Blackjack is a casino card game in which the player’s goal is to get cards totaling 21 or closer. The dealer and the players each get two cards, and then decide to stand (stop drawing cards) or draw according to specific rules. If the players’ cards make a poker hand, such as a straight or a flush, they win; otherwise, they lose. Some players use strategy to improve their odds of winning.
While some believe that luck determines the outcome of a hand, mathematical analysis supports that blackjack is a dependent event and that strategy plays an important role. A blackjack player’s skill in selecting a particular action (hit, stand, split, or double down) can greatly reduce the house edge and increase his chances of winning.
The deck of cards is shuffled and dealt face up to the players on the table. Each player is assigned a number. The dealers also receive two cards, which they may keep or discard. The cards numbered 2 to 10 count their printed value, while the face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) are worth 10, and the ace counts as either one or 11 at the player’s discretion. The players then try to build a hand of cards that beats the dealer’s.
A blackjack dealer’s job duties include changing money for customers, delivering the correct amount of chips to each player, and putting the discarded cards into the proper holders. A dealer must also be able to recognize counterfeit money so that he can avoid accepting it at the table. He also needs to know the rules of the game so that he can explain them to players.
Another part of a blackjack dealer’s job is to collect the bets of those who have won each round and pay them. He must be able to calculate the numbers quickly in his head to determine who won each hand and award them the appropriate payout. He may also need to deal with unruly players who are blaming the dealer for their losses.
In some casinos, the blackjack dealer is responsible for promoting and selling side bets on the game. These wagers are made in addition to the standard bets on the dealer’s up-card and blackjack, and can include bets that the dealer will get a blackjack, bets that the dealer’s cards will match those of the player, or other types of bets. These side bets can add up to a significant amount of extra revenue for the blackjack dealer.