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blackjack etiquette

Are you the all-business or all-social type when it comes to playing blackjack?

While the game has long been one of the most popular, it has a unique spot in the casino because the game can change based on who is sitting beside you. If you’re just playing with the dealer, it’s much easier to count cards, do the math and figure out what move to make to give yourself the best chance of winning. But if you’re a pro and you’re sitting next to three newbies who don’t know blackjack etiquette at the table, your chances of success become far more difficult.

If you’re the all-business type, there are few things that are more annoying than sitting at the blackjack table next to someone who isn’t. With that in mind, we’re looking at the five worst types of players to sit next to when you’re playing 21.

Mr. Or Mrs. Switching Hands

Leading our list of blackjack etiquette errors is the player who is constantly switching back and forth between playing one hand and then two hands and then back again. Can you make up your mind?

For other players at the table, this can get incredibly annoying – especially when you happen to be on a roll. Is this person going to be playing for two this round or playing for one? It completely throws off the rhythm, which is quite important in this game.

Few things rub people the wrong way more than doing this back-and-forth. And in the end, the only entity it benefits is the house.

Are You In Or Out?

Similar to the first but still slightly different is the person who can’t make up their mind for different reasons: they aren’t sure if they’re playing the hand or not.

They play a hand, pull out for a hand, rejoin, then they instantly choose to jump out right afterwards. Other players don’t want to see another competitor go back and forth because it messes up their rhythm and gets incredibly annoying as the night progresses. Typically, if the table is running hot and everyone is doing well, the players there will get really angry if someone starts pulling these shenanigans.

It’s pretty straightforward: either you are looking to play consistently or you’re just going to mess with everyone and rub them the wrong way. It’s bad blackjack etiquette to do the latter.

Superstition Man

When it comes to gambling, everyone has their superstitions. There’s the certain outfit, a tried and tested routine, or the lucky rabbit foot. Sure, it’s a bit weird but we’ve all got our quirks.

What starts to cross the line is when people go too far with these. Are we at a game of blackjack or a ritual? Some superstitious players will have an issue with how the dealer is handing out cards or what is being said after wins or what sorts of ways others behave. This is all because this type of player believes that their chi can get thrown off if the stars don’t align.

Blaming anyone else for impacting your play is bad blackjack etiquette. It’s perfectly fine to have your own superstitions but when you start acting like the pit boss needs to put a tinfoil hat on you, it’s gone too far.

The Slow Player

With the advent of online blackjack, the land-based casinos have had to get faster with their games. That’s because online, players can play multiple blackjack games at once and the speed is blazing fast. At land-based casinos, it can sometimes feel a touch slower and therefore a touch less entertaining.

Beyond that, though, is the player who takes speed – or lack of it – to the next level. The slow player is one of the most annoying to sit next to at the blackjack table because they’ll drive the game down into a crawl.

They deliberate over every hit, stand or double down as if it’s a delicate matter that requires diligent thought. If you’re sitting there for five minutes, reviewing your cards over and over, humming and hawing, asking others for advice, you’re slowing the table down. Learn the game and learn to play it fast. Slow players suck the life out of the game.

The Chatty Commentator

Lastly on our list of blackjack etiquette missteps are the play-by-play commentators. These guys and gals act as if they’re the Joe Buck or Troy Aikman of the table, commenting and analyzing each move. Even with their own decisions, they’ll discuss them out loud to include everyone in the thinking – even though nobody asked to be invited.

Whether there’s a big win or a bad beat or just boring cards for a few rounds, there is no need for constant commentary. Many of the players at a blackjack table are strangers and sometimes they just want some peace. If you’re going to be the chatty one around a table full of strangers, you’re going to get looks and scowls from those who don’t care for your comments. And if it gets really bad, they’ll probably just leave or tell you to pipe down.