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Learn how to play Blackjack
This is a description of how to play blackjack by yourself against the dealer.
In Blackjack, face cards are worth 10 points, an ace is worth 1 or 11, and all other cards use their face values. For example, if you’re dealt an ace and a five, your hand is either worth 6 or 17; it’s your choice whether the ace is 1 or 11.
Before the game begins, you place how many chips you want to bet in front of you.
The goal of Blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting your hand as close to 21 as possible without going over. The game starts out with the dealer dealing you two cards, then the dealer deals himself two cards, one card is face up and the other is face down. If you’re dealt an ace and a 10, this is known as “blackjack” and you automatically win one-and-a-half times your bet! If this doesn’t happen, then you must decide whether to “hit” or “stand.” If you hit, you get an extra card. If you stand, then your hand remains as-is.
If you get dealt two of the same cards, you can choose to split them apart and play two separate hands. If you do this, you must place a bet equal to your original bet on the second hand.
Another option you have is called doubling down. This is when you double your bet, get one more card and end your turn. Remember, when doubling down, you only get one extra card, then you must stand.
When the dealer is showing an ace, you have the option to buy insurance. This is a side bet that’s equal to half of your original bet. Buying insurance protects you when the dealer flips over a ten and has blackjack. If you buy insurance and the dealer shows blackjack, you get paid double the amount of your side bet.
If you decide to stand, then it’s the dealer’s turn. If the dealer’s hand is 16 or lower, he deals himself a card until his hand is 17 or higher. If the dealer’s hand goes over 21, then he “busts” and you win the hand. When the dealer has 17 or higher, he must stand. When the dealer has an ace, he must count it as 11 if it would bring his hand to 17 or higher, then he must stand.
These are the basic rules of Blackjack; however, the optimal strategy for the game gets complex. If you’re looking for a simple “cheat sheet” to follow, we’ve included a picture from VegasTripping.com below that helps you make near optimal decisions.