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Last Updated: November 7, 2016

Blackjack rules, part 1

Question 1 - [00:04]

Mike: Hi. This is Mike Shackleford with the Wizard of Odds website, and I’m here with Angela Wyman and Dan Lubin to try to teach you the rules of Blackjack and how to play.

Let’s start with, how do you actually get started playing? For that, Dan here is a dealer, perhaps you’d like to explain it.

Dan: Okay. I guess in every gambler’s life there was a first time that they walked up to the table, and we’re here to discuss that for the brand new gambler.

Firstly, you could get a little familiar with Blackjack by playing it online and trying that with the game out that way and reading up on it before actually approaching the table as a 100% knowledge. I do recommend playing online free sites, or reviewing Mike’s site, the wizardofodds.com, and just familiarizing yourself with the game before jumping onto the table.

Now, for the first time you come to a table, do yourself and every player a favor and just watch the game for a few moments. You will see that there are periods that there are cards out on the table, where there are transactions occurring, and that there are times when the cards are scooped up and there’s a lull in the action. And, that lull is your cue to buy in.

For example, when there are cards the dealer is dealing and you change one up. You don’t want to do that. Let the dealer finish the hands, take and pay. And when the dealer is finished and the cards are scooped up and discarded into the discard rack, that’s your opportunity to take a seat, reach into the table with your buying money -- let’s say a hundred dollar bill or three 20s -- and say, “Can I have some change? I’d like to play.”

That’s the time you do it -- when the cards are scooped up, the table is empty, and there is an available seat, that’s your opportunity to come in. “I’d like to join the table, change $100”, is what you say, and the dealer will cut out $100. And basically you’ll get a stack of red chips -- 20 red chips -- for a hundred dollars, and the dealer will pass it off to you and take your money and drop it in the drop box.

Now, the dealer will swipe the table and say, “Place your bets”. And at that point, you take your bet and you put it into the round circle, and if you want an additional side bet you bet them also.

And then on a face up game, which would have a shoe like this, the dealer begins dealing, let’s say you have a chip here. You will use your knowledge of Blackjack to whether to hit for a card or to stay. If you read up on basic strategy on the Internet you’ll pretty much know what to do. When the cards are dealt face up, never touch the cards or anything like that or pull your bet back.

If you want a card, you tap the table and another card would be dealt. And you would keep on hitting until you are satisfied. Then you would wave off to say no more cards. You don’t speak your commands such as, “I need another card” or “I’m good”. You basically have to show the commands to the dealer such as hit for another card or stay so that the camera and the floor people can understand what’s going on at the game.

Mike: Some things I’d like to add to what you said is that if it’s a double-deck game or a single-deck game, you have to wait until the dealer shuffles the cards. You can’t jump in, even if it’s in between hands, because most places have a no mid-round, mid-shoe entry rule. Furthermore, even if they didn’t have that rule it’s considered bad etiquette to jump into the middle of a single or a double-deck game --

Dan: Before the shuffle off.

Mike:If you intend to play it’s fine to sit down but just sit there quietly, let the hand finish out or wait for the shuffle whatever the case is. Then when you can buy in, then present your money. Don’t do it early because the dealer is just going to say, “Wait a minute.”

Dan: Right.

Mike: You don’t need to tell the dealer what kind of denominations you want. I never mention it. Some players do. Usually the dealer will see you’re buying and be able to judge what you want. For example, if you’re buying with 500 he’s probably going to give you, I would imagine --.

Dan: 400 in green.

Mike: Yes, and a 100 in red.

Dan: Or 90 in red and 10 in white, so you could tip the dealer and the cocktail waitress.

Mike: I think it’s a good idea to get some whites right up at the front for tipping purpose, which I think it’s appropriate especially with the cocktail waitresses. That way you just get it all out of the way at the beginning. You got your change all set. You’re ready to play.

Angela: What happens if I throw my credit card out there for any of you?

Dan: You are SOL, basically.

[laughter]

Angela: Very bad etiquette.

Dan: What you do is you just take your credit card or your bank card, go to one of the numerous ATM machines on the casino floor and pull out some cash.

Mike: You don’t do this very often but I think it’s very rude to present like a crumpled up bill. I think that you should present all your money nicely in one pile.

Dan: Let the dealer spread out the money and then cut out the checks. He hands you the checks. He drops the money into the box and you are ready to play.