Blackjack Rules
blackjack deal

 

Blackjack Rules

 

How To Play

The object of blackjack is simple; beat the dealer's hand by obtaining cards that accumulate to 21 or less.  Aces can be counted as either 1 or 11, face cards (king, queen, jack) count as 10 and all other cards are given the value of their card, for example a seven is counted as 7.

On a given hand, if you beat the dealer's hand, you are paid the value of your bet.  If you go over, you automatically lose your bet, no matter what the dealer does.  That my friend is where the house gains its advantage.  The house's advantage is reduced by the fact that they usually pay 3 to 2 (one and a half times the bet or $3 for every $2 dollars bet) for a blackjack.  You are paid the BJ bonus if your first two cards are an Ace and one of the ten value cards (ten, jack, queen or king).  Ties, called pushes, are usually not won by either the player or the house.

The dealer must draw cards until a total of 17 or higher is reached.  A variation of this rule is that soft 17 can be hit by the dealer in some casinos.  Either way, the dealer's play is fixed beforehand by the house rules, which means that the dealer cannot decide at the time of play whether to hit or stand on a soft 17.

Double down

After receiving his first two cards, the player has the option of doubling down, which is doubling the bet, but then receiving only one additional card.  The player usually expresses the desire to double down by placing chips of equal value behind his original bet.

Splitting

If the player's first two cards are of equal value (e.g. 8,8 or K,K), the player has the option of splitting, which consist of placing a bet of equal value to the original bet and playing the cards as separate hands.  The player can then draw additional cards in order to beat the dealer on each separate hand.  Some rules allow you to re-split if your second card for a hand is the same value as your original split cards.  Some rules also allow you to double down after a split but most rules allow you to draw only one card when splitting aces.

Insurance

Insurance is a side bet, which is available whenever the dealer has an ace showing.  The player can bet up to one half of his original bet and receive payment of 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack. 

Surrender

Some casinos allow you to give up half your bet and not play out the hand.  The player simply says surrender when it is time to play his hand.  If a casino offers surrender then it is usually late surrender (after the dealer checks for BJ).

The early surrender rule, a slight difference, allows you to surrender half your bet before the dealer checks for BJ.

 

See Also: Terminology

 

 

 

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