Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and a great way to win money. If you love gambling and are comfortable interacting with other people, a job as a blackjack dealer may be just the right fit for you. A blackjack dealer is responsible for conducting the blackjack game and ensuring that it runs smoothly. They must be well-versed in the rules of the game, as well as the casino’s rules and local regulations. They also need to be able to greet guests as they approach the table and persuade them to play. You’ll need a high school diploma or its equivalent to work as a blackjack dealer. Most casinos require a minimum of six weeks of training, which is often completed at dealer school. To play blackjack, you must use chips (also called “checks”) that are provided by the casino. The casino can also provide you with an electronic card reader that will display the card’s value on your screen. The objective of the game is to obtain a hand value that is higher than or equal to 21, without going over. This is known as a “natural” or “blackjack.” A natural hand is usually paid 3:2 on the wager; in 2003 some casinos introduced a reduced payout of 6:5 for blackjacks. Basic strategy The best way to play blackjack is by following basic strategy, which was developed by computer programs that have played millions of rounds. This strategy is the mathematically optimal way to play every combination of player hand and dealer up-card. It takes the guesswork out of playing blackjack and can reduce the house edge to a small percentage. Insurance If you believe that the dealer’s face-down card is an ace or 10 in value, you can make an insurance bet. This is a risky bet, as the dealer has less than a 1 in 3 chance of having a ten-valued card in the hole. It will pay 2-1, but the expected value of an insurance bet is negative, so it is a poor decision. Splitting The player can also split two cards of the same value. This creates two hands from the initial single hand, which is then played independently and with a new wager. However, some casinos do not allow splitting 10-valued cards or hitting split aces. Double down The second way to play a blackjack hand is by doubling the amount of your original bet. Doing so means that you will receive two additional cards, allowing you to further improve your hand. Doing so only increases the chances of you winning; but if you lose, your bet is still even. This is a good strategy to use when you have low odds of busting, and the dealer’s up-card is a king or queen. You can also use this strategy when you have a low number of points but the dealer’s up-card is ten or worse. A blackjack is a hand that has a value of 21 on its first two cards, which includes an ace and a ten-valued card. It is an automatic winner and pays 3:2 on the wager; in 2003, some casinos introduced a reduced payout of 6:5 on blackjacks.