How to Deal Cards in Blackjack

Have you ever sat at a Blackjack table or played a live online game and marvelled at how precise and quick the dealer is?

If you answered yes, you are not alone.

So, what essential skills are required to make Blackjack dealing appear effortless? Here’s a breakdown of what it takes to become a Blackjack dealing ninja: someone who can keep even the most involved and complex games flowing and entertaining for the players.

Read More: Why Blackjack is the most popular table game

If the Shoe Fits

The shoe is the device to the dealer’s left from which the dealer draws cards and can hold between four and eight decks at once. The face of the shoe is slanted and has a finger slot, making it easy for a dealer to quickly draw a card.

The key to effectively using the shoe is for the dealer to draw cards from it without taking their gaze away from the rest of the table. This ability allows the dealer to keep an eye out for player commands while ensuring that chips and cards are correctly placed on the table.

The Discard Rack

Previously used cards from the previous round are put inside a discard rack as the game cannot use them immediately. Cards are kept until it’s time to shuffle the decks and replenish the shoe.

It’s All About the Shuffle

Many blackjack tables have what is known as Continuous Shuffle Machines (or CSMs). Such machines can shuffle cards for the dealer, giving them more time to focus on being a dealer and interacting with the players instead of spending time shuffling.

However, some Blackjack providers still offer games in which the dealer does the shuffling manually. In this case, the dealer will halve the deck and then riffle it, implying that the two halves will merge.

A dealer may then choose to strip or box the deck, which are two methods of ensuring that the cards are well shuffled. The dealer must discard the top card before any dealing with the freshly shuffled deck can begin (or burn, as they say in the trade).

After learning how to shuffle a single deck of cards, a new dealer must learn how to shuffle two decks simultaneously. When playing games with four, six, or eight decks, it is critical that dealers can complete the shuffle process quickly.

Giving the Deck a Good Wash

Every dealer must wash the deck whenever a new set of cards enters the game. This entails laying out the cards on the table and mixing them up before beginning the shuffling process. 

So Much More to Think About

Of course, dealing cards is only one of the many things a dealer must consider when overseeing a game of Blackjack, with chips, cash, and bets all needing to be tracked simultaneously.

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