Blackjack has a dealer and usually between one and four players. Players must place bets before the dealer deals. Online blackjack bets usually range from a $1 minimum to a $500 maximum. The online casino you choose will have its bet minimums and maximums clearly posted on the site.
Blackjack begins with each player receiving two cards, one face up and one face down. The object of the game is to reach 21, or to be closer to 21 than the dealer, who is also a player. Players can choose to receive as many cards as they want (“hit”), or they can choose to “stand” or receive no more cards. Blackjack itself is when a player is dealt a 10 or a face card with an ace, and this results in the player being paid 1.5 times the initial bet. It’s possible, though, for the dealer also to have Blackjack, and the tie between the player and the dealer becomes a “push,” and the player gets his money back. It is important to remember that dealers are required to hit when they have 16 or less, and will stop when they have 17 or more. If the dealer pushes, all players are paid.
Double down: Doubling down allows you to double your bet during a game of Blackjack, but only after you’ve been dealt two cards. When you decide to double down, you’ll automatically be dealt one more card, but you cannot hit again after choosing to double down.
Split: Splitting allows you to break one hand into two hands, and gives you the chance to win (or lose) twice in one game. If you are dealt any pair of cards, with the exception of aces, you may split the cards into two hands, which will automatically place a second bet equal in amount to the first and allow you to play both hands individually. After you have split, you may take as many hits on each hand as you want. If you are dealt a pair of aces, you make yourself ineligible for Blackjack and can only get a “normal” 21. If the dealer has Blackjack, he wins. If the dealer has 21, it’s a push.
Insurance: In the event that the deal is showing an ace, you can choose to “insure yourself” in case the dealer has a 10 or a face card concealed. If the dealer’s card is in fact a 10 or a face card, you win your insurance bet and get paid at 2-1 odds. But if the dealer has a card that’s less than 10, you lose your insurance bet.