Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. The object of the game is to draw cards totaling closer to 21 than the Dealer draws without going over 21. The cards are dealt clockwise from a dealing “shoe.” Each Player is dealt two cards, face up; the Dealer takes two cards, one face up (up card) and one face down (hole card). Cards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 count at face value. Picture cards (Jack, Queen, King) count as ten. Aces count as one or eleven, whichever is to the Player’s advantage, e.g., Ace + 8 = 9, or Ace + 8 = 19.
If you receive an Ace and a Ten value card as your first two cards, you have Blackjack. The Dealer will announce Blackjack, pay you one and one-half times the bet, then remove those cards before acting on any other hands. However, if the Dealers face up card is an Ace or Ten value card, he will act on all hands. If he has Blackjack, the hand will be a Push (Standoff). You neither win nor lose. If the Dealer makes 21 with 3 or more cards, the Players Blackjack wins.
If you do not have Blackjack on your first two cards, you may decide to stand (draw no more cards), or hit (draw more cards) until you decide to stand. If your card count goes over 21, you lose. In the event that the Dealer has Blackjack, a Players 21 will lose. The Dealer must always hit on 16 and stand on 17. If the Dealer goes over 21, he must pay all hands remaining on the table. Hand signals are used by the Player to signal a hit or stand. The Player may not handle, remove, or alter any cards used in the game of Blackjack. The Dealer will call out the point totals, but it is also the Players responsibility to check the totals.
After you are dealt your first two cards, unless you have a point total of 21, you may decide to double down. In this case, you can increase your bet by an amount up to your original bet. You will then be dealt only one more card.
If your first two cards have the same point value, (10, Jack, Queen, King they do not have to be matched pairs), you may split them and form two separate hands by wagering an amount equal to the original bet. Each hand will be played and completed in turn. You may draw as many cards as you wish on each split hand, with the exception of splitting Aces. If you split Aces, only one card will be dealt to each Ace. You may double down on split hands. You may split pairs twice (for a total of three hands) on a seven player table and split pairs three times (for a total number of four hands) on a six player table. If you split Aces, only one card will be dealt to each Ace. If a Ten value card is dealt to either Ace, the hand is counted as 21, not Blackjack.
If the Dealers up card is an Ace, he will announce insurance. You may make an insurance bet before any other Player receives a third card. This involves placing a separate bet, of up to one-half of your original bet, in front of your original bet. The insurance bet is entirely separate from the original bet. If the Dealer has Blackjack, you will be paid two to one on the insurance bet. If the Dealer does not have Blackjack, you will lose the insurance bet.
In the event that the Dealer has Blackjack, the Player can only lose his original wager; split and double down bets are returned to the Player. In the event that the Player has Blackjack and the Dealer does not have an Ace or Ten value card as the first face up card, the Dealer shall pay the Player’s Blackjack wager at odds of 3 to 2 and remove the Player’s cards prior to any Players receiving a third card. If the Dealers face up card is an Ace or Ten value card, all Players hands shall be acted upon.
A VARIATION OF THE BASIC GAME
As a Players point total is announced, he/she may elect to discontinue play of his/her hand for that round and surrender only one-half of his/her wager. This decision must be made prior to the player indicating whether he/she wishes to double down, split pairs, stand and/or draw. If the first card dealt to the Dealer is an Ace, King, Queen, Jack or 10, the Dealer will place the wager of the Player wishing to surrender on top of the Players cards. If the Dealers second card results in a Dealer Blackjack, the Players entire wager will be collected by the Dealer. However, if the Dealers second card does not result in a Dealer Blackjack, then one-half of the Player’s wager will be returned to the Player.
A brief look at what a black jack table looks like: