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Blackjack Card and Hand Values

Point Values in Blackjack

Card and Hand Values in Blackjack

One of the first things a card player needs to understand about blackjack is that suit doesn't matter. The only thing that matters at the blackjack table is the point value of each card and of each hand. The goal of the game is to get a point total that is higher than the dealer's without going bust, or getting a hand value of over 21.

The ace is worth 1 point or 11 points, whichever is most advantageous to the player. A hand with an ace in it is called a "soft hand" because if the player takes a hit, he will almost never go bust because the ace will be counted as 1 instead of 11.

All face cards, the jack, queen, and king, are worth 10 points each.

All other cards in the deck are worth whatever the numeric value of each card is.

Why the Ten's Are the Most Important Cards

There are a number of reasons that the 10's are more important than any other cards. The first is that there are more 10's in the deck than any other card value. (There are 16 cards worth 10 points in a 52 card deck. All other cards only have 4 cards worth their value.)

10's are a critical ingredient in being dealt a blackjack too, since a 10 and an ace give a total of 21. Getting a blackjack (a natural total of 21) results in a 3 to 2 payout, which makes a big difference in the player edge.

Why Five's Are Almost as Important

The five is the least advantageous card in the deck for the player because a five makes it really easy for a player to get a "stiff hand", or a hand that it's really easy to go bust with. If you took all four of the 5's out of the deck, you'd turn then advantage over from the house to the player instantly with only that one change.

If it weren't for cards like five's and ten's, there would be no such thing as card counting.

The how to play blackjack guide consists of the following pages:

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