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Like any other game Blackjack has certain rules.
You may draw up to nine additional cards (i.e. a total of 11 cards) as long as the value of your hand does not exceed 21. If you go over 21 this is called a ‘bust’ and you automatically lose the hand. If you have not yet exceeded 21 after receiving eleven cards you will automatically stay and the dealer will play his hand.
The dealer must stand on all 17 and draw on 16.
If the Dealer gets Blackjack after you have Split or Doubled your entire wager (both original and Double or Split amounts) are lost.
Face cards (the Jack, Queen and King) all have a value of ten in Blackjack.
An ‘Ace’ card may have a value of either 1 or 11. Any combination of cards that contains an Ace card and whose value does not exceed 21 is referred to as a ‘soft hand’. An ‘Ace’ will adopt the value most beneficial for your hand. For example an Ace and eight will add up to 19 but if you choose to take another card that would cause the hand's value to exceed 21 the Ace will revert to a value of 1.
If you are dealt an ‘Ace’ and a card with the value of ten (a natural ten or face card) as your first two cards this is called Blackjack. You will automatically stay when you receive a Blackjack. If you beat the dealer with a Blackjack you are paid out at 3 to 2.
If you receive two cards of the same value (such as two ‘Ace’s or two fives or two tens) you may ‘Split’ your hand. This means that your pair is divided into two separate hands. You wager a second amount equal to that of your original wager on the second hand and are able to play both hands as normal.
Cards of the same value but not of the same denomination (or ranking) cannot be split in this version of Blackjack. So while a king and ten may have the same numerical value a hand consisting of these two cards cannot be split because the cards do not have the same denomination.
If you have split a pair of aces and then draw a card with a value of ten then this is not counted as Blackjack. Such a hand would have a value of 21. It will beat any dealer's hand with a value of less than 21 and draw against all other Dealer hands except a Blackjack. This rule also applies to splitting pairs of cards with a value of ten. If you split a pair of tens (or face cards) and then receive an ace this hand is not counted as Blackjack.
If the value of your initial two cards is 9, 10 or 11 then you are allowed to ‘Double.’ This is a wager that your next card will be sufficient to beat the dealer’s as-of-yet-uncompleted hand. The wager costs as much as your original bet, but if you win you will be paid double of your total wager (or four times your original wager).
Insurance only covers your original bet. It does not cover any Double Down bet. When the dealer is dealt an 'Ace' you are given the option to place an insurance bet. The Insurance bet costs half your original bet and will pay out 2 to 1 if the dealer gets Blackjack. You loose your original bet. If the dealer does not get Blackjack you loose your insurance bet and the game proceeds as normal.
After all hands have been played your hands are compared to the dealers hand. If the value of both hands are the same it is called a Push. On the event of a Push you receive your bet back and no one wins. Blackjack (which value is 21) beats a hand that's value is also 21. If both the dealer and you have Blackjack this is considered a Push.