The king of casino card games, Blackjack is available to be played as a single handed game (where you are dealt only one hand to play against the Dealer), or as a multi-hand game (where you are dealt more than one hand to play). The rules for Blackjack and Multi-hand Blackjack are the same.
The overall aim of Blackjack is to beat the Dealer. You can do this either by ending up with a hand that has a higher value than that of the Dealer, or by getting cards to the value of 21. Your card value cannot exceed 21. If you get the value of 21 using only two cards (an Ace and a card with a value of 10), this is called Blackjack.
At the beginning of a game of Blackjack, once you have made your bets, you are dealt two cards face-up. (If you are playing Multi-hand Blackjack you are dealt two cards for every hand you are playing). The Dealer is also dealt 2 cards – one face-up and one face-down. You can then take a number of actions per hand, depending on the value of your cards and the strategy you are playing.
Card values are:
- Cards 2 – 10: face value
- All picture cards: 10
- Aces: 11 or 1 (your choice)
This is how wins are calculated in Blackjack and Multi-hand Blackjack:
- If you get Blackjack (an Ace and a 10-value card) on your first two cards you automatically win and are paid out at odds of 3-2. This means that your original bet is returned to you, plus one and a half times the value of the bet extra.
- If your hand wins, but you don't have Blackjack you get your original bet back, plus the same value as your bet extra
- If you lose to the Dealer (where the Dealer ends up with a higher hand value than you), you lose your bet. You can take Insurance against a loss in some situations (the game will prompt you) – in this case you are still paid out at odds of 2:1 one on your Insurance bet. This means that if you take Insurance to the value of half your bet and you lose, you get your original bet back.
What follows is a guide to playing the online Blackjack or Multi-hand Blackjack games.
- Choose the chip size that you wish to bet, using the + and – buttons
- Click inside the betting circle where your hands will be dealt (Blackjack gives you one betting circle, while Multi-hand Blackjack gives you a betting circle for each hand you will receive). You can bet multiple chips by left-clicking repeatedly, and you can remove a chip by right-clicking.
- When you have placed your bets, click the Deal button. The cards are now dealt to each of your hands and to the Dealer.
You now need to play each of your hands, according to the established rules of Blackjack (you will be prompted for each action), and depending on what Blackjack strategy you wish to use (this is up to you).
You have the following options:
- Hit – you receive another card. You can receive up to 9 extra cards to end up with a maximum of 11 cards per hand. If your hand still does not exceed 21 your hand automatically stands.
- Stand – you do not receive another card. The turn passes to the dealer once you have chosen to Stand on all your hands.
- Split – if you are dealt a pair or two cards of the same value (like a 10 and a King) you can split them into two different hands. This requires you to make a new bet on the new hand that results from the split, equal to your original bet. You can split up to 3 times (but Aces can only be split once).
- Double Down – you double your bet and receive one more card only.
- Take Insurance – when the dealer's face-up card is an Ace, you can take insurance against the eventuality that the dealer will end up with Blackjack. This costs you an additional bet to the value of half your original bet.
Once you have made all your game actions, it is the turn of the Dealer. The Dealer first checks for Blackjack, and if he has it, the game immediately ends and you lose all your bets, except where you also have a Blackjack. Note the Blackjack (21 using only an Ace and a 10) always beats other combinations that add up to 21.
If any of your hands exceeds 21 you are Bust and you lose your bet on that hand. The same goes for the Dealer, and the dealer is also forced to stand on a soft 17.
You lose all bets where the Dealer's hand has a higher value than yours, without exceeding 21. Where your hand values are equal to the Dealer's, this is called a Push, and your bet is returned to you.
Other Blackjack terms:
- Blackjack - a 2-card hand containing an Ace and a card with the value of 10.
- 21 – when the total value of all your cards equals 21, without it being Blackjack.
- Bust – if your hand value ends up more than 21, the hand is bust
- Hole Card – the face-down card that the Dealer is dealt