Blackjack is played with a standard 52 card deck. Multiple decks may be used anywhere from one to six decks Cards may be dealt from the dealer’s hand in the one or two-deck games or from a “shoe” if multiple decks are used. All of the online games I have seen are a single deck shuffled after each hand is completed.
Blackjack basic rules
Each player and the dealer are dealt two cards. The cards are dealt one at a time to each player starting from the dealer’s left with the final card being dealt with the dealer’s hand. Cards may be dealt with by the players either face down or face up. Normally in a one-deck game, the cards are dealt face down to the player and in multiple-deck games, the cards are dealt face up. The cards are worth their face value, face cards are worth ten and Aces are worth either one or eleven.
The object of the game is for your card total to be as close to twenty-one as possible without going over or “busting”. If your card total beats the dealer’s total you win even money. If your total goes over twenty-one you bust or lose your bet. If the dealers busts and your total has not gone over twenty-one you win even money. If the hand is a tie it is called a push and there is no money won or lost. If your first two cards are equal to twenty-one you have a blackjack and are paid 3-2 odds provided the dealer does not also have blackjack in which case it is a tie.
Hitting and Standing
If you are happy with your first two cards total you may stand by waving a flat hand over your cards. If you wish to take another card you may hit it by pointing at your cards with your finger. You may hit or stand as you wish however the dealer must hit or stand according to strict rules. The dealer must stand if the dealer’s total is seventeen or more. The dealer must hit if the total is less than seventeen.
In certain situations is advantageous to double down. You will place a number of chips equal to the amount you have already bet next to your existing bet. The dealer will then deal you with one more card only. This may only be done on your first two cards. The idea is to double your bet in a situation where it is to your advantage.
If your first two cards are a pair you may elect to split them. You will place a bet equal to your original bet next to your original bet. The dealer will then deal a card to the first card and you may then hit, stand, double or split again if you get another pair according to the house rules. When you have completed your first hand the dealer will then deal a card to the other card that was split and you may then proceed with your action on that hand. You will in effect be playing two hands.
In the case when Aces are split the dealer will deal one card to each Ace and no more.