Casino Blackjack: Rules of the Game
Browse Related Browse Related. Need to be sure which is the standard and which is the exception… Thanks. When you are dealt a pair of cards of the same rank, you are allowed to split the pair into two separate hands and play them independently. Some casinos will allow you to resplit if you draw another Ace, and some will not. They are just 21s. Even though a 21 gained through a split is still only paid 1:
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But that guaranteed profit comes at a price. Let me show you how it works:. So, casinos allow you to eliminate the insurance bet altogether, and simply declare that you want "even money" for your blackjack when the dealer has an Ace showing. The problem is that you are still making a bad bet on insurance, which costs you money. A player who does not count cards should simply never take the insurance bet, even the "even money" variety.
Some games offer the player a chance to fold their hand, and forfeit half of their bet. This surrender option must be done as the very first action the player takes on the hand. In other words, you can't draw a card and then decide to bail out! Even when surrender is available, it is rarely used by players. Often, the rules posted at the table won't mention it even if the casino allows it.
And many players just don't like the idea of surrendering a hand. But for a smart player, it is a useful option, and reduces the house advantage by about 0. When surrender is available, make sure you know the correct strategy for using it. Most players who use the option surrender too many hands.
If your game offers surrender, I recommend reading my complete explanation of blackjack surrender. In the most common variety known as "late" surrender , a player cannot surrender until after the dealer has checked for blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, you will lose your entire bet with no chance of surrendering for half the cost.
Generally, the dealer in blackjack must hit if he has a total of 16 or less, and stand if he has 17 or more.
Seventeen is a weak hand, so if the dealer is allowed to try to improve the soft 17 hands, it makes the game tougher. When a dealer is allowed to hit soft 17, it adds about 0. Almost all other areas used the better rule of standing on all 17s. Over the years, more and more casinos have switched to hitting soft 17, and there are now far more H17 games than S17 games. You can still find some games where the dealer stands on all 17s, even in casinos where some of the tables use the H17 rule.
After splitting a pair, many casinos will allow you to double-down on a two-card hand that arises as a result of the split.
For example, if you split a pair of eights, and draw a 3 on the first hand, it is valuable to be able to double-down on the resulting hand of As mentioned in the previous section discussion on pair splitting, there are several common restrictions on splitting Aces. You will receive only one card on each Ace after splitting. Some casinos will allow you to resplit if you draw another Ace, and some will not. That's true even if the casino allows resplits of all other pairs.
Many casinos in Europe, and some in other parts of the world, handle the dealer's second card differently. In these "European No Hole Card" games, the dealer only deals himself one card at the beginning of the round.
After all the players have completed their hands, he deals his own second card and completes the hand. Contrast that with the normal US style of play. There, if the dealer has a ten or Ace card up, he checks the other card immediately to see if he has a blackjack. If he does, the hand is over. This process of "peeking" under the hole card to check for blackjack means that players can only lose one bet per hand if the dealer has a blackjack.
In a No-Hole-Card game, a player might split or double and have multiple bets at risk to a dealer blackjack, because the dealer cannot check ahead of time. This changes the optimal strategy, and means that players should usually not split or double against a dealer ten or Ace upcard. An exception is splitting Aces against a dealer ten. Note that there are a few no-hole-card games where the rules specifically say that only one bet will be collected from a player if the dealer has a blackjack.
In those games, although there is no hole card, you can play the game as if there were. That means you should play it as a Peek game, even though there's not really a peek! It's all a bit confusing. When the No-Hole-Card rule is in use, and all bets are at risk to a dealer blackjack, it costs the player 0. Use the "No-Peek" option at our Strategy Engine.
Ok this one's an extremely rare variation which I doubt you will see in any casinos today but I thought I'd mention. Similarly there is a rule variation whereby the player automatically wins when drawing 7 cards without busting which is called a "Seven Card Charlie".
The most important item is the sign declaring betting limits. Both the minimum and the maximum allowable bets should be on a sign on the table-top. Look around to find a table that suits your bet sizes. Make sure that the table you have selected is actually for blackjack, and not another of the many kinds of table games that casinos offer.
Look on the table for the phrase " Blackjack pays 3 to 2 ". Avoid any games that say " Blackjack pays 6 to 5 " instead. See 6 to 5 Blackjack? Beginners should start off playing the shoe games. The advantage in this style is that all of the players' cards are dealt face-up, so the dealer and other players can easily help you with playing questions and decisions.
Once you become proficient at the game, you may want to switch to a game with fewer decks since that lowers the casino's advantage. The dealer will exchange the entire amount of cash for the equivalent in chips, and drop the cash into a box on the table. Take a quick look at the chips to make sure you know the value of each color.
