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The rules of blackjack

The rules of blackjack

If you are a newcomer to the world of play blackjack, particularly as it is played in real life, bricks and mortar casinos, there is undoubtedly much that you will find baffling. As with any other kind of human activity, the playing of blackjack has its own conventions, rules and customs that have to be followed. You will not find many of these in the official rulebooks or casino handbooks either. These are the type of things that only enthusiasts know.

That can make life tricky if you are just starting out on your journey as a blackjack player. You find yourself breaking one of these hidden rules of blackjack inadvertently, which can lead to people becoming annoyed with you. That can negatively colour your experience of a casino so that you don’t want to go back, and spoil your whole experience of playing blackjack; new online slots tend to be much more straightforward and a single player game, so consider this option as well.

Here, we will take a look at a few of these hidden rules of blackjack, so that you can gain some familiarity with them before your next trip to the casino. In truth, they are all pretty simple, and if you already like to show good manners and a bit of empathy for other people you will be fine. If you are a beginner, check also our blackjack chart!

Place your bet on the Blackjack Table

One of the more obvious hidden rules of blackjack is that you need to place your bet money in the right place on the table. If you attempt to give your bet money directly to the dealer, which is something that many novice players will do, then you are breaking one of the primary hidden rules of blackjack.

Dealers are not actually allowed to take money directly from players when they are dealing in a blackjack game. Instead, you should always place your money on the layout and ask the dealer for chips. You then use the chips to place your bets while you are playing the game.

blackjack bets

Rule #2 - Check the minimum bet before buying in

This is another of the hidden rules of blackjack that is frequently broken by novice players. You need to always check the placard that displays the minimum bet for the table before you attempt to buy into a game. You are going to  look foolish and annoy the other players if your first act in a game is to put down £5 of chips when there is a placard stating that the minimum bet is £15.

If you do this, you will distract and irritate other players, as well as making yourself look foolish. No one wants to have to go through that kind of embarrassment. Always take notice of the signs and bet accordingly.

Take note of the ‘shoe’

Like many card games, blackjack has its own range of technical terms for different parts of the game. One of these is the ‘shoe’, which is a simple device that the dealer uses to keep the cards in and deal from. It also refers to the current game of blackjack being played. One thing that is generally frowned on my experienced blackjack players is when a player ignores the goings on around the shoe and simply buys their way straight into a game that is ongoing, with no regard for the other players.

Many players think that this disrupts the flow of cards and affects their strategy.  While this is debatable, you should always be careful about offending the people whose game you want to join. You should always wait until a shoe is completed before you buy into a game. If you feel you must join mid-shoe always politely ask the other players if it is okay for you to join the game.

Be aware of how many decks are being used

Many newcomers to the game of blackjack do not know that you can actually play a game with more than one deck of playing cards. This happened because casinos were aware that card counting was becoming increasingly widespread and was affecting the ability of the house to make profits. Nothing persuades a gambling business to act on something more quickly than them losing profit, so multiple decks began to be seen at blackjack tables in casino across the world.

It is really important that you keep track of the number of decks in play as this will affect your chances of success, especially if you are card counting. It is also important because there are different conventions attached to playing with multiple decks. An example of this is the convention that you must hold the cards in one hand if you are playing in a game where one or two decks are being used.


Final rule - keep your Blackjack advice to yourself

This may sound like an obvious one, but no one else at the table wants to hear commentary on the game. Indeed, some may see comments about tactics and plays to be pretty insulting and may well take it very personally indeed. Other players also want to concentrate on their own game, not hear your views about what they are doing. On the other hand, if you are playing on a new UK slot game all the players want to learn the details about it, so if you are keen in socialising consider this difference. 

The same goes for the dealer. If you lose, it is a very bad idea to start sounding off and criticising the dealer. This can see you ostracised and banned from casinos, if your behaviour becomes particularly obnoxious. Always be polite and keep your opinions about how the game is progressing to yourself.

Final Thoughts on the Rules of Blackjack

As can be seen from this article, these hidden rules of blackjack are really just conventions that players follow to make the whole process of the game easier and smoother. Most of them are based on just following normal good manners. We hope that this article has set your mind at rest that there are no difficult or silly rules that need to be followed when you are playing blackjack, just some sensible conventions that allow everyone to play properly.

You should be well-equipped now for your next trip to the casino. If you are looking for more tips and tricks that can help you shape a winning strategy for blackjack cards counting, come back here and check out one of our other blackjack articles.