How To Play Casino Blackjack And Win

Blackjack is a fun game and it certainly has changed since Dr. Thorp published "Beat the Dealer" in and gave us tips for optimal play at casino blackjack tables.

Yet, like all games, the more you know, the better your experience will be. To find success at the blackjack tables, there are a number of simple rules that you'll want to follow.

From how to handle yourself in the casino to understanding the best way to play every hand, a few tips will help you reduce the casino's edge. Before you even hit the casino floor, brush up and study the basic strategies of blackjack. After all, you can't expect to win if you don't know how to play because luck can only take you so far. Understand how the game is dealt, the values of the cards, and learn your way around the table. Even if you've played before, a quick refresher certainly can't hurt.

From there, you can study blackjack strategy. It's important that you know what to do when you have a hard hand or a soft hand when you're dealt an ace. You would be amazed at how often a player sits at a table and doesn't know the limit, or even what game they are playing. Don't fall victim to this and scope out the table before you sit down.

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  • If your cards total higher than the dealer's cards without going over 21 you win. You are not trying to get close to If your hand or the dealer's hand goes over 21 you "Bust." If you bust you automatically lose. If the dealer busts and you do not you win. The player must act first. If the player busts he loses.
  • blackajck how to win. Blackjack is a game based on mathematical probability. The first thing you always read about playing blackjack properly is that you must learn basic strategy. That is % correct. If you don't use basic strategy, you're just throwing money onto the table and playing hunches – exactly what the casino.
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Start with the obvious and make sure you are on a standard blackjack game. Then, read the table limits for the minimum and maximum you can bet in each hand. You'll also want to make sure you understand any special table rules. Learn which first two cards you can double down on and which you can split as well as how many times you can do that.

Find out if you have other options like a surrender and whether that can be done early or late. The dealer can make or break your casino experience. Find dealers that are friendly so you can enjoy yourself.

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Dealers work for tips and should be as nice to you as a good waitperson is. If they aren't, why are you still sitting at their table? You can strengthen your relationship with a dealer by making an occasional "toke" bet for the dealer.

This means that you put the dealer in the game and make a bet for them. A "toke" is another word for a tip and you can also simply hand them a chip for their efforts. Also, you want to avoid being rude to the dealer and other players at the table who are trying to enjoy themselves just like you are.

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The dealer does not control the cards; you control what you bet, when, and at what table. Taking your frustrations out on others is pointless and, in most instances, your losses are not their fault. Remember that a casino blackjack table is not a video game where you're playing for imaginary money.

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This is real money; your cash that you've worked hard for, so be smart and know your personal limits. You will make better decisions if you are not worried about what you are betting. You can't win every time you play and it's important to play within your means.

If you aren't in the mood to have fun and enjoy yourself, you shouldn't be gambling. A good rule is to decide in advance what you are willing to risk. Put only a quarter of that amount on the table at any time. Remember that you are in complete control of how long you play. You should quit when you reach your pre-set win level or if you find yourself no longer enjoying the game. However, don't take your frustrations out on your bankroll.

Avoid the temptation to bet more when you are losing just to chase your money. That's a sure way to bury yourself and your bankroll. Casinos want to lure you in so you'll put more money on the table and spend even more on all the extras they offer. The perks are good, but it's important to take advantage of them in moderation. When you first arrive at the casino, ask at the valet or bell desk for the Player's The Tallest Building In Melbourne or guest services.

Each club offers free items in exchange for your continued play at their table games and slots. Try not to drink too much, though. It's tempting and the drinks are often free in Nevada or widely available at any casino, but they can also cloud your judgment. Playing blackjack is fun, just try not to ruin it by keeping yourself from playing at your best.

