One of the most appealing things about blackjack is the social aspect of the game. Sure, we all play to win, but every honest player will admit that the interaction with the host and the fellow blackjack players is what draws them back to this particular game.
Like in any social event, the atmosphere and the conduct of everyone involved makes all the difference, so make sure you are not a party pooper. Blackjack has its own code of conduct, and you should always stick to it. If you are playing at a casino, you should also be aware of the etiquette that you should follow.
Try to look at it like any other game. If you were playing tennis, you would be expected to know the rules. You don’t have to be good at it, but you should at least know your way around the court. Apply this to your casino visits, and you will enjoy the game more. And you won’t be a fool ruining the evening for others.
Without further ado, let’s go through some helpful advice!
Don’t Presume, Ask!
That is one of the best advice you’ll get, and it doesn’t apply only to blackjack. When in doubt, always ask for help from the dealer or the casino host. They are at your service and will explain everything that may be confusing to you. Of course, try to keep your questions restricted to the game and casino policies. It’s much better not to make any assumptions.
Don’t Be Rude!
It’s a social game, as we’ve said, and you should try to be polite. Always ask if the seat is taken instead of just sitting down at the table. Someone might have made a break and expects their place to be waiting when they come back. Also, do not yell, curse, jump around, etc. Remember — you are at a public venue. If you happen to win, don’t go crazy! You are allowed to be glad but don’t bore everybody with “I would like to thank the Academy” speech.
Don’t Crash the Game!
It’s not a frat party, so always check if and when you can join. Some casinos have a policy of not allowing players to join mid-deck, so check for “No Mid-Shoe Entry” signs. You can also ask the personnel if you are in doubt.
Don’t Be a Smartass!
Different players, different strategies! Try not to comment on other people’s takes and decisions. Even if you think that they are foolish or reckless, try to give advice only if asked. Every fellow blackjacker is playing their own game, and they should be allowed to do it any way they like.
Don’t Be Shy!
On the other hand, if you are having second thoughts on what your move should be, don’t hesitate to ask. It can be either one of the players or the dealer. That may not help you win, but it may assist you in making the right choice. Just remember not to blame others if you lose. It’s not attractive, fun, or justified.
Don’t Be Cheap!
The dealer is there to run the game and make sure it flows effortlessly. It’s a tough job, and it requires a lot of practice and training. If you liked the way they handled the game, tip them appropriately. Tipping the dealer is customary and desirable. Don’t expect this to improve your chances of winning though. But if you had a pleasant game and you enjoyed your time, make sure that your host knows it!
Don’t Play the Diva!
Yes, we all know casinos offer free stuff, but don’t be obnoxious and start requesting things as soon as you walk through the door. Try to play the minimum the casino requires and the personnel will come to you with comps. You should know that no action goes unnoticed, and you can get complimentary stuff even if you are not a high roller. One of the ways is to get rated for your play. Ask the host or the manager how to do it, and you will qualify for comps in no time.
Don’t Hand Money to the Dealer!
The dealer is not supposed to take your money directly. Before joining this casino game, you should put the money on the table. The dealer will take it, count it, and pass you the chips. You should, however, tell which denominations you want. As we said, casinos have a strict etiquette, and every action is recorded on camera. The dealer has to count the money for the CCTV and the pit boss so that any possibility of fraud can be prevented.
Don’t Jampack the Table With Your Stuff!
Personal belonging, such as wallets, purses, phones, etc., should not be on the table during play. Keep it on your person and don’t bother fellow players with them. You can put your drink on the table, but you should use the drink-holder that the casino will provide. The table should be clean and clear while you play.
Don’t Touch the Chips!
When the bets are placed, the dealer usually swipes their hands over them, and this is a sign that the game begins. As of this point, do not touch the chips until you win, lose, or tie! Any tampering with the chips is out of the question, and all participants have to abide by this rule. Even if it is not what you intend to do, don’t break it.
Don’t Scatter the Chips!
Every blackjack table has an area designated for bets. Usually, it is a circle in front of your seat. All the chips in that circle or touching it will be treated as wagered. Make sure you keep your chips in order. Place the ones you don’t want to wager out of the betting area.
Don’t Mix the Chips!
When placing a bet, keep the highest-denomination chips at the bottom and go towards the lowest as you build up the stack. It’s easier for the dealer, and it makes the game unfold faster.
Don’t Be Reckless With Your Wins!
Don’t grab them too quickly, either. You can collect your winnings only after the hand has been completed. At that moment, take all the chips and do not leave them near the betting area because they may be considered wagered when at the beginning of a new hand. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, but in a regular blackjack game, that is proper conduct.
Don’t Touch the Cards!
Another simple rule that you should follow. If you are playing with four or more decks, you will get your cards facing up. Again, that keeps the game moving quickly because the dealer can immediately announce every hand at the table. To avoid any chances of cheating, the players are not allowed to touch the cards. Only the dealer has that right, so if you need anything, they can do it for you.
Don’t Hold the Cards With Both Hands!
In case you are playing a single-deck or two-deck card game, your cards will be facing down, and you can pick them up. However, always use just one hand. Also, please try not to break or fold the cards.
Don’t Take the Cards out of the Playing Zone!
The dealer and the cameras must in every moment of the play have a full view of your cards. So keep them above the table and do not cover them, put them in your lap, or on the floor. Please note that any disrespect of any of these rules will result in the interruption of the game. You are not the only one at the table, and everybody likes a smooth game.
Don’t Try to Play Less Than the Table Minimum!
Always stick to the minimum bet required to play. If you can’t meet that, it’s clearly not the table for you. Also, if you decide to take two spots, be aware that you need to bet double the minimum. Let’s say it’s $10, in case you are playing two spots, make sure you wager $20. Also, if you want to double, split, or take insurance, push the chips towards the dealer. They will arrange them in the betting circle. Do not put the chips over the original wager.
Don’t Cut Too Shallow!
After each shuffle, one of the players cuts the deck with an unmarked card. Should it be you, make sure you cut through the middle. In multi-deck games, the cut should be the size of at least one deck. If you cut too shallow, the dealer will ask you to repeat it. That slows the game down and irritates other players, so pay attention to cuts!
Don’t Come Unprepared!
Learn your strategies before you start playing. They are available online, so there are no excuses for not doing your homework. It wouldn’t be too bad to read one of the books on the matter either. The more you know about the game, the better you will be at it. Practice does make it perfect, but you should analyze the basic strategies, develop a betting system, and play recreationally. They may not guarantee certain victory, but you could still give it a shot. For example, counting cards can work if you’re good at it. However, should the casino catch you doing it, the managers may ask you to leave. Just be as careful as you can.
Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew!
Blackjack comes in various versions, and some of them are definitely not for beginners. Even if you are an experienced gambler, some games or side offers are simply not favorable for the player. You should avoid them or be positive that you understand what you are doing if you decide to play.
Don’t Talk, Signal!
Maybe the most important rule at the table. For every action you want to take, there is a signal. Double down, hit, stand, split — whatever you want to do, always use these signs. The cameras do not record audio, so everything has to be visual. That is beneficial for the players as well because there are no misinterpretations of what you wanted to do. Check the hand gestures and make sure you know what they mean and how to use them before you sit at the table!
- Hit — tap the table
- Stand — swipe your hand left to right over the cards
- Double down — Hold your finger up after placing a second bet
- Split — make a split sign with your fingers after placing the second bet
As you can see, ladies and gents, the rules are simple, and they are reasonable. They serve to protect the transparency of the game and help you focus on your hands, moves, and wins. It is essential to keep it clear, fair, and trustworthy. So let’s mind our manners and enjoy the game!