The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer. There are two ways to win against the dealer. First, not going bust (over 21) when the dealer does or second, to have a higher total card value than the dealer’s total.
The blackjack game will start once all the players have made their initial bets, including some side bets.
The dealer will deal 2 cards to the players and 2 cards to himself (for the dealer, 1 card will be facing up and the other 1 facing down, this down card is also known as the “hole card”).
The cards received will have the following values → face cards count as 10 points, aces will either count as 1 or 11 points, and all cards from 2 to 10 are counted at there face value.
When the player or dealer’s hand total exceeds 21 points, they go bust and lose the hand.
Hard vs Soft Hand
A “soft” hand is one that contains at least one ace, which may still count as 1 or 11 points. For example, A-7 is a soft 18 (11+7) or A-2-3 (11+2+3) is a soft 16.
A “hard” hand is one that contains NO aces or aces that are counted as one point each. For example, 4-A-10-3 (4+1+10+3) is a hard 18 or 10-7 (10+7) is a hard 17.
Once the player and the dealer receive their 2 cards, they should make one of the following decisions.
The player will have the following actions → stand, hit, surrender, split, or double down.
Stand: Don’t draw any additional cards.
Hit: Draw an extra card. The player can keep drawing cards as long as they don’t exceed 21 points. They don’t need to make any additional wager to draw a card.
Surrender: Choose not to play the cards already received. A player can choose to surrender if they don’t want to continue with the hand. This option is available during the decision state. They will recover half of their original wager.
This option is not available when the dealer’s first card is an ace.
Split: If the player has any two pair cards or any two 10-value cards, such as jack-queen, queen-10, etc., they can make the decision to split them. When the player splits their cards, they should make another bet equal to the original wager.
In the case the player receives another pair, they can re-split them for up to a total of 4 hands. Remember, they will have to keep betting the same amount as their original wager every time they decide to split.
Exceptions on Re-splitting: If the hand is a pair of aces and the player decided to split them, they will not be able to re-split them again or to hit after the split (draw another card). For example, initial hand A-A → split → A-3 (hard 14) and A-A (hard 2) → end of decision → dealer’s turn.
If the player gets 21 points after splitting aces (e.g. A-10), then it will be counted as 21 points, not as a blackjack.
Double Down: This option will allow the player to double their initial bet for one, but only one, more card. The player will not be able to hit again.
The player can double with any initial two cards. For example, an initial hand consisting of 2-5, 6-2, or 2-7.
Doubling after splitting is allowed.
Special Player Decisions
Insurance: If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, the dealer will ask the players if they want to make an insurance bet. This is a side bet in which players bet that the dealer’s hole card will be a 10-value card, meaning a dealer blackjack. The insurance wager will be half of your original bet. If the dealer has a blackjack, the payout of the insurance bet is 2:1.
Even Money: When the player has a blackjack, but the dealer’s upcard is an ace, the player can decide to take even money, meaning his blackjack will be paid 1:1 and not 3:2.
The dealer will always act last, must hit up to 16 points and stand on 17 points or above.
If the dealer’s hand is a soft 17 (A-6) he must stand.
Winning bets are paid even money, meaning 1:1.
Blackjack is paid 3:2.
We have two side bets available in our game, the “Pair Bet” and “+13/-13”.
For the “Pair Bet,” the player bets that their first two cards will be a pair, regardless of the color or suit of the cards. The payout for this side bet is 11:1. The pair bet only applies to a player’s first two cards, the pair bet will not be won for pairs after a hand has been split.
For the “+13/-13” side bet, the player bets that their first two cards will total more than 13 or less than 13 points, regardless of color or suit of the cards. Aces are considered as 1 and if you receive a 13 the bet is lost. The payout for this side bet is 1:1.