Blackjack ABC

How to Play Online Blackjack

The goal is to get the cards you’ve been dealt to add up to as close to – or ultimately reach – the number 21, without going over that number which in this latter instance is referred to as a 'busted hand'.

  • You will be dealt two cards, both face up.
  • The dealer will also be dealt two cards, only one of which will be face up – this is the Up Card. The face down card is the Hole Card.
  • Add up the total of your cards. Remember an ace can be either 1 or 11, so decide how you are scoring your ace.
  • Look at the dealer’s Up Card and calculate whether you think you can score more than them without going Bust (scoring over 21).
  • You now have to make your player decisions – whether to draw another card (Hit) or stick with the cards you have (Stand).
  • Once you have made your playing decisions the dealer’s Hole Card will be revealed. Depending on the house rules you can do either of the following:
    • Do you wish to Double Down? (Double your bet and have just one more card dealt).
    • If you have cards of the same value, do you wish to Split? You will then have two hands and two bets.
  • You will then be dealt additional cards until you either Stick or Bust.
  • You have either beaten the dealer’s hand or not.
    • If you have a higher hand than them (but less than or equal to 21) you win.
    • If you beat them with a Blackjack (that is, they don’t have a Blackjack too) you generally get 3-2.
    • If you beat them with any other value then the payout is generally 1-1.
    • If you tie with the dealer (a Push) neither one wins, all bets are returned.
    • If the dealer gets a Blackjack you will only lose your money if you have either Doubled Down or Split.

House Dealer Rules
Just as you have rules to follow, so does the House (or casino). Dealers do not make decision they simply follow published rules. These tend to be as follows:

Learn them and you can anticipate what they will do which can help you decide what action you wish to take for your own hand.

  • The dealer must reveal both cards as soon as all players have Stood.
  • If the dealer’s total hand is 16 or below then they must Hit.
  • If the dealer’s total hand is 17 up to 21 then they must Stand.
  • If the dealer’s hand is a Soft 17 (one card is an ace) some casinos will require them to Hit.

Make sure you are aware of the rules of your game – it will make all the difference for those difficult decisions which could go either way.

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