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Section: Advice > Gaming Tips


The Basics of Blackjack
by Geoff Dempsey

The object of Blackjack is to accumulate cards that add up to as close to 21 as possible without going over. 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 higher than the dealer then you Win - if the dealer's hand is higher than you Lose. If the value of your hand is over 21 then you Bust which is an automatic loss. Likewise if the Dealer's hand busts then you win!

Play begins when the cards are dealt. If there are already cards on the table from a preceding game they will be cleared away. The new cards will be dealt onto the table. Two hands of cards are dealt one for the player and one for the dealer. The player's hand will always contain two cards while the dealer's hand will contain only one card. In some casinos a second card is dealt to the dealer but not turned over. This is called the hole card.

After both the dealer and the player have been dealt their cards, you will have the choice to either 'Hit' or 'Stay'. When applicable, you will also have the chance to take insurance against the dealer's ace, to split cards of the same rank and to double the original bet. Tell the dealer: "Hit" to draw another card. Announcing: "Stay" will end the player's turn.

'Double' is used to double your original bet. You will be dealt one more card only and then the dealer will draw the necessary cards to complete the hand. You can only double when the value of the first 2 cards is 9, 10 or 11.

You can take out 'Insurance' only if the dealer has an ace. The cost of insurance is half your original bet. Insurance pays 2-1 and pays out when the dealer gets blackjack. If you double down when the Dealer is showing an Ace, you will win an amount equivalent to your bet and the Double if you beat the Dealer's cards You will loose your bet AND the Double Down if the Dealer gets a Blackjack.

The 'Split' option can be chosen when your first 2 cards are of the same rank. Your original hand will be split into two, each with a stake equal to your original bet. You will be dealt a second card for your first hand. You will then be able to hit, stand and take insurance (where applicable) for your first hand. Once you have chosen to stand (or go bust), a second card will be dealt to your second hand and you will be then be given the relevant choices for that hand. Once you have chosen to stand on your second hand, the dealer will then draw the necessary cards to complete the game.

Once the dealer's hand is complete (or bust), payouts will be made to your balance according to the game's outcome.

 


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