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Stud Poker

Stud Poker
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Rummy Games

Rummy Games
Six Seven Card Straight
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Gin Rummy
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Variation of Canasta
Typical Four-Handed Score Sheet

Bridge: Contract and Auction

Contract and Auction
Contract Bridge Scoring Table
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The Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge
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Cribbage and How it is Played

Cribbage how to Play
Strategy at Cribbage


Strategy at Casino

Children and Family Card Games

Family Card Games
Old Maid
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Miscellaneous Card Games

Miscellaneous Card Games
Scotch whist
Lift smoke
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Solitaire and Patience Games

Solitaire and Patience Games
Single-deck solitaire
Auld Lang Syne
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Beleaguered Castle
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Chess, checkers, and Teeko

Standard Teeko Strategy
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Parlor Games for All

Parlor Games
Twenty Questions

Black Jack, casino Style

The basic poker rules of Black Jack, as played in legal casinos the world over, are the same except for some minor “dealing” and “doubling down” variations.  Some casinos deal Black Jack with a single deck from the hand, dealing the players ’ initial two cards face down.  Others deal two or four decks out of a shoe, and deal the players ’ first two cards face down or face up as the case may be.  Some European and Caribbean casinos, in order to prevent their Black Jack dealers from tipping off (signaling) their hole  cards to agents (player cheats), do not permit their dealer to look at his face-down card until all the players hands have been completed.
            I have selected for analysis the Black Jack rules that I have formulated which  are now in use in Nevada, Puerto Rico, Netherlands Antilles, Europe, and countless other casinos the world over.  They have been chosen because they are the best of all casino rules not only for the player’s protection, but for the casino’s as well.  I predict that, within a few years, Scarne’s Black Jack Casino rules, which follow, will be standard throughout the world.

Scarne’s Rules for Black Jack, casino Play

  1. A regulation Black Jack table with six or seven betting spaces on its layout.
  1. A check rack filled with betting chips.
  2. A card-dealing box called a shoe, and a discard receiver.
  3. Four standard packs of 52 cards each, shuffled together and used as one, a total of 208 cards dealt as a single deck.
  4. Two indicator cards (advertising cards).  One  is used by poker players to cut the deck and the other indicator card is used to determine the end of the deal.
  5. A dealer (house man) who deals the game and functions as the banker, collecting player’s losing bets and paying off player’s winning bets.
  6. A pit boss, or supervisor, who is a casino inspector and who stands alongside the dealer, observing every action of play.  He sees to it that no mistake are made by the dealer or the players.  He is in complete charge; he rules on all disagreements and his decisions are final.  All players and the dealer must abide by them, provided they are within the laws set down by the governing powers.

Number of Players

  1. The house man, who is the steady dealer and the banker.  He never surrenders the deal or bank.
  2. One to six or seven active players, each of whom  may bet on several hands depending on the betting spaces available.
Values of Cards
  1. Aces count either 1 or 11 at the discretion of the player-holder.  However, the dealer must value the ace as set down by the casino rules.
  2. Kings, queens, and jacks each have a count of 10.
  3. All other cards are counted at their face value; such as ten 10, nine 9, eights 8, etc.

The object of the Game.  A player tries to obtain a higher total card count than the dealer by reaching 21, or as close to 21 as possible without exceeding that count.  If the player’s total count exceeds 21, he has busted and must turn his cards face up at once.  He has lost his bet, and the dealer immediately scoops it up.  The player, at his proper turn of play and at his own discretion, may stand or poker draw one or more cards in an attempt to better his count.
            The Betting Limits.  The casino sets its own limits, and the minimum and maximum bet must be announced to the players.  The minimum bet limit in the Las Vegas Strip casinos is usually one silver dollar.  The maximum limit is $100 in some; in others it is $200, $ 300, or $500.  The operators will often raise the maximum to $1,000 or more at  the sight of a high roller.  If you like your Black Jack action small and can’t stand the silver-dollar minimum, you can go to the downtown Las Vegas tables, where the minimum may be as little as 10 cents.  This also holds true in Reno and other Nevada towns.  The above limits in one form or another also hold true for most casinos the world over.


