The rules of traditional Blackjack are fairly straightforward and easy to understand. A player accepts two cards from the dealer, and tries to create a situation where they either make twenty-one in total, or get as close as possible without exceeding twenty-one. They have access to a number of choices to aid them in their efforts, and many people are able to develop some remarkably strong strategies and patterns for winning the game.
Because of this the game continues to evolve, and casinos and gambling houses introduce rules and variations that help them compete strongly against the players. There are rules around the way cards are dealt by the dealer, how players must indicate their decisions and how the actual game proceeds forward. There are bonus payments for certain configurations of cards, and dozens of other unique “rules” applied to all of the different varieties.
Each game of Blackjack is actually played against the dealer, though many tables in casinos will have a handful of players at any given time. So a player’s strategy needs to involve only their own cards and those of the dealer.
To increase chances of winning, a player can “stand”, “hit”, “double down”, “surrender” or “split”. Though these choices can have additional options and variations depending upon the game of Blackjack being played as well as the casino that is hosting the game.
To “stand” a player needs only indicate to the dealer that they do not want anymore cards, to “hit” the player uses a gesture to show they want another card, and can continue to do this until they “stand” or “bust”. To “double down” a player will be required to double their original wager and take only one more card.
A “split” is done by taking the initial hand and separating it into two new hands to which a second card is added to each. Some games allow for re-splitting as well, and some don’t allow a player to win a “blackjack” by “splitting aces”.
Finally, if a player wants to rescue their wager they can “surrender”. Surrendering can be done at several stages of play and each requires a forfeit of a portion of the initial wager. Some casinos no longer permit late surrenders to take place.
A popular variant to traditional Blackjack is “Blackjack Switch” which is unique due to the dealing of two hands to each player. A player has the option of switching their top two cards to create a better scenario for themselves.
For example a player who receives an Ace/four combination and a seven/ten combination can swap or switch their cards in order to have an Ace/ten and a seven/four. This means a player has just given themselves a “natural blackjack” and will be entitled to an “even money” payout of one to one on their wager.
This is a unique payout amount that is actually a reduction from the standard reward for a “blackjack”, which is usually a three to two payout. This is because of a player’s dramatically increased chances of winning with the switching opportunity.