Blackjack is the most popular form of casino gambling today. This game is so immensely popular because, when played correctly, it can offer better odds than any other game. Blackjack is usually played with one to eight ordinary decks of cards. Cards 2 through 10 are valued according to their face value; all face cards are a value of 10; and an ace may be used as either a 1 or an 11. The highest hand in blackjack is an ace and any 10-point card and is called a blackjack, and typically pays out at 3:2. The object of the game is to have a higher value of cards than that of the dealers, while not going over a total value of 21. If either the player or the dealer goes over 21 it is called a "bust" and he/she automatically loses. A round of blackjack begins with each player placing a bet in a betting circle directly in front of him/her. Then the dealer will deal each player and himself two cards. Player cards are usually dealt face up, whereas one of the dealer's card is dealt face up and the other face down. If the dealer has a ten or an ace as the up card it is possible he has a blackjack, in which case all player hands will lose except with another blackjack.
In the U.S., as a part of the casino gambling rule, the dealer will check for blackjack immediately if one is possible and will collect all losing bets immediately if he does have a blackjack. In the event the dealer has an ace as the up card he will allow the players to insure their hands against a blackjack. The insurance bet in blackjack pays 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack (a 10 as his down card). If the dealer has an ace showing and a player has a blackjack the dealer may ask if he/she wants "even money?" This simply means that the player has the choice to instantly be paid for his blackjack at a 1:1 ratio, or decline "even money" and be paid at the 3:2 ratio only if the dealer does not have blackjack. If even money is declined, and the dealer does have a blackjack, it is a "push". Anytime the dealer and player have the same card value it is termed a "push" or tie, and no money is exchanged.
After it has been established that the dealer does not have a blackjack the players in turn may play their hands. If the player is satisfied with his hand, he may stand. If the player wishes to take another card he may continue to do so until he either stands or busts. To signify you wish to hit tap the table with your finger. If the player feels he needs one and only one more card then he/she may double their bet and be dealt one more card; good or bad the player is stuck with the resulting hand. This option is only offered on the first two cards, and sometimes on the first two cards after splitting. Some casinos allow you to double any two cards, whereas others limit doubling hands to values of 9, 10, and 11. To signify you wish to double place another wager next to your original wager of equal value. If the player's first two cards are a pair (two face cards and/or a ten with a face card are also considered pairs) he or she may split them into two hands. In this event each card is the first card of a new hand. Finally some casinos offer the player the option to surrender on the first two cards. If the player does not like their hand he/she may forfeit half the bet and not play that hand. So, take a chance with your casino gambling skills. Who knows, you may end up unlocking the wealth of fortune.