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Blackjack Methods

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
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

Splitting Pairs
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'.

Dealer's Play
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.

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