The object of blackjack is for the total of your cards to be
closer to 21 than the dealer's cards, without exceeding 21. In
blackjack, aces count as either 1 or 11, face cards as 10, and
number cards as their face value.
If you receive an ace and a ten-value card as your first two
cards, you have blackjack and win one and a half times your bet
(if you bet was $10, you receive $25). If the total value of
your cards is closer to 21 than the dealer's, you win as much as
you had wagered (if your bet was $10, you receive $20). If the
total of your cards is more than 21, you "bust" and lose your
bet. If you and the dealer have the same card total (17 and up)
neither of you win and your bet is returned to you in a "push".
Blackjack beats a score of 21.
New York Casino blackjack is played with six decks and the game
follows the standard "Las Vegas Strip" rules, with the following
The deck is shuffled after each round.
The player may not split a split hand.
The player may double after splitting.
The dealer only checks for blackjack in case his open card is an
ace and insurance is taken.
If the player doubles and the dealer's first card is of value
10, and the dealer gets blackjack, the player loses only the
If your first two cards have the same point value, you may split
them into two separate hands by placing a second bet equal to
the original bet. You then proceed to draw cards. You may draw
as many cards as you like on each split hand, but if you split
two aces, you receive only one additional card for each ace. If
you split two aces and one of your hands totals 21, it is
counted as 21 and not blackjack.
After you are dealt two cards, and think that another card will
allow you to beat the dealer's hand, you can increase your bet
by an amount up to your original bet or "double" your bet. Your
wager is doubled, and you are allowed to receive one more card.
Insurance is considered to be a game of its own within
blackjack. It allows you to try and protect yourself when you
think that the dealer may have blackjack. When buying insurance,
you place half of your initial bet by pressing the Insurance
button. If the dealer does have blackjack, you are paid 2 to 1
on your insurance bet. If the dealer doesn't have blackjack, you
lose your insurance bet.
Blackjack is usually the best bet in the
house. All you have to do is learn the right way to play it.
The Blackjack Table
The blackjack table is a semi-circle, and most often it would be
able to accommodate up to seven players. The dealer stands
opposite the players. There are two basic types of blackjack -
hand-held and shoe-games.
Hand-held games are played with one or two decks of 52 cards and
are dealt out of the dealer's hands. The cards are dealt
face-down in front of the players, who are then allowed to touch
The shoe-games use four, six or eight decks of cards. The cards
are dealt from a holder, not the dealer's hands. The cards are
dealt face-up, and the players are not allow to touch them.
One more thing you should look for, before sitting at the table
is the table minimum. It range from $5 all the way up to $5,000
per bet. Make sure you know your blackjack table's limits before
sitting at it.
The Blackjack Game
The goal of the blackjack game is to beat the dealer. You can do
this in one of two ways:
() By getting a higher total than the dealer, without exceeding
a total of 21; or
() By having the dealer go over 21 when you don't.
The first thing you need to know is the value of the cards:
- cards 2 through 10 have their face value;
- jacks, queens, and kings are valued as 10.
- aces can be counted as either 1 or 11, depending on the
- suites have no meaning
The hand value is determined by simply adding the card values.
Blackjack - the name of the game refers to the best hand - a
total of 21 in your first 2 cards. It could be only ace and a
10-value card, and the payoff is 3 to 2. A dealer with blackjack
beats everyone at the table, except those players with blackjack
Soft hand - because the ace can be counted as 1 or 11, a hand
with an ace gives you some flexibility (unless it's a bust, or a
natural blackjack). For example, a hand of 5 and ace could be
counted as either a total of six or soft sixteen. If your next
card is 4 - the hand could be counted as either 10 or 20.
Push - push is the blackjack word for tie. Any hand of equal
value to the dealer's hand is a push, and no money is exchanged.
Bust - When the hand value exceeds 21, it's a bust, and it
looses. If the dealer busts, all players who have not busted are
automatically winners, no matter of the value of their hands.
Below are descriptions of the choices you have - hit, stand,
double, split, surrender, and insurance.
Hit and Stand - Once you get your first two cards, most often
you will be declaring whether to hit (be dealt another card) or
stand (stay with your current total). If you want to hit - tap
the table with your finger. You can take as many cards as you
like, until you bust or indicate that you stand.
Double - doubling gives you the chance to double your bet in a
potentially advantageous situation. You are given one final
card, and any looses or wins are based on your new wager.
Splitting - if your first two cards are a pair, you have the
opportunity to play two independent hands. Each hand is played
as it would be, except when you are splitting aces, when most
casinos would allow you only one more card on each ace.
Insurance - After the first two cards are dealt, if the dealer's
face card is an ace, you would be offered an insurance before
anything else happens at the table. It's a side bet that would
protect you against the dealer's potential blackjack, and the
value is half of the original bet; it pays 2 to 1 in a case
where the dealer gets blackjack. If the dealer does not get a
blackjack - you loose the insurance.
Surrender - not many casinos offer this option, however, it's
worth to know. If it's available, it gives you the option to
"surrender" half of your bet, instead of playing out the hand.