Blackjack rules are easy to learn, you just need to know your options before sitting at a table. In Blackjack, you and the dealer are dealt two cards to start. The objective of online blackjack is to accumulate cards that add up closer to 21 than that of the dealer's cards, without going over 21.
Cards are worth their face value with the exception of Kings, Queens, and Jacks which are each worth 10 and Aces which are worth either 1 or 11. If the value of your hand is closer to 21 than that of the dealer you win. If the value of the dealer's hand is higher than yours you lose. If the hands are of equal value the deal is a push and your money is returned. If you have a total of 22 or higher (a busted hand), you lose regardless of whether the dealer also busts.
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Online Blackjack is played with eight fifty-two card decks. After each game has been played, the used cards are shuffled back into the deck. All face cards are valued at ten and the cards from 2-10 are valued as indicated.
Aces can be valued at either one or eleven; if counting the ace as eleven would put the hand over twenty-one, the ace is automatically counted as one instead. You do not need to specify which value the Ace has as it's always assumed to have the value that makes the best hand. The value of a hand is the sum of the values of the individual cards. For example, a hand containing a Jack, 3, and 4 has a value of 17.
You begin a hand of online blackjack by placing a bet on the table. You will then receive two cards face up. The dealer will receive one card face up and one face down. Once you have been dealt your two cards (and based on the nature of these cards) you can do the following:
Hit – Hit means to draw another card. You can request a hit as many times as you like, but if your total goes over twenty-one, you will bust and lose the hand.
Stand – Stand means the player receives no more cards. The hand as it currently stands will be judged against the dealers.
Split - If you have two cards of the same denomination, a Split button will appear. You can split your cards into two hands and play each hand separately. Your original bet will be duplicated for the new hand. Each hand will be played out as usual except when splitting Aces, where only one additional card per hand is dealt. The split option can only be used once per hand -- you cannot split part of a split hand. Any winning 21 obtained after splitting a pair is paid 1-to-1.
Double Down - If you select this option, two things will happen: you will get exactly one more card, your turn will end, and your bet will be doubled.
Insurance - Whenever the dealer's up-card is an Ace, the player has an option of taking insurance. The player may opt to take insurance by clicking on the Insurance button. If you do not wish to take insurance, you simply click on the Pass button to proceed with the rest of the hand. If the player believes that the dealer's down-card is a 10 ranking card, then the player is permitted to place a side bet of half the original wager as insurance. If the dealer does have a 10 ranking card, the player is immediately paid 2-to-1 on the insurance bet, but the original wager is lost unless the player too has a blackjack and pushes with the dealer. Here the player is simply betting that the dealer's unseen card is a 10 valued card.
I do not recommend taking insurance under any circumstances. Casinos never offer anything that is not in their advantage.
Surrender - Where permitted, a player may give up his first two cards and lose only one-half his original bet.
Payouts - If you win the hand, you will get back your original bet plus the same amount in profit. A hand that consists of an Ace and any ten value card is called a natural twenty-one, or a natural blackjack (except in the case of a Split hand - see details above). If you win with a natural blackjack, you will be paid off at three-to-two, which means you get your original bet back plus 150% profit. (So if you bet £50 and win with a natural twenty-one, you get £50 (your bet) plus £75 (your bet plus half of your bet), which totals to £125).