Black Jack Guide PDF Print E-mail
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Article Index
Black Jack Guide
Playing Options
Basic Strategy
Black Jack Strategy
Tips For Blackjack
Etiquette and Manners

2. Playing Options

Split

If your first two cards have the same point value, you may split them into two separate hands by placing a second bet equal to the original bet. You then proceed to draw cards. You are able to draw as many cards as you like on each split hand, but if you split two aces, you receive only one additional card for each ace. If you split two aces and one of your hands totals 21, it is counted as 21 and not blackjack. Any two ten value cards can be split, for instance a 10 and queen, however splitting ten value cards is never recommended. Two aces can, and should be, split. It is always recommended to split Aces and 8s. Normally the casino will also allow you to re-split after the original split. For example, you split two eight's and now are dealt again an eight as the second card of one of those two hands. You can split this hand again and now play three hands. Some casinos have limits on re-splitting aces. Be sure to know the rules of your casino before starting to play.

Double

After you are dealt two cards, and think that another card will allow you to beat the dealer's hand, you can increase your bet by an amount up to your original bet or double your bet. This is also known as 'doubling down'. Once you decide to 'double down' you are allowed to receive just one more card. You cannot stand on your original hand or take more than 1 additional card. For example, you may be dealt a 5 and a 6 for a total of 11. You can now double down, hoping to get a 10 value card (the most frequent value card in an unplayed deck). The casino house rules vary for doubling down. For example some allow only doubling down on 10 and 11 totals while others allow it on any two-card total. Some casinos allow it only on original hands and not split hands, while others allow doubling down after splitting.

Insurance

Insurance is designed to protect you when you think that the dealer may have blackjack. When buying insurance, you place 1/2 of your initial bet by pressing the 'Insurance' Button. If the dealer does have blackjack, you are paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. If the dealer does not have blackjack, you lose your insurance bet.

The Value of Winning payouts

Winning Hand 1 to 1 Insurance 2 to 1 Blackjack 3 to 2 If you lose a hand, you lose the amount you originally bet - no more, no less.