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The aim of Single Deck Blackjack, as with all forms of Blackjack, is to get more than the Dealer without going over 21. The main difference between Single Deck Blackjack and other forms is that it is played with just 1 deck of 52 cards as opposed up to 8 decks at a time. A different deck is used for every hand.
• First of all, you need to place your bet. This needs to be between the table minimum and maximum. The Dealer then deals you 2 cards face up and himself 1 card face up and 1 face down.
• If the Dealer shows an Ace you will be offered Insurance. This is a separate bet as to whether the Dealer has Blackjack, i.e. the face-down card is valued at 10. If they do, the hand ends here, you lose unless you had Blackjack as well in which case it is a push and your stake is returned.
• If the hand doesn’t end here, it is your turn to play. You have a minimum of 3 decisions to make at this point, sometimes more depending on your cards. The choices you can have are as follows:
o Stand – Keep the hand you have.
o Hit – Get dealt another card, you can then make a further decision after this.
o Double – Double your bet and take one more card, you will then Stand.
o Split – If your cards are of equal value, you can Split them. This gives you a 2nd hand with one of each cards in each. You will need to pay a further bet equal to your first and then get another card dealt for each. You will then be able to decide your next move for each hand as per the above unless you Split Aces, in which case you will get 1 more card for each hand but must the Stand on each.
• If at any time your hand totals 22 or more, you ‘Bust’ and lose on that hand.
• Once you have finished your turn, either by Standing on all hands or Busting, the Dealer turns over their 2nd card.
• If their hand is 17 or higher, they will Stand. If they have 16 or lower, they will Hit and receive an extra card. The Dealer has to abide by these rules even if they have a 16 which is higher than all your hands. The Dealer continues receiving cards until they have a total of between 17 and 21 in which case they Stand, or their hand goes over 21, in which case they Bust and you win any hands that are left.
• If the Dealer Stands, payouts are made. If the Dealer has the higher value hand the Player loses, if the Player has the higher hand he/she wins and if the values are the same, the hand ‘pushes’ and stakes are returned.
• If you have a winning hand, you receive winnings of even money on each hand unless you got Blackjack – An Ace and a 10 in your first 2 cards – in which case you are paid at 3 to 2 on that hand
In the Single Deck Blackjack example below, we had 18 to the Dealers 17, therefore we won at even money.
As one of the simplest card games around, there is every chance that you already know how to play blackjack. If not, following this very simple European Blackjack guide will have you ready to play in minutes.
How To Play European Blackjack
European Blackjack is played in much the same way as most other major blackjack variants, in that the player wins if they can beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 points as possible without going over that figure. In European Blackjack, aces count as 1s or 11s, face cards count as 10s, and all other cards count for their numerical value.
After a bet worth between $1 and $500 has been made, the player and dealer will receive two cards each. Only one of the dealer’s cards is showing. Once they have seen their two-card total, players have several options open to them.
European Blackjack Gameplay
If the dealer has an ace on show, players can choose to take out an insurance bet, basically predicting that the dealer has a 21-point hand, otherwise known as blackjack, at a cost. If the dealer does turn out to have blackjack, you will net wins at a rate of 2:1 for that bet.
Once they’ve seen their cards, players can choose to hit (take another card or cards) or stand (stick with what they have). Keep in mind, if you take further cards and go over 21-points, you will bust and lose. Other possibilities include doubling (doubling your bet, but only taking one more card), splitting one hand into two for an additional bet (which is only possible with certain cards), and surrendering. Any options the player has open to them are displayed on the screen to make things easier.
In European Blackjack, the dealer must stand on soft 17, meaning that he cannot hit after reaching that figure. Provided you haven’t busted and decide to stand, the two hands are compared and if you have a better hand than the dealer, you win.
Any victory over the dealer pays out at 1:1. Insurance bets pay 2:1. If you win with a two-card, 21-point hand (blackjack), you can pocket payouts worth 3:2 in European Blackjack.
The aim of Blackjack is to get more than the Dealer without going over 21.
• Once you have placed your initial bet along with all other players, the Dealer will deal everyone 2 cards face up and himself 1 card face up. In some casinos, the Dealer will also deal themselves a 2nd card face down, in some, they will receive just 1 card face up and the 2nd card will be dealt after all Players have finished their turns.
• If the Dealer has an Ace showing, players are offered Insurance. More information on this can be found below although we would not recommend taking this bet. If the Dealer has a card with the value of 10, they will often check their 2nd card if they have one to see if it is an Ace giving them ‘Blackjack’. If so, it is turned over and the hand ends.
• Play begins to the Player on the left of the Dealer.
• There is a minimum of 3 decisions you can make at this point, possibly a 4th or 5th depending on your cards and the rules of the Casino.
o Stand – Stick with the cards you have.
o Hit – Take another card
o Double – Double your stake and take 1 more card
o Split – If both your cards have the same value, Split them means you pay another bet equal to your first and have 2 hands, 1 with each of your cards plus one more that is dealt
o Surrender – Not available at all casinos, this lets you get half your bet back and give up the hand.
• After all, players have had their turns, the Dealer will either turn over their 2nd card or deal themselves the 2nd card. If they have a hand valued at 17 or above, they will Stand. If it is valued at 16 or less, they will Hit and deal themselves a further card. This will continue until either the value is between 17 and 21 in which case they Stand or the value goes over 21 and the Bust.
• Payouts are now made. If the Dealer has more than 21 and gone Bust, all Players left in the hand – i.e. those that didn’t Bust themselves – will win an amount equal to their total stake during the hand, unless they got Blackjack. If any Players got Blackjack – An Ace and another card valued at 10 in their first 2 cards – they will be paid out at 3 to 2 (this can differ from casino to casino but is going to be more than even money). If the Dealer gets between 17 and 21, any Player that has a value higher than the Dealer wins an amount equal to their total bets, any Player that has a value lower than the Dealer loses all their bets, if the Dealer and the Players scores are levels, the bets pushed and are returned to the Player with no wins or losses.