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Blackjack information and rules

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Blackjack information

Black Jack, under the game rules, is played with a minimum of 2 decks with each 52 cards.
In practice, the casinos play Black Jack only with six decks
Thus, it is played with a total of 312 cards.
The color of a card (clubs, diamonds, hearts or spades) plays no role.
The value of the cards in the game is as follows:

The ten, jacks, women and king are completely equivalent to this game.
When we talk of a ten or a picture card, it can be either one of these cards (ten, jack, woman or king) since they are equivalents.
In tables, the letter T is used to represent this.
A player may choose whether to count an ace for 1 or 11 points.
An ace in the bank is always 11, unless the bank would be over 21.
In that case, an ace counts for 1.
A hand in which an ace appears to be counted for 11 is called a soft hand, for example, an ace and a seven together are a soft 18.
A hand with no ace or an ace counted as 1 is called a hard hand.
An ace, a five and a ten count as a hard 16.
The cards are placed in a card holder called a shoe or slipper.

In the middle of the table is a space for the insurance or involvement of the players.
Outside there are seven betting positions, which are the boxes.
Each box is marked by four rounds, the first round is a double one.
This first round is meant for the bet of the sitting player who takes the decisions for that box, the boxholder.
On other rounds one can play along the boxholder
Seated players may work together but also stand-players can play.
When a bet is made on a box without a sitting player, or the sitting player isn’t there for a moment, then there has to be determined who becomes boxholder before the start of the round.
In conflicts, there is an unwritten rule that the player with the highest bet becomes boxholder.
It used to be that participants in a box could not advise the boxholder in game decisions.
The current game rules have been tightened. Now all forms of advice on the Black Jack table are prohibited.

Blackjack objective of the game

The aim of the game is to get more points than the bank, but without the points exceding 21.
If a player or the bank derives more than 21 points, he bought himself ‘dead’.
A player who buys himself dead has lost, his bet and the cards are taken away by the dealer immediately.
The highest hand for the player and the bank is the ‘Black Jack’, the card combination in which the game takes its name.
A Black Jack is 21 points, with the first two cards, ie an ace and a picture in a random order.

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Bets in Blackjack

In a game round, even before any cards are shown, the dealer announces that betting is allowed.
The player should take into account the minimum and maximum bets.
These values are listed on a sign at or on the table.
Every bet should be greater than or equal to the minimum.
The total amount of all bets on a box cannot be bigger than the maximum table limit.
Bets should be a multiple of the minimum.

First cards in a game of Blackjack

The dealer gives a card to each box in which at least one bet is made, starting with the player to his left side.
After this, he gives himself a card. Then he gives second cards to each player. The cards are always given with the picture side up.

‘Black Jack’ for the player.

After the distribution of the first card the dealer first checks whether there are players who now have 21 points, a ‘Black Jack’ (ace and picture in any order).
Only with a ten or ace as the first card the bank can also get ‘Black Jack’. Did he not, he can still get 21 points, but with three or more cards.
This counts as a lower hand. The players with a ‘Black Jack’ now have a winning hand and are directly paid one and a half times their bet.
Since the normal payout for a winning hand is only one times the bet, the extra half-bet is called the ‘Black Jack’-bonus.
Does the bank have an ace or ten, then the player with the ‘Black Jack’ has not yet won. It remains to be seen how the bank will buy.

Even Money

When the bank’s first card is an ace the dealer provides players with a ‘Black Jack’ the possibility to ‘even money’.
Even money means that the player immediately receives his bet once as payout.
The right to the bonus of a half stake in profits he loses, But he also wins if the bank gets ‘Black Jack’ as well.
An even money payout on a ‘Black Jack’ is the same as taking insurance against a possible “Black Jack” of the bank.
The decision of the boxholder on whether to take even money need not to be taken by any standing player on that box.


When the first card of the bank is an ace then the players can insure themselves against a possible “Black Jack” for the bank. The dealer announces the opportunity to insure, and the player who wants to insure puts an amount equal to half of his bet on the line ‘Insurance’. A player who plays on a number of boxes may determine whether it ensures or not for each box. Players who want to insure their ‘Black Jack’ instantly receive their even-money payout.
Before the following card is drawn for further progress game, the dealer announces that the possibility to insure is closed.

