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How To Play Blackjack

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There are 21 reasons to get dealt in on Blackjack. Two cards tell the story. Whoever gets closest to 21 wins. And a hard 21? Let the celebrations begin.

How To Play Blackjack

Take some of the pressure away from sitting down at a table for the first time or for the next time you plan to play blackjack. Join our resident beginner, Priestly, as he learns all about the ins and outs of how to play blackjack, from the history to introductory betting techniques. Gaming 101 covers blackjack strategies, hand signals, and some general casino etiquette.

Blackjack Overview

The game is played with one or more decks of cards and players are wagering that their hand will beat the dealer’s hand. Initially, the player and the dealer each receive two cards. The dealer exposes one card (up card) and the unexposed card (hole card) is tucked under the exposed card. If a player or the dealer is dealt a Blackjack, it is an automatic winner. The player blackjack is paid immediately (see table odds for amount) unless the dealer also receives a Blackjack, which would result in a tie or push.

Players have the option of taking insurance when the dealer’s up card is an ace. Players may take additional cards (hits) to improve their two-card hand, with the objective being to get as close to 21 without going over. If the player’s hand exceeds a total of 21, it is an automatic loser. The dealer stands on both hard 17 and soft 17’s. If the dealer’s hand breaks (over 21), all remaining players’ hands (totals of 21 or less) are automatically paid. If the dealer’s hand does not break, the dealer’s total and the player’s total are compared for a win, loss or push determination. (Note: The dealer’s hand is hit after the players’ hands.)

Blackjack Games Available

6 & 8-Deck Shoe Game
All players’ cards are face up
Players cannot touch cards
See table for additional rules pertaining to eight deck shoe

Terms Used In Blackjack


Blackjack is when a player’s first two cards are an ace and another card having a value of 10 (ten, jack, queen or king). Blackjack pays odds of 3 to 2 (depending on the table) unless the dealer also has a Blackjack, in which case it is called a “push” and neither party wins.


When both the dealer’s hand and the player’s hand total the same and neither party wins.

Doubling Down

A player may elect to double down after receiving their first two cards. To double down, place an additional wager up to the value of your initial bet, in the betting circle next to the original wager. When doubling the player will only receive one hit card.

Splitting Pairs

If you are dealt two cards of the same value, you may split the cards into two separate hands and play each hand individually. You must bet the same amount as your original bet on each split hand. If you split aces, you get only one card on each ace. You may also double down on split hands.

A player is allowed to split and/or double down on all types of Blackjack tables offered at Live! Casino Pittsburgh. However, each type of Blackjack game may have different rules or limitations regarding splits and double downs. 


If the dealer’s up card is an ace, you may take “insurance.” You are betting that the dealer’s down card has a value of 10 to make Blackjack. You may bet up to half of your original bet. If the dealer has Blackjack, your original bet loses and the insurance is paid at odds of 2 to 1. If the dealer does not have Blackjack, the insurance bet is taken down.

Optional Side Wagers

Prior to the start of the hand, players may elect to bet on one or both of the side bet wagers. The In Between bet wins if the dealer up card is in between the players initial two cards or if the dealers up card matches both of the players initial two cards (triple match). This bet pays odds, depending on the number of cards in between.

Bonus payouts are printed on the layout or on signage

Side Bets

Lucky Ladies Logo

Lucky Ladies

The Lucky Ladies side bet wins whenever a player receives a hand of 20 on their initial two cards.

First Two Cards:

Hand Pays
Queen of Hearts Pair (with Dealer Blackjack) 1,000 to 1
Queen of Hearts Pair 200 to 1
Matched 20 25 to 1
Suited 20 10 to 1
Any 20 4 to 1
(Only highest payout paid per player. Matched 20 is two identical cards)

In Bet - In Between LogoIn Bet

In Bet in Between is a unique Blackjack side bet that pays odds when the dealer’s upcard is IN BETween the player’s first two dealt Blackjack cards.

In Bet Payoffs

Hand Pays
Triple Match 30 to 1
One Card Spread 10 to 1
Two Card Spread 6 to 1
Three Card Spread 4 to 1
Any In-Between 1 to 1
Card Ranking Low to High: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A

Blazing Blackjack LogoBlazing 7's Blackjack Progressive

Rules of Play

  1. Blazing 7’s Progressive is an optional $5 progressive side bet for blackjack.
  2. Players must make a standard blackjack bet in order to make a Blazing 7’s progressive bet.
  3. The Blazing 7’s Progressive considers both the player’s initial two cards and the dealer’s up card. If the player does not have at least one 7 in the player’s initial two cards, the progressive bet will lose.
  4. Paytable:
    Hand Pays
     Three 7's - Diamonds 100%
    Three 7's - Clubs, Spades, Hearts  10%
    Three 7's - Same Color $2,500
    Three 7's $1,000
    First Two Cards (Two 7's) $125
    First Two Cards (one 7) $10
    *Original wager is NOT returned.
    **Reflects a $5 wager. 

    *The meter will be reseeded when the 100% award hits. The cost of the reseed has been factored in to the casino’s mathematical advantage.
  5. To begin each round, players must make their standard blackjack wager. They may also place an optional progressive wager. Players must place the progressive wagers on the sensor in front of their betting position. The sensor will light up.


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