Blackjack is a card game in which players compete against the dealer. The objective of the game is to get a hand with a point total of 21 or close to it without going over. The game is played using one or more 52-card decks. Each card has a value of either its number (or face value in the case of Jacks, Queens and Kings) or one or 11 for an Ace. Each player and the dealer are dealt two cards. Then, based on the rules of the game, players can decide to hit, stand or double their bet size. They also can split their cards, which creates two separate hands that are played independently of each other.
After a player has made his or her decision, the blackjack dealer will “pitch” the cards. This is a physical action in which the blackjack dealer deals the cards to all players seated at the table. The dealer will then deal the player a second card. The player cards are face down, while the dealer’s cards are face up.
The Blackjack Dealer’s Job
Blackjack dealers are responsible for running the casino table. They must be able to keep track of all player bets and payouts. They also have to be familiar with the rules of blackjack, including determining whether a hand is a split or a double. In addition, they must be able to explain the game of blackjack to their customers. They may use active listening skills, such as nodding and paraphrasing to show they are giving their full attention.
They must also be able to read the game of blackjack, including understanding the basic strategy and the rules of the game. This is important because blackjack is a game of skill, and the better the dealer understands the rules, the more likely he or she is to win.
The blackjack dealer will pay players who have winning hands. If a player has a natural, which is an ace and a picture card, or a blackjack, the dealer will immediately pay the bet based on posted limits. This is why it is so important that blackjack dealers have the necessary customer service skills to help them provide a quality experience for their guests.
The game of blackjack has a long history of controversy. It was in 1956 that a group of U.S. Army mathematicians, later known as the Baldwin group, published a paper in the Journal of the American Statistical Association that introduced a mathematically correct approach to playing blackjack. This was the first time that a card counting system had been introduced to the game. It was soon followed by Harvey Dubner’s Hi-Lo Count and Julian’s computer program, which optimized it. This new strategy gave players the tools to beat the casino. It was then that a pair of books, Playing Blackjack to Win and Beat the Dealer, were written with specific references to this new way of analyzing blackjack.