Blackjack Rules

Blackjack Rules

The game of blackjack is one of the most popular of the casino games played today, and for good reason. Several notes in favor of the game include:

he odds of winning are not fixed in favor of the house. As the game progresses the cards in the deck(s) are depleted, and this changes the composition of the deck.

  • Blackjack is a pleasantly simple game. Blackjack rules are few and easy to understand.
  • Blackjack although simple is in large part a game of skill, not just luck.
  • Blackjack stands alone as the casino game that gives the players their best shot at winning.

Most beginning players believe the objective of Blackjack is to get closer to the total of 21 than the dealer. While this would sound correct, it is not. In reality, the object of Blackjack is to beat the dealer. After all, it is possible to beat the dealer while holding a 12 or a 13.

Object Of The Game: The object of the game is to get a card point total closer to 21 than the dealer does without going over 21. Remember; you are actually playing to beat the dealer, not to get as close to 21 as possible. Also remember that blackjack is not a group game, although there may be many players at the table the dealer only plays with one player at a time.

Remember, there are 2 ways to win at Blackjack, have a hand that is greater than the dealers or have a hand that if you hit it you would break. Instead of taking a hit and run the risk of breaking, wait for the dealer to break. Understanding this cardinal rule is your first and most important lesson of Blackjack.

The Blackjack table seats a dealer and one to seven players. The first seat on the dealer’s left is referred to as First Base, the first seat on the dealer’s right is referred to as Third Base. A betting square is printed on the felt table in front of each player seat. Immediately in front of the dealer is the chip tray. On the dealer’s left is the deck or shoe and beside that should be the minimum bet sign, which you ought to read before sitting down to play.

On the dealer’s immediate right is the money drop slot where all currency and tips (chips) are deposited. Next to the drop slot is the discard tray.

Play begins after the following ritual is completed:

  1. the dealer shuffles the cards,
  2. the deck is “cut” by a player,
  3. and the dealer “burns” a card.

Before any cards are dealt, the players must make a wager by placing the chips into the betting box.

In Blackjack, there are three types of hands you can have:

  • A Blackjack,
  • Hard hand
  • or a Soft hand.

They are described below.

Blackjack – If your first two cards consist of a ten value card (10, J, Q, K) and an Ace the hand is a perfect one. This is sometimes referred to as a natural.

Hard Hand – Any hand consisting of cards other than an Ace. For example, a hand of a ten and a five is a hard hand.

Soft Hand – Any hand that includes an Ace that can be counted as a 1 or eleven. For example, an Ace and a Five is a ‘soft’ sixteen or a six.

In the game of Blackjack, you also have the ability to make decisions regarding your hands. You may Stand, Hit, Split Pairs, Double Down, Surrender or Buy Insurance. They are explained below.

Stand – The player has the option of standing at any time. If you are satisfied with the total of your hand, you can indicate to the dealer that you don’t want any further cards by waving your hand palm down over your cards.

Hit – If you are not satisfied with the total of your hand, you may ask the dealer for another card. To ask the dealer for another card, simply point to your cards or use a scratching motion on the table. You can take another hit as long as you do not break or the total of your cards is less than 21.

Split Pairs – When you are dealt two cards of the same value (10,10 or 6,6) you have the option to split the cards. In other words you can use the cards to make two hands out of one. Of course you must make an additional wager for the new hand that is created. When a hand is split the dealer will separate the cards and place one on the right and one on the left. You will play the hand on your right until you are satisfied and then the one on your left. You may play either hand until you break or reach a total you are satisfied with. In the case of A, A the house will allow you to split these but you only get one extra card and any Blackjacks are paid at even money, not 3 to 2.

Double Down – After being dealt your first two cards, if you think that one more card will make your hand better than the dealers, you may place an additional wager on the table, next to your original bet and you will receive just one more card. You will not be able to take any further cards. This is great to use when you have a total of 10 and 11.

Surrender – After receiving your first two cards, you are not satisfied, you can verbally indicate to the dealer that you surrender. The dealer will take half your bet and scoop up your cards. This is a rare option in most casinos.

Buy Insurance – Insurance is really a misnomer. It really isn’t insurance, it is a side bet you can make when the dealer is showing an Ace. When you make this side bet, you are saying that you believe that the dealer has a 21 or natural. To place an insurance bet, simply place half your original bet on the insurance line. More on Insurance Later.