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In Blackjack the player competes against the dealer. The object is for the player’s hand to add up to 21 or come closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand.
Played on a semi-circular table with 5 or 7 playing positions, wagers are placed in the circles on the table. Cards are dealt from a deck of cards called a shoe. Traditionally a shoe may contain anything from one standard 52-card deck (with Jokers removed) to 6 or sometimes 8 decks.
The online Blackjack playing rules provided here are based on European Blackjack rules, using four 52-card decks that are shuffled after each hand. There are 5 playing positions you can choose from, and you can play up to 5 hands of Blackjack at the same time. Each hand played is a separate wager against the dealer.
Each of the player’s hands is dealt two cards. The Dealer is also dealt two cards but only one card is face up. The card that remains face down is called the ‘hole card’.
The dealer must hit on all hands totaling 16 or less and stand on all hands totaling 17 or more.
Face cards (the Jack, Queen and King) and 10s all have a value of ten.
An Ace has a value of either 1 or 11. Any combination of cards that contains an Ace card and whose value does not exceed 21 is referred to as a ‘soft hand’. An Ace adopts the value most beneficial for your hand. For example, an Ace and eight will add up to 19, but if the player chooses to take another card that would cause the hand’s value to exceed 21, the Ace will revert to a value of 1.
If you are dealt an Ace and a 10 or face card this is called a BLACKJACK, and your hand will STAND automatically. If you beat the dealer with a BLACKJACK you are paid out at 3 to 2.
If you are dealt a pair you may SPLIT your hand. This means that your pair is divided into two separate hands with two separate wagers. A second wager – equal to your original wager – is automatically placed on your second hand. You play both hands as separate hands.
If you have SPLIT a pair of aces and then draw a card with a value of ten, this is not a BLACKJACK. Such a hand would have a value of 21. It beats the dealer’s hand value less than 21 and ties – called a PUSH – against the dealer’s hand value of 21, except if the dealer’s hand is a BLACKJACK. This rule also applies to splitting pairs of cards with a value of ten. Should you split a pair of tens (or face cards) and then receive an ace, this hand is not a BLACKJACK.
If you split Aces you will receive only 1 more card to complete your hand. If the second card is a face card or 10 it is not a Blackjack. You cannot split your hand(s) again.
You are allowed to DOUBLE if the value of your initial two cards is 9, 10 or 11. This is a wager that your hand total with your next card will be higher than the dealer’s completed hand. The wager costs as much as your original bet, but should you win you will be paid double of your total wager (or four times your original wager.)
You may purchase INSURANCE if the dealer’s face up card is an Ace. INSURANCE is purchased prior to playing your hand(s). If you purchase INSURANCE and then SPLIT or DOUBLE your hand(s), the value of your INSURANCE bet is automatically doubled.
You have won if your hand beats the dealer’s hand then.
All hands exceeding 21 lose, even if the dealer also goes BUST.
If the dealer goes BUST but the player’s hand is under 21 the player wins.
All hands that are dealt an Ace and a 10 or a face card win, unless the dealer also has a BLACKJACK – a PUSH.
If the dealer has a BLACKJACK, all hands that purchased INSURANCE win. If the dealer has a BLACKJACK – you will break even; if the dealer doesn’t have a BLACKJACK the INSURANCE bet loses.
If the dealer’s hand total and the player’s hand total are the same than the hand is a tie or PUSH and the player’s bet is returned.
If the situation arises where the dealer’s hand and the player’s hand are both under 21, the hands are compared. If the player’s hand is closer to 21 the player wins, if the dealer’s hand is closer to 21 the player loses.