Dealing Blackjack

Blackjack is a game in which players compete against the dealer. Each player is dealt two cards face down and the dealer is given one card face up (these are known as the hole card and the up card respectively). A player may hit (ask for additional cards) until his hand has a total of 21 or decide to stand (stop taking more cards). Cards numbered 2 through 10 are worth their printed value, Jacks, Queens and Kings count as 10, and Aces can be counted as either 1 or 11. If a player busts, he loses his entire bet.

If the dealer has an ace up, the dealer will ask for insurance bets before any of the players play their hands. These bets are usually half of the player’s original bet and pay off at 2-1 if the dealer has blackjack. This is a poor strategy as the dealer will almost certainly not have blackjack and you’ll be paying for a bad bet for a good outcome.

In most cases, a player should never take insurance. The reason is that the dealer will often peek at the up card and if it’s a ten, it will be obvious to everyone that the player has a blackjack and the dealer should pay that player’s bet at one and a half times its value. This is not done in all casinos though and some dealers simply let the players know that they aren’t looking at the cards before they play them.

There are hundreds of different Blackjack side bets that a player can place at the same time as placing their main bet. These side bets can be based on anything from splitting pairs to predicting the dealer’s hole card. The best side bets are those that follow basic strategy. Basic strategy is a mathematically optimal way to play for every combination of the player’s hand and dealer up card and has been determined by playing millions of rounds of Blackjack.

Dealing Blackjack

There is no single, definitive way to deal blackjack. However, there are a few things that all dealing teams should strive for. First, the dealer should always look professional. A dealer who looks untidy or unkempt will quickly detract from the overall atmosphere of the table and will make the players uncomfortable.

The dealer should also try to avoid giving the players information that they shouldn’t have. This can be done by exposing the dealer’s hole card for an instant before it is placed down on the table or by giving away information to the players through their reactions to the dealer’s actions. This is especially dangerous in games where the dealer must physically peak at the card.