Blackjack Etiquette

Sometimes, blackjack etiquette can be more important than the way you play your cards. Depending on the venue you’re playing in, and the kind of players you’re surrounded by, the manner in which you handle yourself at the blackjack table will go a long way toward determining how much fun you have.

Finding the Right Blackjack Table

Obviously, the best way to have fun at the blackjack table is to win money. But since that’s not always under your control, the next best thing is to try to get along with your fellow players and get a few laughs, no matter how the cards are running for you. And the fact you’re all rooting against the dealer can create a sort of camaraderie at the table, with everyone rooting for one another to pull of a victory.

The first step in ensuring a good time is to survey the possibilities. Whether you’re in a brick and mortar casino or playing online, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the flow of play in various games.

When deciding on a table to join, find one where the players seem to be on a hot streak. Again, winning money is the ultimate form of enjoyment when gambling, and the best way to win at blackjack is to end up at a hot table. See if you can’t pick one out just by taking a few minutes to survey the options.

Finding a hot table, or knowing how to pick one, isn’t always easy, or even a possibility. That means, while you’re looking for the seat that will lead to a pocket full of chips, you should also try to find a place where the other players at the table seem friendly.

Failing that, try to find a table that works for your style of play. If you’re a quiet player, you might look for a hushed table. On the other hand, maybe it suits you to sit in the weeds, in which case you’d be looking for something a little more boisterous. Experience and observation will help you pick out the table that’s right for you.

You’ll also want to consider your level of play. Beginners can often become overwhelmed by the vocal negative reaction they receive from more experienced player when they make a move that veers from the textbook. In order to avoid that fate, if you’re just starting out, try to avoid tables that look like they’re full of grizzled blackjack veterans.

Finally, if you’re playing at a casino, take a look at the dealer. Sometimes just having a good feeling about the person passing out the cards can be enough to make you feel comfortable and confident at the table.

Getting Comfortable at Your Blackjack Table

Once you’ve found your seat, there are any number of spoken and unspoken rules that you’ll have to follow in order to properly obey blackjack etiquette and keep from turning your table into a nightmare experience.


If you’re still a novice player, trying choosing a middle seat at the table until you know your way around.

If you’re relatively new, or not particularly confident in your skills, you’ll want to choose a middle seat. Whether it’s true or not, many players believe that the first and last positions at the table determine the flow of the cards. If you aren’t an experienced player, it is probably best to avoid those seats.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of playing blackjack is the interaction you can have with your fellow players and the dealer. If possible, try to introduce yourself to the people sitting around you, and remember your dealer’s name. If you treat a blackjack game like sitting at your favorite bar and talking to the local regulars, the experience, and your expression of blackjack etiquette, will be greatly enhanced.

Blackjack Table Etiquette

In blackjack, much of the etiquette comes from how you play your cards. For those who are new to the game, or unfamiliar with “textbook” play, check out some of the other tutorials to get insight into the basics.

The first piece of table etiquette is to be aware when it’s your turn and to act as quickly as possible. The fast pace of blackjack is one of its most enjoyable aspects. You don’t want to muck that up by having your head in the clouds or being completely indecisive. Stay ahead of the action as best you can and pull the trigger as quickly as you feel comfortable.

Failing that, there are pocket-sized cards available that can coach you on your best move, at least according to the game’s inherent odds, for each situation. Learning and memorizing those standard plays will be the biggest step you can take in becoming a master of blackjack etiquette.

Once you have a basic understanding of game play, you’ll want to add some more advanced thinking to your game that should benefit you both monetarily and in terms of how you get along with your tablemates. Part of that more advanced play is just an intuitive understanding of the way the cards are rolling out.

A pair of Eights can be split.

A pair of Eights can be split.

If a dealer is on a streak of busts, when you’re confronted with a tough hit or stay decision you should err on the side of caution, allowing that run to continue. And if another player at the table is in the midst of a big hand – say they have a couple of splits and a double-down in play – you should also try to be as passive as possible so you can let that hand play out. Most players notice those things, and will reward you with gratitude when you don’t disrupt a winning streak.

The Key to Blackjack Etiquette – Have Fun

Ultimately, the best way to exercise proper blackjack etiquette is to enjoy yourself without getting in other people’s way. If you’re having fun, and are trying to get other people in on the action, as long as you aren’t being overbearing, you should be able to avoid any major faux pas.

Since blackjack is essentially a game of luck, with a reasonable amount of skill thrown in, one of the most important things to understand when you sit down at a table is that your fate is in many ways at the whim of the proverbial gambling deities. If you can accept that to a certain extent, the pain and anger that can come along with a run of tough beats will dissipate at least a little, and then you, and the players around you, can settle in for an enjoyable evening of blackjack.