Find an appropriate bet-limit table and place a bet by the chips in the designated area. Depending on how many people are playing, the dealer will deal each player two cards. The dealer is also dealt two cards, one face up, and one face down.
You are then offered the opportunity to take more. If you would like another card, then you tap the table with your fingers or say "hit me". If you want to stay or "stand" with what you have, then wave your hand horizontally over the table or simply tuck your cards underneath your bet.
The hand with the highest total wins as long as it doesn't exceed 21. A hand with a value over 21 is called a "bust" or "break" and it is an automatic loser.
- Cards 2 through 10 are counted at face value.
- The following cards Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10.
- An Ace's value is 11 unless this would cause the player to bust, in which case it is worth 1.
A hand in which an ace's value is counted as 11 is called a soft hand, because it cannot be busted if the player draws another card. When an ace is counted as one point, this is called a hard hand.
The best possible hand in Blackjack is a combination of an Ace with a 10-card or a face card. This is an automatic 21, when counting the Ace as an 11, and is called, "Blackjack", or a Natural. It cannot be beaten, unless the dealer has the same, which would be a Push, a tie. In a push, the player receives the bet back.
The minimum bet is printed on a sign on the table and varies from casino to casino and from table to table. For example Minimum $5, Maximum $500.
Dealers play according to house rules for their table. Be aware that blackjack odds may vary from table to table. Feel free to ask the dealer for clarification.
Your opponent in blackjack is the dealer. Each player's goal is to beat the dealer by having the higher, unbusted hand. Note that if the player busts he loses, even if the dealer also busts. If both the player and the dealer have the same point value, it is called a "push", and neither player nor dealer wins the hand. Each player has an independent game with the dealer, so it is possible for the dealer to lose to one player but still beat the other players in the same round.