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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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Blackjack

One of the most popular casino card games is one of the most exciting. The goal of Blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand without going over 21.

PLAY BLACKJACK ONLINE

How to Play

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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.


WORDS TO KNOW
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Blackjack: When the first two cards dealt to a hand total 21 (either an Ace and a 10 or an Ace and a face card).

Soft hand: A hand that includes an Ace and has two possible totals (depending on whether the Ace has a value of one or 11) neither of which exceeds 21.

Hard hand: A hand with no Aces or one in which the Ace has the value of one.

Hit or draw: You want another card; draw one or more cards to improve your hand.

Stand: You are satisfied with your hand and don't want any more cards.

Double Down: Double your original bet and receive one additional card.

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Splitting Pairs: If you have two cards of equal value in one hand you can split them into two separate hands. When splitting a hand, you must place an additional bet equal to your original wager. If you split Aces, you get only one hit on each Ace.

Surrender: If you don't like your two original cards, you can surrender. The dealer takes half of your original bet and your hand is discarded. You can surrender on any original two-card hand, except when the dealer has Blackjack.

Insurance: If the dealer's face-up card is an ACE, you can insure your bet against the possibility of the dealer's final hand being a Blackjack. You can wager a sum equal to one-half of your original bet. If the dealer draws a Blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2 to 1 and you lose your original bet. If the dealer's hand is not a Blackjack, you lose your insurance bet and the hand continues to play as normal.

Bust or broke: Cards add up to 22 or more.


BLACKJACK VARIATIONS
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King’s Bounty Blackjack*

King’s Bounty Blackjack is a blackjack side bet that pays when your first two cards total 20. The top award is won when you have two kings of spades and the dealer has a blackjack.

Make your blackjack bet and the optional King’s Bounty side bet. The dealer will deal blackjack according to house procedures. You will win the King’s Bounty side bet if your first two cards add up to 20.

King's Bounty Paytable

Cards Pays
Two Kings of Spades + Dealer Blackjack 1,000 to 1
Two Kings of Spades 100 to 1
Two Suited Kings 30 to 1
Two Suited 10s, Jacks or Queens 20 to 1
Suited 20 9 to 1
Two Kings 6 to 1
Non-suited 20 4 to 1
6 to 5 Blackjack

Played with the same Rules of Play as Basic Blackjack or Lucky Ladies Blackjack. All rules of the game, with the exception of the payout for Blackjack, shall remain unchanged. Winning hands are paid even money (1 to 1) with the exception of Blackjack. Winning Blackjack hands are paid at 6 to 5.

Double Deck Blackjack

Double Deck Blackjack is played with the same Rules of Play as Basic Blackjack or Lucky Ladies Blackjack, however, the game is played with 2 decks of cards instead of six.

Odds of winning Blackjack

Blackjack is a skill-based casino game. For some games it is possible to improve your chances of winning by learning more about the game or by developing skills as a player. This is because players must make decisions that can affect the outcome of the game. For example, there are different strategies for playing blackjack. If you understand blackjack strategy, you can improve your decision-making and your chances of winning.

Learn More about the odds of winning Blackjack »

 

*Proprietary game and trademark used under license from SHFL entertainment Inc.