If you have any questions, just ask the dealer. Part of his job is to help players learn the game. Once you are ready to place a bet, wait for the current hand to be completed, then push your bet into the betting circle. Your chips should be in one stack. If you are betting multiple denominations of chips, place the larger valued chips on the bottom of the stack, and the smaller value chips on top. Once the cards have been dealt, you are not allowed to touch the bet in the circle.
If you need to know how much you have bet for doubling or splitting explained later , the dealer will count down the chips for you.
Once the hand is over, the dealer will move around the table to each position in turn, paying winning hands and collecting the chips from losing hands. After the dealer has paid you, you can remove your chips from the circle, and place your next bet. If you want to let your winnings ride, you will need to form one stack of chips from the two or more stacks on the table after the dealer pays you. Remember, higher value chips should be placed on the bottom of the stack. When you are ready to leave the table, you do not cash in your chips the same way you bought them.
The dealer cannot give you cash for the chips at the table. To do that, you must take the chips to the casino cashier. If you have a lot of low denomination chips in front of you at the table, you should trade them for the equivalent higher value chips instead.
In between hands, just tell the dealer you want to "color up", and he will have you push your chips into the middle of the table. He will count them down, and give you a smaller stack of chips that amount to the same value. This makes them easier to carry for you, and for the dealer it maintains his supply of smaller chips. Now you can take those chips to another table for more play, or head to the casino cashier where you can exchange them for cash. So, if you have made it this far, congratulations.
You should have a good idea of what to expect when you sit down at a blackjack table in the casino. What we have not talked about is how to actually make the best decisions while playing the game. That is a whole subject all its own.
To have the best chance of winning, you should learn and practice "basic strategy", which is the mathematically best way to play each hand against each possible dealer upcard. For a free chart that shows the right play in every case, visit our Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine. If you are looking to play from the comfort of your home, you can visit our online blackjack or live dealer blackjack sections for further resources. Hopefully I've covered just about everything you need.
But if you have other questions, feel free to post a reply at the bottom of the page. Our free blackjack game lets you play at your pace, and the Strategy Coach provides instant feedback on the best strategy. To find the best strategy, use our most popular resource: The Blackjack Strategy Engine provides free strategy charts that are optimized for your exact rules.
If you prefer a plastic card that you can take to the table with you, we have those too: Blackjack Basic Strategy Cards. The original version of this explanation of the rules of blackjack has a very long history here at BlackjackInfo. I created and published it here sometime in It was widely copied by other sites, and it has appeared without my permission on literally hundreds of sites over the years.
When I relaunched BlackjackInfo with a new mobile-friendly design in , I took the opportunity to write this all-new version. Hmmm seems I have been making some bad calls for years now, I thought splitting tens against anything but an ace or 10 was a good move: If a player decides to stand on 15 for whatever reason and the dealer has 16, must the dealer still draw another card since it is less than 17?
Is there any significance in blackjack when you have a black jack paired with a black ace, same suit? The question came up on the multiple choice question on Millionaire. I guessed 16 but the answer was 32??? In playing 21 with one deck off cards aND two people playing, in playing Blackjack with one deck of cards and two people playing what is the most black jack show up.
Ken, This may not be the most appropriate page to post this, but let me explain the situation. I aspire to hopefully gather a group of trustworthy guys together to form a blackjack team.
Team play is complicated and far more involved than a group of friends pooling resources. There is not much published on team play. The following book may be helpful. The strategy does not change, but the player is worse off by around 0.
As the dealer I get up to Can the dealer chose to stay and take the chips bet from player on the left. But pay the player on the right? His rules are fixed. He must hit until he has 17 or higher, and then he must stand. Even if all the players at the table have 18, the dealer must stand if he ends up with a Most casinos now deal games with an extra rule about soft This is covered in detail in the article above.
I have a question. I signed up on an online casino and I was getting ready to play blackjack for real money and I asked the live chat help person how many decks were being used and she said 24 decks. Casinos, both online and land-based, can deal the game pretty much any way they like, including increasing the number of decks to a ridiculous 24!
Fortunately, once you get to 8 decks, the game does not get much worse for the player by adding even more decks. Eight decks is the most typically seen in brick-and-mortar casinos, but in most jurisdictions, land-based or online, there is no legal requirement for any specific number of decks. Is there any standard in the way a dealer deals from the deck? You are describing a CSM continuous shuffle machine , where after each hand the dealer immediately puts the used cards back into the shuffler.
As you note, this eliminates the ability to count cards, or to even observe a useful bias. Since used cards can return into play immediately, the penetration is effectively zero. These machines have spread widely. The only recourse is to see if your casino also still offers regular games either hand-shuffled, or machine-shuffled but with a normal discard tray. If not, voice your discontent and look elsewhere.
