How To Play
UK Blackjack is very similar to a standard Blackjack game and you will not have to learn any special rules. The game is played with six decks of cards and as usual, the aim of the game is to build a hand of cards as close to 21 in value as possible but without exceeding it (which is called going bust). At the end of each round, you will win if your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s is.
In UK Blackjack the numbered cards are worth their face values, the face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are all worth 10, and Aces are worth 1 or 11. Therefore, 21 can be formed with just two cards, an Ace and a ten card. This is called Blackjack and it is the strongest possible hand.
At the start of each round you need to bet on each card position that you want to play. You can play anything from one hand up to five per round. After you have placed your bets and clicked on ‘Deal’ you will receive two face-up cards to each active hand position and the dealer will receive one face-up card and one facedown.
You then have a number of basic options for each hand, ‘Hit’, ‘Stand’ and ‘Double’. If you choose ‘Hit’ you will receive another card to the hand and as long as you haven’t gone bust you will be offered the same options again. If you choose ‘Stand’ then the hand will remain as it is and play moves on to the next hand or the dealer. ‘Double’ is available is your hand total is 9, 10 or 11, if you choose it then you will receive one more card to that hand and the game then moves on to the next hand or dealer.
The dealer will always draw until his hand is worth at least 16 and then will stand as soon as it is worth 17. Winning hands are paid out at 1:1, except for Blackjack, which is paid at 3:2. If your hand is worth the same as the dealer’s is then your bet is returned as a push.
Situations can arise where you will be offered more options than the standard three.
If your first two cards have the same value then you can split them into two separate hands by placing a second bet equal to the first. You can then draw additional cards to each hand, thereby giving you an extra chance of beating the dealer. Furthermore, in UK Blackjack you can split a split hand up to a maximum of four times. However, you cannot split pairs of 4s, 5s or 10s (including face cards). Additionally, if you split two Aces then you will only receive one additional card to each ace. If a split hand has an ace and a ten-value card then it is considered 21 and not Blackjack.
If you are holding Blackjack and the dealer’s face up card is an Ace then you can take out insurance against the dealer having Blackjack. Insurance costs half of your original bet and if the dealer does have Blackjack you are paid 2:1 on the insurance, thereby ensuring you do not lose your original bet.