Blackjack Basics 101: Cards and Values of World’s Most Famous Casino Game

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Blackjack Cards and Values (1)

Traditional casinos feature many games in their inventory. None is more common in those game inventory than Blackjack. A recent survey has revealed that 31% of US casino table action happens on Blackjack. Far ahead than the second-placed Roulette, which has 24% of table action. So there is no secret that people love Blackjack. 

Now, if you are new to these casino scenes, you can be getting puzzled, understanding the rules and regulations of Blackjack. The most confusing ones are the odds that you will be facing. Also, sometimes remembering the value of the card may be difficult for any novice player. Here are some tips and guidance that will help you understand the game better.

Playing Blackjack by The Book

There are some traditional decision-making processes involved in Blackjack. These unwritten ways of deciding against you cards are purely based on statistics. These things are collectively known as “The Book”. Every new player should learn and follow the book.

The presumption that underpins the accuracy of stats mentioned in the book is the presumption that each card which you can’t see. For example, when a card is facing down, it is valued at 10. This presumption is made cause there are many cards in a deck of Blackjack, which are worth this amount greater than any other value.

The book suggests an accurate decision for any Blackjack scenario. However, it doesn’t mean you have to play exactly what the book suggests. Once you are starting to understand the game better, you can put your own inputs while playing the game. Your nuances will certainly increase the fun associated with the game.

Card Values of Blackjack

Every numbered card are valued at their face value, i.e., a seven is worth seven points. So whenever you’re dealing with numbered cards, you have to do an easy adding up of the values to calculate the total card value of the hand. All face cards such as Jack, King, & Queen are valued as 10.

Aces are a bit different when it comes to valuation. They can be worth one or eleven depending on your choice of play. You have the leverage to decide the value of an ace depending upon other cards in your hand. For example, when you have an ace and five or lower-numbered card, you should take a hit as your hand will most likely not burst, and you would like to enhance your hand. When you are dealt with an ace and an eight, you should stay. At this point, you have an initial hand of 19 points, which is more than enough to pass on a hit. 

Hit or Stay?

The most vital part of any Blackjack game is the point where you have to decide whether you should hit or stay. No matter which two cards you’re dealt with initially, your decision of hit or stay should be based on your dealer’s up card. 

Of course, when you have a pure 17 or more, you should stay almost every time, no matter what the dealer’s up card. Having a hit on 18 or 19 is suicidal. The chances of getting burst are massive in this situation.

On the opposite end of this spectrum, when you get 11 or less in your first two cards, you should always get a hit. Staying on 11 or even 12 & 13 is extremely foolish. 

When your opening hand is valued between 11-17, your decision should solely be based on the dealer’s visible card. If the dealer’s card is 7 or greater, you should, in most cases, take a hit. And when the dealer has a 2-6 valued card, you should stay with your hand and hope for the dealer to burst.

The Book Defying Strategies

In a game of Blackjack, there will be some moments where you will have to trust your guts instead of going for copybook styled gameplay. Deviating from the predetermined strategy suggested by the book and applying your own strategy successfully will showcase your true talent as a Blackjack player. 

Here is an example for better understanding. Suppose you have a 12 on your hand, and your dealer’s up card is 2. The book will suggest you stay and wait for the dealer to get burst. That could be risky considering the dealer getting anything under a burst. Now, when you deviate from the book and choose to hit in, then if you have anything under a 10 or face cards, you will get closer to magic figure 21, and your chances of a win will increase exponentially.


Blackjack is a pretty straightforward game. Once you start getting the vibe and prepare a strategy, it will feel very easy and addictive. So, before turning in a casino, do your homework, follow the book, and prepare your strategy. Who knows, you might get lucky in there.

Review Summary

Review Name: Blackjack Basics 101: Cards and Values of World’s Most Famous Casino Game

Posted On: 16/03/2020

Author: Emma Denton

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