How to pick the right blackjack table is something that all players should know, as it can be just as important as the strategy they use for each hand. The chosen table can decide a lot in terms of the house edge and the overall experience you will receive as a result. In this article, we share a few things for players to consider when picking a blackjack table, regardless of whether you're at an online casino or a land-based venue!
When it comes to picking the right blackjack table, there are two key areas that can be influenced based on your decision.
1. Lower House Edge - It's perhaps no secret that every casino game comes with a built-in advantage in favour of the house. This is known as the 'House Edge' and in Blackjack, alongside in all other table games, this is created through the rules. For players who are looking to minimise this house edge as much as possible, selecting the correct table is crucial.
2. Fun and Entertainment Levels - Of course, the biggest thing to consider when playing Blackjack is having fun. From interacting with others at the table to enjoying a range of unique side bets, picking a table can be hugely influential in the overall experience provided to players.
Interestingly, there will be some elements to picking a table that will both lower the house edge and offer higher levels of entertainment. These are perhaps the factors that players should focus on before looking at any others!
Now, let's discuss some of the things that players should double check before sitting down at a blackjack table.
First up, as mentioned earlier, is the blackjack rules that the tables are using. Some of the more favourable variations to look out for include:
For anyone who is looking for conversation while at the table, this one is a must. It's also a pretty straightforward thing to spot, as typically the table that is having the most fun will stand out from the crowd. Many people prefer a more relaxed table when playing Blackjack. However, some may opt to join a more competitive bunch of players. At the end of the day, it's all about preference!
If the table atmosphere is important to you, stand back and analyse the body language of the other players on the table. Do they look happy and ready to talk? Or perhaps they're more focused on their game? Often, it only takes a few seconds to gauge the atmosphere of a blackjack table, making this step almost a no-brainer!
Another thing that's pretty easy to spot at the table is the number of decks that are being used. When it comes to decreasing the house edge, the fewer decks that are used, the better. This is why single-deck Blackjack comes with an extremely high RTP rate of roughly 99.85%.
The most common number of decks is 8 at most casinos. However, six, four, and even double deck versions are typically available at these venues if you look for them!
While side bets often come with a high house edge, there are some that can offer additional entertainment to players. These may include the likes of 21+3 and perfect pairs, alongside more unique side bets like pair square. There is also insurance, offered at virtually all blackjack tables, which is considered to be a side bet too.
Here's a quick overview of the most popular side betting options:
How many players are already sitting at the table? This can have a pretty big impact on the experience of a session. For those who like fast-paced gameplay, a table with fewer players might be your best bet. Adversely, anyone who wants to interact with others will likely be better suited to a more crowded table.
Betting limits are imposed on virtually all tables in a casino, with some having higher minimum requirements than others. Before the session begins, it's important that players set a budget and manage their bankroll accordingly. When it comes to making your funds go further, finding a table with a low minimum stake size could be hugely beneficial!
When it comes to finding an online blackjack table that matches your preferences, all of the above factors remain true. In fact, most of these details become easier to find, such as the betting limits and various rules, all of which can be found in the 'information' tab of each table, or shown on the screen before joining.
However, when it comes to the table atmosphere, players only have a chat box to analyse before placing a bet. With that being said, this can be turned off at any time, should you wish.
There are also plenty of different myths that can deter people from tables, even though they are not influencing the game in any way. Most of these revolve around the house edge being increased due to a specific event or incident occurring at the table.
1. 'Hot' Dealers - When the dealer is on a winning streak, they can be referred to as 'hot'. Some players may choose to avoid tables that feature a 'hot' dealer.
2. 'Cold' Tables - The opposite of being 'hot' is being 'cold'. In this instance, it would refer to when the table is consistently busting or being beaten by the dealer.
3. Bad Players - Finally, some punters will avoid tables that feature a 'bad' player. This is typically someone who is hitting when basic strategy says not to, or standing when the optimal decision is to hit.
All three of these have absolutely no impact on a player's chances of success and shouldn't impact their table selection process. With that being said, some punters may have their own superstitions, which they are completely free to follow if they wish.
There are plenty of different checks that players can perform in order to identify the right blackjack table for their preferences. For example, looking at the rules, considering the betting limits, and glancing at other players at the table can all have a huge impact on a blackjack session. From decreasing the house edge to making the experience more fun, picking the right blackjack table can be crucially important.
On the flip side, some people will avoid tables due to dealers having 'hot' streaks, or 'bad' players occupying one of the positions. These don't have any impact on your chances of success, as dealers are simply following rules, while 'bad' players could end up benefitting you.
Regardless of how you select a blackjack table, make sure that you set a limit before the start of any session and stick to it. This can help you to manage your bankroll effectively while also staying safe as you play. When playing Blackjack online, why not take advantage of our responsible gambling tools? These include deposit limits, maximum betting caps, and reality checks, alongside much more!