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The Mathematics Of Blackjack Essay

1236 words - 5 pages

Blackjack is a game that is won with strategy and a mathematical knowledge of probability. This game, often played in casinos, can have different circumstances in which probability is changed. Mathematics is a very crucial element to the structure of this game. Due to different circumstances and scenarios, strategy and knowledge of probability must be applied.In the game of blackjack, there are the players and the dealer. The players are playing against each other, but essentially against the dealer. The players and the dealer are all dealt two cards. The object of play is to try to get as close to twenty-one without going over, or "busting". In a game where only one deck is used, only 52 ...view middle of the document...

The player's cards are still face down, but the dealer's second card is dealt face up. The dealer's card that is face up is a king of spades. This means that there are now only 15 more cards with a value of ten that are unknown. You look at your hand and see that you hold a ten of diamonds and another face card, the queen of hearts. With this information we now know that there are only 13 more cards out there with a value of ten. This illustration can represent the situation:Cards left:K, J, 10 K, Q, J, 10 K, Q, J Q, J, 10KCards dealt: Q10Dealer Player?, K - Q - 10 -Howell 3However, another element has been added to the game. The other cards in the deck, besides the ten and the face cards, are still to be played. There cards include a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and an ace of every suit. These cards are worth the points which they show. Ex. 2 of hearts = 2 points, 3 of spades = 3 points, and so on, no matter what the suit. However, the ace is the tricky card. It can either be worth one point or eleven points, your choice. The probability of getting any one of those cards, as opposed to the ten-point cards, is as follows:9 cards x 4 suits = 36 cards36/52 (simplify) = 9/139/13 (non ten-point cards) > 4/13 (ten-point cards)As you can see in the comparison of the ten point cards and all of the other cards, you are more likely to be dealt a card that is not ten points than a card that is.To recap: the object of the game is to reach the amount of twenty-one, or as close to twenty-one, without exceeding that amount. You have a greater possibility of being dealt a card that is less than ten than you do being dealt a card with a ten point value.Here is where the strategy of the game comes into play. The ace is the "magic" card in the deck. Remember, it can be either one point or eleven points. The ace is probably the most desired card in the game, and there are four of them. The probability that you will be dealt an ace is 4/52 or 1/13. When you are dealt an ace and a ten point card, you automatically reach...

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