Blackjack Rules

The game of blackjack is one of the most popular of the casino games played today, and for good reason. Several notes in favor of the game include:

The odds of winning are not fixed in favor of the house. As the game progresses the cards in the deck(s) are depleted, and this changes the composition of the deck.

Blackjack is a pleasantly simple game. Blackjack rules are few and easy to understand.

Blackjack although simple is in large part a game of skill, not just luck.

Blackjack stands alone as the casino game that gives the players their best shot at winning.

The minimum bets are usually quite low on certain tables, without decreasing the odds.

Object Of The Game

The object of the game is to get a card point total closer to 21 than the dealer does without going over 21. Remember; you are actually playing to beat the dealer, not to get as close to 21 as possible. Also remember that blackjack is not a group game, although there may be many players at the table the dealer only plays with one player at a time.

Playing The Game

The dealer starts with the player to his/her left and deals them one card; he/she then proceeds to deal every player at the table one card and finally one to himself (face up). He/she then repeats this order in dealing everyone a second card except the dealers second card is dealt face down.

When everyone has their two cards the dealer again starts with the player to his/her left and asks if they want additional cards, these cards are dealt one at a time, until the player busts or indicates that he/she wants to stand. Once every player has finished with his/her or her hand the dealer must play his. The dealer has rules, printed on the table, that determine his/her play; these rule usually tell you that the dealer will take a card when his/her total is 16, and stand when he/she has a count of 17.

After the dealer has finished with his/her hand, assuming the dealer doesn’t bust, he/she will pay off bets with better hands, collect bets on worse hands, or in the case of a tie “pushes”. Players then pick up their winnings, if any, and may make a new bet as the entire process is repeated with a new game/hands.

Blackjack Rules

In casinos playing a multi-deck game (most do) all cards are dealt face up, and the players are not to touch their cards or the original bet on the table. This speeds up the game somewhat, and reduces the chance of players cheating by changing either the card or the size of the wager.

The player goes first, and can choose from standing or hitting. If the players has certain cards, they may also double down or split. The player decides what to do depending on what cards he/she has and what cards the dealer has showing. As a general rule if the dealer’s face up card is greater than 7, the player has better odds if he/she hits on a total of 12 to 16. If the player is dealt cards totaling 17 or more, he/she should stand, as the likelihood of busting is too high.

Once all of the players are finished the dealer plays his/her hand. The dealer has the same two options as the player, however they are governed by a set of rules. The rules generally state that if the dealer has 16 or less he/she must take a card and if he/she has a count of 17 or more he/she has to stand.

Splitting pairs is an option given to players when they are dealt two cards of equal value. You can elect to split them and play each card as a separate hand. If you split the cards, you create two separate hands, and play the one on your right first and then the one on your left. Often if you split aces you are allowed to play only one card on each of the two aces, and if you do get a ten as the second card it is not considered a blackjack. These hands will beat a dealers hand if it totals 21, but lose if the dealer gets a blackjack, and only pays even money if the player wins. The player indicates that he/she wishes to split by placing a bet of equal value on the table next to the first bet (touching neither the cards nor the original bet).

Doubling down is done when you have two cards and feel that you can beat the dealer with just one more card. You can then double your bet and receive your one card. To signal your intention to double down split by placing a bet of equal value on the table next to the first bet (touching neither the cards nor the original bet). While many casinos allow you to double down on any hand except for when the two cards total 21, some restrict you to hands totaling 9, 10 or 11.

Surrendering is allowed in some casinos. If you feel that your two cards will be unable to beat the dealers hand you announce ‘surrender’, the dealer then picks up your cards and half of your bet but leaves the other half of the bet. In some casino’s you must announce your surrender decision before the dealer deals to the first hand.

Blackjack Betting Rules

All betting is done before the first card is dealt.

The players win even money if they better the dealer, and win 3 to 2 for a blackjack ($15 paid on a $10 bet).

Insurance bets are offered if the dealer’s face card is an ace. If the dealer shows an ace then he/she will ask if anyone wants insurance, this is a side bet on the dealer having a card worth ten as his/her face down card. If you think the dealer has a ten you can bet an amount up to the value of your original bet and if you are correct you will receive 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. This has nothing to do with your original bet, you still have to beat the dealer’s hand, if he/she has the ten the best you can do is tie with a blackjack of your own.