Playing against the dealer in Blackjack (the house). Your goal is to draw cards close to 21 without going over. A hand above 21 is a bust. At a blackjack table, players compete against the dealer, not each other. To win, a player must beat the dealer’s hand. You can do this two ways: 1 Have a card total bigger than the dealers without “busting”. 2 Win if the dealer “busts.”

So, Let’s Go to Vegas

Look for the minimum and maximum bet signs at a Las Vegas blackjack table. The minimum stake varies from casino to casino and table to table. Minimum £5, maximum £500.

Blackjack Layout

Find a suitable bet-limit table and a suitable seat. Wait for the current hand to finish. “Change, please” before the following hand begins. The dealer will interpret this as an invitation to play. The dealer will then take your cash, count it, spread it out on the table so the Pit Boss can see it, announce the amount, and then convert it into various denominations of playing chips.

Make a gamble with the chips. On a whim, the dealer starts Depending on the number of players, the dealer will deal two cards each (face up). In addition, the dealer is dealt two cards, one face up. (The dealer’s hole card is called the “hole card.”)

As soon as the cards are given, the dealer turns to the first player on his or her left and circles around each player to decide on their hand. You can “Stand”, “Hit”, “Double”, or “Split” after your first two cards. “Stand” signifies you are close to 21 and don’t need any more cards. Alternatively, you may want another card or “Hit”.

After all players have finished their hands, the dealer now plays his or her hand. The dealer then acts on the hand according to the rules of the game. If the total is 16 or fewer, the dealer must “Hit” until the total is 17. If the total is 17-21, the dealer must “Stand.” The dealer, like the players, will bust if over 21.

Beware of “must hit soft 17” Blackjack tables. The dealer must draw on all soft 17 hands until he or she reaches a hard 17 or higher. There is a soft 17 rule in Las Vegas.

Gambling Lingo

  • “Change please” means to ask the dealer to change your cash for chips.
  • “Stand” (take no more cards)
  • “Hit” (draw additional cards)
  • “Hit” or “stand” is communicated nonverbally between the player and the dealer.

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