Blackjack, also known as 21, is the most popular casino-banked game in the world. The objective when playing blackjack is to get as close to 21 as you can with any number of cards.
After taking a seat, lay your cash down on the table in front of you in order to buy chips. Never try to hand your cash to the dealer directly. The minimum bet is indicated on the placard in the corner of the table.
If you are playing online blackjack, then choosing a seat doesn't apply.
At the beginning of each hand, the player places a bet. After all player bets are placed, the dealer will then deal each player, and themselves, two cards. Both of the players' cards are dealt face up while one of the dealer's cards, called the "hole card", is dealt face down. The value of cards is as follows:
If the player gets a "natural" or "blackjack", which is an Ace and 10-value card on the first two cards, then the player automatically wins their hand and is paid 3-to-2 odds on their bet, unless the dealer also has a blackjack (in which case the hand is a tie).
If the dealer's upcard is an Ace, then he will check to see if he has a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, all players not holding a blackjack lose.
If the blackjack dealer's upcard is an Ace, the dealer will also ask each player if they want to make the insurance bet. The purpose of the insurance bet is to allow players to insure themselves against a dealer blackjack, which has a considerable probably of occurring since the dealers upcard is an ace. Insurance is a side bet of up to half the original bet placed on a special portion of the table, and pays 2-to-1. When all insurance bets are made the dealer will check their hole card and will flip it immediately if it is a value of 10, giving the dealer a blackjack. The insurance bet is won if the dealer has a blackjack and the insurance bet is lost of the dealer doesn't have a blackjack (although the player can still possibly win his original bet).
Starting with the player to the dealer's immediate left, each player must decide what to do by exercising one of their four options: hit, stand, double down, or split.
If the player goes over 21, the player "busts" and loses their bet.
It is then the dealer's turn to play their hand. The dealer must play according to predetermined rules. If the dealer has less than 17, he must hit. If the dealer has 17 or more, he must stand, unless their hand is a "soft 17" (a hand that includes an ace valued as "11"). With a soft 17, the dealer will have to either hit or stand, depending on the particular casino's rules, which are printed on the blackjack table.
If the dealer busts, then all of the remaining players win the hand. If the dealer doesn't bust, then the remaining players must have a higher hand than the dealer in order to have a winning hand, which pays even money. If a player ties the dealer then it is a "push" and the player keeps his bet.
HPG ADMIN on June 15, 2006