What is a Hole Card?
A hole card is dealt face-down in a card game. This is so players cannot yet determine what card or value it holds at that point in the round. As the round continues, the ‘hole card’ will be flipped over face-up by the dealer when it reaches the correct time during the game, for all players to see. Players will usually need to make a decision (whether to bet or to take another card) without them having seen the ‘hole card’.
Hole Card Explained
In the card game blackjack players are playing against the dealer to have a hand value of 21, or to be the nearest to 21. Players around the table are dealt two cards each. The dealer will also deal themselves two cards, the first face-up, so the players can see it, the second is a ‘hole card’ and is dealt face-down. The ‘hole card’ is usually ‘loaded’ (tucked) underneath the first card.
The player will then need to make a decision on how to proceed in the game without knowing what the ‘hole card’ is. They will have to use the knowledge of seeing their hand and only one of the dealer‘s cards to help make the decision on whether to ‘hit’ (take another card) or not.
The ‘hole card’ can be detrimental to the game. If you have a hand value of 20, a good starting hand and the dealer’s face-up card is a 10, you may ‘stick’ (decide take no more cards). But, when the dealer flips over the ‘hole card’ it could be an ace (value of 11 in blackjack) meaning they win the round with 21. This is certainly where the risk comes into the blackjack game, using a ‘hole card’ so that a player cannot see the entire hand.