Blackjack Rules

Here are a few things to remember when using a counting strategy: While players can generally play their hand however they wish within the limits of the rules dealers have far more restrictions on how they play. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In addition, the dealer uses a blank plastic card, which is never dealt, but is placed toward the bottom of the pack to indicate when it will be time for the cards to be reshuffled. The most commonly used Card Counting system is the HiLo count , which values cards as follows:.

Wizard's Simple Strategy


At most tables the dealer also hits on a "soft" 17, i. Players win by not busting and having a total higher than the dealer, or not busting and having the dealer bust, or getting a blackjack without the dealer getting a blackjack.

If the player and dealer have the same total not counting blackjacks , this is called a "push", and the player typically does not win or lose money on that hand. Otherwise, the dealer wins. Blackjack has many rule variations. Since the s, blackjack has been a high-profile target of advantage players , particularly card counters , who track the profile of cards that have been dealt and adapt their wagers and playing strategies accordingly. Blackjack has inspired other casino games, including Spanish 21 and pontoon.

Blackjack's precursor was twenty-one , a game of unknown origin. The first written reference is found in a book by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes , most famous for writing Don Quixote. Cervantes was a gambler , and the main characters of his tale " Rinconete y Cortadillo ", from Novelas Ejemplares , are a couple of cheats working in Seville. They are proficient at cheating at veintiuna Spanish for twenty-one , and state that the object of the game is to reach 21 points without going over and that the ace values 1 or The game is played with the Spanish baraja deck.

This short story was written between and , implying that ventiuna was played in Castile since the beginning of the 17th century or earlier. Later references to this game are found in France and Spain. When twenty-one was introduced in the United States, gambling houses offered bonus payouts to stimulate players' interest.

One such bonus was a ten-to-one payout if the player's hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack either the jack of clubs or the jack of spades. This hand was called a "blackjack", and the name stuck to the game even though the ten-to-one bonus was soon withdrawn. In the modern game, a blackjack refers to any hand of an ace plus a ten or face card regardless of suits or colors. The first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed in September This paper would become the foundation of all future sound efforts to beat the game of blackjack.

At a casino blackjack table, the dealer faces five to seven playing positions from behind a semicircular table. Between one and eight standard card decks are shuffled together. At the beginning of each round, up to three players can place their bets in the "betting box" at each position in play.

That is, there could be up to three players at each position at a table in jurisdictions that allow back betting. The player whose bet is at the front of the betting box is deemed to have control over the position, and the dealer will consult the controlling player for playing decisions regarding the hand; the other players of that box are said to "play behind". Any player is usually allowed to control or bet in as many boxes as desired at a single table, but it is prohibited for an individual to play on more than one table at a time or to place multiple bets within a single box.

Each box is dealt an initial hand of two cards visible to the people playing on it, and often to any other players. The dealer's hand receives its first card face up, and in "hole card" games immediately receives its second card face down the hole card , which the dealer peeks at but does not reveal unless it makes the dealer's hand a blackjack. Hole card games are sometimes played on tables with a small mirror or electronic sensor that is used to peek securely at the hole card. In European casinos, "no hole card" games are prevalent; the dealer's second card is neither drawn nor consulted until the players have all played their hands.

Cards are dealt either from one or two handheld decks, from a dealer's shoe , or from a shuffling machine. Single cards are dealt to each wagered-on position clockwise from the dealer's left, followed by a single card to the dealer, followed by an additional card to each of the positions in play.

The players' initial cards may be dealt face up or face down more common in single-deck games. On their turn, players must choose whether to "hit" take a card , "stand" end their turn , "double" double wager, take a single card and finish , "split" if the two cards have the same value, separate them to make two hands or "surrender" give up a half-bet and retire from the game.

Number cards count as their natural value; the jack, queen, and king also known as "face cards" or "pictures" count as 10; aces are valued as either 1 or 11 according to the player's choice. If the hand value exceeds 21 points, it busts, and all bets on it are immediately forfeit.

After all boxes have finished playing, the dealer's hand is resolved by drawing cards until the hand busts or achieves a value of 17 or higher a dealer total of 17 including an ace, or "soft 17", must be drawn to in some games and must stand in others. The dealer never doubles, splits, or surrenders. If the dealer busts, all remaining player hands win. If the dealer does not bust, each remaining bet wins if its hand is higher than the dealer's, and loses if it is lower.