Blackjack following cards for the players

Then, the boxes are all handeled one by one.
All game decisions are taken by the boxholder, usually this is the player sitting at that box.
Other players who also have betted on the box may not affect decisions.
A player can request additional cards (hit) or he can stand. There are also additional options, split and double.
These are discussed on another page. A player loses when he buys additional cards making his hand over 21 points. Then the player bought himself ‘dead’. The dealer immediately takes the bets and cards of that box, before he plays on.

Following cards for the bank

After all boxes are completed, the dealer draws cards for the bank.
When the bank has 16 points or less he continues to buy until the points are 17 or more.
If the first card of the bank was an ace, after drawing the second card of the bank, the dealer first handles all insurances.
If the second card of the bank is indeed a ten, all bets on the insurance line are paid 2 to 1.
Is the second card is not a ten, then the insurances are canceled and removed by the dealer.

Handling bets

When the bank achieved more than 21 points (and is therefore ‘dead’), the dealer pays all bets of the players once.
If the point total of the bank 21 or less, then the dealer takes the bets from the players with less points than the bank and pays those with more points.
If the player and the bank have as many points the result is a tie (also called stand-off or push).
The player is free to take back his bet or change it.
A ‘Black Jack’ beats a 21 consisting of three or more cards, this applies to both the player and the dealer.
When a player has a ‘Black Jack’, the initial bet is paid one and a half times, unless the bank has a ‘Black Jack’ as well.
In the latter case, again, a standoff, a tie. For the bank, the number of possible outcomes of a hand is seven, namely: buying dead,17,18,19,20,21 and “Black Jack” (in ascending order of strength).
As a player does not need to buy up to 17 points, he may stand on 16 points or less.
The following table shows the possible outcomes of a Black Jack game show.
The totals of the bank are horizontal to the player vertically.
At the intersection of a row and a column is the result of the player.
For clarity, the insurance payout is also indicated.
As you can see make ‘Black Jack’ and insurance together always profit from a bet on. This explains the even money payout.


when the first and second card of a player have the same value he is allowed to split them.
Two pictures, for example a ten and a lady, can be split. To do this the box-owner places along his original bet a second bet from the same value. The dealer separate the cards, afterwards the cards and the bets now are considered as two separate hands. They’re handled after each other on the regular manner. If there comes on a separated card a card with the same value the player can split again. There is no limit to it. When a player splits a couple of aces he receives on both aces just one card. But if that card turns out to be another card, he can split the two aces again. A splitted ace with a ten on it doesn’t count as a BlackJack but as an ordinary 21 and therefore loses from a BlackJack of the bank. When a box-owner decide to split the fellow players that have betted on that box may choose if they follow the split. If they do, then they place, just like the box-owner, an extra bet on table equal to the original one. If not, they play with the first(the right one for a player) of the two new hands. This rule also goes for any further splits made.


When a player reaches with his first two cards 9, 10 or 11 points he can double his bet. If he does so he’ll only receive one additional card. You can also double with splitted hands, and also with a hand that exist out of an ace and an eight or an ace and a nine. In these last cases the player chooses to count the ace as a 1. If there has been doubled with an ace and a 8 and the last card is a 2 then the hand is only worth 11 points, and not 21(It isn’t recommended to double on a soft total. A ‘BlackJack’ can’t be doubled, however a splited ace with an ace on top of it can be doubled) If a player decide to double then the fellow players that have made a bet on the box may choose if they follow the double. Three sevens are paid of as a BlackJack-bonus.
When the first three cards of a player are sevens and he hasn’t split, then the player immediately gets a bonus that’s equal to his bet. Whereupon he continues playing with 21 points, with a big chance of getting paid again. In the beginning of the Dutch casinos that bonus was a bottle of champagne, this bonus is still used in a few foreign casinos.

Advantage for the player

The rules make clear that these options are for the player and the dealer different. The dealer doesn’t have any freedom. He can’t double nor can he split nor insure against a BlackJack of a player and he also doesn’t get a ‘BlackJack’- or triple-sevens-bonus. Further he is forced to always buy a card until he’s got 17 points regardless of the amount of points. If he’s got 17 points or more he’s forced to stop. On the other side when a player busts himself he’ll lose his bet, even when the bank also gets busted. An accurate analyse teaches us that the advantages and disadvantages are equal if the game is played correctly. The bank appears to have a minor advantage, about 0,5%. This means that someone who plays 200 games of BlackJack, loses one bet more than he average wins. It isn’t a coincidence for the bank to have a minor advantage. The rules have been carefully been chosen to insure this.
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