Updated August 04,

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  1. So if you hold a and the dealer's upcard is a 9, there is one and only one correct way to play this hand. It doesn't matter if you are playing in a casino in Las Vegas, the Midwest, Biloxi, or Atlantic City, or whether you just lost or won the last five hands, or whether you have been winning or losing money.:
    How to Win at Blackjack. When gambling, luck shines on only a few people. Blackjack, however, is one of the only casino games where you as a player have a fair shot against the house. This is because blackjack depends on strategizing based. The dealer will usually pay your winning blackjack bet immediately when it is your turn to play. In the face down games, this means that you should show the blackjack to the dealer at that time. Some casinos may postpone paying the blackjack until after the hand is over if the dealer has a 10 card up and has not checked for. Bill Kaplan, co-founder of the MIT blackjack team that took Vegas for millions, has a few tricks up his sleeve. You may not bring down the house, but here are 11 of his tips that will give amateur gamblers an extra edge.
  2. Like poker, Blackjack is a game of skill. If you are a new player with little experience adhere to the following tips and tricks for now (Blackjack tips and tricks). As you play on, the reasons behind these rules will become evident to you (Play to Win Blackjack online). At first glance. Where to play blackjack online? Casino.:
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This is a one-page chart that specifies every hit, stand, double down, and split decision to be made at the table for every possible combination of cards in your hand and the dealer's "up" card. You can find this online or in countless Blackjack books. Once you've learned basic strategy, your disadvantage at the game will be. You're about to be redirected We notice you're visiting us from a region where we have a local version of Inc.

Enter your email to reset your password. Or sign up using:. Sign in if you're already registered. Straight to Your Inbox. Bill Kaplan, co-founder of the MIT blackjack team that took Vegas for millions, has a few tricks up his sleeve. You may not bring down the house, but here are 11 of his tips that will give amateur gamblers an extra edge. Always hit a soft 17 i. Never split 5s or 10s and never stand on 12 through 16 if the dealer is showing a 7 or higher.

Never play cards when you're drinking. Never believe you're on a winning streak and never over-bet or make foolish plays. Never play for extended periods of time without taking a break, getting a drink of water, eating a snack, or simply stretch your legs. Beware the "hot" and "cold" myth. Don't feel pressure to tip. You should only tip the dealer if you feel like tipping. Unless dealers are doing something dishonest -- and there are hundreds of cameras in the sky to make sure they're not -- they can't do anything that will affect your play.

Five decks are plenty. A table paying blackjack at 3 to 2 odds is going to make you more money in the long run than a table paying at 6 to 5. A table requiring the dealer to hit on a soft 17 will make the house more money — out of your pocket. Remember, streaks do happen.

Sure, in the long run things will even out. But do you have the enormous stake it might take for that to happen? If your gut tells you to leave, leave. Instead of looking at a night of blackjack as one long game, think of it as a huge series of individual sessions. The goal in each session is to win at least one chip whatever denomination you may be playing. More than games available All the best slots by NetEnt Withdraw your winnings in 4 hours!

Read Review If you are from UK we recommend Casino and Bet Casino as they offer very good bonus that you can use for testing our blackjack strategy. Subscribe to our newsletter list and get the latest casino news, strategies and special offers sent directly to your inbox! Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Home Articles Casino Strategy.

Do you want to know how to win at blackjack every time you play? Check out the best betting strategies to become a true blackjack whiz and win every time! Top 5 Casinos to Win at Blackjack.

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Straight to Your Inbox. Bill Kaplan, co-founder of the MIT blackjack team that took Vegas for millions, has a few tricks up his sleeve. You may not bring down the house, but here are 11 of his tips that will give amateur gamblers an extra edge.

Always hit a soft 17 i. Never split 5s or 10s and never stand on 12 through 16 if the dealer is showing a 7 or higher.

Never play cards when you're drinking. Never believe you're on a winning streak and never over-bet or make foolish plays. Never play for extended periods of time without taking a break, getting a drink of water, eating a snack, or simply stretch your legs. Beware the "hot" and "cold" myth. Don't feel pressure to tip. You should only tip the dealer if you feel like tipping. Unless dealers are doing something dishonest -- and there are hundreds of cameras in the sky to make sure they're not -- they can't do anything that will affect your play.

