Blackjack is a game of chance and luck, but strategy plays a big role too. Understanding the rules and odds will help you win more often and improve your blackjack skills. This article will give you some basic tips on how to play the game, as well as strategies that can help you beat the dealer.
The first thing you should know is that the dealer deals cards to each player in turn. This is known as pitching cards. The dealer then turns up one of his cards, which is visible to everyone at the table. Players then decide whether to hit, stand, split or double.
A blackjack hand is made up of an Ace and a card worth 10 (Jacks, Queens or Kings). This total of 21 beats any other hand, except the dealer’s. The game is usually played with one deck of cards, but other configurations are possible.
When you get your two cards, make sure to count them correctly. In blackjack, all cards from 2 to 9 count as their face value; tens and picture cards count as 10, and aces count as 1 unless that would result in a point total in excess of 21, when they count as 11. If your first two cards total 21, you have a “natural” or “blackjack.” This wins immediately, unless the dealer has a natural too, which results in a tie.
The dealer will then check her hole card, using a viewing window in the table. If she has a ten underneath, she has a blackjack and will take everyone’s insurance bets at 2 to 1. If she does not have a ten underneath, the game will continue normally.
Blackjack is a fast-paced game, and it is important to keep up with the dealer. Many players lose their concentration and forget that they are playing against the dealer alone. As a result, they may make rude remarks or even sexual advances on female dealers. This is not a good way to make friends at the casino!
Another mistake many players make is to play too aggressively. In addition to hitting every time, they also blunder into splitting pairs. This can lead to a bad hand and even the possibility of going bust!
A high school diploma is enough to become a blackjack dealer. A dealer training course takes between eight and 12 weeks and teaches you how to deal and handle the cards properly. Dealer schools offer hands-on practice with actual games so you can learn the basics before you work at a real casino.
Blackjack is a popular casino game that can be very lucrative for players with the right strategy. Edward Thorp’s 1962 book, Beat the Dealer, taught players how to make the game nearly even by following a few simple rules. A flood of players washed into casinos armed with this information, but most were not willing, patient or talented enough to actually beat the game.