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The actual game mechanics of blackjack are very easy to learn while the correct strategy might take a while to master. In case you have never played before, blackjack is a casino card game where the aim of the game is to get a hand totaling as close to 21 without going over and then to beat the dealer.

The game is played with between one and eight decks of playing cards (52 cards per deck) and the cards have the following values. Aces are worth either 1or 11. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth ten and the rest of the cards (2 to 9) are all worth their face value.

You begin a blackjack game by placing a bet on the table you are then dealt two cards and the dealer gets two cards with one face up. Here you have several options. These are;

Blackjack
If you hand totals 21 with the first two cards you have no further decisions to make. The hand automatically wins unless the dealer also has blackjack.

Hit
Choosing to hit will result in you getting an additional card dealt. You can keep hitting until you either decide to stand, bust or reach 21.

Stand
Standing indicates that you are happy with your current cards and do not want to receive any additional cards.

In some circumstances you will also have the following options. Online it is easy to see when these options are available as the buttons to make the selection will either light up or become available.

Double
Choosing to double means you will get one additional card and have to place a bet equal to your current bet on the table.

Split
Deciding to split means you will split your two initial cards to make two separate hands. Doing this also means you double your bet as you have to place a bet the same as your original bet on the new hand.

Insurance
If the dealers up card is an ace you will be offered the chance of insurance. This is a bet equal to half your bet on the table. It pays 1 to 1 if in fact the dealer has blackjack.

Once you have finished making your decisions the dealers cards are revealed At this point the dealer may have to draw additional cards. In most cases the dealer must keep hitting until the dealer total is 17 or higher. There are four possible outcomes in a blackjack game. These are;

Blackjack (Pays 3 to 2)
Your two card hand totals 21 for example an Ace and a King

Bust
If you hand goes over 21 you bust and automatically lose

Win (Pays 1 to 1)
If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealers hand you win

Push
If both the dealers hand and your hand have the same total you push. This means you get your bet back.

There you have the basics of how to play blackjack. Of course while it does seem quite simple it is well worth learning the correct strategy to play for all hands. For example it is often better to stand when the dealer might bust.