Blackjack Tutorial


      The objective when playing blackjack is to get as close to 21 as you can with any number of cards. If you get a “natural blackjack,” an Ace and a face card or 10 on your first two cards, the house pays 3 to 2 odds. If you beat the dealer, the house pays even money. A “normal blackjack” occurs when you reach exactly 21 with any amount of cards. If you go over 21 you bust and lose your bet. The value of each card is as follows:


      • The value of card numbers 2-10 represent their own numerical value.
      • Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth 10.
      • Aces are 1 or 11, whichever you choose.


      If you beat the blackjack dealer you win. If you tie the Dealer it is a push and you keep your bet. The most common blackjack rule is that the dealer stands on all 17s. In this case, the dealer must continue to take cards (“hit”) until his total is 17 or greater. An Ace in the dealer’s hand is counted as 11, if possible without the dealer going over 21. For example, An Ace + 8 would be 19 and the dealer would stop drawing cards (“stand”). An Ace + 6 is 17 and the dealer will stand. An Ace + 5 is only 16, so the dealer would hit. The dealer will continue to draw cards until the hand’s value is 17 or more. So if the dealer has an Ace + 5 for 16 and hits and gets a 8 (which puts the dealer at 24) then the Ace changes from 11 to 1 and the dealer’s new total is 14 (1 + 5 + 8) so the dealer keeps hitting again until the total is 17 or higher.


      If you are a beginner it’s helpful to take a chair that is farther to the left (dealer’s right). This will give you time to total up your cards, look at the dealer’s up-card, and recall the appropriate play to make while the other players are playing their hands.


      After taking a seat, lay your cash down on the table in front of you and ask the dealer for “red” ($5 chips) or “green” ($25 chips). Never try to hand your cash to the dealer directly. If it’s a low-limit table where the minimum bet (as indicated on the placard in the back corner of the table) is between $1 and $4, you can also ask the dealer for “dollars” ($1 chips). The dealer will put your chips on the table layout in front of you and put your cash in the “drop box” (a slot in the table-top).


      Before the Dealer begins, you will place your bet in front of you. After all bets are placed, the Dealer will then deal. A new “hand” begins with the dealer dealing each player, and themselves, two cards. Both of the players’ cards are dealt face up while one of the dealer’s cards is dealt face down (the “hole card”).


       If the blackjack dealer’s first card up is an Ace, he will ask each player if they want insurance. Insurance costs half of your original bet you have out. When all insurance bets are made the Dealer will check the hole card and will flip it immediately if it is a value of 10, giving the Dealer a Blackjack. For those who took the Insurance, they will break even if the Dealer has Blackjack since Insurance pays 2 to 1. Those who choose not to take Insurance lose their bet if the Dealer has Blackjack. Remember that Insurance only applies if the Dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. Never take insurance.


      Starting with the player to the Dealer’s immediate left, decisions must be made by all players to one of four things: hit, stand, double down, or split.


        • Stay – means that you do not want any more cards.
        • Hit – means you want another card, you can take as many cards as you like unless you bust.
        • Split – this is an option to split your one hand into two. You can only use this option if both of your cards are the same, i.e. two 8’s or two Aces. You then play each card separately and you cannot go to the second hand until you have finished playing the first hand in its entirety.
        • Double Down – This allows you to double your original bet after you have received your two cards. If you double down you match your bet that you have out, then you are only allowed only one more card. Blackjack players are allowed to double down for any amount up to the original bet amount, so you could double down “for less” if you wanted. Blackjack tip: Just remember that when you double you can draw only one more additional card. Blackjack strategy: If the correct play is to double down, you should always double for the full amount if possible.

Indicate you want a “hit” by tapping your fingers on the table.


      Indicate you want to “stand” by waving your hand horizontally over your cards.


      indicate you want to double-down or split a pair by placing an equal bet to the left of your current bet.


      The more decks the dealers use the higher the house edge. You can improve your odds of winning somewhat by playing “single-deck” (hard to find these games) or “double-deck” blackjack. It’s easy to spot these games because the dealers deal the cards out of their hands rather than using a shoe. In addition, players’ cards are dealt face-down and the players handle their cards. When the dealer indicates that it is your play, use the following signals to indicate what you want to do:


      Indicate you want a “hit” by dragging the edge of your cards on the table in a sweeping motion towards you.


      Indicate you want to “stand” by sliding your cards, face down, under your chips.


      indicate you want to double-down or split a pair by placing an equal bet to the left of your current bet.


    If taking a hit causes you to bust, lay your cards down face up next to your chips.
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