European Blackjack Etiquette

Although blackjack is a game played against the dealer, you’re still going to be sitting at the table with 2-6 other players. So to make sure that the game runs smoothly, all players should be familiar with the proper etiquette. That way everyone is sure to have a good time.

10 Etiquette “Rules” You Should Follow

Here are 10 etiquette rules that you (and all players) should follow.

Know the Rules of Blackjack

You should know the rules of blackjack before you sit down or login to play. You shouldn’t count on being able to ask the dealer for help, since they might (obviously) be busy dealing the cards and paying attention to the other players. If you’re having to ask questions every round, you’ll hold up the game.

Learning the basics isn’t very hard. Just read the rules here on the site. If you play online, most online casinos will have the rules posted, too. You could also read a book.

The only time I’d ask a dealer about the rules is if there were no other players at the table, or if the casino had special tables for beginners to learn while playing.

Ask to Join

When playing live, if you see an empty seat you shouldn’t just sit down at the table assuming it’s available. A seat can be empty, but all the slots at the table can be occupied. That’s because players can play more hands than one. It’s also possible that someone could have gotten up to use the restroom or get more money. So ask the other players if they mind if you sit down to play.

Don’t Berate the Other Players

Not every player is going to be a blackjack master like you. They will make mistakes, and those mistakes will affect the cards that everyone, namely the dealer, gets.

Deal with it.

Remember that they’re there to have a good time, just like you, and berating them will ruin that for them. On top of that, it’s rude to give unsolicited advice, and it will only make you look like an ass.

Pay Attention

After all the bets have been placed and cards dealt, you need to pay attention. That way when it’s your turn to act, you’re not being reminded to make a play. Wait to order a drink or turn around to talk to someone until after you’ve acted. In fact, you should pay attention at all times, really, just because once the dealer has acted, you’ll need to place a bet in order to be dealt cards again. Of course, that’s less of a concern since you won’t actually be holding up the game – you’ll just be skipped if you don’t place a bet in time.

Tip the Dealer

There are different opinions when it comes to tipping. Some people say it depends on whether you are winning or losing, and others say it depends on the service. I agree with the latter. If the dealer does a good job, is fast, polite and fun to be around, then give them a tip. I would base the amount of my tip on the quality of service they provide. Be sure to tip the waiters/cocktail waitresses too.

Don’t Bother the Dealer

You shouldn’t bother the dealer with basic questions or strategy while playing, although this rule could/can be bent if the dealer makes it obvious they don’t mind and/or they’re not busy.

Furthermore, don’t blame the dealer if you’re not getting good cards or winning. It’s not their fault – they’re just dealing the cards. Everyone goes through a stroke of bad luck, and you’re no exception. No one cares if you’re losing anyway.

Be Considerate When Smoking

If you’re a smoker you should try to keep it to a minimum, unless the rest of the table smokes. As a non-smoker myself, I fully understand that it’s “ok” for you to smoke, but it doesn’t mean that I like it. And when you do smoke, try to blow the smoke up in the air, behind you or in any direction other than the people sitting at the table. Just try to be as considerate as possible.

Be Careful With Your Bets

When placing your bets, you should do so in a neat way. Stack your highest denomination chips at the bottom, and place your chips in a neat stack. Don’t get fancy and toss them. More often than not your chips will roll all over your table, forcing everyone, including the dealer, to chase after them.

Once you place your bets, don’t touch them again. It’s suspicious to begin with, and you’ll slow the game down since the dealer will have to stop what he or she is doing to tell you not to do it.

Know the Hand Signals

Hand signals are used in addition (or instead of) verbal actions because of how loud it can get in the casino. Using the right hand signals will make it clear to the dealer of what you want to do. Here are the hand signals:

  • Wave your hand over the top means you want to stand.
  • Scraping your card or pointing to your cards means that you want to hit. Tapping the table also works.
  • Placing another bet in front of your cards means that you want to double down or split. Hold up one finger for double down, and two for split.

Don’t Mess With Your Cards

If you’re not using a card to signal that you want a hit, you shouldn’t touch your cards. Just like messing with your chips, playing with your cards is suspicious. The dealer (and casino) worries about players trying to bend and mark cards. If you mess with your cards, especially in a game where players are not supposed to touch their cards, you force the dealer to stop and warn you, ultimately slowing the down the game.

As you can see, most of the rules are common sense. However, so many players fail to use them. They’re the ones that slow down the games and make it harder for everyone to enjoy themselves. By following these rules you’ll make sure that you’re not that guy.