What Does a Blackjack Dealer Do?

Blackjack is a card game in which players compete against the dealer to get a higher total than their opponent without going over 21. Originally a game of chance, it has since become a game of strategy and luck, thanks to which it can be played by people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. It is commonly played at a table for between 2-7 players and uses one to eight 52-card decks. All cards with numbers (2-10) have their corresponding value, face cards (Jack, Queen and King) score 10 points and the Ace can either be counted as 1 or 11.

Before the game starts, players place their bets in the betting areas marked on the blackjack table. The dealer then deals themselves two cards and if the first two cards add up to a total of 21 (Ace and a card worth 10) it is called Blackjack! If the total is anything else, a player can choose to draw more cards until they are happy with their hand.

Side bets are offered on most blackjack tables, with Insurance being the only side bet which is universally available at all casinos and part of the game for card counters. There are hundreds of other side bets to choose from on a blackjack table, including placing bets that you will receive a certain pair as your first two cards, betting that the dealer’s up card will be a certain value and more.

A blackjack dealer is required to interact with the players and the casino in a variety of ways and these interactions can have an impact on the atmosphere of the table. For example, a friendly dealer can make the game feel more social, while an unfriendly dealer can break a player’s concentration and cause them to lose their edge.

If a player beats the dealer, they win the round and are paid out their original bet. If the dealer has a Blackjack, all players lose the round unless they have a Blackjack themselves (i.e. they push). The dealer then collects all the cards, shuffles them and starts another round.

As well as being able to count cards, a blackjack dealer needs to be comfortable on their feet and be able to do basic maths quickly, both in terms of keeping track of the hand scores and paying out bets. They also need to be able to read the game rules on the felt, which vary from casino to casino.

Lastly, they need to be able to spot potential tells from the players at the table, such as how long the dealer takes to look at their hole card and at what angle they bend it. This can give the players an advantage in predicting what the dealer’s cards will be and help them make better decisions about when to hit, stand or double down. This is an important skill as some casinos have reduced the standard 3 to 2 payout for Blackjacks, which increases the house edge.