You must beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21.
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Good to know
Before playing blackjack, you might benefit from learning about certain notions of the game. These helpful tips and basic rules will give you a sense of what to expect before you get to the casino. Once you are at the table, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer any questions you may have. Helping you understand how the game is played is part of their job.
Taking a seat at the table
Blackjack tables can be easily identified by their green playing surface.
First, find a spot that isn’t already occupied. Although players are allowed to occupy several spots at the table, they must give up a spot for a new player if there are no other available spots. A special marker is used to indicate spots reserved for players who have temporarily left the table. These spots may be used until the absent player returns.
The initial bet
Place your money on the table. Never hand it to the dealer. The dealer will exchange your money for value chips and you may place your bet in the betting spot indicated on the table before the first card is dealt. Initial bets cannot be made, changed or withdrawn after that point.
You must respect the minimum and maximum limits indicated at the table when placing your bets.
Aces count as 1 or 11, face cards count as 10 and all other cards are counted at face value. A blackjack occurs when the first two cards of a hand are an Ace and a 10 or a face card, i.e. a two-card hand with a total value of 21, the highest possible score at blackjack.
The dealer deals the cards from a shoe. Only the dealer may touch the cards. The dealer deals two cards face up to each player, and one card face up and one card face down to himself.
Your five options
- Hit: i.e. draw one or several additional cards to improve your hand without going over 21.
- Stand: if you are satisfied with your hand.
- Split a pair: i.e. two cards of the same value, up to a maximum of four hands. Each hand is then played separately. Aces may be split only once and you receive only one additional card for each hand. When splitting a hand, you must wager an additional amount equal to your original bet. There is no blackjack on split pairs.
- Double down: i.e. wager an additional amount equal to the original bet after the first two cards are dealt, except if the two cards dealt total 21. You may also double down after splitting a pair, except in the case of a pair of Aces. In all cases, you receive only one additional card after doubling down.
- Take insurance: if the dealer’s face up card is an Ace. In this case, you may wager a sum equal to one-half of your original bet on the insurance line. If the dealer draws a blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2 to 1. If the dealer fails to draw a blackjack, you lose your insurance bet.
Some games enable you to place additional bets. Ask the dealer about your options.
Winning and losing hands
Your hand wins if its total value is 21 or less and exceeds the value of the dealer’s hand.
Your hand wins if its total value is 21 or less and the dealer’s hand exceeds 21.
Your hand wins if it is a blackjack while the total value of the dealer’s hand is 21, with three cards or more.
If the value of your hand exceeds 21, you lose your bet.
When your hand and the dealer’s hand tie, your hand is a push; it neither wins nor loses and you take back your bet.
This text gives a summary of the main rules regarding Blackjack. For more detailed information, please consult Québec’s By-law respecting casino games. In case of a discrepancy between the rules in this text and those in the By-law, the rules in the By-law prevail.
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