Five decks are plenty. A 6- or 8- deck game is slightly more disadvantageous to a player 10ths of a percent but there's more potential for a player to be cheated in a handheld single-deck game although this rarely happens at reputable casinos. Unless you're counting, don't worry about the shuffle.

For a professional player, an automatic shuffler makes tracking specific packets of cards or specific cards through a shuffle theoretically impossible. Most handheld shuffles are not perfectly random and therefore can be beaten by simulating the shuffle on a computer and then devising a system to exploit their non-random nature.

All seats at the table are the same. Surprisingly, cards have no preference for particular seats. Only superstitious people do. You are not trying to get close to If your hand or the dealer's hand goes over 21 you "Bust.

If the dealer busts and you do not you win. The player must act first. If the player busts he loses regardless if the dealer busts or not. The suits of the cards have no affect on the game.

Cards 2 - 10 are counted at face value without regards to their suit. All face cards have a value of ten. An ace can count as either one or eleven. A queen and a five would equal An ace and a five would total either 6 or A hand that does not have an ace is referred to as a Hard Hand because it has only one value.

A hand that contains an ace is referred to as a Soft Hand because the value can change. If you draw to a soft hand and the three cards total a number where counting an ace as eleven puts you over 21 then the hand becomes a hard hand. You are dealt an ace and a three.

You have 4 or If you then draw a ten you now have a hard 14 because if you count the ace as 11 you would have 25, which would bust you.

Blackjack is dealt on a special table that is shaped as a semi-circle. There is a separate circle or square for each player. When you sit down you must buy chips from the dealer or bring them from another table. The player puts his bet in the betting circle if front of his space.

Only chips put in the betting circle count as your bet. After all bets are made the play begins. For this example we will assume you are playing a multi-deck game and the cards are being dealt from a shoe. Each player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer receives one card face up and one card face down known as the hole card.

After the cards are dealt the dealer will ask each player in turn to make their decision. The player to the left of the dealer acts first. This position is known as first base. The position of the last person to act is called third base. You will make your decision about how to play your hand based on the dealer's up card and the two cards that you were dealt.

A rule of thumb for the beginner is to assume the dealer has a ten in the hole. This is not always the case but it makes it easier to base your decision on this premise. You will use hand signal to make your decisions known. This keeps the game moving and it also helps insure there are no verbal misunderstandings while letting the eye in the sky keep track of the play. Remember that in a game dealt from a shoe you are not allowed to touch the cards.

If you or the dealer is dealt an Ace and a ten-value card you have 21 known as a blackjack. This is a natural.

If you and the dealer have blackjack it is a push. If only the dealer has blackjack all players will lose. To take a hit means that you want to draw another card. To signal the dealer for a hit you will tap the table in front of you or make a beckoning motion with your hand. If you wish another card after the first you would motion in the same manner.

Once you are satisfied with either your fist two cards or after hitting, you signal the dealer that you wish to stand. This is done by waving your hand over the top of your cards. You then receive one card only on your hand.

Most casinos will allow you to double down on any two cards DOA. Some casinos limit your doubling to hands that total ten or eleven.

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After all, you can't expect to win if you don't know how to play because luck can only take you so far. Understand how the game is dealt, the values of the cards, and learn your way around the table. Even if you've played before, a quick refresher certainly can't hurt. From there, you can study blackjack strategy. It's important that you know what to do when you have a hard hand or a soft hand when you're dealt an ace. You would be amazed at how often a player sits at a table and doesn't know the limit, or even what game they are playing.

Don't fall victim to this and scope out the table before you sit down. Start with the obvious and make sure you are on a standard blackjack game. Then, read the table limits for the minimum and maximum you can bet in each hand. You'll also want to make sure you understand any special table rules.

Learn which first two cards you can double down on and which you can split as well as how many times you can do that. Find out if you have other options like a surrender and whether that can be done early or late. The dealer can make or break your casino experience. Find dealers that are friendly so you can enjoy yourself. Dealers work for tips and should be as nice to you as a good waitperson is. If they aren't, why are you still sitting at their table?

