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How to Play Blackjack

A popular card game you can find in any casino is blackjack. This card game is also known as 21. The rules are fairly simple and the game is pretty easy. Let's guide you through game play. Here are the easy steps to play blackjack.

At the beginning of the game the dealer will deal the cards. He deals to everyone playing on the table including himself. When the cards are dealt decisions would have to be made in turns for every player on the table.

The goal of every player in blackjack is to get a 21 on his hand or at least get as close to it as you can and beat the dealer's hand. Initially a player will be dealt with 2 cards. You then get to check your cards. If you feel that your hand is good enough or pretty strong you would declare a Stand. A Stand is an indication that you (the player) will not be drawing a card (meaning you'll stick to the cards that are now in your hand).

If you think that your hand is too low or weak you can decide to play a Hit. By making a Hit you request that the dealer give you an additional card to add to your hand. Hopefully with this extra card you will have a better chance of beating the dealer's hand.

A Double Down play is playing only 1 Hit and doubling your bet and then Stand.

When you decide to play Hits and end up getting more than 21 points this is called a bust. You lose this hand and your bet.

A tie occurs when both the player and the dealer get equal scores or both bust. Your bet is returned to you in this situation.

If you are dealt cards with the same points at the beginning of the game (let's say a five of hearts and a five of diamonds) you may split them and play two hands. You receive two more cards to pair up with each of the split cards and bet on the new hand.

A dealer at one point might play an Insurance. It means the dealer has an ace (his first card). Insurance means the dealer is offering you a chance to make another bet up to half your original bet. The dealer checks his other card (after everyone has accepted or declined), if it's a blackjack (score of 21) you lose your original bet but he pays you double your Insurance amount. So it's as if you didn't lose anything. But if the dealer's hand is not a blackjack you lose both bets.

In case just after the cards are dealt you deem that it seems improbable that your hand can beat the dealer's then you can declare a Surrender. A Surrender can only be played at the beginning of a turn (after the cards are dealt and you have not made a hit or any other move). When you play a Surrender it means you are withdrawing from the game. Penalty for a Surrender is you forfeit half of your bet. Most casinos nowadays no longer offer this option to their players. After all players have finished making their moves/decisions then the dealer plays his cards.

Playing blackjack is pretty simple. Other rules or variations depend on the casino you're playing in. It will take a few games before you get to play all the possible moves. Play the game for fun first, after you get the hang of it play it for keeps.

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