Blackjack Etiquette: Comprehensive Guide

Blackjack is a table game that can be very exciting, especially if it’s played in a real casino. However, to actually enjoy it and have a shot at winning, you must practice, sharpen your strategy, and be careful about where you play.

Blackjack is a strategy game and has one of the lowest house edges – this is something that you will be able to see if you are a veteran player. However, these good odds won’t work for you unless you understand the intricacies of the game.

It is possible to be a little confused if you are new to blackjack, and even if you are a seasoned player, it won’t hurt to refresh your knowledge and tactics. This article will help you learn about blackjack etiquette.

The etiquette of playing blackjack in a casino is about following the rules of the game, standard blackjack protocols and common sense. 

Here are some guidelines to help you when playing blackjack at your favorite casino:

Do not hold your cards too tightly

This is a good rule of thumb for all card games, from blackjack to poker. It is important that you only pick one hand when you are dealt blackjack cards, especially if the cards are face-down when presented to you.

This rule applies to both single-deck as well multi-deck blackjack. Casinos often enforce this rule to prevent you from switching, cheating or altering your cards. 

Don’t give your money to the dealer

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, you should never hand your cash directly to the dealer. 

The overhead camera and the surrounding security cameras should be able to see all cash transactions at casino tables.

So, instead of giving cash to a dealer’s hand, place it on the table near the chips. The dealer will count the money and give you the equivalent in chips.

It’s best to wait until the game is over before you buy more chips, though. Wait for the hand to end before placing anything on the table.

Learn the rules of blackjack before you play

Blackjack may seem like an easy game at first, but you will soon discover that it is not – there’s more to it than just trying to get a hand as close to 21 as possible.

Blackjack players know that there are more options than just “hit” and “stand.”

But what are they about?

Hit: This is a basic move you’ll see a lot of while playing blackjack. It simply tells the dealer that you want another card, which in turn increases your hand’s total.

Stand: This simply means you are happy with your current hand and don’t want to be dealt another card.

Double Down: This is blackjack lingo. It refers to a situation when you double the size of your bet while taking one additional card.

Splitting: Blackjack allows you to split cards into two standard hands while matching the original bet with a second wager.

Surrender: For avid poker players, surrendering can be compared to folding. You surrender 50% of your stake and keep the other hand. You cannot win more in the next round.

Get to know the card values before you sit down

This is an important aspect of the game you should get a grip of before you start playing, as it certainly is not a good idea to ask the dealer in the middle of a hand the value of, for example, an Ace. 


All cards in the blackjack deck, except for face cards and aces, have a different value. A two of spades, for example, is worth 2 points. All jacks, queens and kings, on the other hand, are worth 10 points. Depending on the value that works best for you, an ace can count as either 11 or 1.

The best hand is the one counting 21. If you have a pair of cards that are 21 in value, in most casinos, you will get a blackjack that pays 3 to 2.

Do not remove any blackjack cards

It is not a good idea to take cards from the blackjack table. The casino is very watchful and ensures that all activities at the table can be seen by the overhead cameras. You could be expelled from the casino if you remove or hold the cards.

When you are dealt cards, don’t remove, hold or touch any wagered chips

After you have placed your chips and made your wager, everything begins. You should not touch or remove any chips you have placed. This will continue until there’s a win, loss, or tie. If you win or tie, you can then remove your chips and place the next wager.

Do not handle cards that are being dealt face up

This is a crucial point to remember when you play blackjack with more than 4 decks of cards. It is not a good idea to touch, hold or pick up cards that are being dealt face-up by the dealer. You should let the dealer do their job and wait for the results to be delivered.

You can ask the dealer for advice

A dealer should always be professional. They aren’t meant to make you lose or steal your money. In fact, most dealers are actually rooting for you, which is why they are more than willing to give you mathematically-informed advice.

If you’re stuck, or are unsure of your next move, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You can ask, for example, if splitting, standing or hitting makes sense.

Do not say anything, just signal it to the dealer

It is vital that you communicate your decisions to the dealer, not just say it.

You may be required to show appropriate signals before you place your hand at the blackjack table or do any other move. For example, you can gesture “hit” as “come here”, or wave your hand, signaling “stand.” If you wish to split or double down, simply place the required number of chips next to the bet.

Do not stack chips incorrectly

Most players get multiple chips in different denominations, e.g., 10-dollar chips or 25-dollar chips. It is important to stack lower value chips on top of the higher.

card game chips

If you stack them incorrectly, the dealer may have to stop the game to help you reorganize your stack. This is a waste of time, and it can be very annoying for other players.

Don’t correct or show players how to play

Blackjack is a game that requires strategy; a good tactic can make all the difference. However, your outcome is not affected by how others play it – it all depends on your hand. And so, don’t attempt to correct or give advice to other players. This can cause the mood to drop at the table.

Of course, this rule does not apply to players who ask for your help explicitly.

Tip your dealer

Blackjack is about having fun. The house edge is already very low. However, it is important to note that dealers, like all employees in service industries, are not paid well. Some casinos pay them minimum wages, meaning that they greatly rely on tips.

Contrary to popular belief, dealers do not get a commission or a cut from what you win at the table, so you shouldn’t be skimpy when it comes to tips. Tipping more than $10 is a decent idea, especially if you have Lady Luck on your side.

If you’re a beginner, don’t be the last person to sit

If you’re a rookie, you may want to sit in the middle, as this will allow you to observe what is going on at the table. 

It’s best to avoid the third-base seat, which is the last one before the dealer. Any mistakes made by the third-base player are always judged. If something goes wrong, everyone will be furious at you.

If you wish to leave the table for a while, ask the dealer to keep your seat

It is possible to stop by the bathroom or grab a bite to eat, even if you want to continue playing later. You can ask the dealer to keep your place for you; they will put out an “occupied” sign to inform others that the seat is not free.

Do not play blackjack if you are under the influence

Although you might think that you seem cool when you play blackjack drunk or under the influence of other substances, in reality, you will simply look silly and probably lose a lot of money. Plus, you can spoil the game for other players. This is a huge no-no.

Do not place a bet in the middle of a game

green color poker chips

Most casinos won’t even let you sit down and place bets in middle of a game. It is possible that you will need to wait until the entire round or shoe is complete before you can start playing.

Always assume that the dealer’s hole cards are a 10

A blackjack table can lead to your hand going bust. To be safe, assume that the dealer’s hole cards are a ten.

Do not cheat while playing blackjack

You should not cheat or alter the rules of the blackjack game. It is important to note that counting cards does not mean you are changing the rules of the game. Cheating is when you change the amount of your bet after viewing your cards.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Useful links