Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. Players try to get a hand value of 21 or come closer to it without going over, and beat the dealer. The game is played with one or more 52-card decks. Cards are valued at their face value: aces as 1 or 11, and the rest as their index value. The game rules vary by casino and number of decks used. Among other things, the house edge is greater in multiple-deck games.
There are several different strategies for playing blackjack, but a basic strategy reduces the house advantage to a small percentage. The strategy determines when to hit and stand, and when to double down or split. It also takes into account the dealer’s visible card.
A player may buy insurance in case the dealer has a blackjack, and they are paid 2-1 on their initial bet if they win. They can also surrender their hand if they are confident they will lose. Generally, players should only pay insurance if the dealer’s exposed card is an ace.
During the deal, players can make side bets on various outcomes of the hand. These include betting that their cards will pair, betting that the dealer will bust, and wagering on whether the player’s hand makes a poker hand with the dealer’s up card. These bets can increase the winnings of a player, but they are not necessary to have fun at blackjack.
Blackjack dealers must be able to communicate the status of their customers’ hands quickly. This allows them to maintain the momentum of the game and keep guests interested. They also need to understand the mathematical aspects of the game, which empowers them to calculate payouts accurately. Many casinos offer blackjack dealer training to help employees become familiar with the nuances of the game.
In addition to learning the etiquette and strategy of the game, blackjack dealers must understand casino rules. Some casinos do not allow players to double down on all cards, while others have limits on how many times a player can split aces or use the dealer’s hole card. Players should always check the table rules before placing a bet.
The dealer should be able to greet each guest as they approach the table, and encourage them to participate in the game. This can encourage more players to gamble and leave a tip for the dealer. They should also be able to explain the rules of the game and answer questions.
A blackjack dealer should have competence in mathematics, which empowers them to compute the earnings of winning customers correctly. They should also be able to count the value of the cards quickly and accurately. This allows them to communicate the status of a customer’s hand with accuracy, which keeps the pace of play moving quickly. Many casino employers recruit from blackjack dealer schools and hold job fairs to recruit students. They also provide training after hiring them to expose employees to the unique dynamics of the game.