Blackjack rules are not simple and it is a game which is played with 4 or 6 decks depending on the rules in the casino where the blackjack table is located. Most of the casinos offer the 6 deck game because it makes it harder for the players who try to count the cards during the game. The goal of the player is to have a better hand than the dealer. The hand needs to be 21 or as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it which is called busting. All face cards (jack, queen, king) are valued 10 points, the Ace is 1 or 11 points, and all the other cards are valued according to their rank (6 of spades is 6 points, 9 of hearts is 9 points and etc.). In order to have the game started, one or more of the players must have placed a bet on the blackjack table. After that the dealer passes his hand through the boxes that have bets placed on them and accepts the bets. When the bets are accepted, the dealer deals one card to each of the players and one to himself (all cards face-up). If the dealer’s card is an Ace, he offers the players to make an insurance bet (learn more about the insurance bet here) that is equal to half of the initial bet. After the blackjack players decide whether to place an insurance bet, the dealer deals one more card to each of the players and to himself.
When a player has Blackjack, this means that his first two cards’ value is equal to 21. If the dealer has less than 21, then the player wins. In case the player has a blackjack hand then the casino pays out 3:2 compared to a win without a blackjack when it is 1:1. If the player has got blackjack and the face up card of the dealer is an Ace, then the dealer offers Even Money to the player (to pay him half of the bet). After the dealer has dealt the cards, he points to the boxes and announces the values of the hands (if the player has an Ace, the dealer needs to announce both values, 1 and 11).
If one of the players on the blackjack table has got value of his cards equal to 9, 10 or 11 the dealer offers him to double – to double his bet. In this case the player may hit one more card only and hopes to get face card (jack, queen or king) and if he beats the dealer, he will win double.
When a player has 2 one of a kind cards (2 jacks, for example), the dealer offers a Split. If the player chooses to do a split, his cards are divided into two, the bet is doubled and the player gets two cards more (one per each split). After that the blackjack game continues as usual but the player plays with two hands (the two splits). Some casinos’ blackjack rules allow split of Aces, but then you are not allowed to have additional cards.
When the player hits, exceeds 21 and gets busted, the dealer announces Too Many and the player loses. The dealer is obliged to hit until he reaches 17. If his hand exceeds 21, he pays to all the blackjack players on the table.
Blackjack is one of the few casino games that allow you to raise your chances to win significantly by using strategies. You may take a look at our basic blackjack strategy (for beginner players), intermediate blackjack strategy (experienced players) and advanced blackjack strategy (counting cards).