Way of van John

Blackjack is one of the world's most widely played gambling games whether you are in Nevada, United States to Puerto Rico or Aruba. And the first step to play it is to familiarize the rules to its every letter.

In the game there is a dealer and one to seven players. An ordinary 52-card pack is used. Casinos may use two and even four packs to make the game more difficult.

Before play begins the dealer shuffles the card while one of the players cuts the deck. A card is placed face up on the bottom of the deck. This 'burned' card may or may not be revealed. The dealer then gives out two cards to himself and two card each per player. Players get their cards face while the dealer has one card facing up and the other facing down. These face down cards are called hole cards.

All bets are made before any cards are dealt. Minimum and maximum bet depends on the establishment.

In Blackjack, the objective of the game is to obtain a total greater than that of the dealer's card without exceeding 21.

In this game the player may choose the value of the ace as either 1 or 11. The value of kings, queens and jacks (face cards) are 10. The other cards' values depend simply on their face value. Suits will not matter in this game of chance.

Now, if the first two cards dealt either to the player or dealer are made up of an Ace and a 10-value card, this constitute a natural or blackjack. In this case a player has a natural and the dealer does not, the player receives 1.5 times more than his original bet from the dealer. If it is the dealer that gets a natural, the player loses his original bet. If both have natural, no change of money occurs.

The draw begins at the left of the dealer and proceeds in clockwise fashion. A player upon looking at his hole cards may opt to stand (draw no additional cards) or request more cards from the dealer one face up card at a time.

If the player's cards go beyond 21 (called bust), he or she immediately turns up his hole cards and hand over his bet to the dealer.

The dealer reveals his hole cards after all players have drawn. If the cards total to 16 or less, the dealer must continuously draw until his total is 17 or more at which he or she must stand.

Since both dealer and player can decide whether an Ace is 1 or 11, it is called a hard hand if the Ace's value is 11. It is called a soft card if the Ace's value counts as 1.

If there is a player-dealer tie, it is called a push and neither lose.