Blackjack Rules


Blackjack begins with a player (that's you) and a dealer (in the online game that represents the house). You will be dealt two cards, which will be face-up in the online game. The dealer also gets two cards, one of which is face-down (the hole card) with the other face-up (the "up" card). At that point you are confronted with the opportunity to make some decisions. Depending on what the exact situation is, you will have a number of options. You can HIT, which means you will take additional cards to your hand. You can STAND, which means that you are going to remain with the hand you have. You can DOUBLE, putting down an amount equal to your original bet, thereby "doubling" it, presumably because you believe that you have an especially strong hand, and/or the dealer has a weak hand. You can SPLIT if you have a pair, or in many cases, cards that are of equal numerical value (e.g., a 10 and a Jack, which both have a value of ten in blackjack). There are also certain blackjack games that allow you to SURRENDER, which is the process of giving up half your bet and saving the other half, because you feel that your chances of winning the hand are minimal.

Other player options are also available. If the dealer is showing an Ace as the upcard, you will be given the chance to take INSURANCE, in which you back up your original wager with an amount that is equal to half that wager. if the dealer turns up a ten-value card, constituting a two-card 21 (or "blackjack"), you are paid double. If it is not a ten-value card, you lose the insurance bet and play out the hand. When you get a two-card blackjack yourself, you are paid at 3-to-2 odds. You may be able to DOUBLE DOWN AFTER SPLIT, which means that upon splitting a pair, and hitting to either of those hands, you want to double down on one or both of those new hands. Some players are also able to RE-SPLIT, which allows them to split again after receiving a card of the same value to a hand they have already split. All wins that are produced by hands that are not the result of insurance, a blackjack or doubling are paid off at even money. In a land-based casino, there is room for seven players at a table, whereas in online blackjack you are generally playing a head-up game against the house.