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How Gambling Works

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Skill & Knowledge

Learn how skill and knowledge factor into games of chance

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Finding Help

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Finding Help

If you find yourself gambling too much, or if it no longer feels like a game, there’s help if you need it.

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How to Play

Blackjack, also known as 21, is a popular casino card game in which players compare their hand of cards with that of the dealer. To win at Blackjack, a player must create a hand with a higher total than that of the dealer, but without going over 21.

At the beginning of each game, players must place their bets in the betting box in front of the position they sit at the table. After the bets are placed, each player is dealt two cards face-up. The dealer receives one card face-up and the dealer's hand is completed once all players have finished drawing cards. This is known as English Style.

Determining your hand's value is simple: face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) have a value of 10. Numbered cards are worth their face value, and Aces count as either 1 or 11.

If your first two cards total 21, you win because you have a Blackjack which pays 3 to 2 on your bet. If the dealer also has a Blackjack, you would Push (tie).

On your turn, you must choose whether to Hit (to take a card), or Stand (end your turn) in order to create a hand totalling as close to 21 as possible, without Busting (exceeding 21).

If the dealer exceeds 21, all players who have 21 or less win. Otherwise the dealer's point total is compared to each player's. All winning bets are paid even money (one to one).

Payouts

All winning bets are paid even money except for Blackjack, which pays 3 to 2. When a push occurs, you keep your original bet. A Blackjack (two cards that equal 21) beat all other combinations of cards that equal 21. A two-card 21 on split hands is not a Blackjack.