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Push - the hand is a draw. The player keeps his bet, neither winning nor losing money. Although many players may play in a single round of blackjack, it's fundamentally a two-player game.
In blackjack, players don't play against each other; and they don't co-operate. The only competition is the dealer. The aim of the game is to accumulate a higher point total than the dealer, but without going over You compute your score by adding the values of your individual cards.
The cards 2 through 10 have their face value, J, Q, and K are worth 10 points each, and the Ace is worth either 1 or 11 points player's choice.
At the start of a blackjack game, the players and the dealer receive two cards each. The players' cards are normally dealt face up, while the dealer has one face down called the hole card and one face up.
The best possible blackjack hand is an opening deal of an ace with any ten-point card. This is called a "blackjack", or a natural 21, and the player holding this automatically wins unless the dealer also has a blackjack.
If a player and the dealer each have a blackjack, the result is a push for that player. If the dealer has a blackjack, all players not holding a blackjack lose.
After the cards have been dealt, the game goes on with each player taking action - in clockwise order starting to dealer's left. You can only use the side rules once, when it's your turn to act after the deal.
Then the player can keep his hand as it is stand or take more cards from the deck hit , one at a time, until either the player judges that the hand is strong enough to go up against the dealer's hand and stands, or until it goes over 21, in which case the player immediately loses busts.
In most places, players can take as many cards as they like, as long as they don't bust, but some casinos have restrictions regarding this.
When all players have finished their actions, either decided to stand or busted, the dealer turns over his hidden hole card.
If the dealer has a natural 21 blackjack with his two cards, he won't take any more cards. All players lose, except players who also have a blackjack, in which case it is a push - the bet is returned to the player.
If the dealer doesn't have a natural, he hits takes more cards or stands depending on the value of the hand. Before the deal begins, each player places a bet, in chips, in front of them in the designated area.
The dealer thoroughly shuffles portions of the pack until all the cards have been mixed and combined. The dealer designates one of the players to cut, and the plastic insert card is placed so that the last 60 to 75 cards or so will not be used.
Not dealing to the bottom of all the cards makes it more difficult for professional card counters to operate effectively.
When all the players have placed their bets, the dealer gives one card face up to each player in rotation clockwise, and then one card face up to themselves.
Another round of cards is then dealt face up to each player, but the dealer takes the second card face down. Thus, each player except the dealer receives two cards face up, and the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down.
In some games, played with only one deck, the players' cards are dealt face down and they get to hold them. Today, however, virtually all Blackjack games feature the players' cards dealt face up on the condition that no player may touch any cards.
If a player's first two cards are an ace and a "ten-card" a picture card or 10 , giving a count of 21 in two cards, this is a natural or "blackjack.
If the dealer has a natural, they immediately collect the bets of all players who do not have naturals, but no additional amount. If the dealer and another player both have naturals, the bet of that player is a stand-off a tie , and the player takes back his chips.
If the dealer's face-up card is a ten-card or an ace, they look at their face-down card to see if the two cards make a natural. If the face-up card is not a ten-card or an ace, they do not look at the face-down card until it is the dealer's turn to play.
The player to the left goes first and must decide whether to "stand" not ask for another card or "hit" ask for another card in an attempt to get closer to a count of 21, or even hit 21 exactly.
Thus, a player may stand on the two cards originally dealt to them, or they may ask the dealer for additional cards, one at a time, until deciding to stand on the total if it is 21 or under , or goes "bust" if it is over In the latter case, the player loses and the dealer collects the bet wagered.
The dealer then turns to the next player to their left and serves them in the same manner. The combination of an ace with a card other than a ten-card is known as a "soft hand," because the player can count the ace as a 1 or 11, and either draw cards or not.
For example with a "soft 17" an ace and a 6 , the total is 7 or While a count of 17 is a good hand, the player may wish to draw for a higher total.
If the draw creates a bust hand by counting the ace as an 11, the player simply counts the ace as a 1 and continues playing by standing or "hitting" asking the dealer for additional cards, one at a time.
When the dealer has served every player, the dealers face-down card is turned up. If the total is 17 or more, it must stand.
If the total is 16 or under, they must take a card. The dealer must continue to take cards until the total is 17 or more, at which point the dealer must stand.
If the dealer has an ace, and counting it as 11 would bring the total to 17 or more but not over 21 , the dealer must count the ace as 11 and stand.
The dealer's decisions, then, are automatic on all plays, whereas the player always has the option of taking one or more cards. When a player's turn comes, they can say "Hit" or can signal for a card by scratching the table with a finger or two in a motion toward themselves, or they can wave their hand in the same motion that would say to someone "Come here!
These games are more common online and at small casinos that focus on locals. Yet, the game has many other versions with their own subtle rules changes.
This rule is not favorable to the player because doubling down with a soft is favorable in a lot of situations when playing Most countries outside the U.
That leaves an extra card in the deck for the players to get, and it could be an Ace at just the right time.
