Blackjack is a card game that requires skill and strategy. In the game, players try to get a hand with a value closer to 21 than the dealer’s. Players may also choose to split their cards and double their bets. The game is popular at casinos and on cruise ships. It is played by people of all ages, and it is easy to learn. The rules of blackjack are simple, but there are a number of strategic decisions that must be made to maximize the chances of winning.
The dealers of a blackjack table are responsible for dealing the cards to the players and paying individuals who have won. They must follow specific predefined rules when deciding whether to hit, stand, or split. They also deal themselves two cards – one face up and the other face down. The dealers must then pay players who have a winning hand, collect the chips of those who have lost, and shuffle the cards to start the next round.
A blackjack dealer must also be able to read the players and their actions in order to maintain the flow of the game. They must be able to determine if a player is counting cards and must interact with the players in a friendly manner to keep them interested and engaged. They must be able to explain the rules of the game and answer questions in an effective way.
Dealers must also be able to count the cards in their hand to determine if they have a favorable edge over the house. This requires a high level of concentration and a good memory. Counting cards can be difficult for beginners, but it is possible to gain an advantage over the dealer if you know how to do it correctly.
After the players have placed their bets, the dealer will check their hole card (using a special viewing window in the table). If they have a ten underneath, the dealer has a blackjack and will pay any insurance bets 2 to 1. If they do not, they will simply collect all of the original wagers from the players and continue playing as normal.
Some casino dealers are prone to sloppy dealing, giving the players information that they shouldn’t have access to. This can be done by exposing the dealer’s hole card for an instant, or by giving players signals based on their reactions to the dealer’s card.
Another issue is that many casino dealers lower the payout on blackjacks to 6 to 5, which increases the house edge and makes card counting useless. While this is not the case at all casinos, it is important to be aware of any changes in the rules before you play at a particular venue.