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Blackjack

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The game of Blackjack or “21” has been played in many forms for over 200 years. The game, as we know it today, has developed from a combination of other games. In recent years, “21” has gained popularity to become the most frequently played casino game.

TERMINOLOGY

In Blackjack there are many colorful terms used throughout the course of the game. It is helpful to understand the more common terms in order to follow the progress of the game.

Bust or Go Broke To go over 21
First Base The first player to receive cards from the dealer
Hit To take an additional card
Hole Card The face-down card in the dealer’s hand
Push When the player’s hand totals the same as the dealer’s hand, you neither win or lose
Scratch The motion made by the player indicating that he wants to take a hit
Soft Hand A hand wherein an Ace is counted as an 11 (i.e. an Ace and a 6 = Soft 17)
Stand To decline a hit by sliding cards under bet
Stiff A hand that will bust if hit by a face-card or 10
Third Base The last player to receive cards from the dealer

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME

The object of the game is to draw cards that total as close as possible to 21 without exceeding it. The dealer begins by dealing two cards to each player and two cards to himself, one card face-down and one card face-up. Any Jack, Queen, or King will have a value of 10. All Aces count as 1 or 11. All other cards will have their face value. If your hand totals more than 21, turn your cards face-up immediately as you have automatically lost. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, you have won; if it is less, you have lost. If it is the same, you have “pushed.” If your first two cards total 21 (any Ace with a face-card or 10), you have a Blackjack. You will be paid at the rate of three-to-two or one-and-a-half-to-one unless the dealer has a Blackjack, in which case you will have a “push.”

SIX OR EIGHT DECK

After dealing the cards to each player and himself, the dealer then starts with the first player on his left to see if that player wishes additional cards. Players DO NOT touch their cards, which are dealt face up next to their respective bets. If the player wants a hit, he makes a scratching motion towards himself with his hand. If the player feels that his hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s and wants to stand, he makes a waving motion over his cards. The dealer follows this procedure with the next player to the right until all players are satisfied or have gone “broke.” The dealer then exposes his down card and stands or draws more cards. The dealer must draw to any count up to and including 16 and must stand on 17, except a Soft 17. A Soft 17 is any combination of cards totaling 6 with an Ace that can be counted as 11 (i.e. Ace, 6; Ace, 4, 2).

Doubling Down: A player may elect to increase his bet by any amount up to his original wager. A player may double-down any two cards, including after splitting, regardless of their value. The dealer will then give him one additional card face-up.

Splitting Pairs: If the players first two cards are a pair (any two cards of the same value), he may elect to split them by matching his original wager. Split Aces get one card each face-up. All other splits may be hit as often as necessary.

Insurance: In the event the dealer’s exposed card is an Ace, he will offer “insurance” to all the players before checking his hole card. Insurance pays at the rate of two-to-one, and the player may wager any amount up to one-half of his original bet.

DOUBLE DECK “21”

Double Deck 21 rules differ from Multiple Deck 21 as follows:

The Deal: Players may pick up their cards, which are both dealt face-down. If he wants a “hit” he indicates so by scratching his cards on the table top by his bet. If he wants to “stand”, he simply slides his cards under his bet.

Doubling Down: A player may Double Down on 9, 10 or 11 on the condition that one and only one additional card shall be dealt to the hand on which he/she has elected to double down. The dealer will then give him one additional card face down.