Gameplay Options

The previous article covered the basics of Blackjack gameplay and this article will provide you with some more insight into standard Blackjack gameplay.

In addition to deciding whether or not a player would like an additional card (hit/stand) in order to achieve a score as close to 21, there are a number of actions a player can take when it’s their turn.

Double or double down is an option available that allows the player to double his or her initial bet after receiving their first two cards. It’s generally used when the two cards are not a good hand on their own but could be a potential winning hand with the addition of a third card. The ‘catch’ however is that the player will receive only one further card and no more. This approach is prime when the player had an initial hand totalling between eight and 11 and it appears that the Dealer will have a poor hand. Receiving a third card of a high-value will place the player in a very good position but the danger is receiving a low-value card, meaning the Dealer could quite easily beat the players hand. The use of this option is sometimes dependent on the value of the first two cards and may vary from casino to casino.

Splitting a hand is permitted when a player receives two cards of the same rank during the initial deal, for instance two eights. The player will be required to double the initial wager and will then effectively play two separate hands from that point on. The hands are played independently of each other. If the player receives another pair on either of the ‘new’ hands, they may be allowed to split that hand again.

Insurance will be offered to a player should the Dealer’s face up card be an ace. Should the player accept the insurance, they will be required to place a side bit of half the original wager. Should the Dealer hit Blackjack the player loses the initial wager but the insurance pays out 2:1, meaning the player is no worse off. However if the Dealer does not have Blackjack, the player loses the ‘insurance’ wager and the outcome of the hand is determined as normal.

Surrendering a hand is also an option available after the initial deal but is not available in all casinos. It allows a player to fold and receive half of their initial bet back. This is typically done when a players hand is considered very weak and the player holds no hope of beating the Dealer.