Blackjack is a card game in which players compete to beat the dealer. To play, a player must make a bet and then the dealer deals two cards to each player and two to himself (one face up, one face down). The dealer’s goal is to have a hand that totals higher than 21. The dealer pays players who win and takes their bets back if they bust.
A perfect hand consists of an Ace and a ten-value card and is known as a “blackjack.” If the dealer has a blackjack, they must pay every player who doesn’t have a blackjack one and a half times their original bet amount. In addition, the dealer must immediately collect any insurance wagers that were made.
In most casinos, the payout for a blackjack is 3 to 2. However, many casinos are now offering 6 to 5 payouts for Blackjacks. This reduces the payout for blackjacks and increases the house edge. It’s best to avoid playing at casinos that offer 6 to 5 blackjacks.
When the dealer has a 10 or an ace as their upcard, they must check for a natural blackjack before proceeding with the hand. This is done using a special viewing window in the table. If the dealer has a blackjack, they immediately pay all players who do not have a natural blackjack and collect their bets. The dealer then takes any insurance wagers and continues the game.
The dealer will draw additional cards according to a predetermined rule when their initial two cards have a value of 16 or less. They will also hit if their cards are valued at 17 or more. Players must stand if they have a total of 18 or more.
A player may ask the dealer for an additional card if their initial hand has a value of 12 or more and they are certain that another card will not cause them to go bust. A player can also double their bet by raising it to twice its original amount and receiving only one additional card. Doubling down should only be done if the player is confident that they will have a high enough total to beat the dealer’s blackjack.
In some cases, players will split their initial two cards if they are of equal value. They will then have two separate hands that are played independently and treated as normal blackjack hands. This is only possible if the initial hand consists of two aces, two face cards or two tens.
Once the player has completed their turn, the dealer will take their cards and compare them to the players’ hands. The player who has a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s wins and gets their original bet back. If the dealer has a blackjack, all the players lose their bets unless they have a blackjack themselves. This is called a push. The dealer then collects all the cards, shuffles them and begins a new round.