Blackjack Behavior Matters: Five Things Every Player Should Do

Updated on August 27, 2021
blackjack tips

This article is the second of a three-part Blackjack tips series on NJ Online Casino on important dos and dont’s for blackjack players.

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My first article, published on 8/6/21, described the five most essential skills needed for blackjack.  I will now recapitulate the main points before proceeding with this additional discussion about what constitutes appropriate behavior when playing blackjack.

Blackjack tips – Skill vs Luck

Because blackjack is largely a game of skill as well as luck, before you even think of playing for real money, you should make sure of the following:

  • You’re fully ready to play.
  • You have chosen appropriate betting stakes for your bankroll and you consistently practice sensible money management.
  • The blackjack game you select offers good rules.
  • You know the correct basic strategy and are prepared to use it throughout the course of your play.
  • You will trust your gut to help you spot situations where playing would probably not be a good idea.

But as important as all of the foregoing criteria are, they only scratch the surface of what every blackjack player should know, not only to maximize their chances of winning, but also to ensure their longevity at the tables.

Regardless of whether you play blackjack online or at an actual casino, the way you conduct yourself at the table is critical to your success. The following are the five most important Blackjack tips to keep in mind.

  1. Blend in. Nothing about your behavior at the blackjack table should draw unnecessary attention to you.

Even if you consider your blackjack skills superior to those of 99 percent of other players, from the standpoint of the casino, you should come across as simply another player who is there to have a good time. So, for starters, act like you belong at the table where you choose to play.

If you are a high-stakes player, instead of taking a seat at a $5 minimum table, look for a table minimum of $25 or higher. This will look a lot more natural, and you will probably feel more comfortable, too.

In any case, your buy-in and bet size should match what would be generally expected at a table with those betting limits. If there are other players at the table, your buy-in and bet size should be similar to theirs. Don’t be a showoff. Don’t call attention to yourself by being the biggest bettor at the table or bragging about your winnings.

Also, while varying your bets during the course of your play within reason is fine, varying your bets by anywhere even close to the full range available is not. Even if you’re a card counter, any increase or decrease in the size of your bet should look natural. But also keep in mind that card counting doesn’t work in online casino games. Tracking the cards is impossible because the cards are reshuffled after every hand. In live dealer games, where the cards are shuffled in the middle of the eight-deck shoe, card counting is also a complete waste of time.

  1. Have a casino player’s card and get rated.

Blackjack play doesn’t earn comp dollars and other rewards at the same rate as slot play. But it still counts, and even if you are a small player, over a period of time, it will add up. On the other hand, if you play blackjack for medium to high stakes, not presenting a player’s card is a big mistake. Apart from shortchanging yourself with regard to getting your full share of the rewards you deserve, it looks unnatural and will call unwanted attention to you.

So, by all means, sign up for a player’s card at every casino you play at, if you haven’t already, and present it every time you play.

A player’s card is completely free, so there’s no reason not to have it. Even if your level of play doesn’t qualify you for freebies, at the very least, you will receive emails with special offers.

Furthermore, in many instances, your player’s card entitles you to rewards from multiple affiliated casinos. This includes both brick and mortar casinos and their NJ online and mobile casino partners.

For example, you can earn Caesars Rewards from your casino play and sports bets at Caesars, Harrah’s, and Tropicana in Atlantic City or any other Caesars Rewards affiliated land-based casinos and sportsbooks. You can also earn Caesars Rewards from your online wagers, including those at Harrah’s Online Casino, Caesars Online Casino, and Caesars Sportsbook.

All of your earned rewards from affiliated casinos get combined, so if you wish, you can redeem them at a different place than where you earned them.

  1. Be courteous and pleasant towards the dealer and other blackjack players at your table.

If you are playing at a brick and mortar casino, a dealer will be dealing you your cards, and there’s a good chance other players will be seated at your table as well. If you play online, other players might also join you, and in live dealer blackjack, you will be seated at a virtual table with both other players and a dealer, just like in a real casino.

That’s why, no matter where you play, always keep in mind that a little courtesy goes a long way.

Check the table limits before you start playing to make sure they are what you are looking for. For example, don’t hold up the game by putting up a $5 bet when the table minimum is $25.

Also, some blackjack tables allow mid-shoe entry while others don’t. If it is allowed and there are other players at the table, ask if anyone minds if you join them while the shoe is in progress. If anyone prefers that you wait until the shuffle, respect the player’s wishes. Don’t antagonize the other players at the table.

Avoid confrontations

Then, continue to show proper restraint during the course of your play. Focus on your own hand, and if another person at the table plays poorly, take it in stride. Don’t criticize anyone else’s play or feel the need to tell the person how to play a given hand.

If someone else at the table plays a hand incorrectly (i.e., hits a hard 14 vs. a dealer’s 3) and takes the 10 that would have given you a 21 on your double down, so be it. Sometimes a bad play by another player will result in a winning hand for you rather than a losing hand.  But when the opposite happens, don’t blame the other player. Avoid confrontations.

Be friendly; engage in light conversation

Lastly, if you’re seated at a blackjack table with one or more other players, and you are so inclined, engaging in light conversation is highly recommended. In fact, this option is a major reason why live dealer blackjack is such a popular option at online casinos. Being able to chat with the other players and the dealer allows you to combine the tremendous convenience of online or mobile play with the opportunity to enjoy the same type of social interaction experience as in a real casino.

