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Blackjack game guide

Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games. Find out how to play Blackjack with our handy game guide below.

Blackjack is played at a casino table (virtual or at a real table in a land-based casino) like that shown below. Usually, seven players can be accomodated at the table, with the dealer facing them.

Poker P151

Upto 8 packs of cards (known as decks) are used in Blackjack and these cards are shuffled by the dealer. One player is allowed to cut the cards. The dealer completes the cut and places the pack face down in a dealing shoe.

The object of the game from the player's point of view is to accomodate a total card count with the cards dealt or with other as well , that is higher than that of the dealer but not exceeding a maximum of 21. If a player's count exceeds 21 with two cards (Ace and a ten-count) is a natural or blasckjack and beats any other hand. When a player wins with a blakcjack the dealer pays him at odds of 3 to 2. All other bets are settled at 1 to 1 and all ties are a stand-off (known as a 'push') and the player retains his/her stake. When the dealer has a blackjack he wins all stakes, except from a player with a blackjack in which case the bet is a stand-off.

All cards have their face value, except:

  • King, Queen and Jack count as 10
  • The Ace when held by the player can count 1 or 11 at his discretion. It also has these values when held by the dealer but is subject to certain restrictions.

Before the deal, players put their stakes, subject to the casino's limits, in front of them in the spaces provided.

The dealer 'burns' the first card from the shoe, then deals one card to each player starting from the player on his left and ending with one to himself. He then deals a second card all round but this time his own card is placed face down.

After the deal, the player has the following alternatives when playing Blackjack:

  • Stand: If the player is satisfied with his count (e.g. 19 or 20), he will 'stand'.
  • Hit: He can take another card, dealt face up. He can continue to draw cards until satisfied with his count. If he 'busts' (i.e. exceeds 21) he loses and the dealer collects his stake.
  • Splitting: If he has two cards of the same rank, he may split his pairs. If he does, each card becomes the first card of a separate hand and the player puts a stake equal to his original stake on the second card. The dealer deals a second card to each card and the player plays each hand in turn. If the second card in the split hand forms another pair, he may split them again. If a player splits a pair of Aces, he may not draw a third card to either hand. If, however, he receives another Ace, he may split again. A blackjack scored with a split hand wins immediately, but is paid only at 1 to 1 and not 3 to 2.
  • Doubling: He can double down. This allows him to double his stake and receive a third card face down. This completes his hand, and the card remains face down until the settlement.

The dealer's hand

Once the hands of all players who have not 'bust' are complete, the dealer shows his second card to expose his hand. He has no options in playing his hand. If his count is 16 or fewer he must draw and continue until his count is 17, 18, 19, 20 or 21 when he must stand. Should the dealer 'bust', all the players still in the game win.

The dealer may count an Ace as either 1 or 11 but only if his total does not reach between 17 and 21. As soon as one of these numbers can be made, he must stand.

When the dealer stands, he pays all players with a count higher than him and collects the stakes of those with a lower count. Where the counts are tied, the player retains his stake.

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