What Is a Blackjack Dealer?

The game of blackjack is a casino table game where the players compete to beat the dealer and win money. The player must know the rules of the game and understand when to double down, split pairs or surrender. The dealer must also be able to calculate payouts quickly and accurately. Other responsibilities include keeping conversation light and friendly with the players. It is important to avoid discussing politics or religion with the players.

A blackjack dealer is a person who operates the Blackjack table and is responsible for dealing cards to the players, collecting their bets and returning them when the hand is over. In addition, they must know the game’s rules and regulations. A Blackjack dealer must also be able to keep track of how much money each player has won or lost and handle the various side bets that are often offered at the table.

Before a hand begins the players must place their bets in the betting circle or designated area. The dealer will then receive two cards, with one being face up and the other (known as the hole card) face down. Players may then choose to make an “insurance” bet, which is a side-bet that pays out 2-1 if the dealer has a blackjack. The dealer will then check their hole card if they have an ace exposed.

The objective of the game is to get as close as possible to 21 points without going over, using the picture cards (Jack, Queen and King) worth 10 points each and the Aces counting as either 1 or 11, as desired by the player. If the player gets closer to 21 than the dealer, they win 3:2. If the player’s hand is over 21, it is called busting and the bet loses, even if the dealer has a blackjack.

Many casinos reduce the pay-off for blackjacks to 6:5 rather than the usual 3:2. This raises the house edge by about 5% and renders card counting almost useless.

Some casinos also offer side bets such as insurance, which pays out when the dealer has an ace up, and Dealer Match, which pays when a player’s first two cards make a poker hand with the dealer’s up card. These bets are placed at the same time as the main bet and can vary the amount of money a player wins.

Unlike other casino games, the house advantage in Blackjack is not fixed and can be reduced to a very small percentage by following a simple strategy that determines when to hit or stand, and when to split or double down. Although most novices think following a blackjack strategy is difficult, it actually is very easy and can improve your win rate. This is especially true when you play with a good blackjack game strategy based on the dealer’s upcard and your point total. With a proper strategy, your bankroll will grow quickly and you’ll be playing for big winnings in no time.