Yes, blackjack has table manners. It is played at a table after all. Actually that is a more relaxed term for blackjack etiquette, and the things that make up blackjack etiquette are kind of like the unwritten rules for blackjack.
Fist off we are going to talk about the cards and touching.
In a face up game the cards are obviously dealt face up on the table by the dealer. He will then quickly calculate the totals. Player then make hand signals to show what play they would like to make: a two finger scratch on the felt for a hit; a palm-down wave over the cards to stand; doubling your amount of chips to signal a double down or a split depending on what cards you have. Hand signals are a part of blackjack etiquette and a tradition of the game. Oh, and they also can back you up if there is some discrepancy on what play you wanted to make since there is a camera above the table.
But above all in a face up blackjack game do NOT touch the cards.
Not touching cards in a face up game prevents players from cheating or marking the cards.
The only type of blackjack game in which you can touch the cards is a face down game. The dealer deals the cards face down and the player picks them up with one hand. Signals in a face down game are a bit different: to hit scrap the cards towards you on the felt to hit; to stand scoot your cards under your wagered chips; to double down or split, turn the cards face up and add the appropriate amount of chips to your wager.
Do NOT use more than one hand to handle your cards.
Handling the cards with one hand helps to cut down on switching or adding cards or marking them for cheating purposes.
You have the etiquette for how to handle your cards down now, and are all set to grab your clip-on tie and head to your favorite casino.
Some players think that working in games that allow the dealer to hit a soft 17 is good for their blackjack strategy.
They would be mistaken.
Sure, on the surface a dealer hitting a soft 17 sounds like a good thing. Players might think that the dealer has a better shot of busting because he is so close to 21. But what these players are forgetting is that Ace. The Ace that makes that soft 17 soft can be reduced to a 1 if the dealer hits and receives a card that would cause him to bust.
Because of that Ace, dealers can actually reduce that 17 to an 8 and hit to rebuild a stronger hand. He might then wind up with a hard 17 or higher that stands a shot of beating the player. Just like how an Ace can benefit a player, so too can it benefit the dealer. A soft 17 can be rebuilt whereas a hard 17 has a better shot of being beat by the player.
With that ability to rebuild his soft 17, the house
Recently I came across an online blackjack variation that I had not looked into before. I wish I had so that I could have passed onto players that this is not a good blackjack variation to play. But really there is no variation of online blackjack that is good to play.
The variation I found is called 5 Diamond Blackjack.
A round begins with the player placing a wager of $1, $2, $5 or $10. It is always in increments like that or similar to that since this is an online game. The player then clicks Play. Five two card hands and one dealer hand appear on the screen. The player can then click on a hand one at a time or click Scratch All to reveal the total of each hand.
The objective of this game is to beat the dealer with one of those five hands without going over 21. Without doing anything more than
This morning I talked about a house rule to work into your blackjack strategy in which the house rule actually favors the player. Well, there is another one. This particular house rules allows players to double down after they have they have split a pair.
The step by step breakdown of how this house rule works goes like this:
First you have to be dealt a pair. You then choose to split that pair and up your wager accordingly. Let
Aces are the strongest cards in the game of blackjack. This is because of their ability to be counted as an 11 or a 1. That flexibility is what makes them the strongest card.
Not to mention the fact that they are essential to having a natural blackjack.
But Aces are also strong because of how they work with pairs.
I have discussed how, when dealt a pair of Aces, you need to split them. This is because it increases your blackjack odds because it increases your chances of making money.
But there is another house rule that further increases the flexibility of Aces. And in increase in flexibility further increases your blackjack odds.
Sometimes casinos will allow for players to resplit Aces. This means that you are dealt a pair of Aces in your first two cards, you split them, then at least one of those new hands receives another Ace forming a second pair of Aces.
A fair number of casinos will not allow players to resplit such a second hand, and you would be stuck with a soft 12.
However there are times when the house rules are changed a bit, and players are allowed to resplit Aces. This house rule takes 0.06% away from the house
Have you ever thought about the payouts you receive in a game of blackjack?
Oh I am sure you have thought about it in terms of money. You know not to play in a game of blackjack if the payout for a natural is 6-5 because it means you will receive less money.
But have you thought about blackjack payouts in terms?
Another reason not to play in a 6-5 payout blackjack game is what that payout does to your blackjack odds. That so-called payout takes 1.39% off of your blackjack odds. In fact, the only payout worse than a 6-5 is an even money
Every now and then when you are wandering around the casino floor of a brick and mortar casino somewhere you might notice some extra little blackjack house rules. Most players see addition house rules as a threat from the house:
To go along with the stories of mistakes made while playing blackjack, I will talk about another one this afternoon: splitting Aces. Similar to how soft hands are often misplayed, pairs are often misplayed, although soft hands are more often played wrong than pairs. A lack of blackjack strategy is involved here.
And while players do not seem willing to embrace the aspect that makes a soft hand soft, players will fall into one of two camps in regards to splitting pairs: split them all or split none of them.
And neither blackjack camp is correct.
Good blackjack strategy has players not splitting some pairs and splitting others. One of those pairs that, according to good blackjack strategy, should be split all of the time is a pair of Aces.
Think about it. If you value both Aces at 11 it gives you a hand total of 22, which is stupid and an instant bust. And valuing them both at 1 seems rather silly. We are left to value one card at 11 and one at 1, which is a hand total of 12. Uh oh, you now have a hard 12, one of the infamous stiff hands. What is a blackjack player to do?
Split those Aces!
It does not matter what the dealer
There is nothing that boosts the excitement of online blackjack more than playing in a blackjack tournament. Well, winning with a natural off of a good sized wager is great high too. But it is not the same as the unknown thrill of tournament play
Over the weekend a question related to blackjack strategy and insurance came in. I was asked if it was possible to work insurance into one