Blackjack in a real-life casino – Part I

Blackjack is perhaps the most exciting casino experience. The fast pace of the game and the involvement you have as a player to directly effect the results make it the game of choice for many casino players. If you have never had the thrill of live black jack, here are some of the things you can expect to experience and what you can do to make the experience the best you can.

The first decision you need to make is to decide what table you want to play. When enter the casino you should walk around the blackjack area, and watch the tables and the dealers. Choose a table where you feel comfortable with the surroundings, the dealer, and the players. If you prefer playing one and one against a dealer, find yourself a dealer which is not currently dealing to anyone. If you would rather not play alone, look for tables with friendly and talkative dealers and players who have smiles on their faces and chips in front of them. Also important to consider is the level of action at the blackjack table. Printed on the table and probably on a sign above the table will be the minimum bet for that table. Read it before you sit down at the table. Don’t even try to play at a table were the minimum bet is over what you are willing to risk for each and every hand.

Blackjack is played at a half-circle shaped table that seats a dealer and up to seven players. The players sit across the table from the dealer on the circular half. The first seat on the dealer’s left is known as first base, while the first seat on the dealer’s right is called third base. Immediately in front of the dealer is the chip tray and the deck or a “shoe” containing multiple decks. Also close to the dealer is the money drop slot where all currency is deposited. Next to the drop slot is the discarded card tray.

In a single-deck game, play begins after the dealer shuffles the cards, the deck is “cut” by a player using the marker card, and the dealer “burns” a card by discarding it. A betting square is printed on the table in front of each player’s seat where each player will place the number of chips they are wagering on that hand. Before any cards are dealt, the players may make a wager by placing the desired chips (value and number) into the betting box.

When all of the bets are placed, two cards are dealt one at a time from left to right. In many Vegas casinos, players get both cards face down and you will only be able to see your own cards. In Atlantic City and most other places, the player’s cards are dealt face up. If the cards are dealt face up, don’t make the blunder of touching them! They are dealt face up to prevent player cheating. The dealer always receives one card down and one card up. That’s so you are kept guessing as to what the dealer has as you decide whether to hit or stand.