Many players think the ultimate goal of blackjack is to get as close as possible to 21 without busting, but the true objective is to beat the dealer’s hand. The dealer must follow very specific rules when deciding whether to hit or stand, so it is possible to win with a poor hand such as 12 or 13 if the dealer goes over 22 and busts his hand.
The multi-hand feature allows you to play more than one hand against the dealer at the same time. You may bet different amounts for each spot you choose to play. The dealer only gets a single hand, which is compared against each of your hands at the end of play to determine the amount of your winnings. If the dealer busts, all of your hands will get paid regardless of their final value.
After you sit down at the table, you must place a bet in each spot you wish to play during the upcoming hand. Your bet must be within the acceptable table stakes. Some tables have a minimum bet of $5, while others may have a minimum bet of $100. When the game begins, you will be dealt a two-card hand for each of your active spots. Face cards have a value of 10 and Aces may play as a one or 11. A starting hand of 21 is known as a Blackjack and pays out at 3-to-2 odds.
The dealer will also deal himself one face-down card and one face-up card. You must decide whether to take another card for your hand or stand as it is based on the strength of the dealer’s visible card. If the dealer is showing an Ace, you will have the option of purchasing insurance for your hand for the price of half of your initial bet. If you take the insurance bet and the dealer has a 10 as his face-down card, you will be paid 2-to-1 on the insurance bet.
Starting hands of 10 or 11 offer the added feature of doubling down to increase your bet. If you choose to double down, you must add more chips to match your initial bet. You will be given only one additional card to complete your hand. Doubling down only affects one hand at a time when you are playing multiple spots.
You may split hands that contain two cards of the same denomination, such as a 16 consisting of two eights or a 12 consisting of two sixes. Each card becomes the starting point for a new hand and your bet is doubled. You will receive an additional card on each hand before having the standard choices of hitting, standing or doubling down.
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