Before any cards are dealt, the player must make an ante bet of at least the advertised table minimum. Two cards are then dealt to the player face up, and two to the dealer with only one face up. The player then reviews their cards and can proceed in the following ways:
Hit – a further card is dealt to the player. The player can make further ‘hits’ for as many cards as they like but obviously must avoid the hand’s value going beyond twenty-one and busting.
Stand – The player settles on the hand they’re holding and its value is compared to the dealer’s hand.
Split – The two cards are of the same value (e.g. two fours or two picture cards) and the player opts to split the hand, duplicate their ante bet and play each of them separately.
Double Down – If the combined value of the player’s first two cards is nine, ten or eleven they can choose to double their original ante bet and receive one further card. The player must ‘stand’ after this third card is dealt.
Insurance – If the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, the casino may offer a player an optional side bet, typically half the player’s ante, to insure against the dealer achieving Blackjack (i.e. the dealer’s second card is a ten or picture card, creating a hand value of twenty-one with just two cards).
Providing a player hasn’t already bust their hand, once they stand the dealer then plays their hand. Once the dealer decides to stand the hands are compared and the strongest wins. If the dealer busts their hand, the player automatically wins and in the event that the final hands are equal in value the dealer declares a Push and the player’s wager is returned.