The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game in which the player tries to beat the dealer. At the simplest level, this means getting a hand value of 21 on your first two cards, while the dealer doesn’t. However, this is only one aspect of the game, and there are other elements to consider, including the dealer’s up-card, side bets, and the ability to request another card (or “hit”).

Players sit around a table and are dealt two cards face up by the dealer. They must then work out the value of their own hand, as well as that of the dealer’s. This is done by adding up the values of the cards – face cards count as 10, cards numbered 2-10 are worth their printed value, and aces can either count as 1 or 11. Once the players have worked out the value of their hand, they must decide whether to hit or stand.

When a player’s first two cards are an ace and a ten-card, giving them a total of 21, this is known as a “natural” or “blackjack.” In this case, the dealer pays out the players’ bets immediately unless the dealer also has a natural. If the dealer has a natural, the bets of the players who did not have one are paid out but not won; this is called a tie or “standoff.”

In some casinos, players can place a side bet on the dealer having a blackjack. This is usually half of the original bet placed on the table and pays out at 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack. Players may also “surrender” their hand, in which case they give up half their bet but don’t play out the hand.

Casinos use multiple decks of cards in their blackjack games, and the shoe is shuffled frequently. This is to make it difficult for card counters to keep track of the cards and increase their chances of winning.

It is important for blackjack dealers to understand the rules of the game and be able to explain them clearly. This is because they often interact with customers and encourage them to play. They must also be able to deal the cards quickly and efficiently, as well as keeping track of all the bets and payouts.

A good way to gain the skills necessary for a career in blackjack is by attending a dealer school. These schools typically last between eight and 12 weeks and will provide you with a high-quality education and hands-on experience in the industry. The aim is to prepare you for employment opportunities at various casino establishments. During your training, you will be taught how to deal cards professionally and confidently and be able to answer questions about the game. You will also learn about customer service and how to provide it in a friendly and professional manner.