You can strengthen your relationship with a dealer by making an occasional "toke" bet for the dealer. This means that you put the dealer in the game and make a bet for them. A "toke" is another word for a tip and you can also simply hand them a chip for their efforts. Also, you want to avoid being rude to the dealer and other players at the table who are trying to enjoy themselves just like you are.

The dealer does not control the cards; you control what you bet, when, and at what table. Taking your frustrations out on others is pointless and, in most instances, your losses are not their fault. Remember that a casino blackjack table is not a video game where you're playing for imaginary money. This is real money; your cash that you've worked hard for, so be smart and know your personal limits. All of the stuff they put on a blackjack table really can tell an important story.

A table paying blackjack at 3 to 2 odds is going to make you more money in the long run than a table paying at 6 to 5. A table requiring the dealer to hit on a soft 17 will make the house more money — out of your pocket.

Remember, streaks do happen. Sure, in the long run things will even out. But do you have the enormous stake it might take for that to happen? If your gut tells you to leave, leave. Instead of looking at a night of blackjack as one long game, think of it as a huge series of individual sessions. The goal in each session is to win at least one chip whatever denomination you may be playing. More than games available All the best slots by NetEnt Withdraw your winnings in 4 hours!

Read Review If you are from UK we recommend Casino and Bet Casino as they offer very good bonus that you can use for testing our blackjack strategy.

Subscribe to our newsletter list and get the latest casino news, strategies and special offers sent directly to your inbox! Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Home Articles Casino Strategy. Do you want to know how to win at blackjack every time you play? Check out the best betting strategies to become a true blackjack whiz and win every time!

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Part of his job is to help players learn the game. Once you are ready to place a bet, wait for the current hand to be completed, then push your bet into the betting circle. Your chips should be in one stack. If you are betting multiple denominations of chips, place the larger valued chips on the bottom of the stack, and the smaller value chips on top.

Once the cards have been dealt, you are not allowed to touch the bet in the circle. If you need to know how much you have bet for doubling or splitting explained later , the dealer will count down the chips for you. Once the hand is over, the dealer will move around the table to each position in turn, paying winning hands and collecting the chips from losing hands. After the dealer has paid you, you can remove your chips from the circle, and place your next bet.

If you want to let your winnings ride, you will need to form one stack of chips from the two or more stacks on the table after the dealer pays you. Remember, higher value chips should be placed on the bottom of the stack. When you are ready to leave the table, you do not cash in your chips the same way you bought them. The dealer cannot give you cash for the chips at the table. To do that, you must take the chips to the casino cashier. If you have a lot of low denomination chips in front of you at the table, you should trade them for the equivalent higher value chips instead.

He will count them down, and give you a smaller stack of chips that amount to the same value. This makes them easier to carry for you, and for the dealer it maintains his supply of smaller chips. Now you can take those chips to another table for more play, or head to the casino cashier where you can exchange them for cash.

Blackjack is pretty simple. The basic premise of the game is that you want to have a hand value that is closer to 21 than that of the dealer, without going over Other players at the table are of no concern. Your hand competes only against the hand of the dealer. The rules of play for the dealer are strictly dictated, leaving no decisions up to the dealer.

Therefore, there is no problem with the dealer or any of the other players at the table seeing the cards in your hand. The suits of the cards do not have any meaning in the game. The value of a hand is simply the sum of the point counts of each card in the hand. An Ace can be counted as either 1 or You need not specify which value the Ace has. It is assumed to have the value that makes the best hand, and that may change as more cards are added to the hand.

A soft hand is any hand where an Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11 without going over We no longer have the option to count the Ace as 11, because that would go over This hand is now a hard 17, despite having an Ace in it. Twenty is a great hand, so we would stop there. Once all the bets are placed, the dealer will deal the cards to the players. He will make two passes around the table starting at his left your right so that the players and the dealer all have two cards each. In some parts of the world, the dealer may get only one card.

Hand-held games are slightly different. When handling the cards in a hand-held game, here are a few important things to remember. Each player in turn indicates to the dealer how he wishes to play the hand. All of those choices are explained in the next part of this series. After all of the players have finished their hands, the dealer will complete his hand, and then pay the winning bets and collect the losing bets. The dealer is then required to play his hand in a very specific way, with no choices allowed.

