Blackjack may be a game of chance, but one thing guaranteed about every blackjack table, on land or online, is blackjack etiquette. Etiquette rules may seem unimportant to some players, especially in online casinos. However, they are crucial to ensuring this card game is played efficiently.
This latest post in the LV BET blackjack blog will cover the essentials of blackjack etiquette, so no matter where you’re playing blackjack, you’ll be aware of what is expected of who. Read on, and you’ll never bust your reputation on a table again!
BLACKJACK ETIQUETTE – GET TO KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T DO AT A BLACKJACK TABLE?
There are some marginal differences between online blackjack etiquette and land casino etiquette rules. Either way, your best bet is to stick by those rules if you want to have an enjoyable game even when your luck leaves much to be desired.
In the following sections, we’ll flesh out the details, but first, here’s a simplified rundown of what’s expected of you:
- Wait for a new round before joining a table.
- Always keep your hands visible above the table.
- Don’t place any objects on the blackjack table.
- Never hand money directly to the dealer.
- Don’t touch your bets after the dealer deals the cards.
- Use the necessary hand signal when taking action.
- Ask other players for permission before joining a blackjack table.
- Refrain from telling players how they should play.
- Be respectful towards the dealer and fellow players.
THE MOST IMPORTANT BLACKJACK ETIQUETTE RULES
Now that you have an overview let’s break it down to see how the basics of gambling etiquette apply to online and land casino blackjack.
Don’t give a blackjack dealer cash wagers.
Always lay your cash down on the table as required so that the security cameras in the casino can see the cash transactions. The money is spread out and counted by the dealer, then given the equivalent amount in chips, and this process is observed by the cameras. When sitting down at a game in progress, wait to lay your money down until the current round is finished.
Don’t hold your cards with both hands or take them off the table.
When the cards are pitched (allowing you to pick them up) and dealt face down, always pick up the cards with one hand, not both. This etiquette rule comes from trying to prevent players from tampering with their cards. It’s also essential to leave the cards on the table in full view of the dealer before they are pitched to you.
Don’t leave your mobile phone on.
Leave your mobile phone silent when playing blackjack at a land-based casino to avoid disrupting a game. If you get a call, step away from the table and return as quickly as possible. It can be a huge spoiler of moods and bad table etiquette to keep everyone waiting.
Don’t touch your chips when your cards are being dealt.
After the bets have been placed, you are not allowed to touch your chips until you have played your hand. You are free to collect your chips after you win or tie the hand. However, the dealer takes the chips if they win. As soon as the cards are dealt, the next point at which you may touch your wager isn’t until the end of the game.
Don’t touch your cards if they’re dealt face-up.
Leave the cards on the table when the cards are dealt face up. You may only indicate your next move by signalling to the dealer whether you would like to hit or stand. The dealer is the only person at the table allowed to touch or alter the location of chips and cards.
Use hand signals to make decisions.
In a land-based table of blackjack, players will make use of hand signals to indicate to the dealer what their next move will be. Saying ‘hit’ or ‘stand’ is not enough; the dealer must clearly see you make the signal. In addition, some tables allow you to split and double down, and in such cases, all four moves have hand signals.
For cards dealt facing up, the signals would be:
- Hit — Point at your cards or tap the table.
- Stand — Wave a hand across the top of your cards. Do not move your arm.
- Double Down/Split — Add your second bet next to the original by placing further chips. Raise one finger to double or two fingers to split. Do not touch the cards themselves.
For ‘face-down’ games, the rules are a bit different:
- Hit — Lightly scrape the table with your index finger.
- Stand — Gently slide your cards under your chips, but try not to disturb them.
- Double Down/Split — Turn your cards face-up while placing your extra bet, then raise one finger to double-down or two fingers to split.
Don’t fear the dealer.
Most dealers are pretty outgoing! It is valid to ask the dealer’s advice on your next play. While the dealer represents the house, you may find dealers willing to help you out, especially if you are a newbie. Furthermore, dealers would rather be friendly than aloof; they’re more likely to get tipped that way.
Don’t hold back on the tips.
There are no casino rules stating you must tip your dealer. However, it is good practice to give the dealer tips when playing blackjack, particularly when winning hands. Typically, a player will tip an amount of the same value as the minimum bet. To tip the dealer, slide a chip towards the dealer and indicate your intention, or place an additional bet ahead of your regular bet.
Don’t stack your chips improperly.
Your wagers will likely contain different denomination chips, with more chips used depending on the stake. Chips denoting a lower value are called small denomination chips, while a higher denomination chip has an increased value.
