Doubling down with 11 versus dealer A
  • Can anyone tell me what the odds are for doubling down with an 11 versus a dealer A? My friend is convinced that since we know the dealer does not have blackjack, doubling down versus a dealer A with 11 is a good idea. I know basic strategy says otherwise, but just how wrong is he? Is there any truth to his statement?
  • 11 vs A, if you hit, the EV is +.143, if you double, EV is +.101. Bottom line is that hit has a higher EV, and a lower variance. If you count, you will know when to double this hand..., otherwise, hit it...
  • Thanks, rat. As an aside, is there a program or site where you can see the EV for different decisions?

    On the same topic, though, is there a more intuitive way to explain this to my friend? or is this one of the ones whose numbers you just have to crunch to figure it out? His thoughts are that with the most likely card he is going to get being a 10 (and we already know the dealer doesn't have 21), its a great time to double. I think this is probably offset by the fact that with an A the dealer busts only 11% of the time, but is there any other way to explain this to him?
  • Sure.

    Go to, click blackjack, go to the bottom and click appendix 1.

    Note that is for an infinite deck, but it is more than good enough. The effect of removal is different for single-deck, double-deck, 6-deck, etc...
  • While hit is the correct play on a S17 game, I believe double down on 11 v A IS the correct play in a H17 game.
  • The index for doubling 11vA is +2 for 6d. I be
  • Hey, FunkyChicken.

    Just explain to him that that his next card is most likely NOT a ten.
    The odds are 2-1 that it will be some card OTHER than a 10 value.

    Good Luck.
  • Actually, chances are zero, since the dealer checks for blackjack and collects all losses immediately if it is BJ.
  • Sorry, Mr Ed.

    I think FunkyChicken was stating that his FRIEND thought his next card was likely to be a 10 value. He already knew the dealer didn't have BJ.
  • his chance for a ten is about 30%.....will vary some depending on what
    cards have been played....96/312...6 deck
  • Yeah, Ray.

    30%, 31%, 33 1/3 %.

    I was just rounding it off to something easy to explain. It still bothers me at tables when other players play like the dealer is most LIKELY to have a ten in the hole, giving the dealer a 16 if he shows a 6, an 18 if he shows an eight, etc. I tell them, c'mon guys, the odds are TWICE as good that he DOESN'T have a ten.
  • his chances for A,2,3,4,5,6,7 all crappy hands/cards is 53%. You can
    see why the EV difference.
  • Please confirm, the correct play of 11 vs. dealer A IS double down if the game is H17. The “friend” may be correct, although their logic may be faulty, if he’s talking about a H17 game. With S17 the correct play is hit.
  • Why would that be the case? (Although I do see some internet sites with that as the strategy). If a dealer hits a soft 17, isn't that disadvantageous to the player? Thus, the player would double down less easily? I guess it does mean the dealer will bust more often -- but the dealer will also get 18-21 more often. Can anyone shed some light?
  • For me, the worst thing about doubling an 11 is when I get an ACE!!!...I definitely prefer to double a 10, but almost never an 11 when the Dealer has an ACE...much SAFER to HIT.
  • Of course, getting an A, 2, 3, 4, or 5 is all the same. I take it math and running millions of hands is the only explanation for the doubling on 11 when the dealer hits on soft 17.

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