Twenty-One
(Also Known as Black Jack)

Ages: 6 to 12 years old
Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Materials: Deck of cards
Skill Practice: Addition, Estimation

Goal: To win hands by coming as close to a total of 21 without going over

Card Values:

  • Aces = 1 or 11 points
  • Face Cards (Jack, Queen, and King) = 10 points
  • Number cards are worth face value

Set up:

  1. Dealer passes out 2 cards to each player, including the dealer. One card is dealt face up and the other card is dealt face down.
  2. Players keep the one card face up.
  3. The dealer places the remainder of the deck within reach to deal out cards as needed.

Rules for play:

  1. After receiving the initial 2 cards, players total the amount of their cards.
  2. The players decide whether they need another card to get close to 21 without going over.
  3. The dealer, starting with the player on the left, makes eye contact with each player to see if they need another card.
  4. If a player decides they need another card, they say “hit me” when the dealer makes eye contact.  The dealer passes out 1 card to that player.
  5. Play continues until a player decides they are the closest to 21 without going over. 
  6. Players turn over all their cards and call out their totals.
  7. If player has a Black Jack if they have a Jack and an Ace of Spades or Clubs, their hand trumps all of the hands, even if another player has 21.
  8. The player with 21 or the amount closest to 21 wins the round.