Blackjack is a casino game where players try to beat the dealer by getting a hand of cards that totals 21 or close to it. It is played on a semicircular table with up to seven players or “spots” seated around it. In some casinos the number of spots varies from 5 to 12. The dealer stands behind a chip rack.
The dealer deals two cards to each player and himself. Then he or she flips over the top of one of his or her own cards, face up. This is called the dealer’s hole card. Then if the dealer has a ten underneath, the players with blackjack win the hand (in a push, nobody wins). If the dealer does not have a ten, then anyone who bought insurance gets paid 2 to 1 on their original wagers. The game continues like this until all the players have either a blackjack or busted.
During the course of gameplay, players may choose to hit, stand, split, or double down on their hands. In addition to their own decisions, the dealer must follow specific rules based on his or her hand and cannot make decisions like the players. As a result, it is important for the dealer to pay attention to each player’s actions and to keep track of the cards each player has in their hand. In addition, the dealer must remember what cards were dealt and discarded so that they can reshuffle the deck correctly when necessary.
Aside from observing players, it is also a dealer’s responsibility to be able to answer any questions that might arise at the blackjack table. This requires active listening skills as well as the ability to explain complex concepts in a straightforward manner. Moreover, the dealer must be able to communicate with the other members of the blackjack team to get the information needed to complete the game.
It is a dealer’s responsibility to ask if players want to buy insurance in the event that the dealer has a blackjack. This bet is made on a separate “insurance bar” above the player’s chips. It is a side bet that pays off if the dealer has a blackjack, but it does not affect the player’s hand. In some places the dealer will first reveal his or her face up card before asking if players want to buy insurance.
Studies have shown that unjustified confidence in blackjack knowledge correlates with several psychological and behavioral consequences including outcome expectations, state anxiety, and risk taking. The current study examines these effects using a laboratory experiment with a blackjack game and controls for the participants’ actual knowledge of the game. Findings suggest that greater unjustified confidence leads to higher positive outcome expectations and lower anxiety, but it also results in fewer attempts to acquire information about the game or use hints from other players to improve their play. These results are discussed in terms of potential implications for future research and practice.