Blackjack - The Basics
The objective of the game is obtaining a hand value that is closest to 21 and higher than the dealer's hand without going over. Your hand or hands, depending at which table you play in the casino, will play against the total of the dealer's hand.
How to Play
Initially, both the dealer and the player are dealt two cards per hand. Player cards are dealt face up and one dealer card is dealt face up. A Blackjack is when the sum of the first two totals 21. The combination can be any Ace with any card with a value of 10.
The shoe of cards can consist of any number of decks from 1 to 8, this depends of the rules of the house. The number of decks used at a table affect the odds of house. The more decks the better the odds are for the house. The casino lobby indicates the number of decks used in each game.
In Blackjack, the cards are valued as follows: An Ace can count as either 1 or 11. Cards from 2 through 9 keep their face value. The 10, Jack, Queen, and King are all valued at 10.
The Dealer Hand
The plays that the Dealer makes are defined by a set of table rules that determine his actions. Usually these rules are indicated on the blackjack table. The main guidelines for the Dealer hand are:
Hit on 16 or less
Stand on Soft 17
Stand on Hard 17 or higher
A soft hand is where an Ace is counted as either 1 or 11 without going over 21
A hard hand has no Aces or just one Ace must count as one so that the hand does not go over 21
The Player Hand
After the cards are dealt the player must play his/her hand first. The player can make several choices once his two initial cards are dealt. The player's action would depend on the strategy used by the player to the two initial cards. Some tables will have rules that other tables may not have so it is a good idea for the player to find out which tables in the casino are the ones that suit his or her gambling style. These options are indicated in the casino lobby when choosing a game. The Players hand is over when: A Blackjack comes up, Player chooses to stand or Player busts.
These are the choices a player has after being deal the first two cards:
The player chooses this option if he/she wishes to stand with the cards they have.
The dealer gives the player another card.
Player can choose to take only one hit and double the amount of his/her bet. This option may vary in how it is offered. Some tables allow a Double on any two cards and some allow it only when the combination of the initial two cards equals 9, 10 or 11. Some tables may even offer a late double that can be played after the player already has 3 cards. These options if available are indicated in the casino lobby. The double option, if played correctly can be very beneficial for the player.
If the player has two cards of equal value, he/she can choose to split the cards into two hands by doubling the amount of the bet. In a Split blackjack is not recognized. Some tables allow players to split multiple times. As with a Double, if played correctly Splits can increase player odds significantly.
Some games will not allow re-splitting Aces and a lot of games will not allow hitting after splitting Aces. Games that allow you to re-split aces and hit after splitting aces are of big advantage for the player.
When the dealer's face up card is an Ace players have the option to purchase Insurance. Insurance generally pays 2:1 and is indicated on the table. Insurance can be understood as a side bet on whether the dealer has blackjack or not. If the dealer has blackjack the insurance bet is a winner.
Even Money is sometimes used when a player is dealt a Blackjack and the dealer has a face up Ace. The player can take an Even Money payout of 1:1 instead of the usual 1.5:1 and avoid the risk of the dealer having a blackjack which would result in a push.
If the player is unsatisfied with the first 2 cards and feels the dealer has a much better chance then the player can surrender and only lose half the bet amount. Surrender is generally a house favorable option.
This is when the Player's or Dealer's hand total goes over 21. A Busted hand is automatically a loser.
Push is when the Player's hand equals the total of the Dealer's hand. This is tie and the player receives his/her bet amount back.
Minimum / Maximum Bet
Min bet: displays the minimum bet amount required to play a hand. Max bet: displays the maximum bet amount allowed at the table. This is shown in the top right hand corner of the table.
Some Blackjack tables will allow a player to play multiple hands at the same time. A player can play either one, two or three hands simultaneously. The casino lobby indicates which tables will allow a player play multiple hands.
In the event the player looses internet connectivity on or closes his/her browser window in the middle of a game, the game in progress will be stored. Once back in the casino the pending game may be restored and finished by the player.