Whether you are at the Blackjack table in a casino or trying your luck online, understanding how to figure out the value of your hand is crucial for a good game.
It might seem a bit tricky at first, especially if you’re new to the game, but trust me, it’s not that complicated.
Forget about worrying about which suit your cards belong to; in Blackjack, it is all about the numbers.
The game is straightforward when it comes to the value of your cards. Each number card is worth exactly what it says on it.
So, a five-card counts as five, and an eight-card gives you eight points. Easy, right?
In a standard deck, you’ve got 36 of these numbered cards, ranging from 2 to 10.
Now, let’s talk face cards. In any regular deck, you have got three of them – the King, the Queen, and the Jack.
With four suits, that is a total of 12 face cards in a Blackjack deck. Each of these fancy cards is worth 10 points in the game.
Now, the Ace, my friend, is a bit special. It can be either a 1 or 11, depending on the rules.
Players usually get to decide, and it adds an interesting twist to the game.
In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the values of each card in the Blackjack deck.
Card Values in Blackjack
In the game of blackjack, the value of cards is pretty straightforward:
- Aces can be 1 or 11, depending on what helps your hand more.
- Cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, like a 2 is a 2, and a 9 is a 9.
- Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are all valued at 10.
So, if you look at the numbers 2 to 10, they match their face value. But then, things shift a bit when it comes to face cards (J, Q, K) – they’re all worth 10.
Now, the ace is the wildcard, having a value of 1 or 11, giving you flexibility. To sum it up, your blackjack card values go like this:
|A||1 OR 11|
In blackjack, figuring out the total of your hand is just adding up the points of each card. Let me show you how:
- 4 plus 5 equals 9.
- If you have a Jack and a King, that’s 20.
- A Jack and a Queen also add up to 20.
- Combining 10 and 6 gives you 16.
- When you add 5, 9, and 7, you get 21.
- An Ace and a Jack together? That’s a solid 21.
- But an Ace with a 5 adds up to 16.
- And if you have 4, an Ace, and a King, it totals to 15.
In blackjack, the goal is to outscore the dealer, and there are a couple of ways to achieve this.
One way is by reaching a total score of 21, either by drawing cards or getting a natural, which is an Ace and a 10-value card, commonly known as a blackjack.
Another way is if the dealer goes over 21, called a bust, which can happen to both the dealer and the player, but if the player busts, they automatically lose.
Achieving a score of 21 involves the right combination of card values.
The initial two cards given to each player can’t exceed 21, but they can hit the exact score with an Ace and a 10-value card, like a face card or a ten.
This combination is considered the best hand in blackjack.
If a player doesn’t get a blackjack with the first two cards, the game continues against the dealer.
In this phase, both the player and the dealer aim to get as close to 21 as possible. The player can request additional cards, known as hitting, to reach their target.
Each new card adds to the total score, forcing players to balance getting closer to 21 without going over and busting.
If a player decides not to take another card, they can stand. The riskiest situation in blackjack is being dealt a total score of 16.
Hitting in this scenario increases the chances of busting, making it a challenging hand for players.
Dealer Hands and Edge
In the initial phase of a blackjack round, players receive two cards each.
The dealer, depending on the blackjack variant, gets either one face-up and one face-down card or just one face-up card.
This setup gives players a glimpse of the potential total of the dealer’s hand.
Once players make their decisions, it is the dealer’s turn. If they have a face-down card, they reveal it and then follow a set of rules.
The dealer must hit until they reach at least 17, after which they stand. The player can win by having a higher score than the dealer or if the dealer busts.
Aces in the dealer’s hand automatically count as 11 if it helps them surpass a score of 17.
Analyzing probabilities, the dealer’s advantage in blackjack varies from 0.25% to about 2%, depending on the specific rules in play.
On average, a skilled player might expect to retain $98 out of $100 wagered.
However, the game’s unpredictable nature means that a player could also experience significant gains with a fortunate streak of good hands or, conversely, face substantial losses if luck doesn’t favor them.
How to Play Blackjack?
To enjoy playing blackjack, it is important to understand the basic rules.
The game usually involves using up to eight decks, depending on the number of players or the casino’s preference.
When you get your first two cards, pay attention to one of the dealer’s cards, called the upcard.
The value of this upcard guides your decisions for the hand. Checking a blackjack card value chart shows that each deck has 16 cards with a value of 10.
This increases the likelihood of the next card being a 10. Use this knowledge to predict potential outcomes when deciding whether to draw another card based on the dealer’s total from the upcard.
Apply this basic blackjack strategy in different situations, like when the dealer has a weak 5 upcard.
For example, if you have a 10 and 4, totaling 14, you might think about drawing another card, hoping for a 7 or less.
However, after assessing the risk, you may choose to play it safe.
Outsmarting the Casino at Blackjack
A clever math-based strategy can give you the edge over the casino when it comes to blackjack.
Among the features of blackjack that give it an edge over other games is that you are able to increase your bets when luck is on your side.
Plus, you can make strategic decisions based on the unfolding game, significantly improving your chances of coming out on top.
Most casino games treat every bet equally, with an equal chance of winning or losing. However, blackjack is different.
Imagine there are more cards worth 10 points left in the deck than smaller ones.
In such a scenario, your chances of getting a winning hand increase.
A good way to determine whether your next hand will be successful is to keep an eye on the high-value and low-value cards that have already been dealt with.
It’s like having a secret weapon to outsmart the house
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the dealer Ace 1 or 11 in Blackjack?
The first ace the dealer gets is a strong 11, but if it risks going over, it shifts to a humble one. Any aces that follow stick to being ones.
What cards are high value in Blackjack?
In blackjack, aces and cards with a value of 10 (like 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings) are the VIPs, the high rollers of the deck.
What is the value of a Blackjack hand?
A Blackjack hand has a value of 21, which is equal to the sum of the Ace (11) and one of the three face cards (J, Q, or K), each having a value of 10.
What cards make 21 in Blackjack?
When a player gets an ace and a “ten-card” (a snazzy picture card or a 10) as their first two cards, the total hits the jackpot at 21 in just two swift moves.
Is it better to double 11 or dealer ace?
Usually, the smart move is to double down when you’ve got an 11, and the dealer flaunts an Ace.
But here’s the twist: if your game involves four or more decks and the rule is for the dealer to stand on a Soft 17, then the wiser choice is to hit instead.
A card’s value in blackjack depends on how it is played and how it’s dealt.
The face value of cards 2 to 10 remains the same, no surprises there. As for the face cards – the jacks, queens, and kings – they are all valued at 10.
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.
Upcards, which are shown by the dealer, can influence the choices made by the player.
Blackjack is a game in which following a basic strategy can increase your odds, but it is vital to keep in mind that the house typically has the advantage.
Consequently, playing the odds over the long term is likely to result in some losses for players.