Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack is far and away the most popular game in the casino, mainly because it is such a simple and face moving game. The rules of blackjack are fairly straightforward but there are a few areas where they do get a little bit more involved. In most cases after a brief reading of the rules you should have no trouble going to the table and playing a game.

The idea of blackjack is that you want to get a hand that is closer to twenty one than the dealers hand without going over. You are playing strictly against the dealer, what the other players at the table do during a game is entirely irrelevant to you. Cards between two and ten have their face value, face cards are worth ten and the ace can be worth one or eleven. You don’t have to decide on which value it will be assumed that the ace has the value that is best for your hand. The suit of the cards is irrelevant; you are simply after the total that comes closest to twenty one without going over.

To start the game all players will make their bets and the dealer will then deal each player two cards. Usually the cards are dealt face up but there are exceptions to this. Since there are rules about what the dealer has to do depending on his hand it really doesn’t matter that he can see your cards. Once each player has his cards the dealer will go around the table and ask each player in turn how they want to play their hand. You can add cards until you get as close to twenty one as you like, if you go over you bust and you lose. Once each player has played his hand the dealer will finish his hand.

The dealer will follow specific rules about the cards that he takes, if his hand is less than sixteen he will continue to take cards, he will not take cards if his total is over seventeen. Aces in the dealers hand will always be assumed to count as eleven unless doing so would cause the dealer to go bust.

If you receive a total of twenty one on your first two cards you have a blackjack which actually pays you at the higher rate to 3 to 2 odds. You have a couple of other options besides hitting or standing during a game. The first is to double down. This allows you to double your bet after you have received two cards with condition that you are only allowed to receive one additional card. You also have the option of splitting pairs. If you are dealt two matching cards you can split them and play them as two separate hands. In most cases if you split aces you will be limited to drawing only one additional card.

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