Blackjack or 21 Rules

The object of the game is to draw cards with a total count of 21 or a count that is nearer to 21 than the dealer’s count. If your count goes over 21, you lose. If your count is the same as the dealer’s, it can be called a “stand-off’ (neither side wins) or, in some games, you may lose since the object is to beat the dealer.

Make sure you understand the “house rules” before you begin playing.

Always watch the discards as the games progresses, particularly the high-count cards. If, after a few hands, you see that most of the high-count cards have been played, your chances of drawing a low-count card have greatly increased and vice-versa. This is one of the most important rules for winning at Blackjack.

Play your hands carefully. When the cards are coming your way, increase your bets gradually. If you should start to lose, don’t double your bets.


The Deal: Two cards face down to each player. The dealer gets one card face up and one card face down.

Card Counts: Jack, Queen and King each count as 10. You may count an Ace as 1 or 11. All other cards count face value.

Stand or Hit: If you “stand,” you draw no more cards, If you want another card, ask the Dealer to “hit” you. He will give you one more card. You may continue to ask to be “hit” until you are satisfied with your card count. At that point, you should “stand.”

Going Bust: If your card count is higher that 21, you lose your bet or you go “bust.” You lose your bet even when the Dealer draws a “bust” hand.

Blackjack: When you have an Ace and a 10 count card for your hand (two cards only) you have Blackjack. This pays 1 1/2 times your bet. However, the bet is off if the Dealer also draws Blackjack. It would then be a stand-off for you and all the other players without a Blackjack would lose to the Dealer, even though they might have a 21-count. Ask about any “house rules” on this.

Split Bets: When your first two cards are a pair you have the choice of splitting then into two hands and betting your original stake on each hand.

Dealer Must Draw: The Dealer must draw (“hit” himself’) until his card count exceeds 16. Once his card count equals or exceeds 17, the Dealer must “stand” unless he happens to have a “soft 17.”

The Dealer has the option of drawing or not drawing to a “soft 17.” A “soft 17” is a count of 17 using and Ace as 11. This means that the Ace could be switched to count as only 1 giving a considerably lower card count if necessary.

Dealer Must: The Dealer must “stand” whenever he has a card count of “hard 17” or greater. A “hard 17” is a 17 -count hand which does not use any Ace or uses all Aces involved as a 1.


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