He must draw cards until he has a total of 17 or more. The dealer has no choice in how to play the hand. He must continue taking cards until his total is at least A slight variation of this rule is discussed below. That makes a hand value of 16, so he must draw another card. He drew a 7, making the hand value 13 the Ace can no longer be counted as With a total of 13, he must hit again.

He drew a 6, making the hand total If you draw a card that makes your hand total go over 21, your hand is a bust. That is an automatic loser. The dealer will immediately collect your bet, and discard your hand. Assuming you did not bust, the dealer will play out his hand at the end. If he busts by going over 21, all the remaining players win their bets. If his total is higher than yours, you lose the bet, and he will collect your bet and put the chips in his tray. If your total is higher than his, you win the bet, and he will pay the entire amount you have bet.

So, what happens if you and the dealer tie, with the same exact total? Your chips stay in the betting circle where you can leave them for the next hand if you want, or you can add to or remove from them as you wish before the next hand. A blackjack, or natural, is a total of 21 in your first two cards.

A blackjack is therefore an Ace and any ten-valued card, with the additional requirement that these be your first two cards.

If you split a pair of Aces for example, and then draw a ten-valued card on one of the Aces, this is not a blackjack, but rather a total of The distinction is important, because a winning blackjack pays the player at 3 to 2. If both a player and the dealer have blackjack, the hand is a tie or push.

The dealer will usually pay your winning blackjack bet immediately when it is your turn to play. In the face down games, this means that you should show the blackjack to the dealer at that time.

Some casinos may postpone paying the blackjack until after the hand is over if the dealer has a 10 card up and has not checked for a dealer blackjack. Other casinos check under both 10 and Ace dealer upcards, and would therefore pay the blackjack immediately. Regardless, when you are dealt a blackjack, turn the cards face up, and smile. It only happens about once every 21 hands, but it accounts for a lot of the fun of the game. This is to eliminate any confusion or ambiguity in what you choose, and also for the benefit of the ever-present surveillance cameras.

In the face-up shoe game, you indicate that you want another card by tapping the table behind your cards with a finger. In the face-down game, things are a little different. You will hold the first two cards with one hand. To let the dealer know that you want to draw another card to your hand, scratch the table with the bottom of your cards lightly. Watch another player at first to see how this works. The dealer will deal your additional cards on the table in front of your bet.

Leave those cards on the table, but mentally add them to your total hand value. If you go over 21, just toss the two cards in your hand face up on the table. The dealer will collect your bet and discard your hand.

When you decide to stand, tuck the two cards you are holding face-down under the chips in your betting circle. This can be a bit tricky the first few times. Simply slide the corner of the cards under the chips. Describing these moves makes them sound complicated. Just pay attention to what other players are doing and you will fit right in. This option is available only with a two card hand, before another card has been drawn. Doubling down allows you to double your bet and receive one and only one additional card to your hand.

In this case, you have a good chance of winning the hand by drawing one additional card, so you should increase your bet in this advantageous situation by doubling down. If you are playing in a hand-held game, just toss your original two cards face-up on the table in front of your bet.

In either type of game, add an additional bet to the betting circle. Place the additional bet adjacent to the original bet, not on top of it. The dealer will deal one additional card to the hand. In a shoe game, he will probably deal the card sideways to indicate that this was a double-down. In a hand-held game, the card will be tucked face-down under your bet to be revealed after the hand is over. Depending on what the dealer makes on his hand, it can be an exciting wait to see that card revealed at the end!

You are allowed to double down for any amount up to your original bet amount, so you could actually double down for less if you wanted. Remember that you do give up something for being allowed to increase your bet: If the correct play is to double down, you should always double for the full amount if possible. And just when should you double down, you ask? For that information, just use our Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine.

When you are dealt a pair of cards of the same rank, you are allowed to split the pair into two separate hands and play them independently. Sixteen is the worst possible player hand, since it is unlikely to win as is, but is very likely to bust if you draw to it.

