How to Play Blackjack

Black Jack, also known as 21, is one of the most popular casino games, as it is a mixture of skill, smart decision making and a certain amount of luck.

The game is played with 6 decks of cards.

  • Cards of rank 2 through to 10 are scored according to their face value. All face cards are 10 points. Aces are semi-wild and can be worth either 1 or 11 points.
  • The highest hand in Black Jack is an ace and any 10-point card and is called a Black Jack. A winning Black Jack pays 3 to 2. If both player and dealer have a Black Jack the bet is a push. Aside from a Black Jack, a winning hand pays even money.
  • The player wins if his hand has more points than the dealer, without going over 21. Thus, a 21-point hand is the highest and that is why the game is sometimes called 21. If either the player or dealer go over 21 it is called a bust and a busted hand automatically loses. If the player and the dealer tie, the bet is a push.
  • A round of Black Jack begins with each player placing a bet in the box in front of him. Then the dealer will give each player two cards and one to himself. All cards are dealt face up.
  • In the event the dealer has an Ace as the up card he will allow the players to insure their hands against a Black Jack. This is much like any insurance policy in which you are betting something bad will happen. The insurance bet in Black Jack pays 2:1 if the dealer has a Black Jack. If the dealer has an Ace showing and a player has a Black Jack the dealer may ask "Even Money?"
  • The players in turn may play their hands. The following options are available:

Stand | Hit | Double | Split | Surrender

Stand: If the player is satisfied with his hand, he may stand pat. To signify you wish to stand, wave your hand as if to wave the dealer away.

Hit: If the player wishes to take another card he may continue to do so until he either stands or busts. To signify you wish to hit, tap the table with your finger.

Double: If the player feels he needs one and only one more card, then he may double his bet and be dealt one more card, good or bad. This option is only offered on the first two cards, and on the first two cards after splitting. To signify you wish to double, place another wager next to your original wager of equal value.

Split: If the player's first two cards are of equal point value, he may split them into two hands. In this event each card is the first card of a new hand. The player must also make another wager, of equal value to the first wager, for the second hand.

Surrender: Surrender offers the player the choice to fold his hand, at the cost of half of the original bet. The player must make this decision prior to taking any other action on the hand. For example, once you draw a third card, or split, or double down, surrender is no longer an option.

After all players have played their hands, from the dealer's left to right, the dealer will play his hand. The dealer has no free will but must always play by certain House Rules. The rule is that the dealer must hit until he reaches a score of 17 or more. If the dealer busts, all players that did not bust automatically win.