Blacklisted at Blackjack: Things to Avoid at the Table
By Alex J. Coyne © Gifts for Card Players
The game of blackjack has rules like any other card game, but it’s wise to remember that these rules aren’t limited just to what cards should be played and how. The rules of card playing also include card table etiquette, or what you can and can’t do at the table, and overstepping the line will usually get you booted from the table – or in extreme cases, banned from the casino entirely.
Here are some things you’ll want to avoid at the blackjack table if you want the game to keep being a happy one.
- Keep your arrogance in check.
This is a polite way of saying, don’t be an arrogant jerk. Nobody likes a loud player at the table who throws a tantrum every five minutes, insults other players or continues on and on about what a great player they are. Other players around the table really don’t want to hear it, and the only thing arrogance can get you is an invitation to leave.
When you’re playing online blackjack you play against a machine – and you can say what you want to a machine! But in real time play at a bricks and mortar casino, if you want to be a better player (and stay at the table) you’ll want to play nice.
- Don’t touchy-touch the cards.
The dealer handles the cards, and only the dealer handles the cards. This means that you don’t pick the cards up, you don’t move the cards around and you don’t tap your fingers on the cards – you just don’t do it. If you’re having trouble seeing and the dealer didn’t call the count, ask.
When I first read this bit of advice, I was surprised. I often pick up the cards and do a little scrape-scrape with them when I want a hit. At the casino table, you simply pass your hand quickly over the cards, but don’t pick them up.
- Don’t offer strategy tips to other players during the game.
If you’re playing a game of cards with a moderately sized group of people, the odds are that someone will offer up a hint of strategy at some point – and then continue doing it for the rest of the game, whether or not it offers up anything useful. Don’t be that player. In most cases, giving other players off-handed strategy tips aren’t allowed – and kind of go with the first entry on this list.
- Don’t hand the dealer money or chips.
Never hand a dealer money or chips directly. This isn’t the way it’s done, and it shows your inexperience with the game almost immediately – or tells other players that you have complete disregard for the rules of the house. Chips and money are meant to be placed on the table, and if you need to switch chips, ask the dealer.
- Don’t heckle other players.
Save your trash talking for the poker tournament!
- Neverending Pointless Trivia
Pointless trivia is fun: It’s the whole point behind most memes on the internet. But there’s a place for it, and unless you’re involved in a discussion where it fits, the blackjack game isn’t the place to throw all of your pointless trivia facts at once. You’ll become that player that just talks too much instead of focusing on the cards – you’ll either be terrible at your game as a result, or everyone will hate you and you’ll be booted from the game.
- Cigs All ‘Round
The list of casinos that allow cigarette smoking during games is becoming less – though we might see someone pull out an e-cigarette once in a while. Take care with your smoking habits around the table, and remember to give yourself a spray if you had a smoke (or a toke) before sitting down at the blackjack table – yes, other players can smell you; yes, it’s offensive to sit next to someone who reeks of smoke if you’re not a smoker yourself.
Drinks, drinks, the musical fruit… That’s not how that goes, but that’s not the point. Drinking is allowed in most casinos, but getting drunk is not: You don’t want to get drunk and play blackjack. It won’t improve the atmosphere, it won’t improve your mood and it won’t improve how you play your game – in fact, it’s a great way to wake up in another state with no money or idea how you got there.