Blackjack is a casino game that pits a player against the dealer. The goal is to get a hand total of 21 or close to it. Players can increase their chances of winning by splitting, hitting, and doubling down. They can also place side bets on the game. Side bets are paid out at different odds depending on the type of side bet placed. The game is usually played with six to eight decks of cards and has special rules for certain types of side bets.
To become a blackjack dealer, it is helpful to have some basic math skills and know how to follow procedures. If you are interested in becoming a dealer, it is recommended to attend dealer school. These courses typically last for about 12 weeks and will teach you the basics of dealing. They will also help you develop your mental math and ability to follow procedures. You can also take a foreign language course to improve your communication skills.
During the initial betting phase, dealers will reveal one of their faces down cards and wait for players to make their choices. Before the dealer reveals their hole card, players can choose to buy insurance. Insurance is equal to the amount of the player’s original bet and will be returned if the dealer has a blackjack.
After all players have made their decisions, the dealer will flip over his or her cards. If the dealer has a blackjack, they will sweep the player’s bet and hand away. The dealer will then pay the winner one-time their wager. If the dealer has a non-blackjack and the player has a blackjack, the hand is considered a tie.
A player’s total of 21 on the first two cards is called a “blackjack” or a “natural.” It beats any hand that does not have a blackjack, including ones with a value of 20. Players can also opt to purchase an insurance bet if the dealer shows an ace.
In some casinos, blackjack dealers will reduce the payout for blackjacks to 6 to 5. This increases the house edge and makes card counting less effective. Regardless of how the payout is structured, the game remains an exciting and popular casino game.
Unlike other casino games, blackjack has an element of skill that can be used by players to lower the house’s advantage to a small percentage. This skill is known as basic strategy, which determines when a player should hit or stand, and when a split or double down is the correct choice.
A dealer’s knowledge of basic strategy and the rules of blackjack can help them provide more efficient customer service. They are also required to communicate the status of a player’s bets and explain any special rules or side bets on the table. They must be able to do this quickly and accurately in order to maintain the pace of play. A good dealer can also use active listening to understand what the customer is thinking. This involves delivering nonverbal cues such as nodding to show that they are giving their undivided attention and paraphrasing what they have heard.