The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of skill, chance and strategy. The object of the game is to get a higher hand value than the dealer without going over 21. The game is usually played with one to eight standard 52-card decks and a table for two to seven players. Each player is dealt two cards and may choose to ask for another card (hit), or stand with their current hand value (stand). The dealer also takes one of his own cards and must take action according to pre-determined rules. The dealer shuffles the decks and either deals them out to the players or puts them in an automatic shuffler. He then pays individuals who have won a hand.

The basic strategy of blackjack teaches the best play given the dealer’s up-card. This play is not perfect but it will give you a better chance of winning than playing randomly or using counting cards. It’s also much easier to remember than perfect blackjack strategy.

Aside from following basic strategy, there are some other tricks that you can use to increase your chances of winning. For example, you should always split pairs of cards that have the same numeric value. The reason is that the cards will then be able to make stronger hands, especially against dealers who have a weaker than average hand. You should also never take insurance, because it is almost always a loser.

Besides knowing the basics, it is also important to know the terminology used in the game. For example, a Blackjack is a hand consisting of an ace and a card with a value of 10. This is the best possible hand in the game and it pays out at 3:2.

Hiring managers often ask prospective blackjack dealers to describe their blackjack knowledge. They want to ensure that the candidates understand the game and have the ability to follow pre-determined rules when dealing out hands. This requires a delicate balance of speed and accuracy. Dealers must be able to deal cards quickly, but they must also ensure that every move is correct.

If the dealer has a Blackjack, you will automatically lose the hand unless yours is a Blackjack as well. However, if you have a Blackjack and the dealer has a 10, you will receive your original stake back. This is called a push.

You can also win a blackjack by getting a higher point total than the dealer’s, but you must be careful not to go over 21. It is also important to understand the different cards and their values. For instance, all cards numbered 2-10 are worth their printed values, while the face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth 10 points. The aces can be worth 1 or 11 depending on the situation. In addition, a player can hit a pair of Aces but should only do so once.