Blackjack Etiquette

If you aren’t a regular at the local casino, chances are you may need a quick lesson in blackjack etiquette before hitting the live tables. Lessons in proper decorum have been neglected over the last 10 or 15 years, mostly due to the fact that so many blackjack players worldwide have begun enjoying this favored pastime at online casinos.

As we all know, you can act however you want at an online blackjack table. You can dress to the nines in a full tuxedo or evening gown, or you can take a seat in your birthday suit. You can sit quietly, or blast heavy metal rock music; sip a glass of champagne or guzzle a frothy draft through a beer bong. Playing from home at an online casino removes all necessity for appropriate attire and mannerisms. However, in a live casino, correct behavior is a must!

It is important to be comfortable, but equally essential to respect the comfort of those around you. All blackjack players are different. Some like to joke around and banter with other players or the dealer. Some prefer to sit quietly and focus more on the game at hand. Then there are those who exhibit raucous behavior, perhaps after a few too many to drinks, or from overly boisterous excitement. Feel free to share a friendly comment or two around the table, but if it’s obvious another player is not in a conversational mood, respect their position and try not to be annoying.

Secondly, do not take your losses out on the player seated right of the dealer. This player has the unfortunate position of acting right before the dealer does, thus some players will inappropriately blame this person for taking a card, or not taking a card, thereby resulting in the dealer having a great hand. Whatever hand the dealer receives, it is not the fault of the last acting player. Every single player at the table, regardless of position, makes decisions that affect the dealer’s hand, for better or worse.

In the same regard, do not blame the dealer for the cards you are dealt. If you’re having a bad run, it is not the dealer’s fault. Blackjack is a game of strategy and luck. If Lady Luck is not favoring you, and you are having trouble controlling your emotions, perhaps it’s time for a break or change of games.

Make absolutely certain that you are familiar with the rules of the blackjack game. There are dozens of blackjack variants out there, some with side bets, bonus payouts, variable splitting and doubling rules, etc. Not every blackjack game pays 3 to 2 for a natural blackjack either. All of the rules are displayed on a card, or directly on the table. Instead of slowing down the game by constantly asking if a move is permitted, edify yourself as to the rules before you sit down.

Last but not least, never, ever pick up a card form the table. In a live casino, the player may move his cards by sliding them, but you are not permitted to pick one up. If you do pick up a card, the dealer will immediately instruct you not to do so. If you continue to break the rules, you may be asked to leave the table. This rule is strictly applied so that player’s cannot cheat. The old “card up the sleeve” cliché comes to mind.