How to Play Blackjack


Blackjack Origin. Blackjack is the most popular table game in casinos because it is a true game of skill, in which the casino is most easily beatable. it was played in old times as the "21" game and was not very popular initially. To make the game more enticing, some clubs began offering a 10 to 1 payout to any player who got on his first two cards the Ace of Spades plus the Jack of Clubs or the Jack of Spades, that is, one of the two black jacks. Hence the present name of the game. Evolution changed the rules somewhat. Nowadays, a blackjack is any two-card hand that adds up to 21 points, regardless of the face or color, which implies any ace plus any other card of value 10. The usual payoff for this hand also dropped to 3 to 2.

The object of the game is to beat the dealer, by making a higher valued hand than the dealer's hand, while not exceeding 21.

The value of a hand is found by adding up the value of all the cards in the hand. Face cards (jacks, queens and kings) are valued as 10. All other cards are counted at face value, except for the aces, which can be counted as either one or 11, whatever better suits the hand being played.

The Game: When the value of a hand exceeds 21 it is a "bust". If either the player or dealer busts, the other wins automatically. When dealer and player have hands of the same value it is a "push" or standoff and neither wins.

If the first two cards dealt to the player or dealer are an ace and a 10-valued card (a 10, jack, queen or king), he or she has a "blackjack". A blackjack is an immediate winner and pays the player one and a half times the bet (3 to 2 odds). All other winning hands of the player are paid at one-to-one or even money. If both the dealer and player are dealt a blackjack, it is a "push" with no winner.

 At the 4 Jacks Casino, the game is played with a six-deck shoe with a reshuffle after two thirds of the cards have been drawn. The dealer distributes two cards to the player and two to herself, dealt one at a time, with the first card going to the player. One of the dealer's cards is dealt face down and the other face up. The player plays his hand first, by taking additional cards ("hit") or finishing the hand ("stand") or making other decisions as described below. Then plays the dealer according to fixed rules and hands are compared.

How to Play: To begin play you should first place a bet by clicking the left button of the mouse on the chip or chips you wish to bet. Betting chips are located in the lower part of the table. You can bet as many chips as you wish, while the added value of the bet does not exceed the maximum allowed. Each click adds one chip to the bet and its value is automatically deducted from your balance. The total amount of the bet is shown in the "Bet" indicator at the lower right corner of the screen. If you change your mind and want to withdraw some or all the chips from the bet, you can do so by clicking the right button of your mouse on the betting circle. You can mix chips of different value in your bet. When the bet equals or exceeds the allowed minimum, the "DEAL" button activates. Then you can continue increasing your bet or can click on the "DEAL" button to be dealt your cards. Bets cannot exceed the allowed maximum and cannot be further changed after clicking the "DEAL" button, except by doubling the bet (see below).

Once the first two cards are dealt, several buttons may activate. These are the "HIT", "STAND", "DOUBLE",  "SPLIT", "SURRENDER", "INSURANCE" and "SKIP" buttons.

In normal hands only the "HIT", "STAND", "SURRENDER" and "DOUBLE" buttons are active. You may request an additional card by clicking on the "HIT" button, and so increase the value of your hand. You can "HIT" as many times as you like, but keep in mind the risk of exceeding 21 or "bust" and lose the hand. You may stop taking cards at any time you wish. Simply click on the "STAND" button to indicate you are done. Then the dealer will play her hand by taking cards until her total hand value is greater than sixteen.

The "DOUBLE" button offers you the option to duplicate ("Double Down") your bet after knowing what your two first cards are. But if you "double down" your hand, you will be dealt one and only one more card, so your hand will end with three cards. The "DOUBLE" button is active only when you have the first two cards dealt and deactivates after you receive a third card.

The "SURRENDER" button offers you the option of withdrawing half your bet after you have seen your two first cards and the face-up card of the dealer. Obviously this option should be chosen only when you decide that your hand is a probable loser, so you can cut your loss in half.

 The "INSURANCE" and "SKIP" buttons go active only when the dealer's face up card is an ace. You may select the "INSURANCE" option to make a second "insurance" bet to protect yourself against the possibility that the dealer has a blackjack (if her down card has a value of ten). The insurance bet is fixed as half the original bet and pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack (so you may lose the main bet, but winning the insurance bet you break even). If the dealer has no blackjack, you lose your insurance bet and the game continues. To take insurance you only need to click on the "INSURANCE" button, and the bet is made automatically. You can refuse insurance by clicking on the "SKIP" button.

The "SPLIT" button activates whenever you are dealt two cards of equal value (i. e. two fives or two jacks, etc.). You can click this button or play your hand ignoring it. The "SPLIT" option separates the two cards into two separate hands and places a corresponding second bet automatically, of the same amount as the first bet. Each hand is then played independently, the second after the first is completed. A red number (the total count of the hand) on a black square over the cards identify which hand is being played. You may split your original hand up to two times, making a maximum of three separate hands. You may take as many additional cards as you like for each hand, except for split aces, which are dealt one and only one additional card on each of the new hands. Combinations of different cards such as a jack/king, ten/queen, jack/queen pair, etc. cannot be split. The "Double Down" option is not available to split hands.

Sound: The game is loaded in silent mode. To activate sound, click and depress the small button with a musical note located at the upper right of the screen. A second mouse click will release this button and return to silent mode.

Rules for the Dealer: After the player has completed his or her hand without busting, the dealer plays hers following two simple fixed rules, regardless of the value of the player's hand:

a) If the dealer has sixteen or less, she must draw additional cards until she reaches seventeen or more.

b) The dealer must stand on hands totaling seventeen or higher, even if this value is lower than that of the player's hand.

Winnings: When the player wins, the computer pays showing the winnings as a pile of chips and adds the bet to the player's balance.

Payoff: All normal hands pay 1 to 1 or even money. A blackjack hand pays 3 to 2 or one and a half times the bet. Insurance bets pay 2 to 1. These rules and payoff regulations apply to the blackjack game played in the 4 Jacks Casino and conform to the rules and regulations found at most blackjack tables around the world, including those found in Las Vegas casinos.  

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