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Quick Tips

- insurance is not recommended
- only increase your bets when you are winning

Blackjack Dictionary

blackjack - the first two cards being dealt to a player are a ten value card and an ace
bust - when the dealer or player draws cards to a total of more than 21
face card - King, Queen and Jack
hard hand - a hand that does not have an ace or a hand that cannot use the ace as eleven
hit or draw - to draw additional cards
hole card - the face down card dealt to the dealer
insurance - side wager for up to half of the original wager when the dealer is showing an ace
natural - a ten value card and an ace
push - when the dealer and player have identical card values. No winner or loser.
press - to increase the amount being wagered after a win usually by the original amount
soft hand - a hand that can use the ace as one or eleven
split - to make two hands from a pair
stand - to not draw any more cards
stiff hand - a hand between twelve through sixteen
surrender - an option where the player may give up half of their wager

Blackjack History

Blackjack first originated in France as vingt un or 21 in the 1700's. The reason it is called blackjack was if a player was dealt an Ace of Spades and a Jack of Spades, they were rewarded with extra money. Blackjack was first played in the United States in the early 1900's in Indiana. Because blackjack was new and not too popular, the gambling parlors offered to pay 3 to 2 for a count of 21 in the first two cards. In a modern deck of 52 cards, those cards with a value of 10 (10, Jack, Queen and King) represent 30.8% of a deck.

Blackjack Rules

In Blackjack, the objective is to try to beat the dealer by getting closer to 21. If the total value of your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer?s hand, you win an equal amount to what you have bet. If you have a blackjack hand, you win 3:2 times your bet (example - a $5 bet will win $7.50), as long as the dealer does not also have blackjack. Aces have a value of either 1 or 11, face cards as 10 and the cards that are left are valued as their face numbers. Because you can play an Ace either way, a hand with an ace is called a soft hand.

If the total of your hand is over 21, you'll bust and lose your bet. If you have the same card total as the dealer, from 17 and up, you get your bet back in a push as neither have won. Blackjack beats a count of 21.

The dealer must draw cards until they have at least 17 and must stand at 17 or higher.


If you are not pleased with the total of your first two cards, you can draw additional card(s) until you stand or bust. Some casinos refer to hitting as draw.


If you are pleased with your first two cards, you would then stand and not draw anymore cards.

Double Down

Your bet is doubled and you draw only one more card. If you have been dealt two cards and think that a third card may give you a chance to beat the dealer's hand, you can double down.


If your first two cards are of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands by placing a second bet of equal value and drawing cards as usual. Note that at many online casinos, if you split two aces, you get only one additional card for each hand. When you split two aces and one of your hands totals 21, this is not blackjack, it's 21. Note that at some online casinos, you cannot split a split hand.


Insurance is not recommended and is considered a separate game/bet of its own. When you think that the dealer has blackjack, it gives you a chance to guard your bet. If the dealer?s first card is an ace and if you think that the dealer?s hole card is of value 10, you can buy insurance against dealer blackjack. The insurance bet would be at the price of half your original bet. If the dealer has blackjack, the insurance pays 2:1, matching the amount of your original bet. If you have purchased insurance and the dealer doesn't have blackjack, you'll lose your insurance bet. If you and the dealer both have blackjack, the game ends in a push.


Surrender is not offered at very many online casinos. When surrender is available, if you are not pleased with the cards you were dealt, you may give them up and lose half of your bet.

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