Black Jack - Exercism Solution

Black Jack - Exercism Solution

Instructions

In this exercise, you are going to implement some rules of Blackjack, such as the way the game is played and scored.

Note: In this exercise, A means ace, J means jack, Q means queen, and K means king. Jokers are discarded. A standard French-suited 52-card deck is assumed, but in most versions, several decks are shuffled together for play.

1. Calculate the value of a card

In Blackjack, it is up to each individual player if an ace is worth 1 or 11 points (more on that later). Face cards (J, Q, K) are scored at 10 points and any other card is worth its "pip" (numerical) value.

Define the value_of_card(<card>) function with parameter card. The function should return the numerical value of the passed-in card string. Since an ace can take on multiple values (1 or 11), this function should fix the value of an ace card at 1 for the time being. Later on, you will implement a function to determine the value of an ace card, given an existing hand.

>>> value_of_card('K')
10

>>> value_of_card('4')
4

>>> value_of_card('A')
1

2. Determine which card has a higher value

Define the higher_card(<card_one>, <card_two>) function having parameters card_one and card_two. For scoring purposes, the value of J, Q or K is 10. The function should return which card has the higher value for scoring. If both cards have an equal value, return both. Returning both cards can be done by using a comma in the return statement:

## Using a comma in a return creates a Tuple.  Tuples will be covered in a later exercise.
>>> def returning_two_values(value_one, value_two):
        return value_one, value_two

>>> returning_two_values('K', '3')
('K', '3')

An ace can take on multiple values, so we will fix A cards to a value of 1 for this task.

>>> higher_card('K', '10')
('K', '10')

>>> higher_card('4', '6')
'6'

>>> higher_card('K', 'A')
'K'

3. Calculate the value of an ace

As mentioned before, an ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points. Players try to get as close as possible to a score of 21, without going over 21 (going "bust").

Define the value_of_ace(<card_one>, <card_two>) function with parameters card_one and card_two, which are a pair of cards already in the hand before getting an ace card. Your function will have to decide if the upcoming ace will get a value of 1 or a value of 11, and return that value. Remember: the value of the hand with the ace needs to be as high as possible without going over 21.

Hint: if we already have an ace in hand then its value would be 11.

>>> value_of_ace('6', 'K')
1

>>> value_of_ace('7', '3')
11

4. Determine a "Natural" or "Blackjack" Hand

If the first two cards a player is dealt are an ace (A) and a ten-card (10, K, Q or J), giving a score of 21 in two cards, the hand is considered a natural or blackjack.

Define the is_blackjack(<card_one>, <card_two>) function with parameters card_one and card_two, which are a pair of cards. Determine if the two-card hand is a blackjack, and return the boolean True if it is, False otherwise.

Note : The score calculation can be done in many ways. But if possible, we'd like you to check if there is an ace and a ten-card in the hand (or at a certain position), as opposed to summing the hand values.

>>> is_blackjack('A', 'K')
True

>>> is_blackjack('10', '9')
False

5. Splitting pairs

If the players first two cards are of the same value, such as two sixes, or a Q and K a player may choose to treat them as two separate hands. This is known as "splitting pairs".

Define the can_split_pairs(<card_one>, <card_two>) function with parameters card_one and card_two, which are a pair of cards. Determine if this two-card hand can be split into two pairs. If the hand can be split, return the boolean True otherwise, return False

>>> can_split_pairs('Q', 'K')
True

>>> can_split_pairs('10', 'A')
False
  1. Doubling down

When the original two cards dealt total 9, 10, or 11 points, a player can place an additional bet equal to their original bet. This is known as "doubling down".

Define the can_double_down(<card_one>, <card_two>) function with parameters card_one and card_two, which are a pair of cards. Determine if the two-card hand can be "doubled down", and return the boolean True if it can, False otherwise.

>>> can_double_down('A', '9')
True

>>> can_double_down('10', '2')
False

Solution

"""Functions to help play and score a game of blackjack.

How to play blackjack:    https://bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/blackjack/
"Standard" playing cards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_52-card_deck
"""


def value_of_card(card):
    """Determine the scoring value of a card.

    :param card: str - given card.
    :return: int - value of a given card.  See below for values.

    1.  'J', 'Q', or 'K' (otherwise known as "face cards") = 10
    2.  'A' (ace card) = 1
    3.  '2' - '10' = numerical value.
    """

    if card in ['J', 'Q', 'K']:
        return 10
    if card == 'A':
        return 1
    return int(card)


def higher_card(card_one, card_two):
    """Determine which card has a higher value in the hand.

    :param card_one, card_two: str - cards dealt in hand.  See below for values.
    :return: str or tuple - resulting Tuple contains both cards if they are of equal value.

    1.  'J', 'Q', or 'K' (otherwise known as "face cards") = 10
    2.  'A' (ace card) = 1
    3.  '2' - '10' = numerical value.
    """

    if value_of_card(card_one) > value_of_card(card_two):
        return card_one
    if value_of_card(card_one) < value_of_card(card_two):
        return card_two
    return (card_one, card_two)


def value_of_ace(card_one, card_two):
    """Calculate the most advantageous value for the ace card.

    :param card_one, card_two: str - card dealt. See below for values.
    :return: int - either 1 or 11 value of the upcoming ace card.

    1.  'J', 'Q', or 'K' (otherwise known as "face cards") = 10
    2.  'A' (ace card) = 11 (if already in hand)
    3.  '2' - '10' = numerical value.
    """

    if (value_of_card(card_one) + value_of_card(card_two) > 10) or (card_one == 'A' or card_two == 'A'):
        return 1
    return 11


def is_blackjack(card_one, card_two):
    """Determine if the hand is a 'natural' or 'blackjack'.

    :param card_one, card_two: str - card dealt. See below for values.
    :return: bool - is the hand is a blackjack (two cards worth 21).

    1.  'J', 'Q', or 'K' (otherwise known as "face cards") = 10
    2.  'A' (ace card) = 11 (if already in hand)
    3.  '2' - '10' = numerical value.
    """

    if card_one == 'A' or card_two == 'A':
        return value_of_card(card_one) == 10 or value_of_card(card_two) == 10
    return False


def can_split_pairs(card_one, card_two):
    """Determine if a player can split their hand into two hands.

    :param card_one, card_two: str - cards dealt.
    :return: bool - can the hand be split into two pairs? (i.e. cards are of the same value).
    """

    return value_of_card(card_one) == value_of_card(card_two)


def can_double_down(card_one, card_two):
    """Determine if a blackjack player can place a double down bet.

    :param card_one, card_two: str - first and second cards in hand.
    :return: bool - can the hand can be doubled down? (i.e. totals 9, 10 or 11 points).
    """

    return value_of_card(card_one) + value_of_card(card_two) in [9, 10, 11]

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