Blackjack Game Rules - How To Play

Blackjack is one of the most popular and well known casino game that can be found at every online or land based casino today. It is a game between a player and the dealer. You can also play multi-player blackjack version whith up to 6 players at the table. In blackjack, the cards are dealt from a deck of cards called a Shoe. Generally a shoe may contain from one standard 52-card deck to 6 or even 8 decks, thus decreasing you chances on exploiting card counting. Microgaming and Cryptologic online casinos offers the best Blackjack game (from the viewpoint of card counting and odds) that is played with a single 52-card deck, re-shaffled after each hand.

How to play Blackjack

You will be dealt two cards. The Dealer will be dealt one card. In some Casinos the Dealer is dealt two cards but only one is turned so that its value can be seen. The card that remains face down is called the Hole Card. The object of Blackjack is to obtain the highest possible hand without exceeding 21. All face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) have a value of ten (10) and the Aces can have a value of one (1) or eleven (11), wichever is better for you.

If your initial two cards do not total 21 then you may request additional cards or Hit. If your hand does not exceeds 21 (Bust) and still does not equal 21 you may continue to request a hit until you reach 21, bust, or you decide to Stand.

If you are dealt a Blackjack (an ace and a card of value ten) it is called Natural Blackjack. In this case the dealer will automatically lose unless his single card is an ace or a card of value ten. If you are dealt a Natural Blackjack then he will not be allowed to draw further cards as you already have the best possible hand.

If you go bust the game is over and the dealer wins. If you reach 21 or choose to Stand, the dealer will draw another card. The dealer must continue to draw cards until his Blackjack hand's value equals 17 or more. In the event of the dealer not going bust (and the player too) the value of the dealer and player's hands are then compared. If player's hand is stronger the Casino will pay him/her twice the amount originally wagered. If he/she win on a Blackjack he/she will be paid out 2.5 times the original bet (for Microgaming and Playtech online casinos).

Blackjack Rules

Here we provide detailed rules of Microgaming single-player blackjack games. The other versions may differ in number of decks, surrender feature, when the player can double down or split pairs. These are the basic rules to understand the course of play and game variations. For other game variations see specific pages for the corresponding game type on our site (left menu).

This version of Blackjack game is played with a single deck of cards, shuffled after the completion of every hand. You may draw up to 9 additional cards (i.e. up to 11 cards on hand is allowed) as long as the value of your hand does not exceed 21. If you go over 21, i.e. 'bust', 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 the game further.

The dealer must stand on 17 and draw on 16. This is the most common rule in online casinos. If the Dealer gets Blackjack after you have Split or Doubled your entire wager (both original and Double or Split bets) are lost.

Face cards (i.e. J, Q and K) all have a value of 10 in Blackjack. An Ace card may have a value of either 1 or 11. Any combination of cards that contains an Ace and whose value does not exceed 21 is called to as a soft hand. An Ace will adopt the value most beneficial for your hand. For example an Ace and Six will add up to 17 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 10 (a 10 or any face card) as your first two cards this is called Natural Blackjack. You will automatically stay when you receive a Natural Blackjack. If you beat the dealer with a Blackjack you are paid out at 3 to 2.

If you receive 2 cards of the same value (i.e. two Aces or two Fours) you may choose to Split your hand. This means that your pair is divided into two separate hands. You make extra bet equal to 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 (i.e. Queen and King) cannot be split in this version of Blackjack game. 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's hands except a Blackjack. If you split a pair of cards with a value of ten (face cards or 10s) and then receive an Ace this hand is not counted as Blackjack. Only Natural Blackjack is paid 3 to 2.

If your initial two cards has values of 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 bet).

Insurance only covers your original bet. It does not cover any Double Down bet. When the dealer is dealt an Ace you are allowed to make an insurance bet, if you wish. The Insurance bet costs half your original bet and will pay out 2 to 1 if the dealer gets Blackjack. You lose your original bet, e.g. you receive amout equal to your initial bet. If the dealer does not get Blackjack you lose your insurance bet and the game proceeds as normal.

After all cards have been dealt your hand(s) are compared to the dealer's hand. If the value of both hands (your and the dealer's ones) are the same it is called a Push. A Push means no one wins and you receive your bet back. Blackjack hand (valued at 21) beats a hand that's value is also 21. If both the dealer and a player have Blackjack this is considered a Push and the player gets his/her bet back.

Today Microgaming casinos offers up to 10 different versions of Blackjack including: Vegas Strip, Vegas Downtown, Atlantic City Blackjack, European, Spanish 21, Multi-hand, Double Exposure and Triple Sevens Blackjack (see links to other game rules and strategy cards on the left bar menu). Try new Microgaming's Gold Series versions of the popular blackjack games with enhanced features.

Basic Microgaming Blackjack Strategy ►

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