Blackjack is a card game that requires skill to beat the dealer. It is one of the most popular casino games and there are many different strategies to learn. However, before you can make any decisions at the table you must understand the basic rules of blackjack. You must know what the values of each card and hand are, how to hit or stand, and how to double down and split. It is also important to have an understanding of the odds of winning.
You can find charts that list all the possible outcomes for your hand and the dealer’s cards in a given situation. These charts are available for free online and will help you make the right decision at each point in the hand. However, it is important to remember that the chart is only a guide and it does not guarantee success in blackjack.
The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer by drawing a value that goes over 21 or getting a better total than the dealer’s. In order to do so, you must be able to hit or stand with your first two cards. The dealer must also hit until her cards total 17 or higher.
If you have a high enough hand, you can ask for another card (hit) to improve it. However, this will increase your chances of busting and it is not recommended. If you don’t have a good hand, it is better to stand and wait for the dealer to deal herself additional cards.
Some players will decide to split their cards with a high total such as 11 or 12. However, splitting aces is not always a good idea. The ace is the most valuable card in blackjack and has a value of 1 or 11 depending on which type it is, and splitting them will weaken your hand.
Blackjack dealers must update players on the status of their hands and explain the rules. This is called active listening and involves communicating with the customer to ensure that they are receiving information in a clear way. The dealer may use nonverbal cues such as nodding or paraphrasing to show that they are giving the customer their full attention.
To play blackjack, you must be a member of the casino’s Player’s Club. This card is often scanned by the dealer or a floor supervisor and recorded in their system. The dealer then uses this information to rate your play. The higher your rating, the more money you can win at the table.
If you’re playing blackjack, the dealer must always hit a total of 16 or below, regardless of what type of cards are in the player’s hand. The only exception to this rule is when the dealer has an ace. This will allow the player to place an insurance bet that pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack. This is a risky bet because the dealer could still have blackjack and you would lose your original wager.