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How to Deal Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of cards played between the dealer and the players. The objective is to have a hand with a value as close to 21 as possible without going over. Each player plays against the dealer, not other players. The game can be played with one to nine decks of 52 cards each. Each card has a numerical value from 2 through 10. The face cards (Jack, Queen, King) count as 10 and the ace counts as either 1 or 11, as the player chooses. The color of the card has no effect.

The cards are dealt on a semi-circular table that can be adapted to different numbers of players. Usually, the tables can accommodate up to seven players or “spots.” The dealer stands behind the table and chip rack. The game is dealt in multiple rounds until a player or the dealer has a high enough score to win.

In some casinos, players can make a side bet called insurance when the dealer shows an ace. This bet pays 2 to 1. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player wins the bet. However, if the dealer and player tie, the bet is a push and nobody loses or gains money on that bet.

Basic strategy is a set of rules that tell the player what action to take for every hand in the game. These rules are based on the probability of each situation, and have been calculated using millions of hands played. Despite its complexity, following basic strategy can dramatically improve the player’s winning percentage.

There are several ways to learn how to deal blackjack, including attending a dealer school that offers classes and on-the-job training. Dealer schools typically offer courses that last between eight and 12 weeks. The curriculum teaches students how to deal blackjack and provide them with the skills needed for employment at a casino.

Blackjack dealers are responsible for dealing the cards to players and overseeing the table. They are also expected to be polite and courteous to the players. They should be able to answer questions about the game and answer any concerns that the players might have. Additionally, they should be able to speak at least one foreign language.

It is important for blackjack dealers to be able to maintain concentration and focus during long gaming sessions. They should be able to remember the cards that have been dealt and keep track of the totals. They should also be able to perform mental math calculations quickly and accurately. In addition, they should be able to empathize with players and respond appropriately to accolades and complaints.

The game of blackjack requires good math skills to ensure that the dealer’s total is higher than the players’s. It is also important to know when it is time to walk away from a table. The house edge in blackjack is 4-5% for a poor player, but this can drop to 0.5% if the players follow basic strategy.