Casino Etiquette

Blackjack is a card game with a very long and colorful history. Some say this casino favorite originated in 18th century France, while others go as far as to claim that it is a Roman invention.

Be that as it may, a card game with so many years behind it is bound to have some etiquette rules that go with it. 

Those who have played blackjack at a brick-and-mortar casino will agree that this is one of the most thrilling games out there. However, this game of strategy would quickly turn into the Wild West if players didn’t have a set of rules to adhere to.

Plus, those who know the intricacies of blackjack have higher chances of winning because they are less likely to get caught by surprise.

In addition, every casino has a set of house rules all players are expected to follow. Now, while it is true that these rules differ depending on the casino, players are still expected to familiarize themselves with them beforehand.

Don’t worry, though — you won’t be punished severely for not knowing them. Still, your overall casino experience will prove to be much more pleasant if you do.

Continue reading to learn more about blackjack etiquette and how to stay on the casino’s good side. This way, you’ll look forward to each of your casino visits without worrying about committing a faux pas along the way. 

What Are Blackjack House Rules and Blackjack Table Rules?

As we’ve mentioned, each casino has a different set of house rules. By definition, house rules are the parameters by which a game is played in a particular establishment or at a table.

Once you’ve entered your casino of choice and sat at a table, it’s assumed that you’ve implicitly agreed to follow these rules.

Blackjack is so popular because the rules are fairly simple to follow and the house edge is very low. As a result, your chances of winning are higher. 

Even those of you who are completely new to the game probably know the basic rules of blackjack — the goal is to draw cards as close as possible to 21 without going over the said number. The players don’t compete against each other; they play against the dealer. 

We’ve said that blackjack house rules may differ depending on the casino, but here are some blackjack house and table rules that are very common. 

Hand Signals Are Required

Memorize Hand Signals IconNeedless to say, if you intend on playing blackjack at a casino, you must be familiar with the hand signals.

These can differ depending on the blackjack variant you’ve opted for. However, in all scenarios, it is recommended to signal the dealer your decision rather than say it.

If you don’t know the signals, there’s no need to worry. Before you sit at a blackjack table, you can ask to be shown the rules.

Generally speaking, if you make the “come here” gesture, you’ve signaled “hit,” while the wave over your cards signifies “stand.”

Counting Cards Is (Not) Illegal

Card CountingIf you are a big fan of movies, you’ve probably seen the ones where the main character wins enormous sums of money by counting cards.

While counting cards isn’t technically illegal according to federal, state, and local laws (unless you’re using a device or getting help from someone), it is frowned upon.

We’ve been talking about staying on the casino’s good side, and this will only put you on its blacklist. Card counting may not break any official laws, but it does violate the casino’s unwritten code of conduct.

Therefore, one of the blackjack house rules casinos can practice is to deny service and remove players from premises if deemed necessary, which will happen to you if you count cards. Also, make sure never to remove your cards from the table, as they should always be visible to the dealer and the cameras.

How You Handle Your Chips Is Important

Get Your Chips Together IconWhen you place your bet, and the dealer starts dealing cards, you will not be allowed to touch your chips.

If you happen to win, you’ll be able to collect them. If not, the dealer will take your chips, and that’s it.

In case you didn’t know, how you stack your chips is also important. Namely, since you’ll get chips with various denominations, you should stack the lower denominations on top and leave the rest at the bottom of the stack.

In case you’ve stacked them without any particular order, the dealer will be forced to stop the game until you’ve set things straight

House Must Hit on a Soft 17

Soft 17You may have heard or experienced this scenario firsthand. This rule or guideline has to do with how the dealer plays a hand once they hit a total of soft 17.

Most casinos have implemented the rule that the dealer hits soft 17 since it is said to increase the house edge.

Many players avoid tables where the dealer can hit on soft 17 for this particular reason.

What Are Blackjack Etiquette Rules?

Now that we’ve covered some of the most basic house and table blackjack rules, let’s go over some etiquette rules. Doing this may not be a necessity, but it will certainly paint you in a brighter light once you start playing.

Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice

Blackjack is a game of strategy, which means that most players have their own plan in place before they start playing. Often, we can be tempted to share our tips and tricks with other players — especially newcomers — during a game.

However, not only is this incredibly rude, but it may also disrupt the flow of the game completely. Therefore, once your turn is over, wait patiently for other players to finish.

It’s Okay to Ask the Dealer For Advice

This point may sound very contradictory, especially after we’ve just said that you shouldn’t give advice to others.

However, it’s perfectly fine to ask the dealer to tell you the correct play if you are uncertain.

It’s the dealer’s job to get the game running smoothly, so assisting you will help them achieve their goal.

We hope that this outline of some of the most basic etiquette guidelines will help you stay in the good graces of your chosen casino. However, don’t allow yourself to get all wrapped up in the house rules — remember to have fun along the way.

About the Author

Author Malik is one of the youngest members of our team and a relative newcomer to the gambling industry. His love for casino gambling came a few years ago when he got a job as a professional blackjack croupier at a local casino, while he also enjoys playing poker with his friends. Malik’s mission at CasinoUSA is to talk about the new casino sites on the block and tell you everything about their bonuses and promotions. His reviews go into the smallest of details so you can know what to expect from a given casino site before you start playing there.