The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in casinos and is often regarded as being the easiest game to learn. The object of the game is to get a hand that totals 21 without going over, or higher than the dealer’s. If the player and dealer both have a hand with a value of 21, it is called a tie (or push) and all bets are returned.

The game of blackjack is played on a semicircular table that can accommodate varying numbers of players. Each player places his bet in a numbered betting spot on the table. When the cards are dealt, the dealer takes a single card face up and then gives each player two cards. The players then have the option to hit, which means they will take another card, or stand, which means they won’t take a card and keep their hand as is. The dealer also takes a single card face up and then pays individuals who have won hands according to predefined rules.

Most blackjack tables offer side bets, which are placed in addition to the player’s main bet. These include insurance, which is placed when the dealer has an ace up, and other bets that are made on the probability of the player’s hand beating the dealer’s. These bets are paid out if the player wins, but they do not affect the outcome of the main hand.

A player can also split his cards into two separate hands, which are then played independently. This is done when he receives two of the same cards, such as an ace and a ten. When a player splits his cards, the dealer will then deal an additional card to each of the new hands. The player can only hit his own hand once, but he can play each of the split cards as either an ace or a 10.

In some blackjack games, players may double their bet after receiving the initial two cards, so long as they have not already taken any hits on their original hand. This is typically only done if the player feels that they have a good chance of getting a high hand, such as a blackjack.

A blackjack dealer is generally required to have at least a high school diploma and undergo a training program at a casino or a vocational school that teaches dealers about casino gaming rules and procedures. The program usually lasts six weeks or less and is funded by the casino that hires the dealer. Some schools also provide a certification that shows that the dealer has been properly trained and has passed a background check. The dealer can then work at any casino that offers the game of blackjack. This includes land-based casinos, online casinos and many card rooms.