When playing blackjack, you need to remember the blackjack hand rankings. Blackjack hand rankings are quite simple to learn and understand, as players only need to remember certain card values.
Blackjack uses one – eight, regular 52 card decks of playing cards, which are dealt two to each player. From these decks of cards, players need to be able to do simple math in order to find out what their hand is valued at, and from there be able to use basic strategy in order to win. You will encounter three types of cards: numbered cards, face cards, and the Ace. Each of these cards should be approached differently.
Numbered blackjack cards are the simplest to remember; you don’t even have to remember their values. These cards will be numbered from 1 to 10, and will have that number printed right on the front. This makes it extremely easy to figure out their value, as they are valued exactly the same as the number. In other words, a 6 is valued at 6 points and a 3 is valued at 3 points, and so on. There is no real need to memorize these rankings, since all you have to do is look at the number.
Face cards are those cards that do not have a number on the front, but rather a certain figure. In this case, the face cards are the Jack, Queen, and King. The great part of these cards is that they are all valued the same, so players will not have to memorize anything complicated. The three face cards, Jack, Queen, and King, are valued at 10 points. So any time you get a face card, know that you will already have 10 points in your hand. As there are 4 cards valued at 10 points, these three face cards, and the number 10 card, you will have higher chances of getting a 10 than any other card in the deck.
The Ace is the most important card you will find in the entire deck of cards, and as such it has a special type of value. In fact, the Ace can have 2 different values depending on the overall hand value that the player has. There are two situations in which the Ace can change value, and they will both occur during a soft hand.
- Soft Hand #1: A soft hand is when the player has an Ace combined with a card ranked at a 9 or below. During these hands, the Ace is worth 11 points. For example, an Ace and a 8 will make a total hand value of 9 or 19; most players prefer to stand when their hand is valued at 17 or higher.
- Soft Hand #2: When a player has a soft hand, and they take an extra card. If the combination of the extra card, with the non-Ace card makes their hand value at 11 or higher, the Ace will lower its value to 1 point. For example, a player has an Ace and a 3, and they take a hit and get a 9, their total hand is now valued at 13 points. Players with a soft hand valued at 16 or less will more than likely take a hit.
The best hand, a blackjack, can be achieved when a player gets an Ace and a 10, so always look out for those cards. If a dealer is showing an Ace, they will ask you if you want insurance, but you should never accept as the odds are always against you; essentially it is a sucker bet.
Combining Blackjack Hand Rankings
Now that you know what each individual card ranking is, all you need to do is combine them to form your two-card hand. Combining the numbered, or even face cards will be an easy task, since all you need to do is add the values. When the Ace is dealt, you will have several different options that you can make, also depending on the card the dealer is showing. All in all, learning the blackjack hand rankings is quite easy, and is the first step you need to learn and understand as you play any blackjack games.