Blackjack is a popular American
casino game, now found throughout the world. It is a banking
game in which the aim of the player is to achieve a hand whose
points total nearer to 21 than the banker's hand, but without
HOW TO PLAY The object of the game is simply to beat the dealer by drawing cards totalling up to and including 21. Picture cards (jack,queen,king) count as 10, an ace as 11 or 1, all other cards count at their face value.
Blackjack is a 10 or any picture card, plus an ace. If you are dealt blackjack, you win and are paid 3 to 2. If your cards total is closer to 21 than the dealers's, you win and are paid even money. The dealer must stand on a total of 17 or more and must draw another card on 16 or less. If you and the dealer has the same amount, it's a draw and nobody
Insurance When the Dealers's first card is an Ace, you can insure your bet against the dealer getting blackjack by placing half the amount of your bet in the "insurance" space. Then, if the dealer gets blackjack, you lose your initial bet but get paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. If the dealer fails to get blackjack, you lose your Insurance bet. If both you and the dealer have blackjack this is a "Stand-Off". You keep your initial bet and still get paid 2 to 1 on your insurance.
Doubling You may double your initial bet if your first two cards total 9, 10 or 11. However, you may then only draw one more card.
Splitting If your first 2 cards are a pair, you may split them and place an amount equal to your initial bet on the other hand and complete play on that hand before continuing to the next. If you split Aces, you may draw only one more card for each. Should you receive a Ten or a picture card on either or both Aces, this counts as 21 and paid at even.
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- How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack can be played with one to eight ordinary decks of cards. Cards of rank 2 through 10 are scored according to their face value. All face cards are 10 points. Aces are semi-wild and can be worth either 1 or 11 points. The highest hand in
blackjack is an ace and any 10-point card and is called a
blackjack. A winning
blackjack pays 3:2. If both player and dealer have a
blackjack the bet is a push. Aside from a
blackjack, a winning hand pays even money. The player wins if his hand has more points than the dealer, without going over 21. Thus, a 21-point hand is the highest and is why the game is sometimes called 21. If either the player or dealer go over 21 it is called a break or bust and a busted hand automatically loses. If both the player and the dealer bust the player loses, where lies the house advantage. If the player and the dealer tie, the bet is a push.
A round of blackjack begins with each player placing a bet in the circle or logo directly in front of him. Then the dealer will give each player and himself two cards. Player cards are usually dealt face up. One dealer card is dealt face up (the up card) and the other face down (the hole card). If the dealer has a ten or an ace as the up card it is possible he has a
blackjack, in which case all player hands will lose except those with another
blackjack. In the U.S. the dealer will check for
immediately, if one is possible, and will collect all losing bets immediately if he does have a
In the event the dealer has an ace as the up card he will allow the players to insure their hands against a
blackjack. This is much like any insurance policy in which you are betting something bad will happen. The insurance bet in blackjack pays 2:1 if the dealer has a
blackjack. If the dealer has an ace showing and a player has a
blackjack the dealer may ask "even money?" This is because if the player has a
blackjack the net result of both the
blackjack and the insurance bet will be an even money win regardless of whether the dealer has a
blackjack. After all players have had a chance to accept or decline insurance the dealer will check the hole card. After it has been established that the dealer does not have a
blackjack the players in turn may play their hands. The following options are available.
Stand: If the player is satisfied with his hand as-is he may stand pat. To signify you wish to stand, wave your hand as if to wave the dealer away. In a single deck game, tuck your cards face down under your bet.
Hit: If the player wishes to take another card he may continue to do so until he either stands or busts. To signify you wish to hit, tap the table with your finger. In a single deck game, scrape your cards lightly against the
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Double: If the player feels he needs one and only one more card then he may double his bet and be dealt one more
card, good or bad. This option is only offered on the first two cards, and sometimes on the first two cards after
splitting. To signify you wish to double, place another wager next to your original wager of equal value. In single
deck, place your cards face up by your bet.
Split: If the player's first two cards are of equal point value he may split them into two hands. In this event each card is the first card of a new hand. The player must also make another
wager, of equal value to the first wager, for the second hand. Splitting after splitting is
allowed; however, resplitting aces is often an exception. The player may usually split up to 2 or 3 times if another splitting opportunity arises. Doubling after splitting is usually but not always
allowed. To signify you wish to split put the additional wager next to the original
wager. In single deck, place your cards face up by your bet.
Surrender: Finally, some casinos offer the player the option to surrender on the first two
cards. If the player does not like his prospects he may forfeit half the bet as well as his
cards. This option is generally only offered after the dealer checks for
blackjack, known as "late surrender."
After all players have played their hands, from the dealer's left to right, the dealer will play his hand. The dealer has no free will but must always play by certain house
rules. Usually the rule is that the dealer must hit until he reaches a score of 17 or more. Some casinos stipulate that if the dealer has a soft 17, an ace and any number of cards totaling 6, he must also hit. If the dealer
busts, all players that did not bust automatically win at the