Blackjack rules are relatively simple to learn and that is probably why so many casino players have chosen to concentrate on this game. The game is played at the casino against the dealer – even if there are a large number of other players playing at the table, none of the other players’ cards need to concern you. The game begins with each player receiving two cards face up from the dealer. The dealer receives two cards also – one face up and one face down. Players have to place a bet to play – the table will have upper and lower betting limits. If you win the bet, you receive back double your stake. If you lose, then your stake is gone.
The choice of what the player does next depends upon the cards they have already received. There are ways in which the player may increase his bet if he so wishes, but for the main part they must work out the total of their cards – all cards are worth their denomination; court cards are worth ten and the ace can be worth one or eleven, as chosen by the player. The aim of the game is to get as close to a total of twenty-one as possible without scoring more and ‘busting’. If you score over twenty-one you automatically lose. If you do not wish to take more cards in fear of scoring over twenty-one then you tell the dealer so and ‘hold’. If the dealer then busts or scores less than you after holding then you win. If you score the same then this is called a ‘push’ and your stake is returned. Note that if your first two cards are an ace and a card worth ten then this is called ‘blackjack’ and you win your stake back plus one and half times your stake as your winnings.
Blackjack rules – further information
Once all players seated around the table have either decided to hold or have busted, then it is the dealer’s turn to play. The dealer cannot simply decide what to do – he must play while adhering to a strict set of rules as decreed by the casino. Usually some of these rules are printed on the cloth of the blackjack table so that players are aware of them. Among the usual blackjack rules is one that states that the dealer cannot hold on anything less than seventeen, even if all the remaining players at the table have scored sixteen or less. Also, the dealer cannot take any more cards once he has reached a total of seventeen or higher. Even if the remaining players all have totals higher than seventeen, if the dealer reaches seventeen he is not allowed to take another card in order to try and beat any of them.