  1. Want to play live dealer blackjack? You’ll enjoy it more if you consistently practice these simple etiquette suggestions.

Many but not all online casino players find that when they play their favorite games online or on a mobile device, they miss the social interaction that they would otherwise experience in a real casino. However, live dealer games have been developed to bridge that gap. In fact, they are so good at doing so, you almost forget that the game takes place with you seated in front of a computer, phone, or tablet and not at an actual casino at all.

However, in return for the additional entertainment, you get less favorable rules than in many other online blackjack games. Therefore, unless you are eager to take full advantage of the social aspects of live dealer blackjack, you should avoid that game.

Through the live chat option, you can and should participate in light conversation with the dealer and other players, just like you would at a land-based casino. Just like you, the other players at the table want to win, but they also want to have fun. So, don’t do anything to spoil it for them.

If the cards are not going your way

If you’re winning, great, but if you’re not, don’t blame the other players or the dealer. It is not their fault and, besides, no one wants to hear your kvetching and complaining.

Also, the advice given in the preceding section on the need to treat other players with respect and courtesy and therefore avoid criticizing or correcting them when they play a hand incorrectly certainly applies to live dealer games.

Not only is it not your job to teach poor blackjack players how to play better, in all probability, they would resent your putting in your two cents rather than appreciate it.

Furthermore, as I mentioned in Part I of my series on blackjack tips, there are many possible reasons why you might have a bad day that have nothing to do with another person’s play. If you’re tired, hungry, not feeling well, had too much to drink, or are in a bad mood due to outside stresses, admit it. Then do yourself a favor. Postpone playing live dealer blackjack for another time.

However, there could be other times when none of the above conditions apply, but it is just one of those days when, for some inexplicable reason, the cards don’t fall right for you.

When that happens, it is not your fault or anyone else’s. So, complaining won’t help. Neither will chasing your losses by trying to fight the cards. The best thing you can do is take a break or quit your playing session early and leave the table gracefully. Tomorrow is another day.

If you are winning

If you play live dealer blackjack with the right attitude, it can be a fun experience even when you don’t win, but when you’re having fun and winning, too, so much the better.

Under the circumstances, maintaining a cheerful, upbeat mood should be a piece of cake. But keep in mind that there might be other players at the table who are not faring as well as you, so avoid getting cocky and acting superior.

Furthermore, no winning streak lasts forever, so don’t let your latest run of good luck go to your head. If you get too greedy, it could backfire, and you could give back all of your winnings and more. Don’t let that happen. If you find yourself ahead, try to leave the table a winner.

Should you tip the dealer?

The same tipping guidelines that apply in blackjack games in a regular casino also apply in live dealer games played online. Tipping or making an occasional small bet for the dealer, especially when you are winning, is a nice gesture that the dealer will surely appreciate. However, it isn’t mandatory. Another factor that should enter into your decision is how friendly, helpful, and pleasant the dealer has been.

Since the dealers for these games are not only specifically trained for the position but carefully selected based on their personality, it is highly unlikely that your experience will be of a negative nature. But obviously, a dealer with a poor attitude, who never smiles or joins in the conversation, and seems far more interested in the time on her watch than in the players at the table does not deserve a tip.

If you decide to make occasional small bets for the dealer rather than give her a tip when you leave the table, here are a few more Blackjack tips to keep in mind.

  • Your bets for the dealer should always be much smaller than your own bets.
  • Whenever you have to add money to your own bet for a double down, split pair, or both, you need to do the same for the dealer’s bet.
  • If your bet for the dealer wins, the dealer receives both the bet and the winnings. However, if the bet loses, the dealer gets nothing. In that case, consider giving the dealer the same amount as your bet for her as a tip. For example, let’s say you bet $50 for yourself and $5 for the dealer. If you win, you get paid $100 and the dealer gets paid $10. If you lose, say “Sorry, we couldn’t do better,” and tip the dealer $5.

Make sure the last impression your make at the blackjack table is a good one.

Lastly, win or lose, when you’re ready to leave the table, make a good final impression. Say that you enjoyed playing, and you’ll be back soon.

  1. Plan ahead of time how long you will play and for what stakes and stick to that plan.

You can’t control the order of the cards. But there is a lot about the game of blackjack that will affect the outcome that you can control. Stick to your original plan regarding the length of your playing session, bet range, and stop-loss limit.

On good days, you’ll have a great chance of leaving the table a winner.

But even when your luck seems impossibly bad, following the sound advice given here will keep you from depleting your bankroll and also keep you from becoming emotionally frazzled. The next time you play, you can return to the table refreshed and invigorated, with the determination, energy, and confidence to play at your very best.

Win or lose, keep a proper perspective that each playing session is just one session of many.

Blackjack Tips – Summary and conclusion

Now that you have in your arsenal five proven strategies for improving your blackjack skills plus five more proven strategies for assuring your longevity as a blackjack player, what’s next? Unless you also avoid the commonly seen blackjack mistakes that over and over again sabotage many players’ chances of winning, you could be headed down that same path. I never claimed that blackjack is an easy game to learn, and anyone who tells you otherwise is deluding you.

Part III of this series on how to play better blackjack will describe the five most important things that blackjack players should never do.,

 

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