Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. It is played with one to nine decks of cards and the value of each card corresponds to its numerical rank from 2 to 10. The face cards (Jack, Queen and King) count as 10, while the aces are valued at either 1 or 11, as the player desires. Blackjack is a game of chance, but strategy also has a role to play. A knowledgeable player can improve their chances of winning by making wise decisions throughout the hand.
In addition to playing the game, dealers must also deal the cards and collect players’ bets. They must be able to count money and trade it in for chips quickly and accurately. They must also be able to spot counterfeit bills and avoid accepting them. In some casinos, a dealer may also be responsible for running the shoe and ensuring that the cards are shuffled correctly.
Dealers must be comfortable on their feet as they stand most of the time, except for breaks. They must be able to do basic math fast in order to pay out bets and keep track of the scores of each hand. They must also be able to read and understand the rules of blackjack, and be alert to any attempts at cheating or taking advantage of players.
A dealer’s responsibilities also include offering insurance to the players. When the dealer shows an ace, they will ask the players to place insurance bets of up to half their original wagers. Once the players have placed their bets, the dealer will look at her hole card and if she has a ten underneath, she will have a blackjack, which pays out at two to one. The dealer will then collect any insurance bets and continue the game as usual.
After dealing all of the players, a dealer will deal themselves two cards, one facing up and one facing down. If the dealer has a ten showing, they will offer the players insurance on their hand. Once all of the players have made their insurance bets, the dealer will then check her hole card (using a special viewing window in the table) and if she has a ten, she will pay off any insurance bets at two to one.
The dealer must also split pairs of cards if they are dealt as such. A player can split aces, 8s and 10s, but should never split 5s or faces. A pair of aces should always be doubled down, and a pair of 10s should only be doubled against a dealer’s up card of 2 to 7. In some blackjack variants, the dealer must stand against a 21. In others, the dealer must hit on soft 18s and above. This is an important difference, as it can make the game more volatile and unpredictable for the players. However, these rules vary from game to game and the best way to learn them is by playing the game.