After the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards to each player (which may be face up or face down depending on the version of the game) and two cards to himself, one of which is face up. In some versions the dealer does not deal his face down card.
Each player in turn then plays his hand by hitting (asking for another card) or standing (not wanting another card). In the process of hitting, if the players hand value crosses twenty-one, he goes bust and loses his game. Once all players have made their moves it is the dealer’s turn. The dealer does not exercise any choice but has to play according to the rules. The dealer has to hit until his hand value is seventeen or more. If the dealer goes bust then the players still in the game win. If the dealer does not go bust, the hand value is compared with the remaining players to decide who wins.
There are a number of special moves in blackjack. These are described below.
- Double Down: After seeing his hand, the player can double his wager. The condition is that he has to take one and only one additional card.
- Split: If both the cards of the player are of the same value, the player can split the hand and play it as two separate hands by placing another identical wager.
- Surrender: After seeing his hand the player can the player can surrender by forfeiting half his bet amount. This option is now not offered in most casinos.
- Insurance: If the dealer’s open card is an ace, the player can place a separate wager that the dealer will be dealt a blackjack. The amount of this wager is restricted to half his wagered stake. If the dealer gets a blackjack, the player is paid 2:1 on the insurance bet. His normal bet proceeds in the usual manner.