Blackjack Etiquette

Blackjack etiquette encompasses certain written and unwritten rules that blackjack players should follow while playing the game in a casino.

Blackjack etiquette encompasses certain written and unwritten rules that blackjack players should follow while playing the game in a casino. It is important to ensure an ethical and fair game which is what you're looking for at the casino.

Some of these rules apply to the use of chips while others are with regards to the dealer, the cards, or the table as a whole. Let's find out in detail.

Blackjack Etiquette on Chips

Here are some blackjack etiquette tips that are applicable for the chips used in blackjack:

Avoid Touching Your Chips during the Deal

It is a rule that players should never touch the chips during the deal and once the cards are being dealt. You have to wait until a hand has been completed and you have been paid by the dealer before you touch your chips.

Not allowing players to touch the chips during the bet is a necessary way of preventing cheaters from changing the bets.

Organize Your Chips

Two stacks of casino chips

Blackjack players should organize or stack the chips properly and carefully when making a bet. Organizing your chips makes it easier for the dealer to manage, making the game more efficient. If you have chips spread around your box, it can be hard for the dealer to know what's being bet and make it difficult for them to accurately payout.

Place High Denomination Chips at the Bottom

The correct way is to place the higher denomination chip at the bottom of the stack and the lower denomination ones on top. If you don't do it yourself, the dealer will have to arrange it before dealing the cards, which slows the game down. Players can miss doing this once or twice in the excitement of the game but always leaving it to the dealer is a bad habit.

Change Small Denomination Chips to Higher ones

If there are too many small denomination chips on the table, the player should change those to higher ones. This simple etiquette will keep the table clean and organized and reduce unnecessary tasks for the dealer.

For example, instead of placing 100 5$ chips when making a bet, you should place 5 $100 chips as it's much easier to quickly see the amount you bet. A good blackjack player will do whatever they can to keep the game running smoothly.

Never Give Cash to Your Dealer

Another important casino rule is to never give your cash directly to the dealer. Players are just supposed to place the cash on the table, which the dealer will spread as they count and as the casino cameras watch over. The dealer will then hand you the chips in return for this cash placed on the table.

Blackjack Etiquette on Cards

There are also certain specific blackjack rules with regards to the cards:

Do Not Use Both Hands

A hand holding two playing cards

If your casino allows you to handle the cards, you should never hold the cards with both of your hands. Once the cards are dealt, blackjack players must pick the cards as well as hold them with only one hand. This is to avoid tampering or switching of the cards. This rule is applicable for both single-deck and multi-deck games.

Avoid Moving Your Cards Away from the Table

It is an absolute violation of blackjack etiquette and casino rules if the player tries to move any of the cards away from the table. In fact, the casino can permanently ban you if they see you try to move the cards away from the game as it could be interpreted as a way to cheat, even if it was an innocent mistake.

Cut the Deck Close to the Middle

In six-deck blackjack games, the dealer typically asks one of the players to cut the deck after they have finished shuffling the cards. General etiquette is to always aim near the middle of the deck. This means that you should insert the cut card about half a deck from either end of the stack and not too close to either end - though you won't face any consequences if you don't.

Be Familiar with Card Handling for Specific Actions

To indicate specific actions that the player intends to take during the course of the game, there are a few card handling signs to follow.

For example, sliding the cards beneath the chips implies that the player wants to stand as well as waving your hand or shaking your head. To hit, a player can point one finger down onto the table or nod at the dealer. Being familiar with these actions can help save time as you don't have to verbalize "stand" or "hit" every time.

Being able to get as many blackjack hands in as possible per hour is important if you're counting cards.

Never Place Objects over Your Cards

If you place anything over the cards, you are literally hiding the card value from the dealer and this is strictly forbidden as per the blackjack etiquette rules. Placing objects such as bags, phones, etc. on the cards hides them from the camera's view too and you will be asked to remove them.

Blackjack Etiquette on the Table

Some blackjack rules and etiquettes are about the blackjack table as a whole. Some of these are:

Signal Your Action Instead of Saying Them

It is encouraged that blackjack players signal their actions to the dealers and not just say it, especially for the sake of the security cameras all over the casino. You should learn the specific hand signals that denote individual actions. These include waving your hand to indicate that you're standing or pointing down at the table to indicating hitting.

There are also actions you can make to indicate more advanced decisions such as pair splitting and doubling down. To split, you should put the number of chips to match your bet adjacent to your active bet, and to double down you should put the number of chips to match your bet behind your active bet.

Avoid Giving Advice to Other Players

You should ideally play the game and following your own strategy or tactic and avoid giving advice to any other player at the table unless being asked for such advice explicitly - even then it's not the best idea. Trying to make other players understand the game can be a huge spoiler, ruining the atmosphere at the table.

Remove Personal Items from the Table

It is a very basic but important blackjack etiquette to remove all personal items such as wallets, handbags, etc. from the blackjack table. You should keep them tucked away on your lap or elsewhere. Additionally, holders should be used if you are having any beverages while playing.

Ask the Dealer for the Table Rules Instead of Other Players

If you are a beginner and want to know more about the rules, you should consult the dealer for advice and not any other player at the table. Dealers are there to assist you and will often give more accurate advice than other players.

Avoid Drinking Too Much

It's not the best decision to play blackjack when you are drunk or intoxicated. A small drink to keep going is fine if you're playing for fun but drinking too much will ruin your game and make you lose a lot of money. When intoxicated your perception of risk is altered and you can end up losing more than you intended to.

Treat Other Players and Dealers with Respect

Mutual respect is at the very core of any game and it holds true for blackjack as well. You should try to win or improve your odds by playing strategically and should never be rude to either the dealer or any other player. Bad behavior will always end up creating a bad table atmosphere and could lead to you being ejected from the casino.

A rundown of blackjack etiquette
A rundown of blackjack etiquette you should follow at the tables

Blackjack Etiquette: FAQ

Here are the most common questions about blackjack etiquette answered in brief:

What is blackjack etiquette? 

Blackjack etiquette is a set of certain rules and regulations that blackjack players should follow while playing the game, especially in a casino.

Why should players follow blackjack etiquette?

Blackjack etiquette should be followed to ensure a fair game and to avoid instances of cheating and tampering with cards. It also creates a better table environment, making a more enjoyable game.

Can players get in trouble when they are touching the chips during a game?

Yes, players can be given warnings by the casino if they are found to be touching the chips during a game. You should only touch your chips once the hand has completed and you've been paid by the dealer.

Can players hold their cards in blackjack?

Most casinos do not allow you to touch the cards, though some single/double-deck games do allow it. If they allow it, players should hold their cards with only one hand, once the dealer has finished dealing the cards.

Is it polite to provide blackjack strategies to other players?

Players should avoid giving advice or sharing strategies with other players unless asked for explicitly. Even then, it is often ill-advised as the player may blame you if they lose!

If you follow these examples of blackjack etiquette at the table, the game will be a lot more enjoyable for all involved.