DOUBLE-DOWN OR DRAW!
Blackjack is an incredibly popular, exciting and easy card game to play. The object is to have a hand with a total value higher than the dealer’s without going over 21. Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens are worth a value of 10. An Ace has the value of 1 or 11. The remaining cards are counted at face value.
HOW TO PLAY
Place a bet in the betting areas marked on the table. You and fellow players are dealt two cards each whilst the dealer is dealt one face up.
If your first 2 cards add up to 21 (an Ace and a card valued 10), that’s Blackjack!
If they have any other total, decide whether you wish to ‘draw’ or ‘stay’. You can continue to draw cards until you are happy with your hand.
You may “Double” your original stake on any two-card combination, however, you will only receive one more card. You can also “Split” any pair (including any two cards with a value of 10) by placing an additional bet equal to your original. You will then be dealt an additional card to each of your split cards to create two new hands. If Aces are split, you only receive 1 additional card for each Ace. If you split Aces and a 10/picture card is drawn, the total is 21, not Blackjack.
If the Dealer has an Ace as their first card, you may stake up to half of your original bet as “Insurance“. This covers your bet if the dealer gets blackjack. If the dealer does get blackjack (drawing 10 as their 2nd card), Insurance wins and will be paid out 2:1.
Once all players have taken their turn the dealer draws another card for their hand. They must draw until they reach 17 or more.
Once all cards are drawn, whoever has a total closer to 21 than the dealer wins. If player’s hand and dealer’s hand have an equal value, it’s a tie.
Texas Hold 'Em
In Hold'em, each player is dealt two private cards (known as ‘hole cards’) that belong to them alone. Five community cards are dealt face-up, to form the ‘board’. All players in the game use these shared community cards in conjunction with their own hole cards to each make their best possible five-card poker hand. In Hold'em, a player may use any combination of the seven cards available to make the best possible five-card poker hand, using zero, one or two of their private hole cards.
Each player receives his or her two hole cards. Betting action proceeds clockwise around the table, starting with the player ‘under the gun’ (immediately clockwise from the big blind).
Player Betting Options
In Hold'em, as with other forms of poker, the available actions are ‘fold’, ‘check’, ‘bet’, ‘call’ or ‘raise’.
After seeing his or her hole cards, each player now has the option to play his or her hand by calling or raising the big blind. The action begins to the left of the big blind, which is considered a ‘live’ bet on this round. That player has the option to fold, call or raise. Action then proceeds clockwise around the table.
Betting continues on each betting round until all active players (who have not folded) have placed equal bets in the pot.
Now, three cards are dealt face-up on the board. This is known as ‘the flop’. In Hold'em, the three cards on the flop are community cards, available to all players still in the hand. Betting on the flop begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button. The betting options are similar to pre-flop, however if nobody has previously bet, players may opt to check, passing the action to the next active player clockwise.
When the betting action is completed for the flop round, the ‘turn’ is dealt face-up on the board. The turn is the fourth community card in Hold'em (and is sometimes also called ‘Fourth Street’). Another round of betting ensues, beginning with the active player immediately clockwise from the button.
When betting action is completed for the turn round, the ‘river’ or ‘Fifth Street’ is dealt face-up on the board. The river is the fifth and final community card in a Hold'em game. Betting again begins with the active player immediately clockwise from the button, and the same betting rules apply as they do for the flop and turn, as explained above.
If there is more than one remaining player when the final betting round is complete, the last person to bet or raise shows their cards, unless there was no bet on the final round in which case the player immediately clockwise from the button shows their cards first. The player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot. In the event of identical hands, the pot will be equally divided between the players with the best hands.