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How to play blackjack?

On the surface, blackjack is one of the simplest casino card games and blackjack betting is the easiest category of gambling to master. However, once an understanding of the game is achieved, there are many other elements of blackjack strategy that can be learned in order to play on a higher intellectual level.

Basic rules of blackjack

The objective
Blackjack (21) is a simple game. The player aims at finishing each hand with a higher value of cards than the dealer, but fewer than twenty-one. The deal
Once the initial bet is made by each player, each player is dealt two cards face up. Suits have no effect on the game. Each card is worth its face value, with face cards worth ten and the ace worth either one or ten at the holder's discretion. The player to the left of the dealer acts first, asking for either a hit (another card) or stand (no more cards). The gamble
In order to win blackjack, odds must be calculated in the player's mind. If he believes that another card will improve his score and remain blow twenty-one, he will take a hit. If after the hit he exceeds twenty-one, then he is 'bust' and automatically loses, no matter what the blackjack dealer's final total is. The dealer's play
Once all the players have finished their dealing, the dealer will make the same decisions - to hit or stand. If the dealer busts, then all players who have a remaining hand are winners. If the dealer stands at any point, all players with lower scores lose and higher scores win. Winners are paid at evens. However, if you are dealt an ace and a ten, a natural blackjack, you will win unless the dealer has the same. This win is paid at odds of three to two.

Other options

Doubling down
Once the first two blackjack cards are dealt, the player is allowed to double his bet. Some casinos may limit doubling to hands that total ten or eleven. Splitting
If you are dealt a pair (cards of the same value), you have the option to split them into two hands. The second hand requires the same bet as the one that was placed on the initial deal. Insurance
If the dealer's face up card is an ace, the players will be offered insurance. This is a side bet that the dealer has a ten for his other card. If you win the bet, you are paid two to one.

Further study

If you are new at this game, there are various websites which offer blackjack tutorials and practice, as well as advice on blackjack probability.

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