In most full scale games, the player that is currently in control of the shoe always distributes the cards for the two hands in play. In offline games, this is an important job. However, in online games, the task of dealing each card is typically automated to speed up game play and keep the game simple. Regardless of the venue, play proceeds as follows:
- One card is dealt, face down, to the dealer.
- The dealer passes the card to the player with the current highest bet (without flipping it over)
- One card is designated for the player hand and placed face down next to the shoe.
- The final two cards are dealt in the same manner.
- The banker requests the player hand (what was passed to the dealer and then the highest bettor).
- The player first views the cards then passes them to the dealer.
- The dealer reveals the hand and announces the point total.
- The banker hand (next to the shoe) is then revealed in the same way with the shoe holder being the first to view the cards.
In most online casino games, the ceremony is skipped. Both hands are dealt and revealed in rapid succession without giving the individual players the chance to view the cards first. The only reason that some casinos stick to the "fashionable" length of play is for tradition and to allow high bettors more time of play.
Learn the Main Rules
Each hand is added to a point total. All face cards are worth no points. The Ace is worth a single point and every other card is worth it's respective face value. For example, a hand containing a nine of spades and an ace of hearts would be worth 10 points. However, a hand containing a king of diamonds and an eight of clubs would be worth eight points. Any hand value over ten points is counted only as the second digit. For example, a hand containing an eight of clubs and an eight of hearts would be worth only six points instead of 16.
Draws and Stands
Just as in Blackjack dealer hands, the point value of each initial two card hand determines whether or not the hand receives an additional, third card. The hand controlled by the players is always the first hand to be determined. While the rules for drawing or standing with the player hand are quite simple, the rules set for drawing or standing on the dealer hand relies upon the third card to be dealt to the player.
The following rules to the player hand:
- Must draw a card if the initial total is 0 to 5 or 10.
- Must stand if the initial total is 6 to 9.
The following rules apply to the dealer hand:
- Initial total is 3 - Player draws a third card that equals 1 to 10 - Draws
- Initial total is 3 - Player draws a third card that equals 8 - Stands
- Initial total is 4 - Player draws a third card that equals 2 to 7 - Draws
- Initial total is 4 - Player draws a third card that equals 1 or 8 to 10 - Stands
- Initial total is 5 - Player draws a third card that equals 4 to 7 - Draws
- Initial total is 5 - Player draws a third card that equals 1 to 3 or 8 to 10 - Stands
- Initial total is 6 - Player draws a third card that equals 6 or 7 - Draws
- Initial total is 6 - Player draws a third card that equals 1 to 5 or 8 to 10
- Initial total is 7 - Always Stands
- Initial hand contains an 8 and 0 - Stands
- Initial total is 0 to 2 - Always Draws
The following exceptions occur:
- Any hand that totals 8 or 9 is called a "natural" and all play is stopped.
- If the player hand stands on 6 or 7, the bank hand must stand on 6 to 9.
Winning Each Hand
The hand that is closer to a total of nine is considered to be the winning hand. All bets on the winning hand are paid (even money) and all bets on the losing hand are lost. There is an opportunity for both hands to tie. In that event, all bets are returned as the hand is considered a push.
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