Blackjack is one of the most popular casino card games, and it can be played in a variety of ways. Generally, it involves a player getting two cards and trying to make a hand that totals 21 or is closer to 21 than the dealer’s. Unlike many other casino games, where the house has a statistical advantage, in blackjack, the players can reduce the house edge with basic strategy. This is a set of rules that tells the player when to hit, stand, double down and split, based on the player’s point total and the dealer’s visible card.
The dealer in a blackjack game is usually responsible for distributing the cards, collecting bets and paying winners. He or she may also instruct players on what to do with their hands. The dealer must be able to communicate with the players clearly and quickly. This requires active listening, which is an interpersonal skill that involves attentiveness and comprehension. The dealer may also use nonverbal cues to convey this information, such as nodding to show they are listening or paraphrasing what has been said to confirm that they understood it.
Some casinos will allow players to take insurance on their blackjack hand. This is not recommended, because it increases the dealer’s edge by taking money from the players and reducing the 3 to 2 payoff on blackjacks. Unless the dealer has an ace exposed, it is best to decline the insurance offer.
Blackjack dealers must be able to work quickly and accurately. They must also have good customer service skills, including the ability to answer questions and explain the rules of the game. Often, blackjack dealers must communicate with other employees at the casino, such as security, to ensure that all casino rules are being followed.
Dealers should be able to keep track of the cards that have already been dealt, as well as the ones that are left in the deck. This allows them to make larger bets when the odds are in their favor. This is known as basic strategy, and it is based on millions of blackjack hands that have been played in the long run. In addition, basic strategy can help dealers determine when they should call for a count, which is a method of keeping track of the number of high cards remaining in the deck.
Those who are interested in becoming a blackjack dealer should pursue a career in the gaming industry as early as possible to develop their skills and gain experience. They should also enroll in a casino dealer school, which provides an overview of the different games and procedures used at the tables. In addition, the training will teach the dealer how to deal blackjack and provide hands-on experience in the industry. Courses last for eight to 12 weeks and prepare the dealer for employment at a casino. These schools are often found in cities across the country and abroad. Applicants should be at least 18 years old to enroll in the program.