To win or to loose
Blackjack -also called Twenty-one- is a card game where you, and possibly over players, are playing against the bank, also known as the dealer.
You win if your hand (ie your cards) totals higher than the bank’s, or if the bank’s hand totals over 21. You loose if the bank’s hand totals more than yours, or if your hand totals over 21. When your hand equals the bank’s, it is a push.
Special win : Blackjack
When a two-card hand totals 21 (an ace and a ten-value card), it is a blackjack.
The blackjack always wins, except if both you and the dealer get one, in which case it is a push.
Counting a hand
Number cards (2 to 10) are counted at face value.
All face cards (jacks, queens, kings) have a value of ten.
Aces can be counted as either one or eleven.
The cards’ suits are not taken into account.
So, a six and a king total 16. A six and an ace total either 7 or 17.
Blackjack is played on a table shaped as a semi-circle. The bank stands at the middle of the straight line, while the players stand around the semi-circle. Each player has a betting circle in front of him.
Each player places his bet in the betting circle in front of him, then the play begins.
The dealer then asks each player for his decisions (see below) on playing his hand.
When all hands have been played, the dealer turns up her second card then draws additional cards till her hand reaches 17.
The players’ hands are then compared to the dealer’s in order to determine winners and losers, and winnings are paid out.
At no point are the players to touch the cards, all handling is done by the dealer.
The decisions a player can make
This means you want an additional card.
You can hit several times if you so desire.
This means you are happy with your hand as it is.
To signal the dealer for a stand, wave your hand over your cards.
This means you want to double your bet and must be done before hitting (when you have only two cards). You are then dealt one and only one additional card.
Some casinos limit doubling to hands totaling ten or eleven, but most allow it for any two cards.
To signal the dealer for a double down, place the additional bet with your original bet.
When you first two cards are a pair (two cards of the same rank), you can elect to split them into separate hands. This must be done before hitting, and you must make a second bet equal to your original bet.
You will receive a second card to go with the first split card, and play out this hand. Then you will receive a card to go with the second split card, and play out that hand.
To signal the dealer for a split, place your second bet next to your first.
You can ask for insurance when the dealer’s up card is an ace. If the dealer’s hidden card has a value of 10 (blackjack), the insurance will convert your loosing into a push.
When you have a blackjack and the dealer has an ace, the insurance will give you even money for your blackjack (instead of 3 to 2), regardless of the dealer’s hidden card (without insurance, it would come out as a push if the dealer’s hidden card has a value of 10).
Some casinos will allow you to surrender your hand and give up half your bet on your first two cards after the dealer checks for a blackjack. This is known as late surrender. A quick tip: If you play Blackjack at an online casino you will have all variations of Blackjack available for you to play
Normal wins payout 1 on 1.
Blackjack wins pay out 3 to 2 (ie 1.5 to 1).