This How To Play Blackjack article shows you the table. Blackjack is played on a special table that is shaped like a semicircle. There is a separate circle or square for each player. When you sit down you must either buy chips from the dealer or bring them in from another table.
The player places his bet on the betting circle if he is ahead of his space. Only chips placed in the betting circle count as your bet. After all bets are placed, the round begins.
For this example, let’s assume you are playing a multi-deck game and cards are being dealt from a collector. Each player is dealt two open cards.
The dealer is dealt an open card and a face-down card, known as the hole card, or hole card. After the cards are dealt, the dealer will ask each player to make a decision. The player to the dealer’s left acts first. This position is known as first base.
The position of the last person to act is called third base. You will make your decision on how to play your hand based on the dealer’s open card and the two cards he has been dealt. A rule of thumb for the beginner is to assume that the dealer has a ten in the hole. (This is not always the case, but it makes it easier to base your decision on that premise.)
You will use a hand signal to make your decisions known. This keeps the game moving and also helps ensure there are no verbal misunderstandings and lets suspended monitors track play. Remember that in a dealt game with a collector you cannot touch the cards.
If you or the dealer are dealt an ace and a ten-valued card, you have 21, known as blackjack. This is natural. If you get blackjack, you will be paid 3-2 for your bet, if the dealer doesn’t get one at the same time.
If you and the dealer pull a blackjack, it’s a “push”. If only the dealer has blackjack, all players will lose.
By asking means you want to draw another card.
To signal the dealer to order, you will tap the table in front of you or wave your hand. If you want another card after the first, you would signal in the same way.
When you’re satisfied with your two cards or after calling, you let the dealer know that you want to stop.
This is done by waving your hand over your cards.
When you double up you are allowed to double your bet after receiving your first two cards. You then receive only one card in your hand.
Most casinos allow you to double up with any two cards (DOA) . Some casinos limit their doubling to hands that total ten or eleven. DOA is a player-friendly rule.
To signal that you are doubling up, you will place an additional bet beside your original bet. Most casinos allow you to fold for less than your original bet, as long as you meet the table minimum. This is nonsense. You only fold in favorable situations – and it pays to double as much.
If you are dealt a pair (two cards of the same rank), you can split them into two separate hands.
You must place an additional bet equal to your initial bet. You signal the dealer that you are splitting by placing your second bet next to your first bet in the betting circle. Do not place this bet on top of the original bet.
Don’t separate the cards. The dealer will do it for you. You will not play each hand one at a time. The dealer will give you a second card to go with the first separate card.
You will then decide to order or pass. After playing this hand and passing, you will move to the next separate card and the process will be repeated. Some casinos allow you to double your first two cards after splitting. You would play this as you would if you were folding your first two cards. This rule is favorable to the player.
If the dealer’s card is an ace, the dealer will offer insurance. You are not really guaranteeing a hand. This is a side bet you make by betting half your original bet that the dealer has a ten in the hole.
If you place the bet and he has the ten, you get 2 to 1. You would lose your original bet, but you would win the insurance bet, which means it is a tie with your original bet.
If you have a blackjack and the dealer has an ace, you will be asked if you would like to receive 1:1 for your blackjack instead of 3 to 2.
If you don’t take the money, you will get a draw if the dealer has a blackjack. Both the insurance bet and cash compensation are good bets. Most of the time the dealers will NOT have a ten of yes.
To Give Up
Some casinos allow you to surrender your hand and give up half your bet on your first two cards after the dealer checks without having a blackjack. This is known as late surrender. It is to the player’s advantage when played correctly.
Unfortunately, when it is offered, many players give in more hands than they should, thus giving up the advantage gained by this option.
As you can see on the previous page, there are many decisions you must make when playing blackjack. If you play your hand correctly, you can reduce the house edge to less than one percent. To do this you must learn Basic Strategy , which is a mathematically proven method of determining when to ask and when to knock.