unwritten rules of blackjack

By Henry Tamburin Ph.D

Many novice blackjack players are self-conscious about saying or doing the wrong thing when they play blackjack. They are afraid of putting themselves in an embarrassing situation, or worse, getting admonished by a dealer or chastised by a fellow player. Although there are blackjack rules, there are also unwritten rules that you usually won’t find in casino brochures; over time, they have become the modus operandi for blackjack players. What follows are some tips to help you avoid a potentially embarrassing situation.


Finding an empty chair at a blackjack table doesn’t always mean an open spot. Check to be sure that the adjacent player isn’t playing two spots before you sit down. And when you do find a seat and there is an adjacent chair next to you, don’t use it as a footstool or armrest. (I’ve seen many players over the years do this.) Chairs are for players only; although if the casino isn’t crowded, they will usually allow a friend or spouse to sit at an adjacent chair to watch you play.

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