Originating in France, Blackjack has evolved into one of the most popular casino games in the world, because a skillful player can challenge the house very effectively. The main objective is to obtain a card total as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it, while still beating the dealer’s hand. Our Blackjack game is dealt from 8 decks. All cards numbered 2 through 10 are counted at face value. The Jack, Queen and King are valued at 10, an ace is worth either 1 or 11, whichever favors your hand. The Ace can change value from 11 to 1, if necessary, to prevent exceeding a total of 21. A Blackjack hand consists of an Ace and a card valued at 10 (10, J, Q, K). A two-card Blackjack always beats three or more cards totaling 21.
Before receiving any cards, you must place a wager. You are then dealt two cards face-up. The dealer is also dealt two cards, one face up and the other face down. The dealer’s ‘hole’ card remains face down until your hand is completed. At this point, the dealer turns over the ‘hole’ card. If the hand totals 17 through 21 he must stand. If the hand is 16 or under, the dealer must continue to take cards until either the hand is over 16 or ‘bust’ (totaling over 21). If the dealer’s hand totals 16 including an Ace valued at one (a ‘soft’ hand) the dealer must take another card.
You have many different betting and playing options:
|Hit||You receive another card. For example, if your 2 cards equal 10 you have nothing to lose by requesting another card, since your total could not exceed 21.|
|Stand||This means that you are satisfied with the hand and do not want to be dealt another card.|
|Double Down||After you have received your first two cards, you have the option to double the initial wager. Once you have chosen to do this, click the ‘Double’ button and you will be dealt a third card and no more. Your hand will only consist of 3 cards.|
|Splitting||If you are dealt two cards of identical value you can then split them (i.e. 8,8 or 10,Q). You would now be playing two separate hands of one card each. You will now be dealt a second card to each of your hands. After your 1st hand is played out, the second hand will be played out. You may double down on one or both of the new hands. You may only split your hand once and a new wager equal to the initial wager will be placed for each split hand. When Aces are split, only one card will be dealt per Ace. A split hand resulting in Blackjack pays out at a ratio of 1:1 rather than the normal 3:2, and will lose to a dealer’s Blackjack.|
|Insurance||If the dealer’s first card is an Ace, there is a possibility of a Blackjack. If you believe the dealer has Blackjack you can buy insurance to protect yourself. If you choose to insure yourself, you have to pay an amount equal to half your wager. If the dealer gets Blackjack, the insurance will pay 2:1, which corresponds to your original stake. If you have insured yourself and the dealer does not obtain Blackjack then you lose your insurance but retain your original wager. Insurance is considered a game of its own within Blackjack, and gives you a chance to protect yourself from the dealer’s Blackjack.|
|Payoffs||If your hand exceeds 21 or ‘busts’, then the dealer wins the hand without turning over the ‘hole’ card. All hands that total less than the dealer’s hand lose. Hands that are equal in value are considered a tie, or a ‘push’, and your original wager is returned. If you obtain Blackjack the payout will be at a 3:2 ratio rather than at 1:1.|