Cards are counted at their face value. Kings, Queens, and Jacks each have a point count of 10. Aces count as either 1 or 11 at the discretion of the player.
The dealer starts the game by giving each player two cards, face up.
The dealer also takes two cards — one face up (the “up card”) and one face down (the “hole card”). After looking at your hand, you can either “stand” (draw no more cards) or signal the dealer for a “hit” (draw another card) until you reach a level as close as you choose to 21 without going over. To “stand,” wave your hand over your cards. To “hit,” simply tap the table next to your cards. The dealer then flips over his hole card. If the dealer shows a soft 17 or less he must draw more cards. If the dealer shows a hard 17 or greater, the dealer must stand.
If your hand goes over 21, it is called a “bust,” and the dealer automatically wins. If your hand is the same as the dealer’s, it’s called a “push” (tie), and your bet is returned. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s count or the dealer draws over 21, you win! And, if the first two cards you’re dealt total exactly 21 (an Ace and a ten-value card), that’s a blackjack! Blackjack is only available on the first two cards dealt to you and pays one-and-a-half times your bet.
If you are dealt two cards of equal value, you may “split” them into two separate hands. You must match your original bet if you “split” a pair.
You may “split” up to three times (making a total of four hands). You can take as many “hits” as you like on each hand. If you “split” a pair of Aces, you will only receive one card on each of the hands. Aces may only be “split” once for a total of two hands. If you get a blackjack on a “split”. it pays even money.
After receiving your first two cards, you may choose to “double down” by increasing your wager from the table minimum up to the amount of your original bet. You will then receive only one additional card. You may also “double down” after splitting a pair, excluding “split” Aces.
When the dealer’s “up card” is an Ace, you have the option of making an “Insurance” wager. You must wager half of your original bet that the dealer has a ten-value “hole card.” If the dealer has blackjack, you win and get paid two-to-one for your insurance wager. If the dealer doesn’t, you lose and the dealer takes your insurance bet. An insurance wager may be made only until the dealer closes insurance.
These simple key rules will help in play:
Play so that the dealer’s down card is a ten value card.
If the player’s total is closer to 21 than the dealer’s total, the player wins!
If the player hits and the total is more than 21, the player loses.
If the player and the dealer have the same total, it is a tie (push).