Each player is then dealt two up-facing cards. The dealer receives two cards, one facing up and the other facing down...
The object of 'blackjack' is to reach cards totalling the value of as close to 21 as possible (Ideally 21) and beat the dealer. dealt hands that exceed this value are 'bust' and loose straight away.
Royal cards, Jack, Queen, King, all have a value of 10. Ace can be 1 or 11 depending on the hand. Ace is valued at one unless the hand goes bust in which case it will change value to 1. All other cards value in the deck are represented by their number. For instance, 6 would be worth 6.
How to play:
To begin with a dealer shuffles 4 - 8 (varies according to casino) packs of cards and places them in a card dispenser usually referred to as a 'shoe'. Each player will then need to place a minimum wager. Each player is then dealt two up-facing cards. The dealer receives two cards, one facing up and the other 'hole card' facing down. The dealer will then offer additional cards to each player at the table starting from the dealers left. Players now have the following options.
1) 'Stay' or 'stick' with the cards they have and take no more cards.
2) 'Double down' and place an additional bet in return for only one more card.
3) 'Split' the cards on condition that the two original dealt cards are of the same value. The player now has two hands each independent of the other.
4) Some casinos offer a 'surrender' option in which case a player will receive half of his original bet back.
Once all the players have been dealt their cards, the dealer then reveals his 'hole' card. If a player has made 'blackjack' they will win one and a half times their bet with the exception that the dealer also has blackjack. In this case there will be a 'push' and they will receive there money back.
Players who have higher value cards than the dealer and did not go 'bust' receive equal money back. For instance, if the original bet was $10, the player will receive 20$ back. Should the dealer 'bust' all players at the table who have not 'bust' themselves win.
There are a number of variations of the blackjack game. Some are advantages to the player others give more of an advantage to the 'house'
-The number f decks used varies from casino to casino. In general the less decks used the better the odds for the player.
-Allowing the dealer to hit a 'soft' 17 allows the dealer a chance to improve his hand. For instance, a dealer may receive a 5 and an Ace. This would make 17 and the dealer would normally have to 'stick' however, soft 17 allows the dealer to deal himself another card and possibly get a better hand.
-Casinos that allow re -splitting cards can be vary advantageous to the player
-Allowing a 'double down' after 'splitting' a hand is a big advantage to the player if utilized well.