Card values - This is how much the cards count in Blackjack
Card values - This is how much the cards count in Blackjack

Card values - This is how much the cards count in Blackjack

To help with the Blackjack to win the player must know the card values and make the best strategic moves he can in relation to his hand value and that of the dealer.

So unlike other casino games where it's all about luck, blackjack also requires a certain level of skill and Strategy.

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The game 21 has a low house advantage and the player can put himself in a more favourable position by playing according to the basic Blackjack strategy. This strategy table is based on probability theory and recommends the best actions for each possible scenario, increasing the player's chances of leaving the table with a win.

Before you get into blackjack, you need to get to grips with the basics - and that's what this guide is all about. So if you don't have any experience with blackjack, this is a great starting point before you begin your casino adventure.


Card values - This is how much the cards count in blackjack - November 28, 2022

Before you decide to bet in blackjack, you must first understand the card values. They are easy to remember and keep the same value in almost all blackjack variants.

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  • Cards 2 to 10 - The value is equal to their numerical value.
  • Picture cards (Jack, Queen and King) - The value is equal to 10.
  • Ace - A value of 1 or 11

The Ace is the most dynamic card of the entire Decksas it can take one of two values. The player must decide which value makes his hand stronger than the dealer's, depending on his current hand situation. Generally, it is considered a card with a value of 11, but if the value of the player's hand exceeds 21, the ace is assigned a value of one. It is therefore the only card that offers the player a degree of flexibility in his decisions.

Note that the card values remain unchanged in most Blackjack variants, the Rules but with a few Variants can vary, so you need to keep up to date. For example, in the Caribbean 21 blackjack variant, the ace always counts as one. So the best hand you can make consists of an ace and two cards with a value of 10.

How much do hard hands and soft hands count?

In blackjack, the player can acquire either a hard hand or a soft hand. What is the difference between them? It depends on the value of the ace. A hard hand has no ace or an ace worth 1, while a soft hand has an ace that counts as 11. In most cases, if your soft hand goes over 21, it becomes a hard hand because the value of the ace is reset to 1. Which hand you have determines the game strategy you use. Let's say you have a hard 16 - drawing extra cards is too risky as you are too close to 21. However, with a soft 16 you can draw more cards because if you exceed 21 with the extra card you draw, the value of the ace can be reset to 1.

The dealer is also subject to different rules set by the casino regarding the actions he can take with a hard and a soft hand. If the dealer only has to stand still on a hard 17, he can draw additional cards on a soft 17, shifting the odds in his favour. If, on the other hand, the dealer also has to stand on a soft 17, the player is in a more favourable position.

Now it's time to start playing blackjack! Each round begins with the player placing their bets. When playing in a land-based casino, you either buy chips at the table or at the casino cashier. You stack your chips neatly in front of you, with the higher value chips on the bottom and the lower value chips on the top, and place your desired bets in the designated sectors. To avoid confusion, the chips are colour-coded according to their value. The values are as follows: white - €1, red - €5, green - €25, black - €100, purple - €500 and orange - €1000. When you play at an online casino, all you have to do is make a deposit into your casino account and place virtual chips on the table. Remember that you can play two hands at the same time if the table is still free.

Once the betting phase is over, the dealer deals each player at the table two cards face up, plus one card face up and one card face down for himself. The face down card is called the hole card and gives the dealer the higher advantage. Once the dealer has dealt the first two cards, it is the player's job to study the values of the cards. The suits have no influence on the blackjack game, so the player only has to calculate the value of his hand and that of the dealer. As already mentioned, the player is only competing against the dealer. So don't waste time studying the hands of other players.


Now it's the player's turn! You have five possible actions at your disposal - each with its own rules. Making the right choice is crucial, as it can significantly influence the outcome of the game. For this reason, you must consider both your hand and the dealer's hand and make the best use of basic blackjack strategy to reduce the house advantage. Blackjack is the casino game with the lowest house edge, and you can use your Odds considerably if you play strategically. This basic strategy shows you all the advantageous actions for each scenario that may come into play. However, you must bear in mind that an absolute win cannot be guaranteed, as the value of the dealer's face-down card is unknown. Nevertheless, this strategy will prove useful in the long run and you will be able to keep your losses to a minimum.

Below you will find all possible actions as well as a brief overview of when you should choose one of the actions.

Surrender: Give up

First and foremost, you need to decide whether you would prefer to surrender. Not all blackjack tables offer this option, but if it is available, you can withdraw from the game as soon as the dealer deals your first two cards. In return, you will receive half of your bet back. Although you may want to give up if your original hand has a very low value, the chances of improving the value of your hand in such a situation are quite high. Basic strategy recommends that players surrender when the dealer has a 9, 10 or an ace and they have a hard 15 or 16. The dealer has an advantage if you have such average hands, as the chances of winning are not so good.

