How to Play Blackjack

The object of Blackjack is to beat the dealer. If your card value totals higher than the dealer's cards without going over 21, you win. If your total card value goes is over 21, you "bust", or lose.

Each player is dealt 2 cards, both of them not shown, while one of the dealer's cards is visible. You now have the opportunity to take more cards as many cards as you like, as long as your hand value does not exceed 21.

Jack, Queen and King are worth 10 while cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value. Aces are worth 11 or 1, whichever is more beneficial to you and does not force you to bust. If the dealer and player have the same hand value, then it’s a tie or a "push". In case of a push neither dealer nor player wins the hand. Players each have an individual and independent game against the dealer. The dealer can lose to one player at the table and still beat the other players.

The player's options in a typical BlackJack round are as follows:

  • Hit – Get dealt an additional card

  • Stand – Request no more cards.

  • Double down – Double your bet, take another card and stand.

  • Split – When both cards in a hand have the same value you may split the hand and double the bet. Each card becomes the first card in a new hand.

When the dealer has a visible ace card, you will be offered to buy insurance. Insurance bet is placed separately on a designated portion of the table. A player who takes insurance is essentially betting that the dealer was dealt a blackjack, and this bet pays 2:1 if won. It is called insurance because if the dealer has a blackjack and the player does not  it assures that no money is lost. 

Anchorman - the player seated in the last seat of the table, on far right of the dealer and last to act.

Blackjack – the hand that automatically wins because contains both an Ace and a 10 card.

Bust - a hand which totals over 21 points, automatically losing.

Dealer – the one who deals the cards at the table, the one to beat.

Deck - the standard card amount of 52 cards used in blackjack.

Double Down - a player’s option to double his bet.

First Baseman - the player first to act, seated at the first seat of the table, to the far left of the dealer.

Hand - cards dealt to each of the players.

Hard Total - any hand not containing an ace, or a hand containing an ace that counts as one.

Head-to-Head - playing the dealer one-on-one with no other players at the table.

Hit - drawing another card, in addition to your original hand.

Hole Card - the dealer's unseen/facing down card.

Insurance - optional bet which can be placed when the dealer shows an ace.

Multiple-Deck - a game played with more than one deck in a shoe.

Natural – another term for a blackjack.

Push – When the player and dealer tie and or wins.

Round – when everyone at the table has completed acting on their hands.

Shoe – the dealer’s box containing a deck of cards, specifically designed to deal one card at a time.

Shuffle – the act of mixing up cards before they are dealt.

Single-Deck – blackjack game where only one deck of cards is used.

Soft Total – any hand which contains an ace with a value of 11.

Splitting Pairs – the player’s option to split identically ranked cards and to play them as separate hands.

Stand, Stand Pat – when a player decides not to be dealt any additional cards in a turn.

Third Baseman – the player who is last to act, seated to the far right of the dealer, in the last seat of the table.

Twenty-One – another name for blackjack.

Upcard – the dealer's exposed/face-up card, visible to all players.

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