Most Blackjack tables have spots for 7 players. Players can enter
a game at any time. To start playing at a table, sit down at any open
spot and place your money in front of you towards the dealer to
exchange for chips. Never place money in the small betting circle
in front of your seat because it may be interpreted as a single bet
by the dealer.
All face cards have a value of 10. Cards 2 through 9 are counted at
face value. Aces can count as either one or eleven. At the beginning
of each hand players make bets by placing chips in the circle in
front of them. After all players have placed their bets the dealer
deals out two cards to each player and two to her hand. The
dealers first card, or upcard, is visible, but the
dealers second card, or hole card, is dealt face
down [bottom right].
If the dealers upcard is an Ace, players are given the option
of placing an Insurance bet. An Insurance bet is equal to 1/2 of a
players initial bet and pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has Blackjack.
After asking for Insurance bets, the dealer will check her hole
card for a ten, making sure it is not exposed for players to see. If
the dealers hole card is a ten she will turn it over, pay off
Insurance bets and collect all losing bets. In some casinos if the
dealers upcard is a 10 she will check her hole card for an
If the dealer does not have Blackjack play starts with the first
player to the dealers left. Depending upon their initial
hands, players may Stand, Hit, Double-Down, Split, or (on very
few tables) Surrender [top right].
Busting occurs any time a players hand exceeds
21. If a player busts the dealer will immediately collect his bet. If a
player is initially dealt an Ace and a ten value card this is known
as a Blackjack, or Natural. This hand pays a bonus on
the initial bet (usually 3 to 2) except in the case where the dealer
also has Blackjack which results in a Tie, or Push.
After all players have resolved their hands, the dealer plays out
her own hand. The dealer makes no decisions herself, but plays
out her hand according to the rules of the casino. If the Dealer
busts, all non-busting players win. If a players hand is
higher than the dealers hand, the player wins. If the dealer
and players hands are equal, it is a Push, and the
players bet is returned. If the dealers hand is higher,
the player loses.
The player sticks with whatever cards he currently holds.
The player takes an additional card.
The player doubles his initial bet and receives one and
only one more card. Players can only Double-Down on
their initial 2-card hand.
If the player is dealt cards of equal value, he may split them into
two separate hands. Splitting requires the player to match his
current wager for the second hand. When a player splits Aces he
is only dealt one more card to each hand. Split Aces resulting in
a Blackjack only pay 1 to 1. Each hand can win or lose independent
of the others.
Surrender is a rule that allows a player to give up half of
his initial bet instead of playing out his hand. Players can only
Surrender on their initial 2-card hand.