Should I be able to ask a casino to provide a copy of their rules? I assume you are talking about online casinos. I didnt catch it at first but sure enough when I drew another card I busted. This particular game would not count both my Aces as one. Is this ever done at a casino? Who knows what else they are doing wrong!
To answer your question, no, this is never done at any casino I have visited. Is this a good bet? What is the house percentage? Yes, there are outstanding opportunities afforded by some sidebets under some circumstances, but if you are able to figure out how to beat them, you no longer need to ask about them.
So, the answer to that question is always no. I read the following in the Casino Verite Software: Can you help me with this? There you can find: This works because of the unbalanced nature of the count. Or do I need to count them equally? Treat them independently, and reassess after each drawn card changes the hand.
Here are some examples: You will draw each of those hands about once every hands or so. As to whether or not to double, 9,3 is a hard 12 and should certainly never be doubled.
Also against a dealer 4 in some 1 and 2 deck games. See the Strategy Engine for accurate advice for any game. I assume you are asking about accessing the charts on your smartphone in the casino. I do not recommend that. In the US, there are laws prohibiting the use of devices in gambling. Most of these laws are based on the Nevada version, which is written in a way that it could be interpreted to mean even something as harmless as looking up a strategy.
If you want access to the strategy in the casino, get a plastic card instead. The shoe game will be easier for a visually impaired player, because both the other players and the dealer have full access to the needed information about the hands.
I have played at the table on many occasions with blind players, and the dealer has always assisted by verbally providing the details of the hand.
Awesome page, One question.. Is this a standard rule? Need to be sure which is the standard and which is the exception… Thanks. I have seen the behavior you describe in online casinos, but I have never seen it dealt that way in any land-based casino. There, the dealer always deals a card to the first split hand, finishes that hand, and then deals a card to the second split hand and begins it.
I was in Cancun in a casino and in one hand I had 2 Aces against dealer King. I split the 2 Aces and I,ve got Queens on both aces but the dealer draw a card that was an Ace and said that he won since he had blackjack and I only had Blackjack is 21 in the first two cards, and it beats a total of 21, even the case of splitting and getting two hands that look like blackjack.
They are just 21s. But when the dealer does not take a hole card and all bets are subject to losing to a potential dealer blackjack , you should not double or split against a dealer ten or ace because of this. Hi, can please anyone help me with an answer. Do casinos now change the deck of cards after every game or not?
Because I heard lot of people saying that now it is impossible to memorise cards that are still in the game. But I am not sure if this is due to change or because casino use so many decks at once I read above that there are 8 decks in the game. I think what you are trying to describe are continuous shuffle machines CSMs , which allow the dealer to put the discards back into the machine immediately instead of waiting until the shuffled shoe is completed.
The use of a CSM does eliminate the ability to count cards. Fortunately, there are still plenty of games available in most areas that do not use CSMs.
The difference is that you must draw a card to your total of 9, whether you double or not. Standing is not an option. With A8 instead, you already have a completed solid hand of Basic strategy will reduce the house edge, but not eliminate it. In typical games, your long-run expectation will be to lose around half a percent of your total action.
Yes, tipping the dealer is common. If a dealer is pleasant, I like to tip a small amount on the hand after I get blackjack, but even then I skip some hands. It was a cool list. Despite the title, it covered many unusual rule variations. Understand the rules here, and then visit the Strategy Engine to see the appropriate plays. Practice with the Trainer. Are you asking about a rule that pays you for having 5 cards and not busting? The free Windows software at this site will analyze these rules for you, including optimal strategy and the effect on the game.
Free BJ Combinatorial Software. Tell me about the best place to sit at a table in Vegas. I have heard that you do not want to be on the end. If you are a basic strategy player, it makes no difference where you sit.
If you are a card counter, you can see an extra few cards before you play your hand by sitting at the end, which helps a small bit. For that reason, many players avoid it. When the dealer has a 2 through 6 up, they must draw another card except A6 depending on the table rules.
As a result, the dealer busts more often with those upcards. This is why standing on player totals of is the best play against the small dealer upcards. As for 12v2 and 12v3, those are just exceptions you have to remember.
No, pairs and soft hands are completely different. Use the Strategy Engine to see how to play any situation. Any thoughts on this difference? It is likely that you saw players doubling A7v2, not just hitting it. Hitting would simply be a mistake, as it is the third best way to play the hand. The choice of whether to stand or double with A7v2 is a close one. In fact, correct basic strategy for that hand depends on whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17s. The strategy engine takes all this into account when creating an accurate strategy chart for you.
In S17 games, you should stand. In H17 games, you should double. Except in single deck. Can a person win under those rules? I quit playing there. Also shop in Also shop in. Our poker table feature with a solid MDF panel with steel legs for strength and durability, with a real casino feel.
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