# Blackjack Rules

How to Play Blackjack

## Blackjack Objective

In Blackjack, the object of the game is for the player to beat "the house" (the dealer) independent of other players. Players want to have cards in their hands that amount up to 21. If a player’s first two cards add up to 21, then he/she has blackjack. If the cards don’t add up to twenty one at first, then the player must draw cards (hit) until he/she reaches 21, or gets as close as possible.

## Blackjack Rules

The first thing that a player must do in blackjack is place a bet. After the player has made a bet, both the dealer and the player are dealt two cards. The player's cards are both dealt face up. The dealer's first card is dealt face down, but the second one is dealt face up. An ace can be worth either eleven points or one, based on the players choice.

Any hand in which an ace is paired with a card that’s worth less than ten, is called a "soft hand." A soft hand can have two values. For example, if a player is dealt a five and an ace, the value of the hand can be either six or sixteen. Tens and face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) are all worth ten points. All other cards are worth their face value. If a players first two cards are worth twenty one points, then it’s a natural blackjack. Blackjack is the highest hand.

If a player’s first two cards don’t equal up to a blackjack, then the player has two options. The player can choose to "stand" (that is, to refuse any further cards), or to "hit" (to accept another card). A player who has chosen to stand will not receive more cards. The dealer will deal cards until the player stands or "busts" (collects more than 21 points). If a player busts, his/her bet will be completely lost, regardless of the dealers cards.

After the player has finished with this process, the dealer will reveal the card which has, up to this point, been face down. If the dealer has 16 points or less, then he must continue to hit until he has cards that are worth 17 or more. The dealer is obliged to stand on a soft 17 and cannot take any more cards. If the dealer busts and the player stood without busting, then the player wins. If the dealer stands with an amount of at least seventeen and his/her cards have a higher count than the player’s – then the dealer wins; if the player has the higher count, the player wins. If the dealer and the player share the same total, it’s a "push" or tie.

## Blackjack Betting Options

#### Splitting

If a player is dealt two cards that share the same value, then the player has the option of "splitting" them into two separate hands. If a player splits, he or she must match the original bet. The player continues, playing these two hands separately. In the event that two aces are split, then only one card is dealt to each separate hand. Players can only split a hand once.

#### Doubling Down

Provided that they do not have blackjack, players can double on their first two cards. If a player doubles, then only one more card is dealt, but the bet has to be matched. Basically, if a player is doubling down, it means that he or she is betting that only one more card is needed to win the hand. It is acceptable to double down after splitting a pair.

#### Insurance

If the dealers face up card is an ace, then players are offered the option of insurance. Taking insurance means that the player is making a second bet (equal to half of the original bet) that the dealer’s down card has a value of ten (leaving the dealer with a blackjack). If this proves to be the case, the player is paid 2 to 1 on the insurance bet and the initial bet is beaten. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the insurance is lost and the hand goes on as it would normally.

#### Even Money

If the player has blackjack and the dealer’s up card happens to be an ace, the player is offered "even money". Taking even money means that the player will be paid 1 to 1 on blackjack and not 3 to 2 as would usually be the case. A player takes even money if he/she believes that the dealer’s down card has a value of ten. If the player chooses not to take even money, and the dealer has blackjack, then both hands tie. If the player refuses the even money and the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, the player is paid 3 to 2, as usual.

*the deal doesn’t have any of these options.

## Blackjack Payouts

 Winning Wager Odds Payout Winning Hand 1 to 1 Blackjack 3 to 2 Insurance 2 to 1 Even Money 1 to 1
Gambling Bonuses