Basic Blackjack Strategy


Blackjack is a casino card game that involves playing against the dealer. The goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. The dealer has an advantage over the players in the long run, but if the player follows a basic strategy the house edge is only about 1%. This is much lower than other games like roulette, baccarat, and video poker.

A player must be able to read the table and know when to hit, stand, double down, or split. The game is played on a semicircular table that can accommodate varying numbers of players, called “spots.” The dealer stands behind the table and chip rack. A blackjack dealer’s job is to manage the game and keep track of each player’s bets. A high school diploma is typically required for employment as a blackjack dealer.

Dealers must have excellent customer service skills in order to interact with guests and provide them with assistance. They often use nonverbal cues, such as nodding and paraphrasing, to communicate their understanding of what the customers are saying. They also use active listening, which is a method of communicating that requires attention and comprehension.

One of the most important things to remember when playing blackjack is to never bet more than you can afford to lose. A bad streak can quickly deplete your bankroll, and you may not be able to recover from it. It’s best to walk away from a table if you’re not having any luck, instead of trying to force your way back into the game.

Many casinos offer side bets that can help increase a player’s winning streak. These bets include insurance, which gives the player the chance to win double their initial wager if the dealer has a blackjack, and doubling after splitting. There are some limits on which hands you can double down, though, and you should check the rules of each casino before deciding to make this type of bet.

Another popular blackjack side bet is the ace-six rule, which allows a player to count an ace as either 1 or 11. This increases a hand’s total by adding points from the other cards in the hand. However, this is not a good strategy for beginners, and it should be avoided by advanced players.

When a dealer has an ace showing, some blackjack dealers will ask players if they want even money. This reduces the normal 3 to 2 payout on blackjacks to 6 to 5, which increases the house edge and takes money out of the players’ pockets.

It’s important to learn how to play blackjack well so you can have fun and make some money. You can practice your skills by playing for free at an online casino or in a live game at your local casino. It’s also a good idea to take some blackjack classes before you begin working as a dealer. These classes usually last for 8 to 12 weeks and can prepare you for a career in the casino industry.