By now you probably know that blackjack is a table card game. We have gone through strategies, rules and even download blackjack software. It’s time to take a closer look at a blackjack table layout. How it looks like, chips and rules to follow while at the table.
It is important to note that whether you are playing online or land based blackjack, each comes with its own rules. The rules are usually printed or available on the table cover and the card next to the dealer.
Some casinos, especially online casinos, offer single deck blackjack games where the dealer holds the deck and distributes the cards. Today, a wide majority of gambling sites offer multiple decks ranging from 2 to 8 decks. The advantage of using multiple decks is that the game will flow faster as frequency of re-shuffling is low. Also, by using multiple decks, casinos eliminate the habit of card counting.
A shoe is where multiple decks are stored. The dealer will always pull the cards from the slot at the front of the shoe. Players cards are usually dealt face down in a single deck game while in multiple deck games, they can be face down or face up depending on the variation. The odds of winning are more or less the same. Dealer’s cards are usually dealt one face up and one face down unless the rules of the game are different.
In most cases, blackjack tables come with 5 to 7 seats or betting spots around the table. The game will start as soon as you take your seats. The position of the seat doesn’t any effect on the odds present at the table.
The base is the seat present to the dealer’s far left while the one at the other end of the table is known as third base. Here is a good shot of how a blackjack table looks like:
During the game, cards will always be shuffled each time a player cuts the deck. In a single deck game, the dealer lifts the top part of the deck and lays it next to the portion at the bottom. However, in multiple deck games you will be given a plastic card-sized stop. Put it anywhere near the middle and the dealer performs the rest.
When it’s time to bet, you will have to place your bet on in the circle inform of you. You will not be allowed to touch the chips again. At the end of your hand, you may either lose your chips or win more from the dealer.
During dealing, the dealer starts from his/her left. Each player and the dealer receives one card, face up. A second card is handed to each player still face up but the dealer’s second card is face down. This is known as the hold card. This implies that players can only see one of the dealer’s card. This enables you decide whether to stand, hit, surrender, split or double down.
What is the importance of a Cut Card?
The main reason why the dealer places the cut card before dealing is to prevent other players from Card Counting. Card counting is a skill used by players to memorize played cards (high value cards) so that they can predict how many winning hands are available at the shoe. Players who have mastered card counting and the basic strategy will always have an advantage over the casino.
The part of cards behind the Cut card which are not used in play are known as The Plug. This action is known as plugging the deck.
Dealing Cards from a Shuffling Machine
Today’s casinos have replaced hand shuffling and dealing from a shoe with a Continuous Shuffling Machine (CMS). This machine increases game time and eliminates extra decks. The other reason why modern casinos use the CMS is to eliminate Card Counting.
After the dealer finishes to deal a hand, remaining cards are placed back into the CMS and mixed with other cards. This shuffler uses an elevator system which places the cards on one of the 19 shelves. Any of this shelves can be selected and delivered to the shoe for dealing.
Some casino games use coins to place bets while others use cards. Blackjack uses chips. Chips are small discs which replace money at a blackjack table. Each coin has its value and they make money calculations easier. In addition, chips prevent the dealer from paying the player incorrectly. After the game, players can exchange their chips for money at the casino cage, cashier station or gaming table. Outside the casino, the chips have no monetary value.
The design and color of the chip determines its value:
- White chips – $1
- Red chips – $5
- Blue chips – $10
- Green chips – $25
- Black chips – $100
There are other conventional colors available to high rollers.