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Blackjack Strategy and Rules: How to Pick the Right Table

You ever been chilling, playing Blackjack at a Vegas casino and realize about halfway through your wallet that you chose the wrong table?

Blackjack is such a universally recognized game that when people see a game happening they hop right on without knowing the details of that particular table.

Choosing a Blackjack table should be like choosing stock; because in the end you’re making an investment.

So what should a gamer look for in a table? We give some pointers.

Check those Rules
Although both the CFL and NFL play American football, both leagues have rules that slightly differ. Blackjack is the same; as rules can change depending on where you play.

That’s why a player should always check the table for its “house rules”. Some tables pay 2 to 1, some stand on 17, some play with one deck, some play with four. All these rules can drastically change how much money you win… or lose.

For example: In Atlantic City casinos, you'll find that at most tables the dealer will usually stand on soft 17. Meaning even if the dealer has an ace and a six (which could equal seven or 17) he has to stand. This decreases the house edge to an average of less than .50 percent.

In Vegas, however, you're going to find tables where the dealer hits on soft 17. On average the house edge using this rule with optimal blackjack strategy hovers above .50 percent.

Usually, you’ll have the table rules listed literally on the table. If not, we suggest asking the pit boss.

What are your Limits?
Is there anything more frightening or embarrassing than sitting at table thinking it’s $25 per hand and it ends up being $100 per? That’s why we suggest opening your eyes before you start playing and find out what the table’s minimum is. You’ll usually find the minimum marked on a metal or plastic marker.

And, if you’re a high roller, you can ask the dealer or pit boss what’s the most money you can throw down on one hand. Usually the limit is $500. But be careful, sometimes players, caught up in the Vegas, high-roller, atmosphere will bite off way more than their bankroll can chew. Nothing’s worse than spending your three-day budget on one hand because you’re trying to impress some Megan Fox lookalike.

Know Your Tablemates
A lot of people look at Blackjack as “me vs. the house” but unless you’re playing online you need to be wary of who you’re playing with as well. Someone else not using proper Blackjack strategy at your table can quickly ruin many of your hands.

And if you make stupid plays – like hitting on 16 at the wrong time – you’ll quickly fall out of favor with the rest of your table.

That’s why, before you start playing, you should take a minute and analyze what kind of players are currently are at a table before sitting down. If you’re a novice you should try to find a more accommodating group to play with; if you’re an intermediate player you should do your best to find some pros.


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