Scoring “blackjack,” or a “natural,” means to get a total of 21 in the first two cards dealt. This requires a hand consisting of an ace and any 10-valued cards. In the past, this term was applied only to hands having an actual Jack and an Ace, but the definition has since been broadened to include any two-card 21 total having an Ace. A player’s blackjack beats any dealer’s hand other than another blackjack. If both player and dealer have blackjack, then the hand is called a “push,” or a tie, and nobody wins.

Most casinos pay winnings for blackjack at the odds of 3:2. For example, if a player bets $10 and wins a blackjack, he or she would win $15. A dealer usually will immediately pay for a winning blackjack, so players should immediately turn up their winning cards in a facedown game.

How to Bet
Learning how to bet appropriately is one of the keys to winning blackjack at Most tables have a minimum bet requirement that is clearly posted, so choose your table with care (more about this later).

Before each hand is dealt, players put their bets into a circle or box in front of their seat at the table. If placing a bet with multiple chips in various denominations, place the largest chips at the bottom of the stack.

Don’t touch the bet in the circle once the cards are dealt. The dealer will count the chips for you if you need to know how much you’ve bet to split or double (explained below).

When the hand is complete, the dealer will move around the table to each position to pay winners and collect chips from losers. Players may remove their chips after being paid and place the next bet. To let a bet ride, combine any winnings into one stack with the previous bet (big chips on the bottom as always).

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