By 'blackjack methods', we simply mean the various ways that a blackjack
player can exercise his/her techniques as their hand is played. Many gamblers
are attracted to blackjack simply because of the amount of control that
players have over the actual play of their hand. You're in total control
and the rest is basically up to the luck of the draw. Below we've detailed
the blackjack methods and choices that are available to these players.
Hit or Stand
Once a player has totaled their initial two cards, a decision has to be
made whether to hit (ask to be dealt another card) or to stand (stay with
the current total). The standard method for hitting is to tap the table
with your finger. As you hit, you take as many cards as you want until
you've busted or until you decide to stand. The standard method for indicating
that you'd like to stand is to wave your hand with your palm facing down
over your betting circle or cards. If you draw a card that makes you bust,
your bet will be collected and your cards discarded immediately.
Doubling down offers you the opportunity to increase your wager in a potentially
advantageous situation. You place an amount up to the value of your original
bet next to your first wager, and you're given a final card. Any wins
or losses are now based on this new total wager. The only exception to
this is if the dealer has blackjack; in that case, only your original
wager is lost
If your first two cards are a pair, you have the chance to play two independent
hands. You indicate that you want to split your pair by placing an equivalent
stack of chips next to your original bet. The dealer will separate your
cards, deal another card to the first hand, resolve the hand with you
and then repeat the same procedure with your second card. Apart from split
aces (a strong hand that most casinos allow you to be dealt only one more
card for each hand), each hand is played as any other would be. One piece
of advice with regard to splitting that you should never forget - never
ever ever split a pair of 10s. Why? Two tens is as close as you'll get
to blackjack without actually having blackjack, so why would you want
to throw that away!
After all players have been dealt their initial two cards, if the dealer's
upcard is an ace, you'll be offered insurance before anything else happens
at the table. Insurance is a side bet that supposedly 'protects' against
the dealer's potential blackjack. These bets are made at half the value
of the original wager. This bet is then placed in the section of the table
where it says "Insurance pays 2 to 1". If the dealer has blackjack,
players with blackjack get a push, all other hands lose, and insurance
bets are paid off. The next hand is then dealt. Statistically it is never
advantageous to take insurance.
This particular blackjack method is not offered in many casinos, but it
can be very advantageous for the player - which explains why it's not
so popular at the casinos. If available, it allows you to 'surrender'
half of your bet rather than playing out the hand. Surrender is not available
as an option after you've hit, split or doubled down. Surrender is the
only blackjack play that is made verbally - players wishing to surrender
do so by saying "surrender" before playing their hand out. You
may also find the option of "late surrender" available at these
casinos. Late surrender simply means its only an option after the dealer
has determined that his hand is not a blackjack. It's very unusual to
find 'early surrender' at a casino, but if it's available, what it means
is that players can surrender even if the dealer ends up with a 'natural'.
When the final player has completed making decisions about his hand, it's
then the dealer's play. The dealer has no decisions to make. It's the
casino that makes the decisions for the dealer and you can usually see
it printed clearly on the table for all to see.