Blackjack is one of the most engaging casino games, in part because it demands so much skill. It’s an easy game to play, and with a basic understanding of the rules anyone can have a go. But playing blackjack well is an altogether different matter, and the more accomplished a player you are, the better the results you’re likely to get.
As a new blackjack player, it’s worth setting yourself some ground rules while you learn the ropes. Specifically, there are several key ‘no nos’ you want to steer clear of, in order to keep your game on form and avoid rubbing the dealer up the wrong way.
Not Standing on 12 Against a 5
There’s a rule in blackjack that says you shouldn’t risk busting your own hand when the dealer is showing a weak upcard and this is the case when you have a 12 and the dealer has a 5. The dealer has to hit at least two more times, so the best play is to stand and hope the dealer busts. You definitely do not want to be hitting in this situation, so not standing is a NO NO.
Not Hitting on 16 Against a 7
Similarly, if you’re looking at a 16 against a dealer 7, that’s a sign you want to be hitting. When the dealer has a 7, you have to assume he has a total of 17 and therefore your best option is to hit and hope you pull a small card to beat the dealers total. You definitely do not want to be standing in this situation and hitting is the best play.
Don’t Tell Others How To Play Their Hands
This is one of the quickest ways to single yourself out at a blackjack table, and not in a good way. There’s always one guy hanging over everyone else’s shoulder, trying to give them advice where it’s not wanted. If someone wants your help, they’ll ask for it, and it’s considered pretty bad form to be too proactive in offering up your opinions.
Instead, you should focus all your attention on your own game, and make the best of your own calls on each hand. Not only is it far more likely you’ll be in the black by the end of the night, but you’ll also not have annoyed your fellow players in the process.
Don’t Touch the Cards
The only thing you should be touching on the blackjack table are your chips – anything else is down to the dealer. When the cards are dealt face up, players are not permitted to touch the cards under any circumstances – it’s probably one of the easiest ways of getting yourself ejected from the game. Instead, wait for the dealer to rearrange your cards as required.
This stems primarily from casino security. Overhead cameras monitor each game as it progresses, so need to be able to see all cards at all times. Touching cards could be construed as an attempt to cheat, and most casinos aren’t particularly accommodating if they suspect you were trying to scam them. It’s best avoided.
Don’t Blame the Dealer
This is unfortunately an all-too common sight, particularly amongst less experienced blackjack players. A bad run of cards can and will happen from time to time, and it’s understandable that players might get frustrated when things aren’t going their way. But this is never an excuse to blame the dealer, or to otherwise vent your frustrations publicly at the table. Not only is it completely ridiculous and counterproductive, in some cases it might even constitute bullying and abuse of someone who’s simply doing their job.
It’s nice to be nice, and that includes towards the dealer – even if you’re having a bad day. If anything, you should be tossing them a chip or two as a tip for their service.
Don’t Take Side Bets
Side bets are in almost all cases biased towards the house – the house edge isn’t worth the upshot of the side bet. While there are some instances where players might enjoy a side bet, purely for the entertainment factor, this isn’t a logical route to be taking if you’re serious about your blackjack play.
Instead, focus on perfecting your strategy and developing your understanding of the game – this will make you a much better blackjack player, and if you stick with it, you’ll hopefully win more money playing blackjack as a result.