The Rules of Blackjack


The object of blackjack is to beat the dealer. Although you may be playing with others at the same table, you are never competing in any way against these players... and they are never competing against you.

The object is to come closer to 21 points than the dealer, without going over. If you go over 21 points, you "bust" and automatically lose.

Card Values: Aces count 1 or 11 points, whichever is most advantageous for you. 10's, jacks, queens, and kings all count 10 points. All other cards count their face value.

Before you receive any cards, you must bet. You do so by clicking on the little numbered buttons, as shown in the graphic:

(The "Max" button is simply a convenient way to bet the maximum amount you are allowed, as defined by the limits of that particular table.)

When you have entered your desired total, click on "Place Bet."

After placing your bet, you and the dealer will each receive two cards. One of the dealer's cards will be dealt to him face down, with its value unknown to you. This is known as his "hole card." The other card, know as his "upcard," will be dealt face up.

At receiving your two cards, if you have an Ace and a 10 value card, this is known as a "blackjack" or a "natural" and, providing the dealer also does not have a blackjack, is an automatic winner. All blackjacks are paid 3 to 2. (1.5 times your original bet.)


Here is an example of a blackjack. The Ace and the king combine to make 21 points. In this example, since the dealer does not have a blackjack, it is an automatic winner.

You must always act on your hand first, before the dealer.

If you are not dealt a blackjack, then you will always have at least three options, and possibly four.

1) You may ask for a HIT which means you would like another card. You may ask for as many hits as you wish, until you go over 21 points, in which case you automatically lose and the dealer collects your bet.

2) You may STAND which means you are happy with your point total and choose not to take another card.

3) You may DOUBLE your bet which means you would like to take one, and only one, more card. Whatever the amount of your original is automatically doubled and this additional amount is automatically deducted from your bankroll. You now have twice as much money riding on this hand.

4) If you have two cards that are of the same point value you may SPLIT these cards. Splitting the cards simply means you will be playing two hands, each separately, with the same amount of money on each of them. Yahoo! will automatically place the additional bet for you.

Here is an example of a hand before it was "split." This player received two eight's and decided to split them...

... which simple means he is now playing two different hands at the same time. The end result is shown. The first hand on the left won, but the second hand was a bust and lost.


If you SPLIT your hand, you then will receive another card on each of the pair you split, and you must then choose to either HIT, STAND, DOUBLE or SPLIT here as well.

Simply click on the appropriate button to perform your desired action.


After you have acted upon your hand, if your point total has not exceeded 21 points, the dealer will then act upon his. And although you may play your hand as you see fit, even varying the way you play from one hand to the next, the dealer has a fixed set of rules... he always plays his hand the same way. The dealer must HIT any hand which totals 16 points or less, and must STAND on any total which is 17 points or more. and unlike you, the dealer does not have the option to SPLIT his pairs.

At Yahoo!, if the dealer's hand totals 17 points and contains one or more aces, this is known as a "soft 17." Depending upon the particular table you are at, the dealer may be required to hit this soft 17.


When the table is first created, the person creating it must choose whether he wants the dealer to HIT soft 17's or STAND on them.



If the dealer "busts" and goes over 21 points, then you win.

If neither of you has busted, then the person with a point total closer to 21 is the winner. If there is a tie, this is known as a "push" and no money exchanges hands; you neither win nor lose.


If the dealer is dealt an ace as his upcard, you will then be offered another bet, known as an INSURANCE bet. This is a side bet, at 2 to 1 odds, on whether you think the dealer has a 10 value card as his hole card. Here at Yahoo!, this side bet is always one half of your original bet. If you are offered insurance, you simply click "Yes" or "No." If you click yes, Yahoo! will automatically deduct one half of your current bet from your bankroll. If the dealer has a 10 value card in the hole, you would then win your insurance bet. If the dealer does not have a 10 value card in the hole, you would lose this insurance bet and play would continue as normal.