Blackjack (also known as twenty-one), is a descendant of Baccarat and Chemin-de-Fer and is often considered one of the world's most popular casino table games.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is achieve a higher card count than the dealer without exceeding 21.

How to Play

This version of Blackjack uses eight decks of cards.  The deck is shuffled after each hand.

The Bets .  Select an initial bet amount and click Deal to begin the game.  There is a minimum bet of $5 and a maximum bet of $100.

The Cards .  Aces may be considered 1 or 11.  Face cards have a value of 10 and all other cards are counted as their face value.

The Deal .  A card is dealt face up to the player followed by one to the dealer.  A second card is then dealt face up to the player, and a second card face down to the dealer.  At this point, the player may choose to stand or draw one or more cards to improve their hand total.  The dealer takes additional cards only after the player has completed his or her hand(s), following specific rules (see Dealer Strategy below).  The player's hand is completed when the player: The winner is determined by which hand's total is closest to 21. A Blackjack beats all other hands totaling 21 (this applies to the dealer as well). If both the dealer and player draw a Blackjack, it is considered a push (tie) and neither hand wins nor loses. Player Options The player is initially dealt two cards.  After these cards are dealt, the player has the option of making the following additional wagers:

Splitting Pairs .  This option is available to the player when the two original cards are of the same value (6's, 8's, etc.).  The player splits the cards into two hands and plays each hand individually.   Additional pairs can not be split again.  A pair of Aces may be split but each Ace receives only one additional card.  Except when splitting Aces, the player has the option to double down (see below) after splitting.  In all cases, the player must wager an additional amount equal to the original bet when splitting.

Double Down .  If the first two cards do not total 21, the player has the option to double down.  Should the player feel that he or she can win with only one additional card, the player may double the original bet and receive one more card.  The player may also double down after splitting a pair unless the pair consists of Aces.  In this case the player is only entitled to receive one card after splitting.

Insurance .  If the dealer's first visible card is an Ace, the player has the option of buying insurance.  Insurance is a wager equal to one-half the player's original bet which pays two to one if the dealer draws a Blackjack.  If the dealer does not draw Blackjack, the player loses his or her insurance.

Dealer Strategy:

The dealer must:

Soft Hand:   A hand where an Ace may be counted as either 1 or 11 without the total exceeding 21.

Hard Hand:   A hand with no Aces or one where the Ace must count as one so as to not exceed 21.

Payouts

A player's Blackjack (a natural 2 card 21) pays 3:2 unless the dealer draws a Blackjack as well.  A Blackjack also beats any three-or-more-card 21.  A two-card 21 is not considered a Blackjack for split hands.

All other winning bets are paid even money (1:1).

If the dealer draws a Blackjack, the player only loses his or her original bet when the player has doubled down or split.

When both the dealer and player's hand totals are equal, it is called a standoff or push and neither hand wins nor loses.

If the player's hand total exceeds 21, he or she busts and loses his or her bet.

Placing Bets

Each time you left-click inside the white square near the edge of the blackjack table, you will place your current bet amount on the table -- adding to any chips that might already be there.  To remove your current bet amount from the table, right-click inside the square.

You can change the amount you will be adding or subtracting from your bet by selecting one of the chips in the lower left corner of the table.  The chip with that is highlighted in blue represents the amount by which you will change your bet.
For example: If you wish to place a $25 bet, make sure the $25 chip in the lower left corner of the screen is selected by clicking on it.  It should then be highlighted in blue.  You can now left-click in the betting circle to place a $25 bet.  If you left-click a second time in the betting circle, you will add another $25 chip to your bet for a total of $50.  You could then select the $5 chip and click in the betting circle to increase your bet to $55.  Right-clicking in the betting circle performs the opposite function by removing the amount from your bet.

Starting the Deal

Once the minimum bet has been placed, the DEAL button will illuminate to indicate that it may now be clicked to start the deal.  Once the DEAL button has been clicked, the game will begin and you can no longer add to or remove from your bet.

You may also notice that the DEAL button may be illuminated, but you do not have a bet placed on the table.  In this case, clicking on the DEAL button will quickly and automatically start the deal by using the same bet used for the previous hand.  If, for example, you wagered $10 on the previous hand, you may find that the DEAL button is enabled even though you have not placed a new bet on the table.  Clicking the DEAL button will then start the next deal with the same $10 starting bet.  If you do not have sufficient funds to repeat your previous bet, or this is your first hand of blackjack during this session, then clicking the DEAL button with no bet on the table will start the next deal using the currently selected chip amount as your bet.

Playing the Game

The player uses the buttons at the base of the Blackjack table to make his or her decisions when playing the game.  Buttons will illuminate when you have the option to click them.  Your mouse pointer will also change to a pointing hand as you move your pointer over any button that you are allowed to click.