The most common Blackjack layout

            The Shuffle and Cut.   The cards are shuffled by the dealer who then hands a player an indicator card and says “ cut, please.”  The player inserts the indicator card into the deck to show where he wants the cards cut.  The dealer cuts the cards at this position, putting the indicator and all the cards above it on the bottom.  The indicator goes to the bottom of the deck.  The dealer then inserts the second indicator card about 40 cards from the bottom of the deck, and places all the cards into the dealing box face down.  The dealer next deals three cards from the shoe and puts them to one side, out of play.  The shoe is now ready to be dealt by the dealer.  When the indicator card inserted by the dealer makes its appearance, and enough cards have been dealt to complete the round in progress, the deal ends.  The dealer must begin a new shuffle and must again repeat the procedure described above.
            Betting.  Before the deal begins each player  must place his bet in cash or chips in the betting space, which is indicated as a rectangle or circle painted on the playing layout, directly before him in full view of the dealer.  In most casinos, one player may bet as many hands as there are available holes (betting spaces).  Regulation Black Jack tables bear six or seven betting  spaces.  When a player plays more than one hand at a time, he must play the hand farthest to his right to completion before being permitted to look at his next hand or hands.
            The dealer may check the amount of the player’s bet to see that it is not greater than the maximum limit.  If a player desires a higher limit, he may ask the pit boss, who will either grant or refuse his request.
            The Deal.  After all players bets are down, the dealer, starting with the player on his extreme left, beings dealing clockwise, giving one card face down to each player and one face up to himself.  He next deals each p0layer one card face up and one face-down  card to himself.
            The play.  If the dealer’s face-up card is a 10-count or an ace, he must look at his hole (face-down) card.  If he has a natural 21 (a count 21, with two  cards), he must face it and announce “Twenty –one,” or “Black Jack.”
            Any player with a natural 21 also announces it, and the dealer declares this to be a standoff, or push.  There  is no action on this hand, and no payoff is made.  The dealer wins and collects nets from players not having a natural 21.
            When the dealer does not hold a natural 21, the play poker player at his left plays first.  If the player holds a natural 21, he announces it and faces his cards so that the dealer  can verify  the count.  The dealer pays off the winning natural at 3 to 2 odds.  This means that if the player has bet $2, he collects $5 – his own $2 plus an additional $3.  The dealer then burns (buries) the two played cards.
            If the player’s two cards total less than 21 he may elect:

  1. To stay.  Either he is satisfied with his count or he fears that a third card may make his count or he fears that a third card may make his count go above 21.  He says “Good,” or “I have enough,” or “I stand.”  Or he signifies that he is staying simply by sliding his cards under the chips he has bet.
  2. To draw a card or cards.  When the player is not satisfied with his count, he says “Hit me,” or makes a beckoning motion by closing and opening his hand, or a come-on motion with a finger.  The dealer then deals another card off the top of the deck face up before the player, next to his original two cards.  although the cards are dealt one at a time, the player may continue  to draw as many as he likes.  When he believes that his count is the best he can get, he stays.  If he draws a card that puts his count above 21, he must turn his cards up and announce a bust.  The dealer scoops up the player’s bet and cards, and places the cards in the discard receiver.

The play moves to the player’s left clockwise, around the table, until all online poker players have played out their hands.

