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Classic 21

Points in hand
Wins Total number of games:
Losses Winning Percentage:

Educational value
Players must become proficient at addition using variable number combinations of addends from 1 to 11. Although this program keeps track of the player's running total, the user must still do the math to keep track of their score relative to the 21 point cap. Using this information, the player must then develop and execute strategies based on a statistical analysis of probabilities.

Possible experiments:
What do you expect to happen if you play 1 game? 10 games? 100 games?
What are the effects of different strategies? e.g.

  • Following the same rule as the computer, i.e. taking cards until your total is at least 17?
  • Following a different rule, say standing on 16 or 18?
  • Developing different strategies depending on the computer's first card?

    The object of this game is to draw a set of cards with a total value greater than that held by the computer AND less than or equal to 21 points. Face cards are each assigned a value of 10 points; aces can equal 1 or 11 at the cardholders discretion (here, the computer automatically assigns a value of 11 if the player is holding more than 10 points, otherwise a value of 1); and all number cards carry their own values.

    Play begins by clicking on the "Deal" button. The cards dealt to the computer and the player are shown in the boxes labelled with their names. To receive another card, the player clicks on the "Another card" button. If this button is clicked, the next card dealt to the player is shown, along with the cumulative hand totals. Additional cards can be requested until the player decides to stop by clicking on the "Stand" button, or by exceeding the 21 point maximum (in which case the player has lost that hand).

    Once the player has either decided to "stand" or has exceeded the 21 point maximum, the computer draws cards for itself. The computer continues drawing cards for itself until it's total has reached at least 17. If the computer's total is greater than the player's total, but still 21 or less, the computer wins. If not, the player wins. (Here, neither player wins in case of a tie.)

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