Basic Strategy For Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game that’s played by two or more people against a dealer. The goal is to get cards that total as close to 21 as possible without going over. Players are dealt two cards and can choose whether to stand or draw (request more cards) based on a set of rules. The dealer also gets two cards and must either stand or draw based on a specific rule.

A good blackjack dealer is a friendly, helpful person who works well as part of a team. They should be knowledgeable about the rules of the game and be able to explain them in an easy-to-understand way for all types of players. They should also be able to handle a variety of customer service issues, such as disputes among players or gaming irregularities.

In addition to their basic responsibilities, blackjack dealers are required to deal the game in accordance with established internal gaming control procedures and to follow casino guest services standards. They should keep their floor supervisor, team leader or shift manager informed about important issues such as disputes between players, gaming irregularities or credit card rejections.

When a player has a total of 21 on their first two cards, this is called a “blackjack” and they automatically win the hand unless the dealer also has a blackjack. A player may also place a side bet on the dealer having a blackjack, known as insurance. This bet is usually half the player’s original bet and pays out 2-1 if the dealer has blackjack.

Counting cards is an effective strategy for blackjack, but it’s not as simple as just counting cards. Counting cards in a blackjack game requires knowing the odds of certain events occurring at a given moment, and this takes experience and practice. A successful blackjack player will be able to count certain favorable cards showing for the dealer and other players as well as in their own hand.

While blackjack was once the king of casino games, it’s now losing ground to other table games, particularly baccarat. The popularity of the movie 21, which was based on a true story about an MIT team that beat the house by counting cards, helped bring the game back to the spotlight, but it has since lost some of its luster. Some casino managers have even whittled away at the edge on a perfectly-played basic strategy blackjack, which makes the game less profitable for players.

One example of this is 6:5 blackjack, which is commonly offered on the Las Vegas Strip and cuts the payout on blackjacks by nearly two percent. This is a major blow to players who use a solid basic strategy and should be avoided by serious gamblers.