Blackjack Card Values

Understanding Blackjack Card Values: A Comprehensive Guide

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Love for casino games is a rational one. Many of us are in love with the games and experiences you can have when gambling. If you think of yourself as a fan of gambling establishments, both online and land-based ones, you certainly have a soft spot for blackjack. It is hard to imagine a person who enjoys a certain, so to say gambling lifestyle, not to enjoy a hand or two of blackjack. This card game is ingrained in the casino culture regardless of where you play. 

While one can be infatuated with both gambling and blackjack, you can’t just walk straight in and play the game without learning a thing or two about rules. When we speak of the game of blackjack, what one needs to understand first is the little matter of card values. Blackjack revolves around the goal of reaching 21, and if not to that precise number then to reaching a number higher than the dealer has. 

To be able to do this you need to understand blackjack card values first. Live blackjack can’t be your cup of tea if you don’t understand the cards and the values they bring forth. This is the primary reason we’re writing this article. Let us help you one step closer to understanding blackjack to its fullest by giving you a lesson on card values in the game of blackjack. 

Blackjack Card Values & Their Meaning 

In the game of blackjack, each card has points assigned to it. Different cards have different values. The standard deck used in the modern blackjack has 52 cards. Of course, in this scenario, the jokers are removed from the deck. Even for the most amateur blackjack player, the values assigned to cards need to be something that is well known even if you’re woken in the middle of the night to recite their values. 

So, let us start with the most important card in the universe of blackjack online and blackjack in general:

Ace – This card is most important in the game of blackjack. The reason why an Ace is the top card in blackjack is the fact it holds a double value. Depending on your hand an Ace can be counted as both a 1 and an 11. When a dealer gives you an Ace you can pick which number it will hold depending on the second card you draw and the cards that follow. A card of versatility. 

All number cards from 2 to 10 – This is the part of the deck that complicates the small matter of playing blackjack for players. Each card from 2 to 10 holds its numerical value. The best combo you can receive in blackjack doesn’t include any of these cards and it’s usually an Ace paired with a face card. 

Face cards – When you play blackjack, you develop a love for face cards and start hating on the numerical pieces. Face cards are the ones that have a face on them and in this case, we’re talking about Kings, Queens, and Jacks. All three of these cards hold the value of 10 in blackjack. 

When paired with an ace, these cards give you straight blackjack, and as a blackjack player, this is the combo you want to receive all the time. Having 21 after pulling two cards is the ideal option. If you’re not this lucky, you need to know that an Ace will count as 11 as long as it does not bust your hand. In the situations when it does, it will count as 1. While it has a double value, its value is not decided by the player but by the rules of the game. 

Card Values and Blackjack Hands

These days, we’re not going to be surprised if you tell us that your preferred version of this high-end casino game is the online blackjack. Our lives are slowly moving to the web, and if you’re a fan of online casinos we’re on board with you.  

Being that this article is predominantly written for the rookies in all seasons of blackjack one needs to learn how card values form hands before making larger bets on the game of blackjack. Blackjack has one initial rule for every win – you need to have a better hand than the dealer. This rule is what makes blackjack so popular. You’re not pitted against the other players. Your only adversary is the dealer himself. 

While reaching 21 is the ultimate goal, you can win with the hand of 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 too. This is why you need to be strategic in your pursuit of 21 and take good care of not busting your hand while attempting to take the best out of your dealer. Your initial hand value is compromised out of the first two cards you were dealt. Another positive side of blackjack is that you can’t bust from the two-card hand only. When you receive your first two cards, you decide if you want to stand (stick to your hand) or hit (take another card). 

Knowing your hand value is not hard if you’ve been reading this article carefully. In any case, we are going to give you a few examples of how to count your hand and how to compare it to the dealers. Let’s say you are dealt with: 

– 4 and J: This combo gives you a count of 14. J is counted as 10 and 4 is 4. This is not a strong hand. If you want to risk it you will hit. Also, if you’re standing the chances are the dealer can easily best you. While taking an approach with little risk can be wise, you could also dig a hole for yourself with weak hands. 

– J and Q: These are two face cards. Both are counted as 10 and if you pull these two cards it is a good combo that gives you 20 points. The only way a dealer can take you on is with blackjack. Most players take a stand with this hand. You can risk it all in the hope that an Ace can take you to 21. 

