In the game of Blackjack, each Player’s wager is a bet against the Dealer’s hand. The object of this card game is to have a point value of the cards dealt to you exceed the point value of the Dealer’s hand without going over 21. If you draw cards that total more than 21, your hand breaks and you lose.
The Dealer starts the game by dealing two cards face up to each Player. The Dealer takes one card face up. The Dealer’s second card is dealt face down and placed beneath the first card. All cards are dealt from a dealing “shoe”. Each card assumes face value.
Kings, Queens, and Jacks count as 10. The Ace counts either as 1 or 11. For the dealer, the ace is also considered as either 1 or 11. If you feel you need additional cards to beat the Dealer, you will make a clear hand signal for additional cards until you decide to stand. You must gesture the stand by waving your hand over your cards. The Dealer must draw on any point total of 16 or less and must stand on any point total of 17 or more. If a Dealer’s point total exceeds 21, the dealer breaks and all Players win who have a point total of 21 or less. Otherwise, the Dealer pays all hands that exceed the Dealer’s point total, takes all bets that are less and leaves all bets that equal the Dealer’s point total (called “pushes”). All winning bets are paid even money.
If your first two cards total 21, you have Blackjack. Blackjack pays 3 to 2. You will be paid at this time if the Dealer does not have an Ace or a ten-value card as a face up card. If the Dealer has a 10-value card, the Dealer will check the hole card for an Ace. If the Dealer has Blackjack the hand is a Push. If the Dealer’s face up card is an Ace, insurance will be offered and players with a Blackjack can request even money for their wager.
If your first two cards have the same numerical value, you may split them into two hands provided the bet on the second hand equals the original bet. Only after the first hand is played and completed may you act on the second hand. You may double down on these hands. Pairs may be re-split 2 times for a total of 3 hands. Also, if the split pair is Aces, you are limited to a one-card draw on each hand, face cards drawn on aces count solely as 21 and not as Blackjack.
After receiving the first two cards, except for Blackjack, or the first two cards of any split pair or a point count of 21 in two cards, you may elect to wager an additional amount not to exceed the value of the original bet. In any Double Down, you draw only one additional card.
If the Dealer’s first card is an Ace, you may take insurance after the initial two cards are dealt to all Players and the Dealer. The insurance bet is a wager that the Dealer will get Blackjack. The insurance wager cannot be greater than one-half of the original bet. Insurance pays 2 to 1 if the Dealer has a Blackjack, but loses in all other instances.