Assuming the player does not have a natural, which is an automatic win, the player's most common decision is whether to hit or stand. Hitting is taking another card; standing is refusing one. Example: A player holds a 5 and an 8 for a total of 13. Wanting to get closer to 21, he signals the dealer for a hit. In a face-up game (i.e., a game in which all players' cards are dealt face up, so players are not allowed to touch their cards), the player signals for a hit by scratching or tapping the tabletop with his finger. In a facedown game where the player must pick up his first two cards, the player signals for a hit by scratching or tapping on the tabletop with the edge of his cards. The dealer then deals the player another card face-up on the table. The player may not touch this or any subsequent cards dealt to him. Let's say this card is a deuce—the player may now decide to stand or hit again. The player may hit as many times as he chooses, so long as his total does not exceed 21.
A player signals he wants to stand by either waving his hand sideways, palm down in a face-up game, or, in a facedown game, by sliding his original two cards facedown beneath his wager.
In a facedown game, if a player hits his hand to a total of more than 21, he should immediately lay his original two cards face up on the table. The dealer will collect the player's wager. In a face-up game, players don't have to do anything, as the dealer will see the bust, sometimes remarking, "too many," as he collects the bet.
A player may also elect to double down on his first two cards. This means that the player doubles the size of his bet, and receives one and only one hit card. In the face-up game players double down by placing an amount of money equal to the original bet on the table, beside the money already wagered. In the facedown game, the player places his original two cards face up on the table behind his bet, then places an amount of money equal to his original bet beside it in his betting spot.
A casino may have restrictions on when a player may double down: Some allow doubling down on any two original cards; others restrict the play to hard totals of 9, 10, and 11 only, some to 10 and 11 only. There are even a few casinos that allow doubling down on more than two cards, but this rule variation is rare. Many casinos allow players to "double for less" than the original wager, but none allow players to double down for more.
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