Blackjack is played with a single fifty-two-card deck. After each played hand, the used cards are shuffled back within the deck. All face cards are valued at ten. Aces are valued at either one or eleven points; if counting the ace as eleven puts the hand beyond the maximum score of twenty-one, the ace is automatically given a value of one instead. All other cards are valued at their corresponding face value. For example, a seven is worth a score of seven. The easiest way to hit twenty-one is to hold an ace and draw either a face card or a ten of any suit.
To start playing, simply press the ‘deal’ button. Cards will automatically begin shuffling from right to left on the computer screen. The dealer’s cards are displayed on the upper half of the screen, while your cards are displayed on the lower half of the screen.
After all the cards have been dealt, you will be given the choice of either ‘hitting’ or ‘standing’. ‘Hitting’ is the term given for drawing another card. ‘Standing’ refers to not drawing another card. You should only choose to ‘stand’ when your score is close to twenty-one – And that if you did take a ‘hit’, it would probably put you over twenty-one. When applicable, at this time you will also have the chance to take insurance against the dealer’s ace, split cards of equal rank and/or double your initial wager.
You have the option of pressing the ‘insurance’ button when the dealer has been dealt an ace. Insurance only covers the current hand, and costs you the amount of half your original wager. It pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer hits blackjack.
The “double” button allows you to double your initial wager. After pressing ‘double’, you are only dealt one more card; Whereas the dealer draws until his his hand is complete. You are only allowed to double if the total score of your first two initial cards is 9, 10 or 11.
The “split” button allows you to divide your hand into two separate hands, each hand claiming an equivalent stake to your initial bet. You can only press the ‘split’ button if your first 2 cards are of the exact rank. The game proceeds in usual fashion when ‘splitting’. You original hand is played until you stand or bust (go over 21). Your second hand is played following the first hand. The dealer then plays his hand, and gains and losses are determined.