How to Play Blackjack
Your goal is to draw cards that total 21, or come closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.
The object is for you to draw cards that total 21 or come closer to 21 than the Dealer. All cards are at face value, except the King, Queen, and Jack, which count as 10. An Ace will have a value of 11 unless that would give a Player or the Dealer a score in excess fo 21; in which case, it has a value of 1. The Dealer starts the game. Every Player gets 2 cards, face up. The Dealer gets 2 cards with a Hole Card (1 card face down). Once you have received your 2 cards, you can choose to Stand (draw no more cards) or take a Hit (draw one or more cards) until you reach 21 or come as close as possible. However, if you go over 21, you Break (automatically lose). A winning hand pays even money.
Only after all Players' hands are played does the Dealer disclose the Hole Card and play the Dealer's hand. The Dealer turns over the Hole Card and acts on the hand according to the rules of the game. If the Dealer has 16 or soft 17, he must "hit" (receive additional cards), until he reaches a hard 17 or more. At the end of the game, if your count is the same as the Dealer's count and both have not exceeded 21, the hand will be a Standoff. If the Dealer's count exceeds 21 and the Player's hand does not, the Player wins.
In the event your first two cards are an Ace and any 10 value cards, the Dealer announces your hand as "Blackjack." You will be paid at this time, if the Dealer does not have an Ace or a 10 value card as a face up card. If the Dealer's hand is Blackjack, the game is a Standoff. A Player's winning Blackjack is paid off at odds of 3 to 2. A two-card 21 wins over a multi-card 21 in all circumstances.
BLACKJACK PLAYING OPTIONS
To increase your chances of winning, or winning a bigger payout, consider the following options:
If your first 2 cards are a pair with the same numerical value, you may split them into 2 hands. You must bet the same amount as your original wager on each hand formed by splitting a pair. You must complete play on your hand before playing your second hand. If the split pairs are Aces, you will only receive 1 card on each hand. Because only 1 card is given when Aces are split, a Player may not double down on Aces that have been split. Pairs may split a maximum of 3 times, for a total of 4 hands, if you split your initial pair and you receive an identically valued card to create another pair.
After you get your first 2 cards, except when your first 2 cards total 21, you have the opportunity to "double down," i.e. double your bet. When doubling down, you can draw only 1 additional card.
If the Dealer's face up card is an Ace, and prior to anyone receiving additional cards, you may take insurance. To do this, you place a bet no more than one-half of your original bet on the insurance line. If the Dealer's Hole Card is a 10, Jack, Queen, or King, you win your insurance bet at odds 2 to 1. If the Dealer's Hole Card is any other card, you lose your insurance bet.
The Dealer collects all losing insurance wagers before continuing the hand. If the correct amount of insurance cannot be bet due to the limitation of the value of chip denomination, (i.e., a $7.50 bet allowing $3.75 insurance bet) the Player may insure as close to the maximum insurance without over-insuring the bet.