If you are new to the game of blackjack in a live casino, there are a few basic steps you can follow to make the experience comfortable and fun. Some of the following points are common sense advice when dealing with other players and staff, others apply to the mechanics of the game and rules which are in place to prevent cheating.
As I explain below, taking the time to learn the rules is a big step to help the smooth running of the game. I have also described procedures you need to follow when purchasing chips, playing your hand and tipping the dealer. Finally how you interact with players and staff make a big impact on how you are viewed.
Knowing the basic rules of blackjack helps the general flow of the game and will prevent you making embarrassing mistakes. While the vast majority of players and dealers are patient with rookie participants, unfortunately not everyone is so kind while you are learning how to play. Having the good sense and manners to read up a little on the rules and terminology will help the atmosphere and the flow of the game.
Understand the table limits and minimums so you can purchase the chips in the denominations you need. Ideally bring enough chips from the cashier to the table, although should you need to purchase or change up any chips at the table, wait until the hand has finished so you are not interrupting the game.
Should you have a bad run of cards do not take it out on the dealers, they are just doing a job and have no control over which cards come. After a winning session, ensure you tip the dealer. Usually 5% of a big win is about right. Casino employees rely heavily on tips as a main source of their income and a tip shows your appreciation for their hard work dealing cards to keep you entertained.
While dealers are normally happy to help you with the mechanics of the game, you should not ask a dealer how you should play your hand.
In a Vegas deal game cards are dealt face down and touching of them is permitted, as opposed to a London dealt game where no touching of the cards is allowed. Even in a Vegas deal game you are only meant to handle the cards with one hand and it is advised to touch the cards as little as possible, only to see your cards are and place them down.
After you have placed your bets, do not touch the chips again. Should you need make a double bet, place those chips next to your original ones, not on top. If you choose to take insurance place those chips in the allocated area. The dealer will complete the rest of the chip movements in the hand.
Hand signals are a way to ensure your betting intentions are not misunderstood. You will find that some games will not allow verbal commands and in that case your only option is to signal.
When you require a hit, point or lightly tap the table next to your hand. Should you wish to stand, wave your hand above the blackjack hand in clear view of the dealer. To double down, place your additional bet behind your hand and point one figure at your hand. If a split is required place the new bet beside your current bet and point two fingers at your hand.
It always pays to treat other players with respect. The game is far more fun when everyone is having a good time. Be polite to your fellow players; congratulate them when they get a Blackjack, avoid calling them out for making a bad play. If you choose to drink do so in moderation. The game is a source of entertainment and casinos have certainly been known to eject rude and loud players.
While casinos can put rules and stipulations in place, it is up to the players to make the blackjack table a pleasant environment. Knowing the rules, correct hand signals and mechanics of blackjack, will go a good way to help the flow of the game. Treating the dealers and fellow players in a polite and respectful manner will help the atmosphere at the table.
Ultimately use your common sense and good manners to create a game you wish to play in.