They are not offered at all tables and are more common online than offline. The only side bet that is standard at just about all tables is insurance.
There are a very wide variety of blackjack side bets. Side wagers almost universally have a much higher house edge than the game of blackjack itself and are usually not regarded as a good bet for the average player.
They can be put to use by skilled card counters in certain situations, however. At a live casino , the table limits are usually posted prominently on a sign at the table.
The rules may be printed on the table, or you may have to ask the dealer about them. At brick and mortar, policy varies from property to property, but it is very common for casinos to allow players to use strategy cards.
Some properties may not want it placed on the table, however as part of a general policy of not allowing anything on the table. Some may also ask players to put it away if other players feel it is slowing down the game too much.
However, they also tend to make up for this with very poor payout rates for natural blackjacks, and also may give the dealer the win with certain types of pushes.
If you sit down and do the math, 21 variants and oddball blackjack games usually end up having a more unfavorable house edge than standard blackjack, even though the rules might seem more liberal at first.
Yes, they make a huge difference. Changing the blackjack payout to alone provides the casino with a 1. No rule change at blackjack gives the house more of an advantage other than allowing the dealer to win pushes.
To the average blackjack player who is not counting cards, it makes very little difference in terms of expected return and house edge. Card counters want as few decks as possible to simplify their counts, however.
Some blackjack tables have a practice of discarding the first card from each new shoe before beginning play. Rules about seeing this card vary from place to place, sometimes even from dealer to dealer.
There are sometimes 3 other decisions you can make, Double, Split, and Insurance. These will be explained later. It is worth noting that the Dealer has no say in what they do, they have to Hit until they get at least 17, even if all Players have only 15 and the Dealer has Once the dealer has 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21 he will Stand.
If he gets 22 or more, the dealer busts, and all Players left in the hand win. This Doubles your bet you need to place a further bet the same amount as your initial bet and gives you 1 further card, after which your hand is finished irrespective of what card you get.
If you win, you get Double your total bet. If you get 2 cards of the same value, you can Split them and play with 2 hands, each containing 1 of the cards.
You will need to pay a bet equal to your initial bet and you will get dealt another card for each hand. You then decide for each hand whether to Hit or Stand.
If you get 21 after Splitting, this only counts as 21 and not Blackjack. If you Split Aces, you will only get dealt 1 more card and will then need to Stand.
At most casinos, if your 2nd card is the same as the first, you will be allowed to Split again if you wish. If the Dealer shows an Ace as their face-up card, all Players have the option of Insurance.
If you choose to take Insurance, you will place a bet equal to half your initial bet. If the Dealer then gets Blackjack, so the 2nd card has a value of 10, you will get Double your bet, if not you lose the Insurance bet.
The hand ends for a Player when either your hand goes over 21 meaning you Bust and lose your bet, or when the Dealer completes their actions.
Once the Dealer has completed their action, the payouts take place for all remaining Players still in the hand. If you have a higher total than the Dealer and both totals are 21 or below, you win the hand and get Double your bet.
If you and the Dealer have the same total, you Push the hand and get your stake back Unless one of you has 21 with their first cards, known as Blackjack and the other has 21 with 3 cards or more, in which case whoever has Blackjack will win the Hand.
If the Dealer has a higher total than you and both are 21 or less, the Dealer wins and you lose your stake. If the Dealer also has Blackjack, you Push and get your stake returned.
Hit means to draw another card. You can request a hit as many times as you like, but if your total goes over twenty-one, you will bust and lose the hand.
Stand means the player receives no more cards. The hand as it currently stands will be judged against the dealers.
If you have two cards of the same denomination, a Split button will appear. You can split your cards into two hands and play each hand separately.
Your original bet will be duplicated for the new hand. Each hand will be played out as usual except when splitting Aces, where only one additional card per hand is dealt.
It's all a bit confusing. When the No-Hole-Card rule is in use, and all bets are at risk to a dealer blackjack, it costs the player 0. Use the "No-Peek" option at our Strategy Engine.
Ok this one's an extremely rare variation which I doubt you will see in any casinos today but I thought I'd mention. Similarly there is a rule variation whereby the player automatically wins when drawing 7 cards without busting which is called a "Seven Card Charlie".
The most important item is the sign declaring betting limits. Both the minimum and the maximum allowable bets should be on a sign on the table-top.
Look around to find a table that suits your bet sizes. Make sure that the table you have selected is actually for blackjack, and not another of the many kinds of table games that casinos offer.
Look on the table for the phrase " Blackjack pays 3 to 2 ". Avoid any games that say " Blackjack pays 6 to 5 " instead.
See 6 to 5 Blackjack? Just Say No! Beginners should start off playing the shoe games. The advantage in this style is that all of the players' cards are dealt face-up, so the dealer and other players can easily help you with playing questions and decisions.
Once you become proficient at the game, you may want to switch to a game with fewer decks since that lowers the casino's advantage.