If you are playing a hand-held game, toss the cards face-up in front of your bet just like a double down. Then, in either type of game, place a matching bet beside the original bet in the circle.

Note that you must bet the same amount on a split, unlike a double-down where you are allowed to double for less. The dealer will separate the two cards, and treat them as two independent hands.

He will deal a second card on the first eight, and you will play that two-card hand to completion. Many casinos will let you double-down on that two-card hand if you want. No matter what happens on your first hand, when you are done with it the dealer will deal a second card to your next hand and the process starts all over. If you get additional pairs in the first two cards of a hand, most casinos will allow you to resplit, making yet another hand.

Typically a player is allowed to split up to 3 times, making 4 separate hands, with 4 separate bets. If double after split is allowed, you could have up to 8 times your initial bet on the table! Note that you are allowed to split any valued cards, so you could split a Jack, Queen hand. However, this is usually a bad play. You will make more money on the pat 20 than you will trying to make two good hands from it. I wrote a post about just that: Why Splitting Tens is a Bad Move.

Another oddity comes when splitting Aces. Splitting Aces is a very strong player move so the casino limits you to drawing only one additional card on each Ace. Also, if you draw a ten-valued card on one of your split Aces, the hand is not considered a Blackjack, but is instead treated as a normal 21, and therefore does not collect a 3: With all these limitations, you may wonder whether it makes sense to split Aces.

The answer is a resounding YES. For accurate advice on what other pairs you should split, consult the Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine. Insurance in blackjack is often misunderstood by players, and is a big money-maker for casinos. But actually, insurance is not always a bad bet.

For players who can recognize when the remaining deck is rich in ten-valued cards, this can actually be a profitable side-bet. Insurance bets can be made by betting up to half your original bet amount in the insurance betting stripe in front of your bet.

The dealer will check to see if he has a value card underneath his Ace, and if he does have Blackjack, your winning Insurance bet will be paid at odds of 2: You will still lose your original bet unless you also have a Blackjack , so the net effect is that you break even assuming you bet the full half bet for insurance. Insurance is simply a side-bet offering 2: Not surprisingly, the casino has a substantial edge on this bet.

In a single deck game, there are 16 ten-valued cards. That creates a 5. Card counters can still beat the insurance bet, by only making the bet when they know that more than one-third of the remaining cards are tens. Unless you are card counter and know the deck is skewed sufficiently, just ignore the insurance bet. If you accept, the dealer will pay you the amount of your original bet and discard your hand of blackjack, before he even checks under his Ace to see if he has a blackjack as well.

Many players think this sounds like a good deal, guaranteeing a profit even if the dealer has a blackjack. But that guaranteed profit comes at a price.

Let me show you how it works:. Now, two things can happen: The problem is that you are still making a bad bet on insurance, which costs you money. Some games offer the player a chance to fold their hand, and forfeit half of their bet. This surrender option must be done as the very first action the player takes on the hand. Even when surrender is available, it is rarely used by players.

But for a smart player, it is a useful option, and reduces the house advantage by about 0. When surrender is available, make sure you know the correct strategy for using it. Most players who use the option surrender too many hands. If your game offers surrender, I recommend reading my complete explanation of blackjack surrender. If the dealer has blackjack, you will lose your entire bet with no chance of surrendering for half the cost.

Generally, the dealer in blackjack must hit if he has a total of 16 or less, and stand if he has 17 or more. Seventeen is a weak hand, so if the dealer is allowed to try to improve the soft 17 hands, it makes the game tougher.

When a dealer is allowed to hit soft 17, it adds about 0. Almost all other areas used the better rule of standing on all 17s. Over the years, more and more casinos have switched to hitting soft 17, and there are now far more H17 games than S17 games. You can still find some games where the dealer stands on all 17s, even in casinos where some of the tables use the H17 rule.

After splitting a pair, many casinos will allow you to double-down on a two-card hand that arises as a result of the split.

