Blackjack is a card game where players play against the dealer. The goal is to have a hand total that is as close to 21 as possible without going over it. Each player is dealt two cards and the dealer is given one card face up and one card face down. The player wins the round if their hand total is greater than that of the dealer, or by default if the dealer “busts”. In the event of a tie, bets are returned without adjustment. Some blackjack games also offer side bets, such as insurance which pays when the dealer’s face up card is an ace.
Depending on the rules of the casino, players may have the option to split their cards or double down. Typically, splitting cards is allowed when the initial cards are pairs of the same rank such as two aces or two tens. Some casinos restrict the types of cards that can be split. Some also limit the number of additional cards a player can receive after splitting a pair.
Dealers must be able to communicate the status of each player’s hands to the other customers at their table. They must also understand how to properly pay out winning bets and handle any mistakes that may occur. Blackjack dealers also need to be on the lookout for players who are trying to cheat or otherwise take advantage of the game.
Active listening is an important skill for blackjack dealers to have, as they often communicate with customers over the course of a game. They need to be able to accurately listen and understand what is being said, even when the customer is speaking over another person’s voice or has an accent. They also need to be able to paraphrase what they heard in order to demonstrate that they understand.
In addition to their communication skills, blackjack dealers must have the ability to make mathematical calculations quickly and accurately. This helps them ensure that they are distributing the correct number of cards to each player and calculating their earnings correctly. It also allows them to keep track of the value of each hand as it is being played and make decisions accordingly.
If the player’s first two cards are an ace and a ten, they have a blackjack, which is called a natural and beats any other dealer hand except a regular blackjack. However, if the player splits two ten valued cards and then draws an additional card on one of the split hands, they no longer have a blackjack and only have a regular dealer total of 21.
Card counting is a strategy used by some players to increase their chances of winning at blackjack. It involves analyzing the cards that are being dealt and then placing bets when they have a favorable count. While this technique can increase a player’s edge, casinos are aware of it and watch out for players who hang around the tables waiting to play when the count is in their favor.