Multiple chips are stacked on each other; higher denomination chips will go at the bottom of the stack, with extra chips stacked on top in descending order. If the chips are placed differently when play starts, the dealer will stop to re-arrange them correctly. While this is okay a couple of times, it can annoy your fellow players.
Don’t tell other blackjack players how to play.
It is a definite no-no to tell other players the play they should make unless they ask you themselves. Be respectful of the different skill levels you may encounter at a blackjack table; some players will keep a close eye on the game and strategise accordingly, while other players may not even be sure of all available moves on the same table. Whether you win or lose, everyone starts from the beginning, and keeping the peace is vital to ensure the game plays out smoothly.
Don’t cut the cards too close.
After the dealer has finished shuffling cards in six-deck games, one of the players will ‘cut’ the deck by placing the cut card. The cut card should be inserted at least a half-deck from either end of the stack. Cut the cards too close to the end of the deck, and the dealer will request it to be re-cut, holding up the game.
Don’t interrupt a game after ‘no more bets’ is called.
There are casinos that forbid placing a wager in the middle of a shoe. Tables may have signs saying ‘No Mid-Shoe Entry’, and you may sit down while the shoe is in progress but not wager until the shoe is finished.
Don’t be afraid to use the basic strategy.
The blackjack basic strategy will help any player make the best of their hand as the basic strategy is based on a set of mathematical decisions. There are countless resources where one can find information about the basic strategy. While veterans will have memorised it, carrying strategy charts with you is not considered bad table etiquette in a brick-and-mortar casino.
Don’t forget to check for specific blackjack rules (surrender, double down, standing on a soft 17, when to hit or not to hit).
To ensure you make the most of a blackjack table, it’s imperative that you know which rules apply to your chosen table. If not, you will be unsure of what your options are with your hand and risk losing the game while also alienating other players at the table who would be playing the game with clarity.
Don’t go for games using Continuous Shuffling Machines.
A Continuous Shuffling Machine refers to the machines used in most tables with multiple decks. The dealer will utilise these machines to continually shuffle all the used cards instead of placing cards in a discard tray, so the shoe will never end. A single-deck game is generally your best bet for any potential chances to win.
CAN ETIQUETTE MAKE YOU A BETTER BLACKJACK PLAYER?
While it is possible to strategise your hand, it is not practical nor prudent to strategise etiquette! The table etiquette in a casino is no small matter and should always be observed.
Etiquette rules apply to all players of any skill level and to every casino. It won’t affect the house edge or odds. Still, following blackjack etiquette tips will guarantee you’ll have a great time playing at your chosen table!
Online blackjack will look similar to a standard casino table, and most of the same rules will apply. Sometimes, depending on the site, or type of game you select, you will play with other ‘live’ players. This brings the best of both worlds as you combine the speed and convenience of playing online with having live blackjack dealers.
WHEN TO STAY AND WHEN TO LEAVE BlACKJACK TABLES
The choice to stay or leave is totally up to the player. There are many things to keep in mind when playing blackjack, such as your bankroll, certain rules in a casino, and of course, whether you’re enjoying the game in the first place.
So, as a general rule of thumb, be nice to everyone at any blackjack table you play, especially with the dealer. After all, despite being your opponent, the dealer is there to hand out your cards and make your experience at a blackjack table as entertaining as possible.
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✅ Why is complying with blackjack etiquette so important?
Casinos all across the world come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From modest, small-town halls to glamorous Vegas-style mega-casinos, they may all offer a chance to play blackjack.
Always be aware of the in-house rules and codes of conduct for whichever type of casino you choose, as there will be a certain amount of blackjack etiquette that you will be expected to follow. While you might not be thrown out for not observing it, you certainly won’t make yourself popular with the staff or other players.
✅ How do I place my chips on the blackjack table?
Chips are bought either from a separate cash desk or at the table. Money is placed on the table in clear view if purchased from the dealer. Players then place their chips in the circle or square designated to them.
✅ Can I get in trouble if I don’t follow blackjack etiquette?
The importance of following proper blackjack etiquette comes down to being allowed to play most blackjack games in any casino — unless the security cameras capture you doing something illegal. The casino will simply warn you to be more mindful of proper etiquette. The establishment will remove you from the premises if you cheat.
✅ Do blackjack terms differ from country to country?
No, game terms remain the same in every blackjack game. Whether you’re playing at European, Asian, or American casinos, most casinos will follow the primary standard.