Split: Share couples

Wenn Sie sich entscheiden, nicht aufzugeben, sollten Sie als Nächstes entscheiden, ob Sie Ihr Blatt teilen wollen oder nicht. Ein Split ist nur möglich, wenn Ihr Blatt aus einem identischen Kartenpaar besteht, wird aber nicht für alle Paare empfohlen. Gemäß der Grundstrategie sollten Sie immer ein Paar Aces and eights to increase your chances of winning, but never split fives and tens. For other values, you need to consider the value of the dealer's hand to make your decision. You can find more detailed information in our guide to basic blackjack strategy. One last PointIf you split your hand, you must place a second bet equal to your first bet on your new hand.

Double Down: Double the stake (draw a single card)

You can choose to increase your stake to doubleif you have a good hand and the dealer has a bad upcard. This action is only possible once your first two cards have been dealt, unless your hand is a classic blackjack and you have an instant win. As soon as you draw another card, you may not double your bet. An important rule is that you can only draw a card after you have doubled your bet.

So if your third card is a low value card, you risk losing both your original bet and your second bet. So you should only double down if you have a lower chance of losing to the dealer. Basic strategy advises players to double their bet only in certain circumstances, depending on the value of their hand and the dealer's hand and whether they have a hard or soft hand. In general, it is recommended to double down on a hard nine, 10 or 11, except in certain circumstances, and on soft hands between 13 and 19 against selected dealer's face up cards - see the Blackjack Strategy Guide for more information.

Hit or Stand: Pull or Stand Still?

After splitting your hand, doubling your bet or deciding against any of these actions, your next step is either hit (draw more cards) or stand (draw no more cards). Your decision depends on the type of hand you have, your hand value and the total value of the dealer's hand. You can hit as many times as you like until you are satisfied with the value of your hand or you go for broke, so be careful how long you hit.

If you decide to continue playing with your current hand value, you stand still and do not draw any more cards. So when is it advisable to stand or hit? If you have a soft total, you should stand on a soft 19 and 20, stand on a soft 18 unless the dealer has a nine, 10 or an ace, and hit on a soft 17 or less. In hard hands, you should always bet on a hard 17 and any higher number, on hard 13 to 16 if the dealer has a card between two and six, and on hard 12 if the dealer's card is either four, five or six. On the other hand, you always hit when you have a lower value than a hard 11.

Hand signals

If you intend to play in an online casino, this section is not relevant. You just need to click on the appropriate buttons on your screen. However, if you are playing in a traditional casino, you must learnas you signal to the encoder when it is your turn:

  • Hit - Point to your two cards or tap the table.
  • Stand - Wave your hand over your cards without using your arm.
  • Double/Split - Place the second bet in the betting area and raise one finger to double and two fingers to split. Remember: Never touch the cards.
  • Surrender - Drag your index finger across the green area behind your cards.


When all players have completed their actions, it is the dealer's turn. The possible actions he can perform are determined by a series of rules set by the casino. Unlike the players, he cannot fold, split his hand or double down; he can either hit or stand. The most common rule the dealer must follow is to stand on a hard 17. As long as his hand value is not lower than 17, he must keep drawing new cards, even if he has already outdrawn the player. Some Tables are more favourable for players because they require the dealer to stand on a soft 17 rather than a hard 17.


A round of blackjack can have different outcomes - each with a different Payout. Here are the possible winnings you can achieve with this popular casino game:

  • A classic blackjack pays out 3 to 2.
  • A stronger hand than the dealer pays 1 to 1

The payout for a tie varies depending on the casino you play at. Your bet may be carried forward to the next round or be considered a win or loss for the player.
If you give up, you get half of your original stake.
Insurance (betting on the possibility that the dealer's face-down card is worth 10 if his face-up card is an ace) pays 2 to 1, but the original bet is lost.


The ace is the only versatile card in blackjack. It can take the value of either 1 or 11. So it is up to the player to decide which value would improve his hand and help him outperform the dealer. Generally, the ace is considered to be a card of value 11, but if the player exceeds 21 when drawing more cards, it is given the value 1. Note that you need to take into account what value your ace has at that time in your playing strategy.


An ace in blackjack can be used as either an 11 or a 1, depending on which value makes your hand stronger. This flexibility makes the ace the most valuable card in blackjack.


The values of the cards 2 to 10 correspond to their numerical value, the face cards (jack, queen, king) have the value 10, and the ace can have either the value 1 or 11, depending on which value is more favourable for your current hand.

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