Object of the Game
To beat the point value of the dealer's hand without going over 21.
How to Play
After the bets are placed, each player receives two cards and the dealer receives one card. All cards are dealt face up. If the initial two cards you are dealt total 21, you have a Blackjack, which pays 3 to 2 on your bet. If the dealer also has a Blackjack, you would push (tie). If you do not have a Blackjack and feel the total of your first two cards can beat the dealer's total, you would "stand," meaning you would not draw any additional cards. If you feel you need additional cards to beat the dealer, you gesture for each new card ("hit") with your hand until you are satisfied and decide to stand. Once all players have played their hands, the dealer will complete his or her hand. If the dealer has a soft* 17 or less, he or she must draw additional cards until a hard** 17 or more is reached. If the dealer exceeds 21, all players who have 21 (or less) win. Otherwise the dealer compares his or her point total to each player's. All winning bets are paid even money (one to one).
* A soft hand is a hand that includes an Ace and has two totals, neither of which exceeds 21.
** A hard hand is a hand in which there is no Ace or the Ace counts as one.
Face cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks) have a value of 10. Numbered cards are worth their face value except Ace, which can count as 1 or 11.
When you "double down," you double your original bet and receive one additional card.
If you have two cards of equal value in one hand, you may split them into two separate hands. In order to split, simply place an additional bet, equal to your original bet. With split Aces, you receive only one additional card per hand.
Once you have received your original two cards, you have the option of "surrendering" if you do not like the cards you received. The dealer will take half of your original bet and your hand is discarded. You can surrender on any original two-card hand, except when the dealer has an Ace or a face card.
If the Dealer's first card is an Ace, players are offered the option of insuring their bets against the possibility of the dealer's final hand being a Blackjack. Insurance bets are up to one half of your original bet. If the dealer's hand is not a Blackjack, the player loses his or her insurance bet.
If the dealer's hand is a Blackjack, the insurance bet is paid two times the amount paid for the insurance.
All winning bets are paid even money except for Blackjack, which pays three to two. When a push (tie) occurs, the player keeps the original bet. A Blackjack, two cards that equal 21, beats all other combinations of cards that equal 21. A two-card 21 on split hands is not a Blackjack.