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The goal of blackjack is to create a hand with a higher total than the dealer’s, without going over 21.


Don’t play a myth. Play the dealer.

Contrary to popular belief, the goal of the game is not to get as close to 21 as possible, but rather to beat the dealer.

  • You compete against the dealer, not other players
  • You win if the value of your hand is higher than the dealer’s without going over 21
  • You win if a dealer busts (goes over 21)
  • A table limit is the minimum and maximum bet you can make
  • Table limits are posted on all games. Pay attention to the limits when setting a budget


Play for fun, not to make money.

  • The game begins when each player places their chips in the box on the table in front of them.
  • Every player is dealt two cards, while the dealer is dealt one exposed card and one face-down “hole” card. If a player has Blackjack, he or she is immediately paid out at either 3 to 2 or 6 to 5, unless the dealer also has Blackjack.
  • You can decide to stand, hit, double down or split. In some games you have the option to surrender.
  • The dealer will expose his or her hole card.
  • The dealer hits to 17. Some variations allow the dealer to hit a “soft 17” (a 17 in which one of the cards is an Ace valued at 11).
  • Once the dealer stands or busts, players with hands better than the dealer’s win and are paid out at 1 to 1.


You can spend hours at a blackjack table. But setting a time limit can keep you fresh.

  • Never touch the chips once the cards are in play
  • Use hand signals to let the dealer know what you want to do
    • Tap on the table to signal a hit or draw
    • Wave your hands over your cards to signal a stand
    • Add a separate bet to the original wager to signal a double down
    • Splits should be communicated verbally to the dealer


You can’t control which cards are dealt on any given hand.

  • A winning wager is paid 1 to 1.
  • Blackjacks are paid at 3 to 2 or 6 to 5. The odds will be listed on the table.
  • Even making the statistically correct play does not ensure a winning outcome. You still can’t control which cards are dealt on any given hand.


Know the game. Play on your terms.

Blackjack A two-card hand containing an Ace and a 10-value card, totaling 21.

Bust/Break A hand totaling over 21, automatically resulting in a loss.

Soft hand A hand with an Ace that can be valued at either 1 or 11. With a soft hand, you cannot break or bust if you hit or take a card.

Hit or Draw The decision to be dealt another card.

Stand The decision to not be dealt another card.

Double Down To double your original bet and commit to standing after taking only one more card.

Split If you’re dealt two cards of the same value, you can split your original hand into two separate hands. This requires an additional, equal bet. No blackjack payouts occur in hands that have been split.

Surrender If you don’t like your first two cards, you can surrender. The dealer takes half of your original bet and your hand is discarded. You can’t surrender when the dealer has Blackjack.

Insurance If the dealer’s exposed card is an Ace and a player has Blackjack, they will be offered the opportunity to take “Even Money” which will be paid 1-1. Player hands which are not Blackjack can take Insurance, which is a side bet, up to half their original wager. When the dealer checks the hole card, if it is a 10 value then insurance is paid 2-1 and the original wager loses. If it is any other value, Insurance loses, and the hand is played as usual.