If a player receives 21 on the 1st and 2nd card it is considered a "natural" or "blackjack" and the player is paid out immediately unless dealer also has a natural, in which case the hand ties. In the case of a tied score, known as "push" or "standoff", bets are normally returned without adjustment; however, a blackjack beats any hand that is not a blackjack, even one with a value of Wins are paid out at 1: Many casinos today pay blackjacks at less than 3: Blackjack games almost always provide a side bet called insurance, which may be played when dealer's upcard is an ace.

Additional side bets, such as "Dealer Match" which pays when the player's cards match the dealer's up card, are sometimes available. After receiving an initial two cards, the player has up to four standard options: Each option has a corresponding hand signal. Some games give the player a fifth option, "surrender".

Hand signals are used to assist the " eye in the sky ", a person or video camera located above the table and sometimes concealed behind one-way glass. The eye in the sky usually makes a video recording of the table, which helps in resolving disputes and identifying dealer mistakes, and is also used to protect the casino against dealers who steal chips or players who cheat. The recording can further be used to identify advantage players whose activities, while legal, make them undesirable customers.

In the event of a disagreement between a player's hand signals and their words, the hand signal takes precedence.

Each hand may normally "hit" as many times as desired so long as the total is not above hard On reaching 21 including soft 21 , the hand is normally required to stand; busting is an irrevocable loss and the players' wagers are immediately forfeited to the house. After a bust or a stand, play proceeds to the next hand clockwise around the table.

When the last hand has finished being played, the dealer reveals the hole card, and stands or draws further cards according to the rules of the game for dealer drawing.

When the outcome of the dealer's hand is established, any hands with bets remaining on the table are resolved usually in counterclockwise order: If the dealer's upcard is an ace, the player is offered the option of taking "insurance" before the dealer checks the hole card. Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has blackjack and is treated independently of the main wager. The idea is that the dealer's second card has a fairly high probability nearly one-third to be ten-valued, giving the dealer blackjack and disappointment for the player.

It is attractive although not necessarily wise for the player to insure against the possibility of a dealer blackjack by making a maximum "insurance" bet, in which case the "insurance proceeds" will make up for the concomitant loss on the original bet.

The player may add up to half the value of their original bet to the insurance and these extra chips are placed on a portion of the table usually marked "Insurance pays 2 to 1". Players with a blackjack may also take insurance, and in taking maximum insurance they commit themselves to winning an amount exactly equal to their main wager, regardless of the dealer's outcome. Fully insuring a blackjack against blackjack is thus referred to as "taking even money", and paid out immediately, before the dealer's hand is resolved; the players do not need to place more chips for the insurance wager.

Insurance bets are expected to lose money in the long run, because the dealer is likely to have blackjack less than one-third of the time. However the insurance outcome is strongly anti-correlated with that of the main wager, and if the player's priority is to reduce variation , they might choose to pay for this. Furthermore, the insurance bet is susceptible to advantage play. It is advantageous to make an insurance bet whenever the hole card has more than a chance of one in three of being a ten.

Advantage play techniques can sometimes identify such situations. In a multi-hand, face-up, single deck game, it is possible to establish whether insurance is a good bet simply by observing the other cards on the table after the deal; even if there are just 2 player hands exposed, and neither of their two initial cards is a ten, then 16 in 47 of the remaining cards are tens, which is larger than 1 in 3, so insurance is a good bet.

When the player's turn comes, he places a bet equal to the original bet, and the dealer gives him just one card, which is placed face down and is not turned up until the bets are settled at the end of the hand. With two fives, the player may split a pair, double down, or just play the hand in the regular way.

Note that the dealer does not have the option of splitting or doubling down. When the dealer's face-up card is an ace, any of the players may make a side bet of up to half the original bet that the dealer's face-down card is a ten-card, and thus a blackjack for the house.

Once all such side bets are placed, the dealer looks at his hole card. If it is a ten-card, it is turned up, and those players who have made the insurance bet win and are paid double the amount of their half-bet - a 2 to 1 payoff.

