## Blackjack Hands

A blackjack hand consists of two or more cards. The suits of the cards are irrelevant in this game. Also, the order of the cards in the hand doesn't matter.

Each card carries a value, depending on its rank, as follows:

• For numbered cards (2 through 10) the value of the card is equal to its rank.
• Face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) carry the value 10.
• Aces are tricky! The Ace can be either valued as 1 or 11, whichever is most advantageous at the time.

The value of a Blackjack hand is the sum of the values of the cards. The goal of the game is to achieve a hand with a value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding 21. It's pretty simple, unless there is an Ace involved. Keep in mind that the Ace can either be 1 or 11, whichever brings the hand's value closer to 21 without going over. Below are some examples of hands and their corresponding values. Before you go any further, make sure you understand how these values are calculated!   This hand's value is 20.    This hand's value is 19.  This hand's value is 20.   This hand's value is 25. That's bad! A hand that has a value that is more than 21 is called a "bust". If the player busts, he/she loses automatically.  This hand's value is either 7 or 17 because the Ace can be either 1 or 11.  This hand (a "natural blackjack") has a value of either 11 or 21 because the Ace can be either 1 or 11.   This hand's value is 12. Here you wouldn't want to count the ace as 11, because that would generate a total over 21.   This hand's value is either 10 or 20. You wouldn't want to count both aces as 11, because then the total would be over 21.    We're going to say that this hand's value is 23 (and not 33). Both of these numbers are over 21, but we have to give the hand some value, so we'll choose the "lesser of two evils" and go with the lower value only.