For example, if you split a pair of eights, and draw a 3 on the first hand, it is valuable to be able to double-down on the resulting hand of As mentioned in the previous section discussion on pair splitting, there are several common restrictions on splitting Aces.

You will receive only one card on each Ace after splitting. Some casinos will allow you to resplit if you draw another Ace, and some will not. After all the players have completed their hands, he deals his own second card and completes the hand. Contrast that with the normal US style of play. There, if the dealer has a ten or Ace card up, he checks the other card immediately to see if he has a blackjack. If he does, the hand is over.

In a No-Hole-Card game, a player might split or double and have multiple bets at risk to a dealer blackjack, because the dealer cannot check ahead of time. This changes the optimal strategy, and means that players should usually not split or double against a dealer ten or Ace upcard. An exception is splitting Aces against a dealer ten. Note that there are a few no-hole-card games where the rules specifically say that only one bet will be collected from a player if the dealer has a blackjack.

In those games, although there is no hole card, you can play the game as if there were. When the No-Hole-Card rule is in use, and all bets are at risk to a dealer blackjack, it costs the player 0. So, if you have made it this far, congratulations. You should have a good idea of what to expect when you sit down at a blackjack table in the casino. What we have not talked about is how to actually make the best decisions while playing the game.

That is a whole subject all its own. This keeps the game moving and it also helps insure there are no verbal misunderstandings while letting the eye in the sky keep track of the play.

Remember that in a game dealt from a shoe you are not allowed to touch the cards. If you or the dealer is dealt an Ace and a ten-value card you have 21 known as a blackjack. This is a natural. If you and the dealer have blackjack it is a push. If only the dealer has blackjack all players will lose. To take a hit means that you want to draw another card. To signal the dealer for a hit you will tap the table in front of you or make a beckoning motion with your hand.

If you wish another card after the first you would motion in the same manner. Once you are satisfied with either your fist two cards or after hitting, you signal the dealer that you wish to stand. This is done by waving your hand over the top of your cards.

You then receive one card only on your hand. Most casinos will allow you to double down on any two cards DOA. Some casinos limit your doubling to hands that total ten or eleven. DOA is a favorable rule to the player. To signal that you are doubling down you will place an additional bet next to your original bet. Most casinos will let you double down for less than your original bet providing it meets the table minimum. You only double in favorable situations and it is to your advantage to double for the maximum.

If you are dealt a pair two cards of the same rank you can split these into two separate hands. You must make an additional bet equal to your starting bet. You signal the dealer that you are splitting by placing your second bet next to your first bet in the betting circle. Do not put this bet on top of the original bet. Do not separate the cards. The dealer will do this for you. You will no play each hand one at a time. The dealer will give you a second card to go with the first split card.

You will then decide to hit or stand. After you play out this hand and stand you will move on to the next split card and the process will be repeated. Some casinos will allow you to double down on your first two cards after splitting. You would play this as you would if you were doubling down on your first two cards. This rule is favorable to the player. If the dealer's up card is an ace the dealer will offer insurance. You are not really insuring a hand. If you make the bet and he has the ten you are paid 2 to 1.

You would then lose your original bet but win the insurance bet, which works out to being a push of your original bet. If you have a blackjack and the dealer has an ace you will be asked if you would like even money for your blackjack instead of 3 to 2. If do not take the even money you will have a push if the dealer has a blackjack. The dealers will NOT have a ten more times than they will have one.

Some casinos will allow you to surrender your hand and give up half your bet on your first two cards after the dealer checks for a blackjack. This is known as late surrender. It is to the player's advantage when played correctly. Unfortunately when it is offered many players surrender more hands than they should thus giving up the advantage gained by this option. If you play your hand properly you can reduce the house edge to less than one percent.

If your first cards total you have a "Stiff" hand. If the dealer's up card is a 2 - 6, it is a "Stiff" hand for the dealer.

If you have 17 or better it is a Pat hand and you stand. If the dealer shows a 7 -Ace, you consider it a pat hand. Although this simple strategy will get you by for fist time you play the game, you really should make the effort to learn basic strategy.

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