A and 5: When you pull an Ace as your first card you know that the game is on. With any face card or a 10, you can rest easy knowing that you have a blackjack from the gates. But, in case you get a number card such as 5, there are a few choices ahead of you. You pull another card and the A +5 is seen as 6 in case you pull out a 10 or a face card. If you pull a smaller number it can be seen as 16 if you’re still under 21, and it will be seen as 6 if it busts your hand.  If you decide to stand, A+5 is seen as 16. 

The number of combinations is quite massive so we won’t be listing them all, but even with these three examples, you can get the point of the game. 

Hard vs Soft Blackjack Hands

When it comes to blackjack you need to see the difference between soft and hard blackjack hands. What makes them either hard or soft is the role that an Ace plays when drawn into a hand. As we already mentioned, Ace is a special card in Blackjack the same way it is in many other card games. Here it is all about its versatility and double card value number as it can be counted as either 1 or as an 11. The variability between 1 and 11 and the pairing with other hands is what creates soft and hard hands in blackjack. 

To make things simple you need to look at every hand through the eyes of its finality. If a hand can be counted in two different ways, because it contains an Ace, it is a soft hand. A hand that holds only one value is a hard hand. There are multiple combinations of soft and hard blackjack hands so let us give you a few examples to help you get the point more precisely. Drawing a:

– 6 and K makes a hard 15. 

– A and 5 can be seen through two lenses. 1+5 is either six or 16. This 16 seen is called a soft 16 as it can be altered depending on the hand you draw next.  

-10 and 6 are a hard 16. 

– Ace and 5 are where the fun starts. It is a soft 16 from one point of view and it can be counted as only 6. 

– Q and 7 is what you’d call a hard 17 and it’s where things get interesting.

-A and 6 are either a 7 or what’s better known as a soft 17.

Soft 17 is a part of Blackjack culture, and it is a hand that’s most exploited through the rules of the game. If you stand at 17, the dealer must play his hand, and he’s obliged to draw cards until he is at least 17 making his chances of busting much higher. This is a part of the blackjack that caters to players so much. The house edge does not favor the casinos too much and the players have close to a 50% chance to win every hand. 

The Hand of Blackjack

Now, back to the basics. Blackjack has one goal – to beat the dealer. The easiest way to beat the dealer is to draw a blackjack after two cards. Blackjack is the most valuable hand and as such the most coveted combination in every casino. The most simple blackjack is a combination of an Ace and any card that has a value of 10. Namely, the so-much-desired 21 is best reached through the following combos: 

– Ace and 10

– Ace and Jack

-Ace and Queen

– Ace and King 

What one needs to differ between is the standard 21 Blackjack which is any combo from those above and the blackjack of 21 made out of more than two cards. When you have a two-card Blackjack you even beat the dealer’s version of any three or more card combination. The Blackjack you receive initially is the strongest pairing you can have. Another aspect that rookie players ought to know is that if they receive two Aces the practice is to split them. Once you do this and you get a 10 as the following card you must remember that this pairing is not seen as Blackjack but only counts as 21. 

Bust Hand Values

At its essence, blackjack is a game of numbers. Totaling points in Blackjack is not too complicated. What can be tricky is getting a high combo and not busting your hand. A bust in the game of blackjack is when you total a combination that exceeds the 21. When you bust you lose the round and the amount you’ve bet. 

Busting occurs only after you hit after the two initial cards. Players usually try to have the highest possible value to take the best out of the dealer. Because of this, many players will draw a card when they have a hand that counts 15 or 16. Some players who play a slightly risk-averse version of Blackjack take a stand even on 15. While this decision can pay out in some cases, usually you’re risking losing even without busting. Hit or stand is the tricky part of blackjack and it’s an essential part. To help you wrap your hand around busting, here are examples of some bust hands:

– Q, 5, and 7 are a total of 22 and it’s a bust hand. 

– 5, 6, 2, and 10 are a total of 23 and it’s a bust. 

– 7, 7, and 8 are 22 and that’s a bust too. 

– K, 2, 2 and J are 24, and while in a good place to hit after the second 2, it’s still a bust. 

Blackjack Card Values and Their Importance 

Blackjack is simple and that’s why everyone loves it. The goal is 21 or not to bust. Your next card after the initial two is what makes the difference. Judge the value of your hand and make a decision on whether your total will be a bust or an even better hand with the next draw. While it’s simple math to count the combination of two or three cards it is much more interesting than it appears to be, right? 

Also Read: How to Develop Your Skills to Become a Proficient Blackjack Player



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