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Rules & Strategy

A player’s objective in blackjack is to have a higher hand count than the dealer without busting. This means two players can have the same hand values in a game and it won’t have any consequence on the outcome of their wagers. If a player and dealer tie though, the player’s original bet becomes a ‘push’ and the dealer returns it. Blackjack dealer rules also differ when it comes to standing.

The count starts at 0 for a freshly shuffled deck for “balanced” counting systems. Unbalanced counts are often started at a value which depends on the number of decks used in the game. A pair of 4s should not be split either, as a total of 8 is a good number to draw to. Generally, 2s, 3s, or 7s can be split unless the dealer has an 8, 9, ten-card, or ace.

Each link tells you a little about the game, the rules and gives you an online video on the game in action. 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. If the table is designated a must-hit-soft-17 Blackjack game, the dealer must draw on all soft 17 hands until he or she obtains a point total of a hard 17 or higher.

But a blackjack beats any hand that is not a blackjack, even one with a value of 21. Number cards count as their number, the jack, queen, and king (“face cards” or “pictures”) count as 10, and aces count as either 1 or 11 according to the player’s choice. If the total exceeds 21 points, it busts, and all bets on it immediately lose. This paper became the foundation of future efforts to beat blackjack. Ed Thorp used Baldwin’s hand calculations to verify the basic strategy and later published Beat the Dealer.

If you have a higher total than the dealer , the dealer matches the amount of your chips. If your total is higher than the dealer’s without going over 21, you win. Base your decisions on the assumption that the dealer has a card worth 10 points in the hole. Known as the dealer’s exposed card, the one that all players can see. Any cards ranked between 2 and 6 usually force the dealer to take a hit. When bettors place the same wager amount on each hand without varying.

When a player can win the game on their next go, they have to say “Last cards” or knock on the table. If they neglect to do this, they cannot go out on their next go, but must lay their card or cards and then pick up one instead. If they do call, they are free to win on their next go. A player can choose to “hit” and request an additional card from the deck.

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