The object of the game is that you want to have a hand value that is closer to 21 than that of the dealer, without going over 21.
The deck of cards can consist of any number of decks from one to six. The number of decks effects the odds of the house slightly.
In blackjack the cards are valued as follows. An Ace can count as either 1 or 11. The cards 2 through 9 are valued as indicated. The 10, Jack, Queen and King are all valued at 10.
How to play
Both dealer and players are dealt two cards. Player cards are dealt face up and one dealer card is dealt face up. Two cards totalling 21 is a blackjack. The combination can be any Ace with any card with a value of 10.
After the cards are dealt the player must play their hand first. The player hand has several options that may vary at different blackjack tables.
These options are as follows:
Stand: The player chooses this if they wish to stand with the cards they have.
Hit: The dealer gives the player another card.
Bust: Player total goes over 21 and the hand is automatically a loser.
Double: A Player can choose to take only one hit and double the amount of their bet. This option may vary in how it is offered. Some tables allow double on any two cards and some allow it only on a combination that equals 9, 10 or 11. Some tables may even offer a late double that can be played after the player already has 3 cards.
Split: If the play has two cards of equal value they can choose to split the cards into two hands by doubling the amount of the bet. In this case blackjack is not recognized. Some tables allow players to split multiple times.
Insurance: If the dealers face up card is an Ace, players have the option to purchase Insurance against a dealer blackjack. Insurance generally pays 2:1 and is indicated on the table. Insurance is like a side bet on whether the dealer has blackjack or not. If the dealer has blackjack the insurance bet is a winner.
Even Money: Even money is sometimes used when a player is dealt a blackjack and the dealer has a face up Ace. The player can take an Even Money payout of 1:1 instead of the usual 1.5:1 and avoid the risk of the dealer having a blackjack, which would result in a push.
Surrender: If a player is unsatisfied with the first 2 cards and feels the dealer has a much better chance of winning, then the player can surrender and only lose half the bet amount.
Push: A push is when a player\'s hand total equals the hand total of the dealer. The player receives their bet amount back.
The dealer hand:
There are two different dealer options available depending on which table you are playing.
Option one: The dealer stands on soft 17 and hits on sixteen or lower. Soft is any combination of the dealer reaching the sum of 17 counting the Ace as an 11. The dealer must take a hit on any sum lower than 17.
Option two: Similar to option one except the dealer hits soft 17 and stands on soft 18 or higher. Therefore if the dealer has a 6 and an Ace, the dealer would take a hit here. In option one the dealer would not.