My 2 cents worth...
Soft hands (i.e., hands with Aces) are a big point of confusion for new and/or inexperienced and/or uniformed players.
On the "mini-stiffs" (low scoring soft hands), think of the Ace as being a ONE, not an eleven.
For example, your A5 is not "6 or 16" as the dealer will call out to you, it is a SIX! Nobody in their right mind would ever stand on Six, but you see many bad players standing on A5.
Similarly, your A6 (or A24 or A33) is not "7 or 17," it is a SEVEN. On average, Seven is a loser, no matter what the dealer is showing; so you ALWAYS hit this "soft 17."
When it comes to the A7, you have "8 or 18." With some dealer up-cards, 18 will beat the dealer's average hand. In other cases, it will lose. This is why you stand A7 vs 2, 7 & 8, double A7 vs 3, 4, 5 & 6, and HIT it vs 9, X & A.
It all comes down to which action is the most likely to win; or -- and this is an IMPORTANT concept -- which will win more, on average, through the process of losing less.