Player Vs. Dealer: A,3 Vs. 5
HERE'S THE SITUATION: You're playing in a multi-deck game where you're allowed to do soft doubling. You are dealt an Ace and a three, which you must play against the dealer's upcard of five. You're certainly looking at a potential doubling situation. After all, you've got the luxury of having a soft hand and a lousy upcard for the dealer, which offers some flexibility. So when it comes down to it, is doubling the right move to make?
Well, simply put, yes! THE CORRECT PLAY is to double this hand.
THE EXPLANATION: Obviously you have two legitimate options here - you can either hit this hand or you can double it. Don't misinterpret - if you hit it, you'll make out alright, with a win-loss ratio of 51%-44% for every hundred hands. Doubling down will result in a 53.5% win rate for you. Naturally, on that basis, since you're throwing double wagers out on the table, that makes doubling down the best way to go for you.
Look at it from a logistical standpoint. There are a number of ways you can help yourself with the Ace-three hand. You can draw a four, five, six or seven and make yourself rather strong with just one hit to that hand. On top of that, there is a 42% chance of the dealer busting when he has a five showing, and also just over a 44% chance of the dealer attaining an 18 or above. This is a nice doubling opportunity for you.