The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a popular casino game in which players place a wager against the dealer. The objective is to get a higher hand total than the dealer’s and avoid going over 21. There are a number of different betting options, including doubling down. A player’s card values count as follows: cards two through 10 count as their face value, and aces can be counted as either 1 or 11.

To start playing the game, you must first place a wager. Generally, a minimum bet is $1 and a maximum bet is $100 or more. You can also play for free online to get a feel for the game before you begin betting real money. Regardless of how you choose to bet, it’s important to know the rules and basic strategy.

After placing your bet, the dealer deals each player two cards. The dealer will also receive two cards, one of which will remain face down. If the dealer has an ace showing, they will offer insurance to the players. Once all of the players have placed their insurance bets, the dealer will check their hole card (using a special viewing window in the table) and if they have a ten underneath they will pay out all of the insurance wagers and continue the game.

If the dealer has a lower valued card, they will draw until they reach 17 or more. If the dealer has a higher card, they will stand on that hand and not draw any more. The player with the highest total wins the game.

Blackjack is a fast-paced game, and it’s important for the dealer to keep up with the pace of the players. This means that the dealer should be able to count quickly, and they should be able to accurately place and pay out bets in a timely manner. The dealer should also be on the lookout for any players who are trying to cheat or otherwise take advantage of the table.

There is a lot to learn about blackjack, and it takes time to become proficient at the game. A good way to practice is by using a single deck of cards and adding up the values as you turn them over. This will help you develop the skills necessary to play the game at a high level. Once you’re comfortable with counting cards, it’s a good idea to switch to a true count. This method is more accurate and gives you a better idea of how much the casino has an edge over you. This will allow you to make more informed decisions when it comes to betting.