Before any cards are dealt, the player must place a wager. Player does this by placing the bet in the designated space in front of their table position. The dealer then deals two cards to each of the players and two to them self (one of the dealer’s cards is dealt face up and one is dealt facing down). Face cards (kings, queens and jacks) count as 10, ace counts as 1 or 11 (as the player chooses) and all other cards are counted at their face value.

BLACKJACK – If the player’s first two cards are an ace and a 10 or face card, they win. However, if the dealer also has a blackjack, it is a push, as are all ties. A winning blackjack pays the player 3 to 2.

HIT OR STAND – Hit means to draw another card (which the player signifies by a scraping hand motion). Stand means no more cards (which the player signals by moving their hand in a horizontal direction). If the player hits and busts (goes over 21), player immediately loses the wager.

DOUBLE DOWN – The player is allowed to double the bet on their first two cards and draw one additional card only to improve their hand.

SPLITTING PAIRS – If the first two cards a player is dealt are a pair, the player may split them into two separate hands, the player must place an additional bet that is the same amount on each of the two separate hands and then play them separately. Aces receive only one additional card. After splitting, A-10 counts as 21 and not as blackjack.

INSURANCE – If the dealer’s up card is an ace, the player may take insurance which is a bet not exceeding one-half their original bet. If the dealer’s down card is a 10 or any face card, the player wins 2 to 1 on the insurance bet. Any other card means a win for the dealer on the insurance bet. The game then continues as normal.

The dealer must draw on 16 and stand on all 17’s (in some casinos, the dealer is required to draw on soft 17).