 points and would have to draw more cards.

Such a constellation is very rare, but can happen if you play Black Jack long enough.


Black Jack - Split Aces

If the player is dealt two aces as a starting hand, he can split them and continue playing with two separate hands.

When splitting an ace pair, note:

  • you have to place a second bet (like doubling down)
  • you only get one card added per hand
  • you may be able to split more ace pairs again.

The third point varies depending on the casino. In many casinos, you can split a pair of two aces only once.

To do this, place a second bet equal to the amount of the original bet right next to it.

The dealer then slides the two aces apart and deals another card for each ace.

This usually ends the player's turn. Because with the splitting of aces the right to draw further cards expires.

Exception: The player gets another ace and thus has another pair of aces. In this case, some casinos offer the "Re-Split Aces" option, allowing a pair of aces to be split again.

This allows you to split possible ace pairs up to four hands.

However, this case is very rare and occurs in one out of a thousand rounds - if at all.


Also with the count cards the ace plays an important role. Because only with an ace you can get a blackjack.

Ace counting" is a preliminary stage of card counting. If you know how many aces have already been played, you have a head start and can adjust your bet accordingly.

A deck of cards consists of 52 cards. 4 of these 52 cards are aces. Since casinos play with 6 decks by default, there are 24 aces in a deck (6 x 4).

It should not be too much for a beginner to pay attention to how many aces are played.

Simplified Stochastics:

If you don't see an ace for several rounds, the probability increases that an ace will come in the next round.

Of course, the ace can end up anywhere: You, another player, or even the dealer. Therefore, this information alone is not really a big advantage.

With few players, you're more likely to get the ace.

If you can count cards, you ideally play at a table without other players. However, this is only recommended for blackjack professionals.

For beginners, playing heads-up against the dealer would be a losing proposition, as you play a lot of hands in a short amount of time and make a lot of mistakes that lead to losing your money quickly.

So from now on, pay attention when an ace is played and learn to count cards.