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Tip 5: The Blackjack Deck & Card Values. How to Read the Cards, So You Can Win.

Veintiuna… Pontoon… Vingt-et-un… Twenty-One… and other various names, but…


This is the 5th tip in our series, “How to Play Blackjack: 21 Winning Tips.” If you would like to view these tips offline and at your leisure, just click for the Myrtle Beach location.

…they’re all the same game → BLACKJACK!


Now that you can translate “Blackjack” in 4 languages, it’s time to learn about the Blackjack deck and what the card values mean so you can place your bet.

As you may already know, each deck has 52 cards divided into four suits: clubs, spades, hearts, and diamonds. Each suit is comprised of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and numbered cards 2 – 10.

At most casinos, multiple decks of cards are used for a game.

In Blackjack the suit means nothing, you are simply keeping track of your values.

The card values are as follows:

  1. Cards 2-10 are valued at the face value of the card.

  2. Face cards such as the King, Queen, and Jack are valued at 10 each.

  3. The Ace card, however, is a special card and which be valued either at 11 or 1.

What makes the Ace special, is that you get to pick the value of the Ace – the choice is up to you.

In certain situations it is appropriate to use the Ace as a 1.

For example, if you’re playing Blackjack on the Big “M” Casino Cruise and you’re dealt a 9 and an Ace.

If you count the Ace as a one, your total value is only 10 (which is not a great hand).

If you count the Ace as an 11, your value is now 20 and you’ll probably be a winner! Remember, you want to get as close as possible to a total value of 21 WITHOUT going over.

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.

Are you getting the hang of the game? Are you ready to play Blackjack on one of our amazing Big “M” Casino cruise ships?

“How to Play Blackjack – 21 Winning Tips” is also available as a free eBook.

If you are interested in playing  South Carolina Blackjack or simply want more information – feel free to contact us, or call us at (843) 249-9811.

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