Learn how to play blackjackAfter the cards are dealt, the game begins. If the dealer has a total of no more than 16, he has to draw more cards and stand if he has 17 or more. Hitting means taking more cards to get your total closer to 21 – without going over. If card takes you over 21, that’s known as a bust. Point to your cards, or wave toward yourself to ask for a hit if you’re in a shoe game; in a facedown game, scratch the table with your cards to get more from the dealer. If you just ask verbally, you won’t get anything. Hand signals are required to provide video documentation for the casino for every move the dealer makes. Eventually, when you have all the cards you want, you’ll stand. You’ll hope that the total in your hand is higher than everyone else’s. If you’re playing a shoe game, put your palm down on your cards to show that you want to stand. In a facedown game, just slide your cards beneath your chips to indicate that you’re done taking more cards. Doubling down means that you’re doubling your initial bet, and you only get one card, no matter what the denomination. In this case, some casinos limit doubling to players whose first two cards add up to 10 or 11. Take chips equal to your first bet, and put them next to your first bet. If you are playing a face down game, turn those first two cards face up.
Are your first two cards the same denomination? Consider splitting. You make a second bet that’s the same as your first, and then you split the pair up. Now each card starts its own hand. If you get two 7s, just slide a new bet equal to the first into the betting box. The dealer separates the 7s and puts another card on the first 7. You play that hand out before you move to the second 7. If the dealer’s showing an Ace, you can ask for insurance. This is a bet that the other card is a 10 or face card, to finish the blackjack. Insurance costs half the original bet and pays 2-1 should the dealer have blackjack. This hedges losses for a bet if the dealer ends up with blackjack. Of course, insurance is usually a bad deal for the player, because only 30.8 percent of cards are worth 10, so a draw is much less likely to bring one of those out. Over time, you’ll add your own strategy tips to these. These are just some basic ideas about how to get ahead in the early stages of your blackjack adventure.