blackjack card values

In chapter four of our online blackjack guide, we’ll go over the different starting hands in blackjack and what they mean for you. We will review the best starting hand in blackjack and go through to the worst starting hand; here’s what you need to know. Counting cards in blackjack is tough, and though not illegal, it’s frowned upon and can get you booted from casinos.

blackjack card values

When you receive an ace as your first card, it’s almost always a good idea to double down. The double down is a blackjack strategy in which a player doubles the original bet and receives only one additional card. Doubling down with a soft card has zero risk of going bust. The most powerful combination of cards are the aces and tens. A “blackjack” is a term used when a player scores the highest possible points using only two cards, which would be a ten and an ace. This is why blackjack is sometimes known as the game “twenty one (21)”.

Blackjack Card Values: Which Cards Make a Winning Hand?

This unlikely situation would result in a tie, and the player’s bet is pushed forward to the next round. Unlike other casino games, the player only competes against the dealer in Blackjack, even if there are other players at the same table. Each one has the same objective – that of beating the dealer. The combination of an ace with a card other than a ten-card is known as a “soft hand,” because the player can count the ace as a 1 or 11, and either draw cards or not. For example with a “soft 17” (an ace and a 6), the total is 7 or 17. While a count of 17 is a good hand, the player may wish to draw for a higher total.

However, the dealer gets one face-down card (in some casinos dealers draw the second card after punters play their hands). Each blackjack game has a basic strategy, the optimal method of playing any hand. When using basic strategy, the long-term house advantage (the expected loss of the player) is minimized. If the dealer shows an ace, an “insurance” bet is allowed. Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has a blackjack.


In most situations, the player gets to choose whether an ace in their hand counts as 1 or 11. Aces are important in Soft Hand totals which will be covered shortly. You can use this basic blackjack strategy in other ways.

  • Players can also get blackjack with three or more cards, but because there is risk involved in trying to get such a hand, a natural blackjack is obviously preferred.
  • A basic blackjack chart is a visual estimated guide on how to act based on the dealer’s up card in various scenarios.
  • Blackjack can be one of the simplest casino games to learn and play, which is why it is so popular.
  • Understanding card values is not just about memorizing numbers; it’s about employing effective strategies based on these values to make informed decisions during the game.
  • The ace in blackjack is unlike any other card because it has two possible values.

We have broken things down card-by-card below to give you the full picture. Consequently, playing the odds over the long term is likely to result in some losses for players. The ace serves as a bit of a wild card because it can be either a 1 or an 11, providing players with some wiggle room. When you get your first two cards, pay attention to one of the dealer’s cards, called the upcard. Aces in the dealer’s hand automatically count as 11 if it helps them surpass a score of 17.

Face Card Values: How Much is a King / Queen / Jack Worth in Blackjack?

The popular British member of the vingt-un family is called “pontoon”, the name being probably a corruption of vingt-et-un. The side wager is typically placed in a designated area next to the box for the main wager. A player wishing to wager on a side bet usually must place a wager on blackjack. Some games require that the blackjack wager should equal or exceed any side bet wager. A non-controlling player of a blackjack hand is usually permitted to place a side bet regardless of whether the controlling player does so.

  • Finally, 6s should not be split unless the dealer’s card is poor (2 through 6).
  • To enjoy playing blackjack, it is important to understand the basic rules.
  • Blackjack may seem like one of the easier casino games for the casual player; simply get as close to 21 as you can and beat the dealer’s card value without going over.
  • with the cards that you have.
  • The dealer has a blackjack less than one-third of the time.

In all cases the rules are there to provide a smooth game which is designed to always give the house an edge. If there were no rules to the game of blackjack the game would devolve into a state of chaos and there would be no way to determine if the player or the house won the game. These rules are what allow the game to proceed in an orderly fashion. Unlike slot machines which are a simple automated form of gambling, card games cannot be conducted without rules which define the game and its objectives for the player. A soft hand is when the total value of your cards is less than 21, and you have at least one ace in your hand. You can double down your hand when you have an ace as your first card.

Dealer Hand

The dealer has a blackjack less than one-third of the time. In some games, players can also take insurance when a 10-valued card shows, but the dealer has an ace in the hole less than one-tenth of the time. A casino Blackjack game consists of a dealer and one to seven players. You do NOT play Blackjack against other players; You play against the dealer.

The Reno rule increases the house edge by around 0.1%, and its European version by around 0.2%. In order to understand how the best strategy is computed, lets have a look at the Blackjack rules. Blackjack is played with 1 to 9 decks of 52 cards each. The values of the cards correspond to their numerical value from 2-10. All face cards (Jack, Queen, King) count 10 and the Ace either 1 or 11, as the holders desires. As a player there is really only one thing you need to know about blackjack rules and blackjack card values.

Card values

The variation where the dealer must hit soft 17 is abbreviated “H17” in blackjack literature, with “S17” used for the stand-on-soft-17 variation. Substituting an “H17” rule with an “S17” rule in a game benefits the player, decreasing the house edge by about 0.2%. Dealers deal the cards from one or two handheld decks, from a dealer’s shoe or from a shuffling machine. The players’ initial cards may be dealt face-up or face-down (more common in single-deck games).

