Everything You Need To Know About Blackjack Card Values | LeoVegas

Blackjack Card Values

Summary: In blackjack , all cards are counted using their face value. Since Kings, Queens and Jacks have faces but no value, they count as 10.Aces are a flexible card that can count as 1 or 11. They’re counted as an 11 unless that puts your hand over 21 – if that’s the case, they’ll count as 1.

Table of Content:

What is the value of face cards in blackjack?

At the blackjack table, all cards are counted using their face value. Since Kings, Queens and Jacks have faces but no value, they count as 10. So, if you’re holding two face cards, say a King/Queen or ten value card and a King/Jack, both of those hands would count as 20. Easy, right?

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What is the value of an Ace in Blackjack?

When playing blackjack, aces are a flexible card that can count as 1 or 11. They’re counted as an 11 unless that puts your hand over 21 – if that’s the case, they’ll count as 1. This makes blackjack hands with an ace interesting and often beneficial to play, as the value can change.

Let’s unpack this. If you’re holding an Ace + 3, that’s 14. If you hit and a 10 comes your way, you won’t go bust, rather the ace switches from counting as an 11 to a 1 for a total of 15. These types of hands are called soft hands and in a minute we’ll talk more about them.

Blackjack Card Values Table

In blackjack, the numbered cards (2 to 10) hold their face value, while the face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are all worth 10 points. The Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11, depending on the player's preference and the hand's overall value.

CardValue
22
33
44
55
66
77
88
99
10, J, Q, K10
Ace1 or 11

What is the difference between soft and hard hands in Blackjack?

Sitting at a blackjack table, online or in person, you’ll often hear the term soft hand or hard hand. The basic difference is the presence of an ace. Natural blackjack hands aside, if there’s an ace involved it’s soft and if not it’s a hard hand.

What makes a soft hand ‘soft’? The presence of an ace. Since the ace can shift from a value of 11 to a 1 during the round, they are considered flexible, soft and beneficial to hold! On the flip side, a hard hand in blackjack has a determined ‘hard’ value that won’t change.

Soft Hands hold a flexible value and can range from Ace+2 (3 or 13) to Ace + 09 (10 or 20).

Hard Hands hold a value ranging from 4 to 21. Hands are considered ‘hard’ when no ace is present.

Now, how does this affect gameplay? Big time. Your hard hands are quite rigid, but with soft hands, you’ve got some wiggle room when taking additional cards. While we always advise a review of our Blackjack Basic Strategy guide, quite briefly, soft hands can often provide players with an opportunity to double down. Let’s say you’re holding a soft 16, 17 or 18 and the dealer has caught a low card. Let’s review a few tips from our guide regarding hit or stand strategy when holding soft or hard hands.

  • Stand on hard 12 vs dealer’s 4-6
  • Stand on hard 13-16 vs dealer’s 2-6
  • Stand on hard 17 or more.
  • Stand on soft 19 (A+8) or more.
  • Hit on a hard 11 or less.
  • Hit on soft 17 (A + 6) or less.
  • Hit on soft 18 (A + 7) vs dealer 8, 9, 10 or Ace.

Blackjack Card Values FAQ

What is the value of a king in blackjack?

A king dealt at the blackjack tables holds the same value as all the other royal cards. Kings, Queens and Jacks all count as 10.

What is the value of a queen in blackjack?

In blackjack, Queens hold a value of 10. This is the same value as the other face cards, Kings and Jacks. Let’s say you’re holding two cards in a starter hand of Queen + King, that’s a count of 20 (so obviously you’re going to stay!)

What is the value of a jack in blackjack?

A jack dealt at the blackjack tables holds the same value as all the other royal cards. Jacks, Queens and Kings all count as 10.

Are jokers used in blackjack?

A traditional blackjack game does not use any jokers. It plays with a 52 card deck, with each card holding its face value and Kings, Queens and Jacks valued at 10. The Ace is handled a little differently, used as a 1 or 11.

What are the bust cards in blackjack?

When blackjack players talk about bust cards, they’re referring to cards that are most likely to result in a bust hand. More frequently than not, a Dealer showing a 4, 5 or 6 will bust. This changes the player’s tactics. If one assumes the Dealer is going to bust holding a 4, 5 or 6 then the player will likely hold, even if they’re holding a low 12. To deep dive into bust cards, have a read of our Blackjack Basic Strategy guide to help you through specific plays.

Can the value of an Ace change during the game?

In blackjack, an Ace can be worth either 1 or 11. They’re counted as an 11 unless that puts your hand over 21 – if that’s the case, they’ll count as 1.

Can you change the value of an ace in blackjack?

In most cases, the player can not select the value of an ace in blackjack and it is assigned automatically to avoid busting. Some casino blackjack rules specify that the Dealer’s first ace counts as 11 unless it busts the hand, and subsequent aces count as one.

What happens if the player's hand exceeds 21?

If a player's hand exceeds 21 in blackjack, it is known as "busting" or "breaking." When this happens, the player automatically loses the game.

Is the dealer ace 1 or 11 in blackjack?

In most casinos, the dealer's first Ace in blackjack can be worth 11 unless it would bust the hand, in which case it is worth 1

Are card values the same in all variations of blackjack?

The card values in blackjack are generally consistent across all variations of the game.

Do card values impact the outcome of every hand?

Yes, the blackjack hand values have a huge impact on the outcome of each round.

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