typical ham'n-egger wants to double with an Ace/3
against a 3 all day long, but won't double with Ace/7
against that same 3 up. He doesn't want to tamper
with a made hand (the soft 18). Fact is, doubling
with Ace/6 and Ace/7 are your biggest soft double
moneymakers! Here's the key reason why.
When you double down with a hand like Ace/3, how many
cards can you buy that will give you a made hand?
Think about it. There are only five. Just a 3, 4,
S, 6 or 7 will give you 17 through 21. The other eight
cards all leave you with 12 through 16 -- a stiff.
Now you need the dealer to break, or you lose (if
you think the dealer is "supposed" to bust
just because she's showing a small card, see "Dealer's
Bust-out Rate" coming up next). You've also got
exactly the same poor chance to make a hand when you
double with Acel2, Acel4 or Acel5.
But as soon as you reach Acel6, it's the other way
around! Eight cards will now make you a hand and only
five leave you stiff. Because of that, you've got
to be against a very weak dealer's up-card to double
with Ace/2 through Ace/5, but should be more aggressive
with Acel6 and Acel7.
To do things right, you should soft double down in
eighteen specific situations where you have Acel2
through Acel7 against a small dealer's up-card. But
which ones? It can get pretty confusing looking at
all those zig-zag steps in your basic strategy chart.
So to zone you in on the right moves, just use these
next three simple rules of thumb as your guide. They'll
get you to pull the trigger correctly on seventeen
1) Never soft double against a deuce. (where normal
basic strategy is concerned).
2) Always soft double against a 5 or 6.
3) When the dealer has a 3 or 4 up, play by the "Rule
Now what'n blazes is the Rule of 9? Simply add the
dealer's up-card to your "kicker" (the card
next to your Ace). If they total 9 or more, double
down! If it's less, just hit. The following example
should make the Rule of 9 crystal clear.
Since the dealer has a 3 or 4 up, the "Rule of
9" applies. So before acting, Joe adds his own
5 to the dealer's 3. Since that equals only 8, he
should not double but just hit. However, Jenny's 6
plus the dealer's 3 equal 9, thus she should double
down. Got it? And as for that 18th hand not covered
by these three rules? If you can remember, you should
also just barely double with Ace/4 against a 4. But
if you always simply hit that one hand instead, don't
worry .- it's a borderline double. Missing out on
it every time will take just one thousandth of one
percent off your overall game.
Online Poker Guru Tips
Now, let's examine other possible
buttons on the machine. Many machines
give you credit instead of payoff
if you collect. The reason for this
is simple: Not only do you avoid hearing
the jangle of coins dropping, but
you can more easily continue betting
your credited coins, albeit, as often
happens, using them up in a losing
We now have a pair of kings. Depending
on the machine, either five coins
will clink down into the well, or
we'll get credit for five coins. The
screen will proclaim, "Winner!"
but all you've gotten are your coins
back. It's stretching the definition
of "win" when you're not
paid more than you've bet, but in
any event you haven't lost anything.