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Blackjack Unwritten Rules & Table Etiquette

blackjack unwritten rules and table etiquette

When it comes to gambling, blackjack is one of the most popular games around.

The first thing to do is to learn the blackjack rules and then get a handle on how to play.

Then you’ll probably feel ready to fire up a blackjack app, or if you’re near one, hit the casino floor.

But wait – there are also some unwritten rules and etiquette that players should be aware of in order to make the game more enjoyable for everyone at the table.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when playing blackjack.

Don’t touch the cards

One of the most important rules of the casino is never to touch the cards. Only the dealer is allowed to do this.

The reason is to prevent cheating.

In the past, some players have been known to mark certain cards so they know them next time they see them face down, or even to try and use a sleight of hand to switch cards.

If you touch a card by accident then the dealer will remind you not to do it. Persistent offenders may be asked to leave the blackjack table or even the casino itself.

Keep chairs for players, not spectators

There are limited chairs available at a blackjack table, so don’t take up a seat if you’re not playing.

This rule also applies to putting purses, coats, or other belongings on chairs. Doing so can discourage others from joining the table, which is awkward and disrespectful to others, and will be frowned on by the pit boss.

Don’t hog multiple spots if others are waiting

If you’re playing with a friend or loved one, it’s generally considered good etiquette to only take up one spot at the table. This allows other players who are waiting to have a chance to join in on the fun.

It’s also polite to leave a seat open if someone else wants to play but there isn’t an available seat.

Don’t distract the dealer

While it’s fine to chat with the dealer or other players at the table, be aware that too much talking can be distracting.

Blackjack is a sociable game and chatting to others is part of the experience, but don’t do it to such an extent that you delay your turn or that of others. That holds up the game for everyone and will irritate other players.

Don’t offer advice where it isn’t wanted

If another player asks for advice then feel free to offer it, but don’t force your help on anyone who doesn’t want it.

Nobody likes a know-it-all, so even if you think you have valuable insights to share, be aware that some people just want to play their own game and make their own decisions.

Check the table limits before you play

Every blackjack table has posted limits on how much you can bet. These limits vary from table to table, so it’s important to check them before you sit down to play.

If players try to bet less than the table limit the dealer will not let them play. This holds up the game and is annoying for the other players.

Keep your drinks off the table

Most casinos will provide free drinks for players, but it’s important to keep them off the playing area of the blackjack table.

Drinks can spill and make the cards sticky, or even damage them. If this happens it slows down the game while new cards are brought out.

It’s also distracting when other players constantly have to move their drinks out of the way when it’s their turn to play. If you have a drink then put it on the designated drinks well, or if there isn’t one floor next to your chair.

Don’t touch other people’s chips

This is a general casino rule, but it’s especially important in blackjack. Touching another player’s chips can be interpreted as a way of trying to cheat, and it’s just generally rude.

If you want to buy chips, wait until the dealer is free and then ask them to exchange your money for chips.

Mind your manners

Be courteous to the other players and the dealer and mind your manners. Avoid using profanity or being excessively loud.

Blackjack is a fun game and part of the experience is enjoying the company of others, so be respectful and enjoy yourself.

Don’t be a show-off

While blackjack is a sociable game, it’s important to remember that there is money at stake, and other might not be enjoying the same luck that you are.

That means that you shouldn’t be showy or flashy with your chips, and you shouldn’t be bragging about your wins or losses. It’s fine to be happy or excited when you win, but don’t take it too far.

Don’t be a sore loser

Losing is part of the game, and you shouldn’t take it too personally. Never take it out on the dealer or the other players.

I’ve seen players lose their temper at blackjack tables before and make a scene. They only embarrass themselves. The best players remain cool whether they win or lose.

Always remember you are responsible for your own decisions and it’s nobody else’s fault if you win, lose or just break even.

Know when to quit

This is perhaps the most important rule of all. Blackjack is a game of chance and unless you can count cards (and get away with it) then the odds are always against you in the long run.

That means that you should never bet more than you can afford to lose, and you should always know when to quit. If you’re on a winning streak then it’s tempting to keep going, but don’t get too cocky.

The best way to enjoy blackjack is to play for fun, not for profit. As long as you remember that then you’ll always have a good time.

Tip the dealer if they have helped you (and if you win)

This isn’t a rule, but it’s good etiquette. The dealer is there to help you and if they’ve done a good job then it’s nice to tip them.

I usually tip when I’ve had a good session and have at least made a profit of 50% of my original buy-in. Providing the dealer has been friendly and I feel it’s deserved.

There is no set amount to tip a dealer, it’s whatever you feel comfortable with and anything is appreciated. I usually tip an amount equal to whatever I have been staking per hand, on average.

The bottom line is that it’s up to you whether or not you want to tip, but it’s always nice to do so if the dealer has been helpful.

Last Updated on September 23, 2022

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Posted in Rules & How to Play

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