Blackjack is a card game where players try to build hands that total as close as possible to 21 without going over. Each player is dealt two cards, and then has the option to stand (stop drawing cards) or draw (request more cards) based on certain rules. The dealer also receives two cards, and the goal is to beat the players hand using a combination of strategy and luck. Side bets have become increasingly popular at blackjack tables, and many of these bets offer payouts that are equal to or greater than the player’s initial wager.
Sandra is one of the newest blackjack dealers at the casino. She and her co-workers have just finished a training session, and now they’re ready to work the blackjack pit. Before the start of their shift, they’ll have a short meeting to go over any details that might affect their shift. This includes which tables they’ll be working on, whether or not they’ll have breaks, and other information.
The dealer’s first card will be dealt face down, and then the second will be flipped over and slid underneath it. This is called the “pitch” process, and it’s important to a card counter. When the dealer pitches a card, they’re giving up valuable information about their deck composition. For this reason, card counters must be extremely careful when studying the way a dealer pitches a card.
Once the player has placed their bets, the dealer will look at their hole card (using a special window in the table) to see if they have a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, they’ll pay off the insurance bets at two to one and then continue with the rest of the game. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, they’ll simply take everyone’s original bet and play on as usual.
In the last 2 decades or so, Blackjack tables have started offering a wide range of different side bets. These bets are placed at the same time as the player’s main wager and can include betting on a pair of cards as the player’s first two, betting that the dealer will have a specific type of poker hand, or even on whether or not the dealer will bust! The side bets can vary from casino to casino but the most popular one is the Insurance bet, which pays out at 1 to 1.
Some of these side bets have a significant impact on the game’s edge and should therefore be avoided. However, there are still some strategies that can be used to minimize these effects. One is to observe how the dealer reveals their hole card, including how long they look at it and at what angle they bend it. This can help you identify tells and improve your blackjack strategy. Other tactics include knowing which hands to split and double down, and being able to spot the right situations for this. It’s vital that you understand these aspects of the game if you want to maximize your winnings.