Before you get deeper into the Blackjack card counting, we suggest practicing with lower betting amounts. Becoming proficient at basic Blackjack skills is the first step you should take on a path to becoming a professional. We have already written about some of the basic strategies, tips, and betting rules. Today, we talk about how to choose a Blackjack table.
Look for the Low Minimum Betting Requirement
When you walk into a casino, and search for the Blackjack table, you will probably end up at the first available one. This is a beginner’s mistake. This type of a table usually has a small number of players, or none at all. Number one rule when looking for the table is to observe the crowd. Table that gathers more players is likely to have more favorable rules. Moreover, the more players, the less dealings per hour, which is a good thing, but we will get to that later on.
If you do not see a table of this kind, feel free to ask around. Not just whether there is such a table, but what the minimum betting requirement is and when it is open.
Ask Around About the Table with Player-Friendly Rules
So, you have found a table, but are still not sure what to expect. In order to secure the most favorable terms, make sure the table features all or majority of the following rules:
- Player blackjack pays 3-2 (and not 7-5, or 1-1)
- Blackjack pays 2-1
- You can double down after pair splitting
- Dealer stands on all 17s
- Single and double deck
- Early surrender
- Doubling down on any first two cards
- Doubling down on soft hands
- Doubling down after pair splitting
- Resplit pairs
- Resplit aces
- Late surrender
- Player is allowed to enter a game in mid-shoe
- Manual or auto shuffle
Know the Number of Decks The Dealer Uses
Basically, the fewer the decks, the better from the player’s viewpoint.
The thing to watch out for here is whether the dealer is using a single or double deck of cards. As you may already know, the dealer pitches the cards to each player in every round. Alternatively, dealers use a dealing shoe when it comes to using six or eight decks.
However, the bottom line is that the game featuring a single deck of cards has the most favorable odds for the player. The more decks the dealer uses, the higher the house edge is. For example, the house edge with a single deck of cards can be as low as app. 0.04%. On the other hand, with eight decks of cards, the house edge goes to app. 0.64%.
Check How the Dealer is Dealing Cards
Using a continuous shuffling machine (or CSM) for shuffling and dealing cards is a standard nowadays. However, in land-based casinos, there are still dealers who do this manually. The old-fashion way of manual shuffling means a bit of stalling and making pauses. This gives you a short break every now and then and eventually leads to dealing less cards per hour. This is good. Why? Because, in a way it protects the player’s bankroll.
Therefore, playing at the full table with manual dealing, for minimal bets is the safest option. At least while you are still learning.