Blackjack Basics

Blackjack is also known by a number of other names, the most popular alternative being Twenty-One. The objective of the game is to get a higher score than the dealer using all the cards you are dealt with 21 being the maximum score achievable. Anything over this and you lose the hand and of course your wager.

One or more standard decks (52 cards) of playing cards are used and the score is calculated using values assigned to the cards. The values are assigned as follows

2 – 10: The face value of the card, i.e. 2 -10 points

Jack, Queen, King: 10 points each

Ace: 1 or 11 points – players choice

No distinction is made between the suits (Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, Clubs) and the value of the players hand is simply calculated by adding up the value of all the cards they hold. So for instance a 10 and a 6 would give 16, while a Queen and a 9 would give 19. An ace and a 7 would give 8 or 18, and an ace and 10 would give 11 or 21.

The scoring works in exactly the same way for the cards the dealer holds, and should the dealer draw cards totalling more than 21 the dealer would then lose that hand. This sounds like equal odds which is not the case because the odds are skewed slightly in the dealers favour because of the sequence of play.