The object of a blackjack card game is simple. The player tries to beat the dealer by making a hand closest to 21 without going over. Each card is designated a point value (10, J, Q, K = 10, face cards are face value, and an Ace can be used as either an 11 or 1) and the player makes his decision to hit or stand based on the cards he is dealt and the upcard (card showing) of the dealer. If a player wants to hit (be dealt another card), he should signify this by tapping or sweeping the table. If the player wishes to stand (not be dealt any more cards), he should put his hand palm down in the air and move it from left to right. The dealer has set guidelines by which to act, and these will never change regardless of the strength of your hand. If the dealer has a hand of 16 or less, the dealer must hit. If the dealer has a hand of 17 or more, the dealer must stand. After all actions are completed, the hands are totaled and the better hand wins!
A few tricks…
There are a few actions in a blackjack card game that can be beneficial in certain situations. The first such instance is known as “insurance”. Insurance is a bet made if the dealer has an Ace showing, and the player wants to guard against the dealer having blackjack. If it turns out that the dealer does indeed have blackjack, the player will be paid off at 2:1 on his insurance bet, while losing his original wager. In most instances it is not prudent to make an insurance bet, unless the player is counting cards (See Blackjack Card Counting) and believes that the chances of the dealer having 21 is high.
Another option available to players is that of “doubling down”. This is an action that many players like to take if their two hole cards total 9, 10, or 11. By placing an additional wager next to the original wager (not on top of the original wager), a player is signifying to the dealer that he is doubling down. The player will then be given just one more card, and the total of the player's three cards will be used to determine if the bet is won or lost.
“Splitting” is yet another action that some players use while at the blackjack table. This action occurs when a player has a pair in his original two cards. The player can then “split” the two cards, placing another wager next to the original wager. The player is now playing two seperate hands, and play continues as usual (hit, stand, etc.). The only time a player will not have an option to hit or stand after this action is if he is splitting Aces, where in that case he will be dealt one card only for each Ace.
Place Your Wage
The action begins in a blackjack card game with all players placing a bet in the circle (or square) in front of him. Each table has different minimum and maximum bet limits, so be sure to check the sign at the table you are sitting at. After all bets are made, the dealer will deal from left to right at the table, making sure each player receives two cards. Now, depending on what casino you are playing in, these cards may come face up or face down. If they are dealt face up, do not touch them! This is very important, as casinos do this to prevent players from cheating. If the cards are dealt face down, pick up your cards with ONE hand only and do not remove them from the table. Again, this is for the security of the game, and for the dealer to be able to see the cards at all times. In blackjack, the player is only trying to beat the dealer. The hands of all other players at the table are irrelevant.
In a blackjack card game, the most superior hand is 21, otherwise known as “blackjack” or “natural”. If the player is dealt 21 in his original two cards, he will paid off at 3:2 on his bet. It is not considered blackjack if the player reaches 21 on more than two cards, although the bet will still win most times at a 1:1 payoff. The only time this bet will not win is if the dealer also makes 21, making this hand a “push”. The money is left on the table, and the player can increase, decrease, or make the same wager for the next hand.