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. However, to maximise their chances, a player actually needs to quickly grasp a lot of information, most importantly, the values of Blackjack cards, as some hands are statistically stronger than others, and knowing whether to hit or stand in these moments can be vital. Join us as we take a closer look at the different Blackjack card values which you will come across when playing this iconic table card game.
Blackjack Card Values
So, what are the different card values in Blackjack? We have broken things down card-by-card below to give you the full picture.
The ace is probably the most tricky card to figure out in Blackjack as it can change its value depending on the state of play. Able to be both the highest and lowest value card, an Ace is worth 11 unless it would give the dealer or a player a score higher than 21, in which case it is worth 1.
As all cards outside of the ace and royals are played at face value the 2 card has a value of 2, making it a good card to achieve on a ‘hit’ as it may boost your hand closer to 21, but is unlikely to tip you over. All the number cards from 2 to 10 are worth their face value, with the lower cards being most handy to receive on a hit, and the higher value cards better to achieve when first dealt.
Jack, Queen, and King
The royal cards all have a card value of 10, making them, along with the number 10 card, the second-highest Blackjack value.
The goal of blackjack is to get a hand as close to 21 as possible, while achieving a high-value card than the dealer, all without going over 21, which is known as going 'bust'. The "Natural Blackjack" hand value is the best of all blackjack hand values. This is an Ace plus a second card (10, which could be a face card or a 10). This hand is compared with the dealer's hand right away if it is dealt to a player. The player prevails unless the dealer also has a natural blackjack. The player's initial wager is returned in the event of a tie, sometimes known as a "push," if the dealer also has natural blackjack.
Blackjack can also be obtained by players with three or more cards, but attempting to obtain such a hand carries the risk of going bust, thus naturally, a natural blackjack is favoured.
A few fundamental guidelines that are typically favourable to the player bind dealers. When the dealer can hit and when they can stand are governed by these regulations. Typically, they feature a hand of 17, which means that dealers must stand on any hand of 17 or higher and hit until 17.
Dead Mans Hand Blackjack
When an ace in a player's hand can be counted as either 11 points or 1 in blackjack, the circumstance is referred to as a "soft hand." The following combinations, for instance, might be regarded as soft hands:
- A four and an ace
- Three, four, and an ace
- A nine and an ace
Soft hands are said to be beneficial to the player because they provide flexibility and the assurance that the next hit will not be a bust. However, this does not imply that players should hit every time. The player score of 20 in the scenario of an ace and a nine, for example, means that players would be mad to hit.
A hand is hard when there is no variation in the Ace value of hard hands. Put another way, a player has a hard hand when they either have no Ace at all in their hand or an Ace that must function as a single point value because the player would bust otherwise. Here are a few instances of firm hands:
- A five, an eight, and an ace
- Three, four, and five cards
- A five, a six, and an ace
- A ten, an ace, and a seven
- Ten and seven
In the aforementioned cases, the player's first three hands began as soft and turned into hard hands after reaching the ten-point mark. The ace is worth 1 after ten to prevent a bust.
Positive Play Blackjack
Possible Outcomes in Blackjack
There are multiple different possible outcomes when playing Blackjack, which are as follows:
- Bust: In Blackjack, going bust means that you have pushed your luck one too many times and have been dealt a card that makes the value of your hand over 21. The only card which has an exception to this rule is the Ace whose value changes to 1 if a player would go over 21 if its value remained at 11.
- Double Down: Should fortune be on your side, the dealer appears weak, and you have a strong opening hand (such as a 20 or a natural Blackjack), it is time to double down and increase your original wager. You win twice as much as you would have if your hand holds up, but also have the chance to lose twice as much as you would have if you did not opt for this wager.
- Hit: To hit is to ask the dealer to draw another card which will increase your hand total.
- Split: You can choose to split the cards and equal your original wager if you are dealt two cards of the same value. You now play with two different hands.
- Stand: If you do not want to be dealt any more cards, for example, if the risk of going bust on the next dealt card is high, you can choose to stand.
In Conclusion; Blackjack Card Values are Simple, but Effective.
With most of the cards representing the number displayed on them, many of the cards drawn in blackjack are very easy to understand. The main cards which players need to be aware of in Blackjack are the royal cards which have a value of 10, and the ace, which can be worth 1 or 11 depending on the circumstances. With all this said, we hope you have plenty of fun playing online Blackjack, but if you are looking for a bit more information on the game feel free to also explore the range of guides and articles we have for playing Blackjack here at Gambling Zone.