Blackjack is a card game played by one or more players against a dealer. The objective is to accumulate cards with a total value close to 21 without going over. The game has become the most popular casino game because it offers a favorable chance of winning for smart and disciplined players. It’s also a game that can be learned with some basic rules and strategy.
A blackjack dealer is a person who operates the table in a casino, dealing the cards and collecting bets. The casino employee also has a responsibility to ensure that the rules of the game are followed. A blackjack dealer must have excellent customer service skills, including active listening, in order to communicate with players and explain the game’s rules.
Dealers must be knowledgeable about the rules of blackjack and able to calculate payouts quickly and accurately. This includes knowing when to double down, split pairs, and surrender hands. They must be able to tell players when they can buy insurance against the dealer’s blackjack.
The game is typically played using a single or multiple 52-card decks. The cards are shuffled in a boxlike device called a shoe, and then dealt two at a time to each player. The dealer also receives two cards, and may choose to stand (stop drawing additional cards) or draw cards based on the game’s rules. Typical side bets in blackjack include insurance, which pays when the dealer has an ace, and “Dealer Match,” which pays when a player’s cards match the dealer’s up card.
When the player has a total of 21 in their first two cards, it is known as a “blackjack” or a “natural.” It is an automatic winner unless the dealer also has a blackjack, in which case the hand ends in a tie. If a player has a blackjack, they are paid 3:2 on their bet, which is higher than the 2:1 payout for other winning hands. Some casinos have recently started paying only 6:5 on blackjacks, which is a significant decrease in the players’ advantage.
Besides dealing the cards, blackjack dealers must be knowledgeable about the game’s rules and strategies. They must also be able to entertain guests and keep them interested in the game, which helps the players stay at the table longer and tip them more money. This can be accomplished by talking about a favorite movie or sports team, or by finding a common interest with the players, such as a shared interest in a specific sport. This is important because a bored player may be more likely to leave the table and lose their money. A dealer’s responsibilities also include greeting guests as they arrive at the blackjack table, making them feel welcome and encouraging them to gamble more. Eventually, a blackjack dealer may be promoted to a gaming manager position. This role supervises all casino activities and provides direct management for dealers and customer service staff.