The Dealer’s Turn at Play.  If all players have busted, the dealer merely places his own cards in the discard receiver and deals a new hand.  If any active player or players are left, the dealer plays his hand.
            He turns up his hole card so that all his cards are exposed.  If his count is 17, 18, 19, or 20, the dealer must stay.  If his count is 16 or less, he must draw a card and continue to draw until his count reaches 17 or more – at which point he must stay.  If the dealer holds a soft 17, that is, a 17 – count that includes an ace, he must also stay.  This also applies to a soft 18,19, or 20.
            It is important to note here that the Black Jack dealer has no choice as to whether he should stay or draw.  His decisions are predetermined and known to the players.  Since all the dealer’s cards are exposed at his turn  of play, he has no opportunity for any departure from these rules.  The rule  requiring the dealer to hit on 16 or less and to stay  on 17, 18,19, 20, and 21 is standard today in all casinos here and abroad.
            Final Settlement.  At the end of his play, the dealer starts with the first active player on his extreme right and moves around the table counterclockwise, paying off players who have a higher count than his with an amount equal to the bet they placed, and collecting the bets placed by players showing a lesser count.  If player and dealer have the same count, it is standoff or tie, and no one collects or loses.  If the dealer busts, he pays off each surviving active player with an amount equal to his bet.  As each player’s bet is settled, the dealer scoops up the cards.  when all the cards have been scooped up, including the dealer’s they are placed in the discard receiver and a new round is dealt.
            Splitting Pairs.  Any two cards that are identical except for suit may be treated as a pair.  Also, any two cards each having a value of 10 may be treated as pairs, such a ten and jack, jack and queen, queen  and king, etc.  A player who receives two cards forming a pair or considered to  be a pair on the initial round may, if he chooses, turn them face up and treat each card as the first card dealt in two separate hands.  This is called splitting pairs.  When pairs are split, the player’s original bet is placed on one of these cards and an equal amount must be bet on the other.
            The player is then  dealt one face-up card on the face-up card on his right, and he must play this hand out.  If, in drawing to the first face-up card on his right, and he must play this hand out.  It, in drawing to the first face-up  card, he forms a pair again, he may again split pairs, betting an amount equal to his first card on this third hand.  he may continue to split any further pairs.  The first hand on the player’s extreme right must be played to completion before the adjacent split hand is dealt a second card.  Each split hand must be played out in its proper order from the players right to his left.
            When a player splits a pair of aces, he is only permitted to draw one card to each split ace, giving him two cards in all.  If a paint (picture card) or ten or ace are part of a split hand, and the players make a two-card count of 21, this is not a natural and the player is paid of at even money.
            The Double Down.  After looking at his two face-up  cards, the player may elect to double his bet and draw one additional card only.  This is known as double down or double for double.  A player before calling “down for double” or “double down” must place an amount equal to his original bet on the betting space.  The player is then dealt a third and final face-down card until the dealer turns it face-up after the deal has been completed.
            Insurance Betting.  In many casinos, when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, players may make an insurance bet against losing to the banker’s possible natural.  The dealer, before looking at his down card, inquiries if any player wants insurance.  A player who desires insurance places an amount equal to half his present wager on his own hand.  When this bet is made, the dealer looks at his down card.  If it is a 10-count, he turns it face up and announces a natural.  The insurance bettor is paid off at the rate of 2 to 1 for every unit wagered.  If the dealer’s down card is not a 10 –count card, the player loses his insurance bet.

Why Scarne’s Casino Rules Are Used. Back in 1957, while acting as gaming consultant to the Havana Hilton Hotel Casino in Cuba, I developed the present four-deck Black Jack dealing box and ruled that all cards be dealt face up except the dealer’s hole card and players ’ double-down cards. Shortly’ thereafter, I also devised the ruling that 40 or more bottom cards of the four-pack deck should never come into actual play. This was achieved by having the dealer insert an indicator card 40 or more cards from the bottom of the 208-card deck and ending the hand when the indicator card makes its appearance. These innovations achieve the following advantages:

  1. The card box eliminates 95 percent of the cheating methods employed by both crooked house dealers and players alike.
  2. When the players ’ cards are dealt face up, it helps the dealer to correct any errors that a player may have made when totaling the numbered value of his playing hand. And, owing to the fact that the dealer (house) does not have any discretionary powers on when to hit or stand, it doesn’t matter if the dealer sees a player’s cards or not. In addition this prevents any card-cheat player from switching one or both of his face down cards for others that he may have secretly palmed.
  3. The purpose of inserting the indicator card toward the bottom of the 208-card deck is to prevent the cutoff cards from coming into actual play. This, in turn, prevents case- down or count players from memorizing or clocking the cards as they  are being dealt; by so doing, such players learn the identity of the last few undealt cards, thereby gaining an advantage over the house.

Although this last ruling was devised by me back in 1957, it did not gain popularity until shortly after the publication of Scarne’s Complete Guide to Gambling in 1961. At that time, hundreds of Black Jack players learned from its pages that the more aces and tens remaining in an undealt portion of a single 52-card deck, the greater were their chances of beating the house. So, hundreds of these players began casing the deck, and it seemed at that time that every other player seated at a Black Jack table in Nevada and elsewhere was clocking aces and tens. Casino operators became so alarmed that they changed a number of rules. They ruled that players could not double down on a count of 11, nor could players split aces; but to no avail. Then came my four-deck deal with its indicator cut, and Black Jack play was re- stored to normal



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
Black Jack, casino Style
Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
Banker and broker
Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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