How the Game is
You and the Dealer each get two
cards. Every card has a point value. You can draw more cards, but
when you exceed a point total of 21, you lose.
The object of the game is to beat the dealer by 1) receiving an ace
(11 points) and a 10-point-value card (which is 21 and the highest
winning score, known as blackjack) as the first two cards, 2)
getting closer to 21 than the dealer does, or 3) the dealer going
over 21 points and you not.
If you and the Dealer end up with the same same total value hand, it
is considered a push, or a standoff, and nobody wins.
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Any hand containing an ace is said to be a "soft hand".
(Ace+5 = "Soft-16)
Options (for the Player)
After your first two cards are dealt there are a variety of
options for what to do next. (The Dealer has to follow different
Getting an additional card. You can continue to receive
cards as long as their total doesn't exceed 21. Scrap the cards
lightly towards you, scratch or tap the table, or point at your
cards to hit.
Not wanting another card (because of a satisfactory total).
Slip the cards under the chips or hold your hand, palm down,
over your cards to stand.
- Split Pairs
After being dealt two cards of the same point value, to
dividing them into two separate hands, which is a very good
option for the player. You must put up an equal bet on the new
split hand. You hit and stand each new hand as wanted. If you
receive another card of the same value, you can to split this
pair as well. Slitting Pairs usually is allowed up to a total of
- Double Down
Making an additional wager (no higher than the original
bet), and receive only one more card.
In Blackjack one of the Dealer's first two cards always is
dealt face up, so you can see it. If this card is an Ace, the
Dealer could have a blackjack and you can make an additional
side bet (equal to half of the original bet), which is won when
the Dealer has a blackjack and pays 2:1. In this case your
original bet is lost. If the Dealer doesn't have a blackjack,
the insurance bet is lost and you go on playing with your
original bet. The insurance bet has a 6% house-advantage over
you, so it is a poor bet.
Giving up and losing only half of the original bet. Only
allowed when Dealer has a 9, 10, or ace showing. Early surrender
is to give up before the Dealer looks at his second card. Late
surrender is to give up after the Dealer looks at his second
card. When the Dealer has an 10, or an ace showing, the chance
of losing is greater than 75%, which makes it a good option for
Options (for the Dealer)
The Dealer does not really have any options, because he has to
follow certain rules.
- Dealer hits on 16, stands on 17
The Dealer must hit on any hand totaling 16 or less, and
stand on any hand totaling 17 or higher. Some casinos require
the Dealer to hit on a soft 17 (Ace+6), which is a disadvantage
for the player.