Black Jack is one of the most popular games played in casinos all over the world. Also referred to as “21”, it is easy to learn and is played against the dealer. The main purpose of the game is, as the second name states, to have a higher hand than the dealer’s, but not higher than 21.
All cards from 2 to 9 have their face value, the ace is counted as 1 or 11, depending on which value fits better in the sum and the 10 and the face cards are valued 10.
Before the game begins, all the players must place the bets. After this step, the dealer gives two cards to the player, and one to himself. The player may get a few other cards if he desires, without exceeding 21.
If your first 2 cards sum up to 21, it is called a “black jack”, and is paid 3:2. For the first hand, the player has several options.
• Hit – this means to ask for one or more cards, in case the sum of the first two cards is too small.
• Stand – this means not to take any other card, in case the sum of the first two cards is close to 21, or if the risk of exceeding 21 is pretty high
• Double Down – you can double your initial bet, if you believe you have a good hand. You can only make this decision at the beginning of the game, when you have two cards. After this, you are allowed to receive just one additional card.
• Split – (also available only for the first hand). When you have two cards of the same value, you may decide to split them, resulting in two different, independent hands. For this decision, you also have to bet the same amount of money for the other hand. After that, the dealer gives you another card (or more, if you ask) for the first hand, and when this hand is complete, he moves to giving you the second (or more) card for the second hand. At this point, the rules differ from one casino to another: for example, they allow you to split two cards valuing 10 or other value each, but not allow you to split two aces; or some allow you to double one of the two resulting hands, some do not; others may let you re-split one or both of the hands, resulting in three or four hands with separate bets; some others allow you to split two 10-valued cards, without being the same (for example a Q and a K). In case of a split, blackjacks are considered only 21, thus not paid at 3:2
After the player has made his decisions, the dealer moves on to dealing cards for himself. If the sum of his first two cards is smaller or equal to 16, he must deal again, until he has at least 17. If the sum is 17 or more, he must stand. He is not allowed to double down or split. The winner is the one who has the higher sum of the cards. In case it is a tie, the game is null.