When a blackjack occurs for the dealer, of course, the hand is over, and the players' main bets are collected - unless a player also has blackjack, in which case it is a stand-off. Insurance is invariably not a good proposition for the player, unless he is quite sure that there are an unusually high number of ten-cards still left undealt. A bet once paid and collected is never returned. Thus, one key advantage to the dealer is that the player goes first. If the player goes bust, he has already lost his wager, even if the dealer goes bust as well.

If the dealer goes over 21, he pays each player who has stood the amount of that player's bet. If the dealer stands at 21 or less, he pays the bet of any player having a higher total not exceeding 21 and collects the bet of any player having a lower total. If there is a stand-off a player having the same total as the dealer , no chips are paid out or collected. When each player's bet is settled, the dealer gathers in that player's cards and places them face up at the side against a clear plastic L-shaped shield.

The dealer continues to deal from the shoe until he comes to the plastic insert card, which indicates that it is time to reshuffle. Once that round of play is over, the dealer shuffles all the cards, prepares them for the cut, places the cards in the shoe, and the game continues.

Winning tactics in Blackjack require that the player play each hand in the optimum way, and such strategy always takes into account what the dealer's upcard is.

When the dealer's upcard is a good one, a 7, 8, 9, card, or ace for example, the player should not stop drawing until a total of 17 or more is reached. When the dealer's upcard is a poor one, 4, 5, or 6, the player should stop drawing as soon as he gets a total of 12 or higher. The strategy here is never to take a card if there is any chance of going bust.

The desire with this poor holding is to let the dealer hit and hopefully go over Finally, when the dealer's up card is a fair one, 2 or 3, the player should stop with a total of 13 or higher. With a soft hand, the general strategy is to keep hitting until a total of at least 18 is reached. Thus, with an ace and a six 7 or 17 , the player would not stop at 17, but would hit.

The basic strategy for doubling down is as follows: With a total of 11, the player should always double down. With a total of 10, he should double down unless the dealer shows a ten-card or an ace. With a total of 9, he should double down only if the dealer's card is fair or poor 2 through 6. For splitting, the player should always split a pair of aces or 8s; identical ten-cards should not be split, and neither should a pair of 5s, since two 5s are a total of 10, which can be used more effectively in doubling down.

A pair of 4s should not be split either, as a total of 8 is a good number to draw to. Generally, 2s, 3s, or 7s can be split unless the dealer has an 8, 9, ten-card, or ace. Finally, 6s should not be split unless the dealer's card is poor 2 through 6. I live in a senior living community.

Bingo and card games are the most popular activities played here. Frequently arguments happen over the rules of card games. I am very happy that I found your website on-line. It really is an outstanding website. Comprehensive, clear, easy to read and understand and thorough. Nothing confusing, vague or ambiguous. I am very impressed.

Thank you for putting the time and effort into it. The World needs your website. Played according to many different house rules, Presidents is a fun, social game often accompanied by many drinks. Four means war in the Quadruple War playing card game, a two player game where all cards are up for the taking.

Club Login Log in to Club Rewards using the email and password you provided when you signed up. Signup Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. If a player hits and their hand total goes over 21, they bust and lose their bet for that hand.

A player may hit as many times as they like providing their hand total does not go over Certain hands may have the option for additional bets according to the rules of the blackjack game being played. The most common extra bets are; Split - if the first two cards dealt have the same value, you may split them into two hands by betting the same amount again.

Each split hand is then played separately against the dealer Double Down - depending on the rules of the game being played, a player may bet an additional amount up to the value of their original bet and receive just one more card. In European rules, this option is available only on an original hand total of 9,10 or Once each player has acted on their hand in turn, the dealer will turn over their second card if necessary and then hit on their hand according to a pre-defined set of rules.

In most casinos the dealer will stand when a total of 17 or greater is reached. Sometimes they will hit on 'soft' 17 and ace combined with cards to the value of 6 Once the dealer has reached a total of 17 or above or busted they will pay out the bets of any players who achieved a higher total at odds. If a player has the same hand total as the dealer, it is known as a stand-off and the player keeps their bet.

All cards are then collected and the next hand can be dealt immediately Related Guides Fastest Payout.

Blackjack Basics