To begin a round, the player and the dealer are dealt two cards. For the player, both of their cards are dealt face up, while for the dealer the first card is dealt face up and the second card face down. In American Blackjack, players must try to get 21 without going over that amount. Once the initial first two cards are dealt, players can then elect to draw more cards until they either hit 21 or decide to “stay”. If a player’s total goes over 21, the player loses the hand automatically, known as a “bust”. If a player busts, the hand is instantly over for them regardless of what card total the dealer has.
A total of 21 is the best possible amount a player can achieve, but they can still win the hand even with a lesser amount. With cards totaling under 21, a player can “stay”, which signals to the dealer that they do not want to receive any additional cards. Once that happens, it will then be the dealer’s turn to draw cards to decide the winner. If the dealer’s first two cards equal a total of 16 or less, they must draw additional cards until their total is 17 or greater. When a dealer has 17 or more, they must “stand” and cannot draw any more cards. The end goal is to have a higher card total than the dealer without going over the 21 limit.
With the rules explained, getting started with online American Blackjack is a breeze. You can pick anywhere from 1 hand to 5 hands to play. From the settings screen (as indicated by the settings icon on the left side of the screen), you can choose minimum and maximum limits, the colour of your table, Turbo mode on/off, the number of hands you wish to play and background music. Once you have made your selections, click the save button to continue. You will now be presented with betting possibilities. The chips can be seen on the bottom right-hand side of the screen with multiple denominations available. Depending on your minimum/maximum selections, you will see the requisite chips displayed. At 888casino, you can practice your card skills with American Blackjack in a free-play demo mode direct off your browser, or for real money.
To make a betting selection, simply highlight the chip value that you’d like to play and click the bet button on the table. Recall that the minimum/maximum bets depend on your personal preferences. The minimum must be adhered to on every hand that you play, and the maximum applies to each individual hand. Provided your bankroll permits, you can play the maximum on every hand that you have selected. Once you’re ready, click on the deal button to get started. The dealer will deal one face-up card from the shoe to each place you have on the table (from right to left). The dealer will receive 1 face-up card and 1 facedown card. Your second card will be dealt face-up and you will have the option to stand, hit, take insurance or double where appropriate.
With online American Blackjack, if any of the hands that you’re playing exceed 21, the dealer will announce bust and you will immediately forfeit your bet. At the conclusion of each round, payments will be made and you will have an opportunity to play a new game. You can either continue where you left off with the same bets, or clear the deck and start all over again. Remember that with American Blackjack, the dealer is required to draw to 16 and stand on hand values of 17 or above. In certain cases, you will be able to double which allows you to take one final card for a doubling of your wager. No further bets will be allowed and you will have to wait for the dealer’s final hand to be revealed. Remember that in American Blackjack you’re competing against the dealer, not against other players.
2 through 9 are face value
10, Jack, Queen or King are worth 10
Aces are worth 1 or 11 (player’s choice)
Important Blackjack Terminology
– Draw additional cards to your hand. Stay:
Take no more cards and end your hand.
Get a hand total over 21 and lose automatically.
– A hard hand in blackjack is a hand that either has no ace or has an ace with a value of 1. A queen and an 8 would be a Hard 18, while an Ace, 7 and 9 would be a Hard 17.
– Soft hands are hands where the Ace is valued at 11. If your first two cards were an Ace and a 6, you would have a Soft 17.
– When the player receives their first two cards and knows their initial total, they may choose to “Double Down”. By doubling down, a player doubles their bet and draws one more card to their hand, face up. After a player does a double down, no more additional cards may be drawn to their hand. If a player has performed a split, a double down can be performed on both pairs of hands.
– If a player is dealt a pair as their first two cards (such as 66, 99, QQ), they can choose to “split” the pair into two separate hands. An additional bet equal to the original wager will automatically be placed on the new hand, at which point both hands will then be played separately of each other. Each separate hand can be played like a regular hand of Blackjack. When splitting Aces, the player is no longer eligible to score a Blackjack (21 instant payout) on either of the two new hands. If you split Aces and receive a total of 21 on one or both of the hands and the dealer then gets a Blackjack with an Ace and face card or a 10, the player’s 21 will be declared the loser.
– Players can protect themselves from a possible dealer Blackjack by placing insurance on their hand. This is typically done when the dealer’s face card is an Ace. When insurance is selected, a bet equal to half the amount of the original wager is made that protects the original wager against the Blackjack. If the dealer does hit a Blackjack with their second card, the player wins double the insurance bet amount. If the dealer doesn’t get a two card Blackjack, the player loses their insurance bet total.
– When the dealer and player’s hands are of equal value of at least 17, the hand ends in a draw. The player’s bet remains on the table and a new hand is dealt.
– If the player hits a two card Blackjack and the dealer’s face card is an Ace, the player can choose the option of “Even Money”. In an even money situation, the player accepts a 1 to 1 payout instead of the traditional 3 to 2 Blackjack payout and the hand is ended without the dealer’s second card being shown.
American Blackjack has one dealer and one single player. Cards are dealt from a shoe containing 6 decks with 52 cards per deck. The cards are shuffled after each round. Before the hand starts, players place their wagers by selecting from the $1, $5, $25 or $100 chip denominations available to them, and then clicking on the table to finalize the bet. After bets are placed, players then click the “Deal” button to begin the hand.
Once the cards have been dealt, bets may not be altered in any way. Extra bets through Double Downs, Splits and Insurance plays can be done throughout a hand. These special options will only appear and be available for the player to select in instances where they are allowed. For example, the “split” button will not appear if you do not have a hand that can be split.
Player hands must be finished before the dealer will draw any cards. If the dealer and player both receive two card Blackjacks, the hand will be ruled a push. If the dealer busts by exceeding the 21 total, all players still in the hand will win automatically.
The game rules apply for mobile as well.
For the full and official game instructions go here.
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