All face (picture) cards are worth 10, Aces are worth either 1 or 11, and all other cards are worth their face value. A Blackjack occurs when the card value total of a hand’s first two cards sums to 21 by getting an Ace and a 10-value card.
Place your bet and you will receive 2 cards.
If your first two cards form a Blackjack, then you are a guaranteed winner.
If you do not have a Blackjack, then you are given the opportunity to try to improve the outcome of your hand.
Depending on the cards you hold, you may choose one of the following options:
The dealer must draw on a total of 16 or less, and must stand on a total of 17 or more. If your card total equals the dealer total, it is a Stand-off, and the bet neither wins nor loses.
After the first 2 cards are dealt it is your decision whether to Stand, or Draw more cards to improve your total.
Other options include:
Doubling – double your initial bet and buy one more card (doubling the amount you can win).
Splitting – if the first 2 cards are of equal value you may split them to create 2 more hands by betting an amount equal to your initial bet. Cards may be split to create up to 4 hands, and you may double on a split hand. Split Aces receive only one card and a total of 21 does not count as Black Jack.
Insurance – insure against the dealer receiving a Black Jack (when the dealer’s first card is an Ace) by placing a bet of no more than half of your initial bet. This bet will be paid 2-to-1 when the dealer receives a Blackjack, and is taken on any other total.
Surrender – you may find it to your advantage to “Surrender” your hand to the house, forfeiting just half of your bet.