Blackjack is a one-on-one game between the player and the dealer. The dealer distributes two cards to each player and two cards to himself, one face up. The object of the game is to draw cards that total 21 or as near to that as possible without going over (which is called a "bust"). Cards totaling more than 21 constitute an automatic losing hand.
Face cards count as 10. Aces can count as either 1 or 11. All other cards count as their face value. If you are dealt an ace and a ten-count card as your original hand, you have blackjack and will be paid at the rate of one-and-a-half to one. If the dealer also has blackjack, it's a standoff (or "push") and nobody wins or loses.
Two types of blackjack are available at Pearl River Resort:
After the first two cards are dealt, each player can draw additional cards to increase their total. To indicate that you want to draw another card (a "hit"), lightly tap your finger on the felt behind your cards and the dealer will give you another card.
When you wish to stop drawing cards, or "stand," slide your cards under your bet money and the dealer will move on to the next player.
To indicate you wish to draw, lightly tap your finger on the felt behind your cards, and the dealer will give you another card. When you wish to stand, wave your hand over your cards and the dealer will move on to the next player.
The dealer has no choice in how his hand is played. Once every player at the table is satisfied with the number of cards they have drawn, the dealer will turn up his "hole" card (the one that is face down), and reveal his hand to the table. If his card total less than 17, he must draw until his hand totals 17 or more, or until he busts.
Once than has been done, the hand is complete. If your cards total closer to 21 than those of the dealer, or if the dealer busts, you will be paid even money. Should your total be the same as the dealer's, it's a push and nobody wins or loses that hand.
Should your original two cards be a pair, such as two eights (or a 10 and a face card), you have the option to "split" the cards, doubling your bet and continuing the game with two hands. Of course, if you choose not to split, you may just play the cards as a normal hand.
Should you be dealt a pair of aces, you have the option of splitting them and doubling your bet. But you are only allowed one more card for each ace. If you receive a 10 or face card on either ace, you win even money on that hand. (Blackjack, which pays one-and-a-half to one, can only be made using the first two cards dealt.)
You always have the option to double your bet after your first two cards if you feel you need only one more "hit" to complete your hand. Expose your hand and match your bet, and the dealer will know to deal you one more card, then your hand will stand, no matter what the total.
If the dealer's exposed card is an ace, he will offer "insurance" to all the players at the table. You may wager one-half your original bet as insurance. This means that if the dealer actually has blackjack, you win 2-to-1 on your insurance wager.
Remember that the rules for playing blackjack are always set for the dealer. The point total you hold or the size of your bet has absolutely no bearing on the dealer's play. He is required to play his hand according to the rules and procedures of Pearl River Resort.
If you have any questions about Blackjack, feel free to ask your dealer or a floor supervisor for assistance.