Casino Roulette Strategies

Rules in Blackjack

rules of blackjack  July 14, 2015 – 03:33 pm
Good rules in blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most exciting and accessible casino card games in the world. While its beginnings are often debated, with some claiming French, Spanish and even Roman origin, its status as a popular casino game is undoubted.

Since becoming a mainstay in brick-and-mortar casinos in the twentieth century, blackjack has captured the imagination of all those who have played it, mesmerizing many of those who try to master it.

General Overview

In general, the rules of blackjack are straightforward and can be picked up in minutes. However, each blackjack game type differs slightly in table rules, which are detailed on that variant's page, with the generic rules outlined below applying across all blackjack games available at Full Tilt Poker.

Game Play and Game Rules

Each round of blackjack begins with the players seated at the table placing a bet into the betting positions (or "boxes") they occupy. The minimum and maximum table stakes will be clearly displayed at the table, and you can choose your bet size by clicking on the chip denoting the value you wish to wager. After you place your wager(s), the dealer deals two cards face up in front of each box and either one card face up (European style) or one card face up and one card face down (Atlantic City style) to their own position, depending on which game variant is being played.

To win a hand of blackjack, you must have a hand that scores higher than the dealer's hand, without the total value of your hand exceeding 21, or by having a score lower than 22 when the total value of the dealer's hand reaches 22 or more. Should the total value of your hand go over 21 – this is also known as "breaking" (or "busting") – the house automatically wins.

When you have finished drawing cards to your hand(s), the dealer completes their hand, following strict rules as to how they do so – these rules are slightly different depending on the game variant played. It's this aspect of the game that allows you to make strategic decisions in an attempt to win the hand.

The best hand is of course "blackjack", made up of an ace and any ten (that includes jacks, queens and kings), on the initial deal (your two first cards). As a hand, it's unbeatable, and can only be tied if the dealer's hand is also blackjack. It's worth noting that blackjack pays more than other winning hands and you may receive three-to-two (3:2) on your wager, depending on the game variant played.

In blackjack, tens, jacks, queens and kings each have a value of ten, while aces are worth either one or eleven. For example, an ace and a six combined is worth either seven or 17. In this circumstance the higher total of 17 can be referred to as a "soft" total, as it contains an ace valued at eleven. A soft hand can be hit or doubled without the risk of breaking, although a soft hand is not guaranteed to improve with the addition of another card.

A winning hand in blackjack typically pays one-to-one (1:1, also known as "evens" or "even money"). So if you wager $10, you usually receive $10, and will receive your original wager back. If you're dealt blackjack (and the dealer isn't), playing a game variant which pays three-to-two (3:2), you would receive $15, and will receive your original wager back.

If your hand ties with the dealer's hand – also known as a "push" – you receive the amount you wagered back, but are not awarded anything else. If you lose your hand, you forfeit your wager, which is taken by the house. Any exceptions to these general rules are outlined below or on each game variant's rules page.

Payouts usually occur after the dealer has completed the hand. The rules by which the dealer plays are strict, and differ slightly between game variations, so it's important to read the variant rules to check for any specific differences.

One such difference will be whether or not the dealer draws cards on a soft 17. Typically the dealer will draw cards until their hand value reaches 17 or higher. However, in some variants the dealer must stand on a soft 17, while in others the dealer must hit.

Splitting, Doubling Down and Surrendering

During a game you'll also be presented with several supplementary options, depending on the initial two cards dealt to you.

One such action is Splitting, which is essentially turning one hand into two, and can occur in the following ways:

  • If you have two starting cards that are equal in rank (King-Queen, Eight-Eight, etc…), an additional wager equal to the starting bet can be placed and a second hand is created
  • Both hands are played independently and will win, lose or push on their own merit
  • In some blackjack variants, you may split equal cards more than once

In addition, the option to Double Down occurs in certain circumstances, permitting you the opportunity to double your initial wager. This also follows certain rules:

  • After the first two cards are dealt, you can add an additional wager equal to the starting bet and then receive exactly one extra card with which to improve your hand
  • Some blackjack game variants allow you to double down on any two first cards and others restrict you to doubling down on certain starting totals

In games in which it is permitted, doubling down can occur after splitting, with a few other elements to take into account:

  • After splitting a hand into two (or more) hands, you sometimes have the option to double down, adding another bet to the table
  • A double down following a split follows the same rules as a normal double down

Splitting also has restrictions when it comes to aces. When you split two aces, almost all variants of blackjack allow only one card to be drawn to each of the new hands. That means no further hitting, splitting or doubling down is allowed.

There is another aspect of blackjack of which you can take advantage, which is called Surrender. Provided it is allowed in the variant you are playing, this is the act of forfeiting the original two cards that were dealt in return for a 50% refund of the original wager. However, there are restrictions on your ability to surrender, such as whether the dealer is showing an ace or a ten-value card.

Game Play Options


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