  • Most of these games have not been adapted for casino play.
  • In any regular deck, you have got three of them – the King, the Queen, and the Jack.
  • Insurance is invariably not a good proposition for the player, unless they are quite sure that there are an unusually high number of ten-cards still left undealt.
  • Generally, the dealer will draw

If however the total expectation is above zero (unfortunately thats quite rare) the player has to place high bets. As for what a player should do when they have a soft hand, this is up to the player’s personal strategy. We’ll cover optimal strategy in the next chapter of this blackjack guide. A player should use a basic blackjack strategy chart to determine their next move for the best long term outcome. The worst hand in blackjack that a player can be dealt is a total score of 16. In this scenario, there is a strong chance of the player busting if they hit.

What cards make 21 in Blackjack?

Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Number cards count as their number, the jack, queen, and king (“face cards” or “pictures”) count as 10, and aces count as either 1 or 11 according to the player’s choice. If the total exceeds 21 points, it busts, and all bets on it immediately lose.

Seven members were inducted in 2002, with new people inducted every year after. The Hall of Fame is at the Barona Casino in San Diego. In face-down games, if a player has more than one hand, they can look at all their hands before deciding. This is the only condition where a player can look at multiple hands. The next thing is to find out the probabilities of what would be if …

Casinos, a “no hole card” game is played, meaning that the dealer does not draw nor consult their second card until after all players have finished making decisions. In all other cases, a stand, hit, or surrender is called for. The no-hole-card rule adds approximately 0.11% to the house edge. Well, anyone looking for a straightforward game has hit the jackpot with Blackjack as it’s very easy to learn. There’s no need to memorise hands like in Poker; the player’s task is simple – he must beat the dealer by building a stronger hand.

Are jokers used in blackjack?

The goal for each player is to create a hand that equals 21, or to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. At the heart of every Blackjack strategy lies the knowledge of card values. You need to understand what each card is worth and how to use that value when building your hand. Knowing blackjack card values can help you create your strategy, having a plan for when to get more cards, when to stand, and what kinds of bets to place.

For other decisions consult the expectation and probability tables computed on the Blackjack strategy pages. With this in mind, you can second guess what might happen if you were to take another card – all with half an eye on what you now suspect the dealer’s total will be, based on his upcard. All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins, etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.

Other Reasons Kings, Queens and Jacks are Useful

The two hands are thus treated separately, and the dealer settles with each on its own merits. With a pair of aces, the player is given one card for each ace and may not draw again. Also, if a ten-card is dealt to one of these aces, the payoff is equal to the bet (not one and one-half to one, as with a blackjack at any other time).

blackjack card values

While more expensive, a split offers better odds than a pair of eights. So, as you have 9 and can’t bust, you can elect to double down, thereby doubling your initial bet, before taking your next card. Now you have twice as much money on the table in a scenario where you expect to finish with a strong hand, while the chances of the dealer busting are high.

Values of Number Cards (2-

Achieving a score of 21 involves the right combination of card values. In a standard deck, you’ve got 36 of these numbered cards, ranging from 2 to 10. You wouldn’t want to count both aces as 11, because then the total would be over 21. Here you wouldn’t want to count the ace as 11, because that would generate a total over 21. In the event of a hard 17, dealers have to stand, but with a soft 17, they must hit. When dealers draw a total of 16 or less, they have to hit; but, if they draw 18 or more, they must stand.

If they don’t get a blackjack with the first two cards, the player finds themselves pitted against the dealer. In this situation, both are playing to get closest to 21. Here the player can keep requesting additional cards to reach their target. The process of getting another card is called hitting. Scoring 21 is possible through the right combination of card scores.

Note that the dealer does not have the option of splitting or doubling down. When the dealer has served every player, the dealers face-down card is turned up. The dealer must continue to take cards until the total is 17 or more, at which point the dealer must stand.

$500 Bonus Bet for Illinois

Here are all the possible actions, together with a quick overview of when to choose each one. However, after assessing the risk, you may choose to play it safe. On average, a skilled player might expect to retain $98 out of $100 wagered.

One of the most prevalent mistakes is misunderstanding the value of an Ace in the hand. Players might not be aware of the dual nature of the Ace, leading to poor decision-making. It’s essential to recognize the flexibility an Ace provides and use it to your advantage.

Nevertheless, following this strategy will be useful in the long-run, and you’ll be able to keep losses to a minimum. Players are each dealt two cards, face up or down depending on the casino and the table at which you sit.

In Conclusion; Blackjack Card Values are Simple, but Effective.

rules see Blackjack Rule Variations. Like the basic rules of blackjack that we mentioned earlier, these can present some sneaky ways for the casino to preserve its house edge. Particularly, the casino loves a blackjack card value of 17. This total presents a lot of problems for the blackjack player. The dealer will also have a different set of rules imposed by the casino with regards to the actions he can take with a hard and soft hand.

For instance, a 2 of hearts is worth 2 points, and a 7 of spades is worth 7 points. These cards are straightforward and contribute directly to the total value of your hand. This hand (a “natural blackjack”) has a value of either 11 or 21 because the Ace can be either 1 or 11. Please note that the materials published on this website are for informative and entertainment purposes only.

Possible Outcomes in Blackjack

If the dealer has an ace, and counting it as 11 would bring the total to 17 or more (but not over 21), the dealer must count the ace as 11 and stand. The dealer’s decisions, then, are automatic on all plays, whereas the player always has the option of taking one or more cards. Blackjack, one of the most popular casino card games, is not just about luck.

Blackjack, or as it’s also known, the game of 21, has established itself in every casino around the world. Whether you visit a traditional land-based casino or an online casino, Blackjack has truly made it big! You’ll be able to find different variations and more tables than you can imagine where any player can try out this exciting game.

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