Your goal is to draw cards that total 21, or come closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.
HOW TO PLAY
- The dealer and each player get two cards. The dealer's first card faces up, the second faces down. Face cards each count as 10, Aces count as 1 or 11, all others count at face value. An Ace with any 10, Jack, Queen, or King is a "Blackjack."
- If you have a Blackjack, the dealer pays you one-and-a-half times your bet - unless the dealer also has a Blackjack, in which case it's a "push" and neither wins.
- If you don't have a Blackjack, you can ask the dealer to "hit" you by using a scratching motion with your fingers on the table.
- You may draw as many cards as you like (one at a time), but if you go over 21, you "bust" and lose. If you do not want to "hit," you may "stand" by making a side-to-side waving motion with your hand.
- After all players are satisfied with their hands, the dealer will turn his or her down card face up and stand or draw as necessary. The dealer hits on soft 17's.
All winning bets are paid even money (1 to 1) except for Blackjack, which pays you one-and-a-half times your bet.
BLACKJACK PLAYING OPTIONS
To increase your chances of winning, or winning a bigger payout, consider the following options:
SPLITTING PAIRS. When you have two cards of the same denomination, you may split the pairs into two separate hands and play each hand individually. You must wager the same amount as your original bet on each split hand. If you have split Aces, you get only one "hit" on each Ace.
DOUBLING DOWN. Consider this if you think you can win with only one additional card. You may wager additional money up to your original bet, and receive one more card.
INSURANCE. If the dealer's "up card" is an Ace, you can take insurance. Here you're betting that the dealer has a Blackjack. You can bet only half your original bet. If the dealer does have a Blackjack, your original bet loses and the insurance is paid two to one. If the dealer doesn't have a Blackjack, he takes the insurance bet and the game continues.