The dealer will exchange the entire amount of cash for the equivalent in chips, and drop the cash into a box on the table. Take a quick look at the chips to make sure you know the value of each color.
If you have any questions, just ask the dealer. Part of his job is to help players learn the game. Once you are ready to place a bet, wait for the current hand to be completed, then push your bet into the betting circle.
Your chips should be in one stack. If you are betting multiple denominations of chips, place the larger valued chips on the bottom of the stack, and the smaller value chips on top.
Once the cards have been dealt, you are not allowed to touch the bet in the circle. If you need to know how much you have bet for doubling or splitting explained later , the dealer will count down the chips for you.
Once the hand is over, the dealer will move around the table to each position in turn, paying winning hands and collecting the chips from losing hands.
After the dealer has paid you, you can remove your chips from the circle, and place your next bet.
If you want to let your winnings ride, you will need to form one stack of chips from the two or more stacks on the table after the dealer pays you.
Remember, higher value chips should be placed on the bottom of the stack. When you are ready to leave the table, you do not cash in your chips the same way you bought them.
The dealer cannot give you cash for the chips at the table. To do that, you must take the chips to the casino cashier. If you have a lot of low denomination chips in front of you at the table, you should trade them for the equivalent higher value chips instead.
In between hands, just tell the dealer you want to "color up", and he will have you push your chips into the middle of the table.
He will count them down, and give you a smaller stack of chips that amount to the same value. This makes them easier to carry for you, and for the dealer it maintains his supply of smaller chips.
Now you can take those chips to another table for more play, or head to the casino cashier where you can exchange them for cash. Read our article on card counting for more information.
So, if you have made it this far, congratulations. You should have a good idea of what to expect when you sit down at a blackjack table in the casino.
What we have not talked about is how to actually make the best decisions while playing the game. That is a whole subject all its own.
To have the best chance of winning, you should learn and practice "basic strategy", which is the mathematically best way to play each hand against each possible dealer upcard.
For a free chart that shows the right play in every case, visit our Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine. If you are looking to play from the comfort of your home, you can visit our online blackjack or live dealer blackjack sections for further resources.
Hopefully I've covered just about everything you need. But if you have other questions, feel free to post a reply at the bottom of the page.
Want to practice? Our free blackjack game lets you play at your pace, and the Strategy Coach provides instant feedback on the best strategy.
To find the best strategy, use our most popular resource: The Blackjack Strategy Engine provides free strategy charts that are optimized for your exact rules.
If you prefer a plastic card that you can take to the table with you, we have those too: Blackjack Basic Strategy Cards. Hi, Im new at this game and not sure which basic strategy chart to memorize.
They have single ,double ,and 6 deck games. What would you suggest as a beginner? Great article btw. If a player decides to stand on 15 for whatever reason and the dealer has 16, must the dealer still draw another card since it is less than 17?
Ken Smith. Is there any significance in blackjack when you have a black jack paired with a black ace, same suit? The question came up on the multiple choice question on Millionaire.
I guessed 16 but the answer was 32??? In playing 21 with one deck off cards aND two people playing, in playing Blackjack with one deck of cards and two people playing what is the most black jack show up.
This may not be the most appropriate page to post this, but let me explain the situation. I aspire to hopefully gather a group of trustworthy guys together to form a blackjack team.
Just knowing of a good source either online or a good book I could get my hands on would suffice. Thank you. Team play is complicated and far more involved than a group of friends pooling resources.
There is not much published on team play. The following book may be helpful. The strategy does not change, but the player is worse off by around 0.
As the dealer I get up to Can the dealer chose to stay and take the chips bet from player on the left. But pay the player on the right?A blackjack hand beats any other hand, also those with a total value of 21 but with more cards. As described above, if the dealer has a blackjack, players with blackjack make a push, while all other players lose. Blackjack Side Rules. Above, the basic rules of blackjack are described. Blackjack Rules. Blackjack is basically not a hard game to learn. Its rules are straight forward and simple. We have gathered all rules for you in a simple and reader friendly way. It will take you just a few minutes to get a hold of it. You can then start playing our free Blackjack game, or go straight to the big league and play for real money. BLACKJACK BETTING RULES. Blackjack is played on a semi-circular table covered with a felt cloth that usually seats up to a maximum of 7 players. There will be circle, or sometimes a square box, known as the betting spot, in front of each player in which the wager, using casino chips, is placed. Blackjack is a fun and extremely popular game, so keep reading and find out the best ways to win! The Rules of Blackjack. Blackjack is one of the most popular card games on the planet thanks to its deceptively simple rules, and the fact that it is statistically one of the most beatable casino games out there. Counting cards essentially is the act of tracking the number of high and low-value cards used to better predict a more likely outcome on a particular hand. Now that you know the basic tools of the game, it’s time to examine how to play. The blackjack rules assign numerical blackjack card values to every card.