Blackjack is a popular casino game in which players use two cards each to try and beat the dealer’s hand. The object is to make a hand that totals closer to 21 than the dealer’s, without going over. If the player’s hand is closer to 21, it is called a blackjack; if the dealer has a blackjack, then both hands are considered tied (known as a push).
The game begins when the dealer deals each player two cards and one card to himself. The dealer’s cards are placed face down in front of him or her; the player’s cards are turned up. The dealer then looks at his or her face up card and may check to see if the card is a blackjack.
If the dealer has a blackjack, he or she turns over both cards and takes the bets of all players who have not yet beaten the dealer’s hand. The player’s bet is returned, but the dealer’s bet is not refunded.
Before the game begins, a player can choose to put his or her money into a betting circle or square on the table. If a player chooses to do this, the dealer will convert the cash into chips and then slide the chips toward the player. The casino will then give the player a number of casino chips that are the same size as the player’s initial buy-in amount.
A player can also play multiple hands, assuming that there are empty spots on the table. If a player wishes to play multiple hands, he or she must place a wager in each betting spot.
How to Play the Game
During the first round, each player makes a bet in one of the betting circles or squares on the table. After the dealer completes each round, the player must then sit down at a table and wait for the dealer to complete his or her turn.
In most casinos, the player does not need to change his or her money into chips; he can simply place the bet directly on the table. However, if a player does not have any cash with him or her, the player must ask the dealer for chips and then place those chips on the table in front of the dealer.
Once the dealer has completed his or her turn, the player must choose whether to stand, hit, surrender, double down, or split. The dealer then acts last and must hit on 16 or less and stand on 17 through 21.
Blackjack rules vary from casino to casino, so it is important that you understand the basic game rules before you begin playing. If you are playing at a blackjack table where the rules aren’t clearly stated, be sure to ask the dealer or look up the rule in the game’s manual.
The most common strategy in blackjack is to “stand” on any low total unless the dealer shows a high card. This strategy can help you avoid a big loss when the dealer’s cards are hard.