The casino classic Blackjack, or 21 as it’s also known, is a simple card game that’s packed with anticipation and exhilaration. Here’s how to play.
Pick your table
Walk around and take a look at the different Blackjack tables. Each will have a sign showing the minimum bet needed to play, so find the one that best suits your betting level and take a seat. To get your playing chips, put your money on the table and the dealer will exchange it for cash chips. Now it’s game on!
To start the game just place a bet in the marked box. If the table is busy you may find other players place bets behind you on the box, and stand next to you. This just lets more players get involved in the game, but you still make all the decisions. The dealer will deal you two cards and one for themselves. Each card has a numerical value; numbered cards are self-explanatory; face cards are 10 and Ace cards can be either 1 or 11 depending on your hand.
The aim of the game is get as close as you can to 21 without going over or ‘bust’. Once you have your two cards and the dealer has theirs, add up their value, then there are two ways you can play things:
If the value of your cards isn’t close enough to 21 you can ask for another to be drawn and added to your total. Either ask the dealer for a card, or tap your finger by your cards to indicate you want another. You can do this as many times as you like – although the odds say it’s best to stop at 17. If you go over 21 or ‘bust’ you automatically lose your bet.
If your card total is quite high already, you may choose to stay or ‘Stand’ with what you have. To let the dealer know, simply say ‘no more cards’, ‘stand’, or wave your hand over your cards. If you manage to get 21 or ‘Blackjack’ with your first two cards you’ll be paid 3 to 2 odds – the only exception being if the dealer gets ‘Blackjack’ too.
The dealer’s turn
Once everyone at the table has finished drawing cards, the dealer will draw another for themselves. They must draw cards until they reach at least 17. If you beat the dealer – your total is higher than theirs or they go ‘bust’ – your bet will be paid. If they beat you you’ll lose your bet, and if you tie your bet will be returned to you.
Get more from the game
Once you’ve mastered the basics there are a few things you can do to make the game a little more exciting.
Doubling: If you’re feeling confident, you can double your original bet, but you’ll only get to play one more card. Your dealer will advise you how to do this.
Splitting: If the first two cards you receive are a pair you can choose to split your hand in two to create more chances to win. You should place
a bet equal to your first bet for every new hand. It’s good to know if you’re splitting Aces, you’ll only receive one additional card and can’t achieve Blackjack.
If you’ve won and want to leave the game, all you have to do to ‘cash-in’ your chips at the Cash Desk and enjoy your winnings!