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How To Play Blackjack At Home

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 the hand is over (if you’re not alone at the table), whip out your stack of money and tell the dealer what denomination of chips you’d like. He will take your money and exchange it for a pile of chips. Then, you place your bet in the betting box and away you go!

At this stage, each player has two cards both face-up while the dealer has one face-up card and one down. There is a space for the chips, a special area for bets and also, drinks in the player’s part while the rest of the table is the dealer’s part of it. Doubling means doubling the bet and also, getting one more card. If a player exceeds 21, he busts and the dealer wins, irrespective of the hand of the dealer. Each player starts the round with two face-up cards while one of the dealer’s cards is hidden till the end of the game. The goal of the game of Blackjack is beating the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21.

So start with a “count” of zero and subtract or add one as you see cards played. A positive count means that more low-valued cards have been dealt—the rest of the deck is in your favor! A negative count means that fewer aces and 10-valued cards remain—not good for you. Increasing and decreasing your bets according to the count increases the chance that you will bring home some winnings from the blackjack table. However, when you have two cards that are the same—e.g., two 8s or two jacks—most casinos allow you to split them into two separate hands. And splitting the two 8s into two separate, eight-valued hands … wow!

A player blackjack beats any dealer total other than blackjack, including a dealer’s three or more card 21. If both a player and the dealer have blackjack, the hand is a tie or push. In order to win, the player has to be closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over.

Our guide on how to play blackjack is essential reading before a player visits the casino. Learn the rules, hand values, etiquette, and other basics to becoming a confident blackjack player with us. Players of blackjack can also take advantage of the “surrender” option of the game. This way the losses can be cut down after the dealing of the cards.

Pari-mutuel betting is now legal in 43 states, and online gaming netted more than $4 billion from U.S. bettors in 2010. Over the past 20 years, Johnson’s career has moved from managing racetracks to helping regulate this burgeoning industry. He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming. About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses. If the dealer has a strong hand—say she has a face card showing—you’ll probably lose if you stand.