# Blackjack Rules: How To Play Blackjack

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Playing Blackjack the player tries to draw cards with a total of 21 points. The main aim of blackjack is to beat the dealer. To do this the player must have a hand that will be higher than the dealer’s and not to go over 21.

The suits of the cards do not play any role in the game. The hand value is simply calculated by summing up the point value of each card in the hand.

## The Value of Cards

 = 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
 = 10.10 and all the face cards have the value of 10
 = 1 or 11. An Ace is counted as 1 or 11.

## Blackjack Hands

Let’s now consider the most common hands in blackjack that players should remember.

=21 Blackjack or Natural is a hand of two cards that equals 21 immediately after the deal. The hand is formed by an Ace and a card with a value of 10.

=16 Soft Hand is a hand with an Ace where the Ace can be counted as 11 without exceeding a total point value of 21.

=16 Hard Hand is a hand without an Ace, or a hand with an Ace where the Ace is valued at 1 point.

## How to play blackjack?

Blackjack is played with 1 through 8 decks of 52 cards. The cards are dealt from a special box, known as a shoe. As a rule, the decks are reshuffled after each game.The player makes a bet before any cards are dealt. Then the player gets two cards and the dealer has two cards too, one of them is dealt face up and one is face down. The dealer’s hole card remains unknown until the player has completed his hand. The player makes a decision about how to play the hand based on the two dealt cards and the dealer’s face-up card. After the player has decided to stand (stop taking cards), the dealer turns over his hole card. If his hand is 17 or more he must stand. If the dealer’s hand totals 16 or under the dealer must hit (take more cards). Sometimes a casino lets the dealer hit on a soft 17, adding to the house edge.

If the first two cards total 21(an ace and any 10-value card ), it is Blackjack, the highest hand of the game. If the player has blackjack he wins unless the dealer has blackjack as well, in this case the hand is a “push” or a tie.

If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, the player can make “insurance” to guard against the risk that the dealer holds a blackjack. The insurance pays 2:1 if the dealer’s hand is a blackjack. The dealer with blackjack wins except the player’s hand that also has a blackjack.

All the possible bets are posted on the table. The player wins 1:1 that is the same amount as he bets. The payout for blackjack is 3:2.

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## Player Options

 HIT The player can HIT meaning he wants another cards. The player can hit as many times as he likes until he busts or forms a hand of 21. STAND The player can STAND. When the player stands, it means he doesn’t want to take more cards. DOUBLE DOWN The player can DOUBLE DOWN the bet after the first two cards have been dealt. Some of the casinos allow doubling only on a total of 9, 10, or 11 though some others allow doubling on any hand. After doubling down, the player will get only one more card. SPLIT If the player has a pair he may SPLIT it, and play them independently. The original bet will go with one card and an equal amount will be added to the new hand.

## Extra Blackjack Options

Besides these blackjack options there are some extra blackjack options: Insurance, Even Money and Surrender.

Insurance. An additional side bet, half of the original bet, available to players after the initial deal when the dealer shows an Ace. If the dealer turns up a natural 21, the player with insurance is paid 2:1 on the insurance bet, but not the original bet. If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, the Insurance bet is lost.

Even Money. In the event of the player has a Blackjack and the dealer’s up card is an Ace, the player can place an Even Money bet, which costs half of the original bet. The Even Money bet protects player from a push if the dealer has Blackjack as well. If the dealer has Blackjack, the player will get his initial bet back and the Even Money bet, 2:1.

Surrender is the option which is not available in all casinos. Surrender allows the player to surrender half of his original bet if he considers that he has a losing hand. This bet can be made before the player says: “Hit” or “Stand”. Thanks to this option the player can save half of his original bet.

There are two types of surrender – EARLY and LATE. Early Surrender allows the player to take half of his bet before the dealer checks for Blackjack. The Late Surrender allows the player to surrender only after the dealer has checked his hole card for Blackjack.

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