Why Does An Ace Have Two Values?

Find out which values the Ace can have when you play at our authentic blackjack tables.
22nd April 2024

Why Does An Ace Have Two Values In Blackjack?

When you play blackjack online casino games, the card you want to see drawn from the deck the most is the Ace.

This card can improve your chances as you try to beat the dealer, and it can be the key between victory and defeat.

So, why does the Ace have such an important role in our thrilling online and live blackjack games? It can have two different values.

Keep reading to discover why Aces have different values, and how you can use the card for maximum impact.

Which Values Can An Ace Have?

When you are dealt an Ace, the two potential values for the card are 1 or 11. The value depends on the rest of your hand, and how it can give you the best chance of winning. If you’re unfamiliar with how the game works, give our blog about the rules of blackjack a read.

Blackjack is a race to 21 against the dealer. The fastest way to win is with your first two cards. Land a 10, Jack, Queen or King (all worth 10) plus an Ace for a total of 21, with the Ace taking the value of 11. This means you can’t lose the hand, and blackjack pays at a higher rate of 3:2. 

Even if you aren’t dealt blackjack, it is still well worth having an Ace up your sleeve. For example, if you have a five and an Ace, it can be worth 6 or Soft 16 (we’ll come to that shortly). This gives you a free shot from the deck - no matter which extra card is produced, you won’t be able to bust your hand. You can then be lucky enough to draw another five for a total of 21.

What is a ‘Soft’ Hand?

There are two types of hands when you play blackjack online or in a traditional casino, known as ‘soft’ and ‘hard’. As we’ve touched on already, a soft hand means whichever card is pulled from the deck, you won’t bust. and it must feature an Ace which can be worth 1 or 11.

A ‘hard’ hand either has no Ace, or that card with a value of 1. If you have an Ace worth 1 coupled with a 6 and a 7, it would be a Hard 14 because if the next card drawn is an 8 or above you bust and lose, regardless of the dealer’s hand.

Out of the two hands, a soft hand gives the player a much better chance of winning because you have more freedom to draw another card.

Blackjack Strategy - To Split or Not To Split

It can be tricky for even the most experienced online blackjack players to decide what to do with two Aces at the start of the hand, given that different factors are in play.

When playing at our online and live casino tables you can split the Ace cards, which creates two individual hands, or there is the option to continue the game as normal. If you decide to split, the value of the original bet must be doubled to cover the new hand. 

Two Aces give a score of 2 or 12 - neither of which is great for your prospects, so it may pay to split. Drawing another card would be risky if you didn’t make the new hand, as anything worth 10 would create Hard 12 and increase the chance of busting. When splitting there will be an Ace on each side, and the chance to hit two cards worth 10 to land the magic 21.

Always consider the dealer’s up-card before deciding to split. If their card is a 9, 10 or Ace, there is a higher chance of drawing a low-value card, particularly in Single Deck Blackjack. This would leave you even more vulnerable, and there is every chance the dealer has a hand worth 19, 20 or 21.

Place your bets and play live blackjack at Virgin Games and enjoy an incredible gaming experience, with live dealers and plenty of action-packed tables to place your bets at. The stage is set.