Blackjack Etiquette

This portion of our website deals with blackjack etiquette which is something you are going to want to become familiar with if you're serious about learning the game and want to be respected at the tables.  Since blackjack is a unique game in that player decisions can influence the outcome of the round, there are some basic rules that most seasoned blackjack players follow that are considered proper etiquette when playing the game.  This in addition to a number of other player courtesies is discussed below to give you an idea of some of the more common rules associated with being a polite blackjack player.

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Common Etiquette Principles In Blackjack

  • Hitting: In order to hit, simply point at your cards and announce hit or lightly tap the table in front of your hand, this will signal to the dealer that you would like to add another card to your hand total.
  • Standing: In order to stand, clearly wave your hand above the blackjack hand in plain view of the dealer (and cameras) which will indicate that you are happy with your hand don't want more cards.
  • Doubling: In order to make a double bet, place an additional wager or equal or lesser value to your original bet behind the first wager and announce double to the dealer to receive one more card.
  • Splitting: To split your hand, place an equal wager to your first bet beside the first wager and announce that you would like to split your hand, this can also be done by placing two fingers in an upside down peace sign and pointing them at your hand which also indicates the desire to split.
  • Basic Strategy: First and foremost, it's expected (especially if you are on a high limit table) that you will have an understanding of blackjack's basic strategy and how it works.  It's also expected that you will adhere to it most of the time since it gives everyone at the table the best chances of winning.
  • Newbies: If you are a new blackjack player, it's probably best to stick to lower limit games until you understand the swing of the game.  Don't be afraid to ask experienced players around you for assistance if you are unsure what to do with a certain hand, most players will gladly offer their advice to you.
  • Observers: It's pretty common for people to observe others playing blackjack in a casino especially if it's a high limit game, however if you are watching people play you should give them their space, stand back and not crowd the table.  Remember that you aren't playing so while it may be cool to watch someone betting $10,000 a hand, they aren't going to want you breathing down their necks.
  • Tipping: Casino employees (particularly dealers) rely heavily on tipping as the main source of their income, it's expected that you will tip after a great run or winning a huge hand and you should since often generous tippers are rewarded with extra comps from pit bosses.  Generally speaking, 5% of a big win is the norm, so say you won a $1,000 hand, tipping $50 would be a nice gesture to the dealer.
  • Cards: While playing blackjack, the cards will be dealt face up to the player, whether you are hitting, standing, doubling or splitting, it's important never to touch the actual cards.  This is due to security and the dealer will complete any actions that involve touching the cards after you have declared what to do.  Persistent breaking of this rule will definitely get you kicked out of the casino so follow it.
  • Drinking: If you are going to drink at the table (which is totally fine) make sure to use the cup holders on the table to avoid spilling anything.  A spill across the table is really disruptive to the game and you can bet the dealer and players at the table will not be too happy if the game is interrupted due to a spill.
  • Talking: While table talk is part of the game, understand that some players especially at high limit tables are there to play and may not want to chat while playing.  Respect this since ultimately it's there decision whether to be chatty or not and you shouldn't take offence if someone's really into the game.
  • Back Betting: In most blackjack games, you are allowed to place a wager behind a player and essentially get in on their hand, however they make all decisions with regard to your bet and theirs.  If you are going to do this, make sure to ask the player before hand if you can come in on their hand as it is very rude to simply place a wager behind without first asking for permission from the main player.
  • Comps: As a player, make sure you get a players card and hand it in at the beginning of your session to ensure that you are tracked for all bets you make which will enable you to get comps.  When you want to ask for a comp, talk to the pit boss and see what they can offer you - remember being friendly and having a good relationship with the pit boss will get you a ton of extras versus being a rude player.
  • Politeness: Far to often, especially when the cards aren't falling in the players advantage many will look t blame the dealer for the bad run of cards.  Since the cards are pre-determined in blackjack, this is pointless and there is nothing that the dealer can do to change the outcome of the game.  Avoid making rude remarks to the dealer and be friendly whether winning or losing since they can't control the cards.