The goal of blackjack happens to be very easy: to get a total higher than the dealer, but which doesn't go over 21. Although other players may be sitting at the same table as you, you only have one opponent throughout the game: the dealer.

There are only a few decisions that you have to make during blackjack games. You have to take the dealer's card and your hand into consideration and keep in mind that exceeding 21 equals to a bust and an ultimate loss.

The Basics of the Game

In blackjack, the cards are given different point values.

  • The picture cards are each worth 10 points;
  • The Aces are each worth 1 or 11 points (depending on what would benefit the hand's owner more);
  • And every other card is worth its own face value.
  • Jokers aren't put to use in blackjack.

In the game, backpack refers to a card combination of any picture card or 10 card and an Ace as a first hand. It pays out 1.5 times your wager - provided the dealer doesn't get a blackjack, too, that is. In the latter case, you will get a stand-off.

The dealer has to follow a strict rule set while playing. He has to take one more card if he has 16 at most and stand if he has at least 17 in total.

Extra Rules

If your first hand consists of two cards with the same value, you can choose to split them to make three individual hands. However, Aces can only be split for two hands. For every hand, you will get another card, but a bet equal to the original one has to be given for each split.

The rules of the casino tend to differ when it comes to splitting, though, so make sure you ask your dealer how the rules go first.

You can also place another bet (that doesn't exceed your first bet) when your first hand totals 9 to 11 (no Aces involved). This is called doubling down and you will get another extra card for it.

Again, the rules might differ at several casinos here, so make sure you ask the dealer about the rules first.

If the dealer's first up-card happens to be an Ace, he can announce "Insurance". This gives you the chance to make a bet of insurance of half of your first bet to save your hand if the dealer gets a blackjack.

This kind of bet gets paid out at 2:1 and only wins if your dealer has a blackjack. If he doesn't get a blackjack, you lose your insurance bet - remember that.