The object of Blackjack is to have your cards total higher than the dealer's hand as near to 21 as possible without going over. The dealer begins the game by dealing each player two cards and the dealer one card up and one card down.
Cards are counted at their face value. Kings, Queens and Jacks count as ten. Aces count as one or eleven at your option. Winning hands are paid at even money. If the first two cards you are dealt total 21 (any 10-value card and an Ace), you have a blackjack. Blackjack pays one and a half times your bet. You cannot lose, but you could tie if the dealer also has blackjack. If you are dealt any combination other than blackjack, you can either "stand" (take no more cards), or signal the dealer for a "hit" (draw additional cards). On a "shoe" game, you signal for a hit by brushing your hand towards you behind your wager. The signal for standing is a right-to-left wave behind your bet. When playing the double-deck game, signal for a hit by brushing your original cards behind your wager. You indicate standing by tucking your cards under your bet.
After all of the players have acted on their hands (either by hitting or standing), the dealer will expose his "hole card" (down card) and take additional cards or stand according to the following rules:
If his total is 16 or less, he MUST hit until his hand totals 17 or more or "busts" (exceeds a total of 21).
If the dealer busts, all of the players still in the game win. If the dealer does not bust and your card count is closer to 21 than the dealer's hand you win; if it is less, you lose.
If you tie the dealer, it is called a "push" and you neither win nor lose and the dealer will leave your original wager in the betting circle.
If you are dealt two cards with equal value, you have the option of "splitting" them in two separate hands. A "split" is simply two hands played separately. You must match your original bet if you split. You may "re-split" a pair up to three times (making up to four separate hands). You can take as many "hits" as you like on each hand. However, if you split a pair of Aces, you will receive only one card on each of the hands, but if one of the "hit" cards is another Ace, you may re-split. *21 on split Aces is not considered a blackjack and pays even money.
Players also have the option of increasing their wager by "doubling down". After receiving your first two cards, you may "double down" by increasing your wager up to the amount of your original bet and receive only one additional card. You may "double down" on any two cards. You may also "double down" after "splitting" a pair.
If the dealer's "up" card is an Ace, you have the option of making an "insurance" wager. You may wager any amount up to half your original bet that the dealer's down card has a value of ten. That is, you are wagering that the dealer has blackjack. If the dealer's hole card has a value of ten, you will be paid two to one on your insurance wager. If the card has a value other than ten, the dealer takes your insurance wager.
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