Blackjack is one if not the most popular casino game whether
played online or in a land based casino. The odds are the
best of any other game and the rules and strategies are extremely
easy to learn.
In blackjack, the cards are valued as follows:
An Ace can count as either 1 or 11, as demonstrated below.
The cards from 2 through 9 are valued as indicated.
The 10, Jack, Queen, and King are all valued at 10.
The suits of the cards do not have any meaning in the game.
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The worth of a hand is just the sum of the point counts of each
card in the hand. For example, a hand including (5,7,9) has
the value of 21. The Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11. You
need not specify which value the Ace has. It's unspoken to always
have the value that makes the best hand. An example will illustrate:
Presume that you have the beginning hand (Ace, 6). This hand
can be either 7 or 17. If you stop there, it will be 17. Let's
suppose that you draw another card to the hand and now have
(Ace, 6, 3). Your total hand is now 20, counting the Ace as
11. Let's backtrack and suppose that you had instead drawn a
third card which was an 8. The hand is now (Ace, 6, 8) which
totals 15. Notice that now the Ace must be counted as only 1
to avoid going over 21.
A hand that contains an Ace is called a "soft" total
if the Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11 without the total
going over 21. For example (Ace, 6) is a soft 17. The description
stems from the fact that the player can always draw another
card to a soft total with no danger of "busting" by
going over 21. The hand (Ace,6,10) on the other hand is a "hard"
17, since now the Ace must be counted as only 1, again because
counting it as 11 would make the hand go over 21.