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Blackjack Rules

Now for the basics, starting with the rules. There are many varieties of blackjack out there. Wherever you play you’ll encounter the same basic blackjack rules. Always make sure you know all the rules of a given table as rules can vary from table to table.

The object of the game is to get a hand of cards that totals no more than 21. If you go over you “bust” and lose.

Number cards are worth their face value and face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10. An ace can be worth 1 or 11 which ever the player chooses. When the ace is a 1 it is referred to as a “hard ace” and when the ace is an eleven it is a “soft ace”. Hands using aces are, as a result, referred to as “soft” or “hard” hands. For example a 3 and an ace is a soft 14 or a hard 4.

Once bets are placed on the table play begins. If the dealer deals your cards face up, it is a variation of blackjack called London Deal. When the cards are face down it is a Nevada Deal game. Obviously, those counting cards will want to stick with London Deal blackjack games.

The dealer will deal cards to each player one at a time around the table and will deal him or her self one card face down and one card face up. In turn, each player decides if they are close enough to 21 to beat the dealers hand and will either “stand” and take no more cards or will “hit” and receive another card. Each player will continue until they bust or stand.

After all players have had their turn the dealer will reveal his or her face down card. If the dealer has 17 or higher they must stand. If they have 16 or less they must hit. If the dealer busts, everyone at the table who didn’t bust wins. If the dealer doesn’t bust, the dealer’s hand is compared to each player’s. The higher hand wins paying 1 to 1. A tie is called a “push” and the player gets his bet back and wins nothing.

If the dealer gets blackjack (an ace and a 10) then everyone at the table loses. If both the dealer and player get blackjack, it’s a push. If the player wins with blackjack, they are paid 3 to 2 or one and a half times the original bet.

During a round, players have a number of other options. After the initial deal, a player may “double down” and double their bet. They may receive only one more card and if they win are paid 2 to 1 on the doubled bet.

If the dealer deals a player two cards of the same value, the player my “split pairs” and play each card as a separate hand. An additional bet must be place for the second hand. If another pair is dealt on one of the hands, that hand may be split as well. Some casinos place limits on how many times a hand may be split. Blackjacks do not count on split hands.

If the dealer has an ace showing, they may offer players an “insurance” bet. This is betting that the dealer has blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, the player is paid 2 to 1 on the insurance bet. Many blackjack experts believe that this is a bad bet.

Some casinos will allow “Five Card Charlie”. If a player receives 5 cards without going over 21 you win and are paid 2 to 1. This does not count if the dealer had blackjack or the player has spit a pair.

Some casinos will allow a player to “surrender”. After the dealer has checked for blackjack the player may give up their hand and get half of their bet back. The option to surrender before the dealer has check for blackjack is know as “early surrender”.

Now that you know the rules of blackjack, check out our blackjack strategies section to find out how to use these rules to your advantage.








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