Blackjack, The Game & The Rules

blackjack-strategy

The Game

In Blackjack, each player plays only against the dealer (i.e. the bank), independently of other players. Your goal as the player is to draw cards (i.e. “hit”) until your hand adds up to 21, or comes as close as possible without exceeding 21. If your first two cards total 21, you have blackjack.

The Rules

If the total value of your cards is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you win as much as you have wagered. If you have blackjack, you win 3 to 2 times your bet (assuming the dealer does not also have blackjack).

Aces count as either 1 or 11, dressed cards as 10, and remaining cards according to their number values.

If the total of your cards exceeds 21, you “bust” and lose your wager. If you have the same card total as the dealer, from 17 and up, no one wins and you get your stake back in a so-called “push.” Blackjack beats a score of 21.

The Blackjack game at New York Casino follows the standard “Las Vegas Strip” rules of the Nevada Gaming Commission, with the following exceptions:

  • 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 if 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 initial wager.
    Split

If your first two cards are of the same value, you may split them into two separate hands, placing a second wager of equal value. You then proceed to draw cards as usual. However, if you split two aces, you get only one additional card for each hand. If you split two aces and one of your hands totals 21, this is not considered blackjack, but 21.

Double Down

When you have been dealt two cards, and think that a third card will give you a position to beat the dealer’s hand, you can “double down.” Your wager is doubled, and you are allowed to hit and receive just one additional card.

Insurance

Insurance is a game of its own within blackjack, and gives you the chance to protect yourself when you believe that the dealer might have blackjack. If the dealer’s first card is an ace, he is considered to have a fair chance of getting blackjack. If you believe that the dealer’s dark card is of value 10, you may buy insurance against dealer blackjack at the price of half your initial bet. If the dealer does have blackjack, the insurance pays 2 to 1, corresponding to the amount of your initial bet. If you have bought insurance, and the dealer does not have blackjack, you lose your insurance. Your initial bet is then settled by comparing your cards with the dealer’s. Should you and the dealer both have blackjack, the game results in a push.

Rules for the Dealer

The dealer must draw cards until he has at least 17, and must stand at 17 or higher. If the dealer gets 16, he must take another card. The dealer may not decide whether or not to draw a card based on your hand, but must abide by the existing dealer rules. On the other hand, your player strategy should be guided by two factors:

  • Your own cards
  • The dealer’s open card

In the “Tips” section, you will find some general advice for beginners on basic blackjack strategy.

Tips

General Advice and Basic Blackjack Strategy for the Beginner:

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* An ace can count as 1 or 11. A “soft” hand refers to a hand with an ace that counts as 11. A “soft 17,” therefore, is an ace and a 6. A player with an ace has the advantage of being able to change the ace’s value to count as 1 after drawing another card. A hand with an ace that counts as 1 is called a hard hand.

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Remember that it may be risky to double down, since you receive only one additional card.

Keep in Mind…

This text is to provide the inexperienced player with a few suggestions about when to stand, hit, split, or double. There are many ways to play! Once you’ve learned the basic rules, you will most likely develop your own blackjack strategy. The most important tip is to play consistently. Sticking to your strategy may lead to losing the hand, but will eventually win you more money.
Good Luck!

Betting

The player places a bet by placing the cursor on the desired chip, and clicking with the left mouse button. The wagered chip will appear in the betting box on the blackjack table. The player can regret a wagered chip before the game begins by clicking on the wagered chip with the right mouse button to remove it.

Betting Limits

The minimum wager in Blackjack is $5, and the maximum wager is $500.

Winnings

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