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Blackjack Rules

Welcome to my humble little corner of our guide. I am here
to teach you basic blackjack rules and blackjack actions.

Blackjack is a popular casino card game in which your goal is to beat the dealer. You can do this in one of two ways: (1) by accumulating a higher score than the dealer without going over 21, or (2) standing on a lower score with the hope that the dealer goes over 21.

You could also call upon the power of Zeus to incinerate the dealer with a bolt of lightning from the heavens, but that is not a legal action in most casinos nor very sportsmanlike.

Blackjack Teacher

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At the start of each hand, each player is dealt 2 cards face-up, while the dealer is dealt one face-up and one face-down. Players must make all their actions (see below), taking turns, before it is the dealer's turn. In most casinos, the dealer must continue to draw if the value of his or her hand is 16 or less, and must Stand on all values of 17 or higher.

All face cards (jacks, queens, and kings) have a value of 10, and an ace can be worth either one or 11, whichever is more favorable to your hand. The remaining cards are worth their face value. The value of a hand is the sum of the values of the individual cards. If the value of your hand is closer to 21 than that of the dealer, you win the value of your bet. If the value of the dealer's hand is higher than yours, you lose. If your hands are of equal value, the hand is a push and your money is returned. If you have a total of 22 or higher (called a "bust"), you lose regardless of whether the dealer also busts.

The highest hand in the game is called a Blackjack, which is a two-card hand that totals 21. If you and the dealer both have Blackjack, the hand results in a tie (called a "push"). Three or more cards totaling 21 are not a Blackjack and therefore do not beat out a natural 21. If you win with a natural blackjack, you will be paid off at 3-to-2, which means the player gets his or her original bet back plus 150% profit.

Blackjack Actions

HIT: Request another card. You can request a hit as many times as you like, but if your total goes over 21, you will Bust and therfore lose the hand.

STAND: Request that you receive no more cards. Your current hand will be judged against the dealer's.

SPLIT: If you have two cards of the same denomination, you can split your cards into two hands and play each hand separately. Your original bet will be duplicated for the new hand. Note: according to Atlantic City Blackjack rules, you may only draw one additional card on each ace when splitting a pair of aces. Also note that this option will normally only be available immediately after you receive your first two cards.

DOUBLE: If you select this option, you will get exactly one more card, your turn will end, and your bet will be doubled. Note: this option will normally only be available immediately after you receive your first two cards, however, Doubling after Splitting is usually allowed.

INSURANCE: Whenever the dealer's up-card is an ace, the player has an option of purchasing insurance. If the player believes that the value of the dealer's down-card is a 10, purchasing insurance places a side bet of half the original wager. If the dealer's down-card does indeed have a value of 10, the player is immediately paid 2-to-1 on the insurance bet. The original wager is lost unless the player also ties with his or her own Blackjack. Basically, insurance is just a bet that the dealer's unseen card has a value of 10.

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