The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a popular casino game that is played with a deck of cards. It involves a player and a dealer, and the objective is to make a hand that is closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust. In addition to skill and strategy, there is also an element of luck that plays a part in winning.

Basic Blackjack Rules

In order to play blackjack, you must first decide how to place your bets. You can do this by examining the cards the dealer is showing and using your own instinct. This is the best way to get a feel for how the cards will play out, and it should be used before you move on to perfect strategy.

The dealer starts the game by dealing cards to all players at the table. Each player receives two cards, one face up and the other face down. They then have the option to hit, which means taking another card, or stand, which means keeping their current hand and retaining their bets.

Hitting – When the player thinks his or her hands are close enough to 21, but not quite close enough, they can ask the dealer for another card. The dealer will then deal them a card from the shoe. This can be done by scraping the cards onto the table or by waving the hand towards the dealer.

Standing – When the dealer checks for blackjack, the player can stand by placing their bet on the line that says “Stand”. This is usually the only time they can do this in a casino.

Splitting a pair – If the player has two cards of the same value, they can split their hand into separate hands by moving a second bet equal to the original bet into the betting box next to the first bet. The dealer then deals two more cards to each of these hands.

Surrender – Some casinos allow players to surrender their hands before the dealer checks for blackjack, and this allows them to return half of their wager. This is an alternative to hitting or standing, and it can be an excellent strategy if the player feels that their hand is likely to go bust.

Active Listening – As a blackjack dealer, you must be able to give attentive attention to your customers. This is an important skill because it helps you understand their thoughts and questions so you can respond in an appropriate manner.

Insurance – If the dealer has an ace, the dealer will offer players the chance to buy insurance for their bets. This is a 2 to 1 payout that will increase the odds of winning.

Hot and Cold Tables – It doesn’t take a pro to notice that some tables are hot and others aren’t. When a table is hot, bets can be doubled or even tripled in the hope of winning big. But don’t get carried away by this strategy because it can lead to losses if you end up betting too much.