If you want to be taken seriously as a blackjack player or just want improve your knowledge and ease of the game then it is important to learn and put in use these simple practices known as blackjack Etiquette. There’s more to mastering any game than a fundamental understanding of how to play. You must also know the customs of the game and how to finesse the rules.
The first tip for Blackjack etiquette is “know the rules” before sitting down at a casino table. Don’t sit down at a crowded table and expect everyone to be patient while you learn how to play the game. Knowing the rules will also include a basic understanding of the steps that are taken before an actual game begins.
When you sit down at a table, wait for the dealer to finish the hand in progress. Then you may buy chips by placing currency on the layout, pushing it toward the dealer, and saying, “Change, please.”
Know the table limit or minimum bid before sitting down to play, and don’t continually ask a dealer to break a larger chip in order to continue playing, instead break larger chips at the time of buying in. Even better is to purchase all chips from the cashier rather than the dealer.
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Next on a list of good Blackjack etiquette is to know the proper procedures for the “type” of game being played. Generally there are two ways of playing; with the cards face down or face up. Each game asks players to follow some simple guidelines.
In a face up :
> A player should never touch their cards
> Do not touch the bet placed after the first cards are dealt.
> Use the appropriate hand signals – a spoken command cannot be followed by the dealer unless it is accompanied by the correct hand signal. For face up Blackjack a player who wants to “hit” must tap the table with their finger. A player who is going “stand” waves their hand above the table. To “double down” a player must lay their new wager next to the original bet and signal by making a “one” signal with their finger. In order to “split” the player must lay the new wager next to the original and make a “two” signal with their fingers.
> A player who “busts” should behave properly, even if frustrated and disappointed. Usually a player should lay their cards face up next to their bet and wait for the next hand if they wish to continue playing.
In a face down game:
> A player can touch their cards, but only with a single hand and never drop them below the dealer’s line of sight. This can end a game instantly on suspicion of cheating.
> The same rules apply about touching the bet after the game begins.
> The hand signals for “face down” play are a bit different – for a player to “hit” they must scrape their cards on the table. To “stand” the player slides their cards under their bet without lifting the chips off the table. To “double down” the player lays their cards face up on the table, places their bet next to the original bet and makes a “one” signal with their finger. To “split” the player does the same process as for the “double down”, but makes a “two” signal with their fingers.
> Should the player “bust” they must follow the same process as in a face up game, laying their cards face up near their bet and waiting for the next hand to begin.
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Other Blackjack etiquettes rules to consider:
Don’t hold your cards with two hands.
In blackjack games where the cards are “pitched” to you and dealt face down, you must pick the cards up with one hand, not with both.
Never remove your cards from the table.
Your cards must always be in full view of the security cameras and the dealer.
Never touch your chips once the cards are being dealt.
Once you’ve placed your bet and the dealer begins to deal the cards, you are not allowed to touch your chips until the hand is played out.
When the cards are dealt face up, don’t touch them.
In games that use four or more decks of cards, your cards are dealt face up. There is no reason for you to pick up or handle the cards, so just leave them alone.
Signal your decision
You must use hand signals to indicate to the dealer whether you want to hit or stand. Saying “hit” or “stand” isn’t enough. They need to see you make the signal.
There aren’t any set guidelines on how much or how often to tip your dealer. Just remember that dealers get paid a minimal hourly wage and live on tips.
Stack your chips correctly.
When you make a wager that includes two or more different denomination chips (for example, a $25 chip and two $5 chips), always place the higher denomination chip on the bottom of the stack and the lower ones on top.
Cut the deck properly.
In six-deck games, after the dealer has finished shuffling the cards, he will ask one of the players to “cut” the deck. Insert the “cut card” at least a half-deck from either end of the stack.
Following these simple rules will insure that a player is playing a proper and well-behaved game of Blackjack