play black jack

CASINO QUOTES
Stop cheating!" the dealer told the card player. "I'm not!" claimed the player.
"You must be," said the dealer. "That is not the hand that I dealt you."
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Black Jack Strategy

Object of the game:
To come closest to a card count of 21. A player has "busted" if the card count exceeds 21 and must forfeit the bet.

Cards:
Aces count as either 1 or 11 (player's discretion). Kings, Queens and Jacks count as 10. All other cards count at face value.

Play:
Players are dealt two cards face up. The dealer gets one face up, one face down. Players either stay or take more cards. Any player who does not bust waits for the dealer's turn. The dealer turns up the down card. By rule, on counts of 17 or higher the dealer must stay; a count of 16 or less means the dealer must draw again.

Winning and losing:
Remaining players with a higher count than the dealer win an amount equal to their bet. Players with a natural 21 (for example a queen and an ace) are paid off at 3 to 2. Players with a lower count than the dealer forfeit the bet.

Table setup:
Six to eight 52-card decks are shuffled together and placed in a card-dealing shoe. A table is staffed by a dealer and a pit boss, who monitors play for mistakes and rules on all disagreements.

Betting:
Limits change with the time of day. Minimums at Casino Windsor are $15. A per-hand maximum can go as high as $5,000.

House advantage:
Casinos make anywhere from 0.25 percent to 2.5 percent of all bets placed. Odds are that a novice, betting $5, will lose $32 in four hours. You'll play 60-100 games per hour.

Rules at the Seven Palms Casino:

Double down:
You can increase your bet, up to double the amount, on any hand except blackjack (ace and picture card or ten). But then you only draw one card.

Split:
If your first two cards match, you can split the cards and play two hands doubling your bet. You can split up to four times and double down after splitting.

Soft 17:
Dealer must stand on a "soft 17" -- any combination of cards with an ace adding up to 17.

Up card and hole card:
Both dealer and player will receive one card up and one card down.

Cards:
Eight decks per "shoe," which holds the cards being dealt.

Blackjack tips

Playing strategy:
This table tells you how to play each hand. Using this guide gives you an advantage over typical players. Always hit when your hand is below 9, if you don't have an ace.

Where to sit:
For seasoned players, the best seat is "third base" -- to the immediate right of the dealer. This seat plays last, just before the dealer, and can observe other cards dealt. Inexperienced players should avoid this seat because it has a direct bearing on the dealer's hand.

Betting strategy:
When a new shoe of cards is being dealt, start out with single-unit bets -- one chip of whatever denomination you're playing. Alter your bets upward steadily. If all the high cards are dealt in early rounds, find another table.

Basic strategy for blackjack
D=double; H=hit; S=stand; SP=split pairs
Top line is what card the Dealer shows, left column is total player holds.

  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
9 D D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D D D H H
11 D D D D D D D D D D
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13 S S S S S H H H H H
14 S S S S S H H H H H
15 S S S S S H H H H H
16 S S S S S H H H H H
17+ S S S S S S S S S S

When to split pairs
D=double; H=hit; S=stand; SP=split pairs
Top line is what card the Dealer shows, left column is total player holds.

  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
A-A SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
2-2 H SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
3-3 H H SP SP SP SP H H H H
4-4 H H H D D H H H H H
5-5 D D D D D D D D H H
6-6 SP SP SP SP SP H H H H H
7-7 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
8-8 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
9-9 SP SP SP SP SP S SP SP S S

Soft totals (hand in which you have an ace):
D=double; H=hit; S=stand; SP=split pairs
Top line is what card the Dealer shows, left column is total player holds.

  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
A2-A5 H H D D D H H H H H
A6 D D D D D H H H H H
A7 S D D D D S S H H S
A8, A9 S S S S S S S S S S

Insurance (bet offered by dealer showing an ace):
Never take insurance

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