Blackjack Etiquette: Getting Advice

Whenever you join a blackjack table at a casino, certain rules of etiquette are expected. Many of the rules are common sense, but some are not. I have covered some blackjack etiquette in the past, but today I want to talk about advice.

Not everyone at the blackjack table is of equal skill. Not everyone has the same knowledge or grasp of basic strategy. Some might count cards while others don’t. Particularly for new players, it can be tempting to get the advice of others if you’re not sure what decision to make. But is that okay?

In short: yes. It is okay to ask for advice and it is okay to give advice. If you are playing at the table with some of your friends, there is nothing wrong with asking them what you should do. Likewise, if your friend is stumped, you can feel free to offer advice.

You can even feel free to give or ask for advice from strangers. You should, however, only give solicited advice. If someone is looking at his cards and is pondering his decision, don’t offer advice if he hasn’t asked for it. Also, if he asks for advice, make sure he is asking you or the table in general. For example, sometimes a player will ask the dealer what he should do. If he asks the dealer and you answer, that is a breach of etiquette.

Whoa, wait a second, so you can ask the dealer? Who in their right mind would do that? They’re your opponent. Many people won’t ask the dealer for advice for that reason, but if you don’t know what move to make and want help, there’s no reason not to ask the dealer. First of all, no one knows proper blackjack basic strategy better than the dealer. After all, it’s his job. Secondly, he’s not going to lie to you about what you should do.

The dealer won’t lie because there is a table full of people and at least one person there would realize that he’s giving you bad advice. That would cause problems for the casino and it would call the dealer’s integrity and by association the casino’s reputation into question. That is a lot to risk for a simple piece of advice. Since the casino still has a house edge even when you follow proper basic strategy, there is no reason for the dealer to try to deceive you.

So in short, you can feel free to ask the dealer, your friends or strangers for advice and if you know basic strategy, you can feel free to give advice to someone who asks for it. If in doubt about whether you should respond, it may be best to stay quiet. Also, only give advice if you’re certain what the best move is. If you aren’t sure or don’t have basic strategy completely memorized yet, don’t try to help someone because you may end up giving bad advice.

Another thing to remember is that if you don’t have basic strategy memorized, it’s okay to bring your strategy card to the blackjack table. If you do, then you won’t have to ask for advice. Also, if you play blackjack at an online casino, you don’t have to worry about the proper table etiquette, since you’re playing alone.

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