Draw Or Hit
Blackjack players have several options open to them once they receive their first two cards. First off they can ‘Draw’ or ‘Hit’. What this means is, if upon receiving the first two cards, the player does not like the total, they can ask for additional cards by ‘hitting’ or ‘drawing’ to try and better that total. To accomplish this the player would scrape the felt surface of the table with their cards. A scraping motion toward them. When the game is played with both cards dealt face up, the player can scrape their index finger in the same motion, towards them. Or they can point to their cards if they want a ‘hit’. Players do not handle the cards when they are dealt face up but leave them as the dealer places them.
When a player is satisfied with his card total and does not wish additional cards he can choose to ‘Stand’ by sliding his cards, face down, under his bet. In the case where his cards have been dealt face up, he would simply wave his hand palm down, side to side over his cards to indicate he is ‘Standing’ or staying with his total.
Depending on the cards he’s dealt, a player may choose to ‘double down’. In other words, the player is allowed to double his original bet. In such a case he must draw one additional card to his hand and cannot draw any additional cards upon receiving that card. To double down the player must turn his hand face up and place the cards in front of his bet. He then adds an equal amount to his original bet and places these chips next to that bet so that now there are two equal bets side by side. The dealer then deals one additional card to the player face down, usually slipping that card under the player’s bet. The player may look at that card if he chooses.
Splitting A Pair
When a player is dealt two identical value cards such as two 3’s, two 7’s and so on, the player can split these into two separate hands if he so chooses. By the way, and combination of two face cards such as a 10 and a jack, or a queen and a king are also considered a pair of tens. To split a pair the player turns the cards up, separates them and places them in front of his bet. He then must add an equal amount to the new additional hand as a wager. Each of these hands is played separately, using the usual signals to hit or stand. Its possible to win one hand and lose the other. If the first card dealt is of equal value to the original split cards, that card may be split as well into a third hand, with the exception of Aces. When a player splits Aces, he is allowed only one card on each hand and may not draw again no matter what card is drawn.
Doubling Down After The Split
The player can double his bet on one or all of the hands resulting from a split depending on the rules of the particular casino. In other words if a pair of 8’s are split, and a 3 is drawn to the first 8 for an 11, the player can double down his bet on that 11. He can place an amount equal to his original bet next to the 11, and he will receive only one additional card. If a 2 is drawn to the second 8, the player may double down on that hand as well.