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Table Games BlackJack Newbie

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by pforfun2015, Mar 15, 2015.

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  1. pforfun2015

    pforfun2015 Newbie

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    Hello All,

    going to Vegas in 2 weeks. When I gamble, I typically play the slots but I want to try my hand at black jack. I've never played at a table only at home with fam. This might have already been discussed at length on here so please forgive me if so, BUT do you guys have any tips on the best casinos for a newbie? I know some offer lessons. Are any better than others? I also want to get some practice in before going. Can you recommend any online sites for practicing? I appreciate the help!
     
  2. Lucky55

    Lucky55 Low-Roller

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    others may have other ideas for u
     
  3. Lucky55

    Lucky55 Low-Roller

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    get a strategy card
    only play where bj pays 3/2 no 6/5 no matter what
    downtown and off strip usually offer lowest minimums and best rules
    no video bj machines they pay even money for bj
    if other people at table tell them you are new to the game
    don't gamble more than you and afford to lose

    Good Luck and have FUN!!!
     
  4. Zapisocki

    Zapisocki Tourist

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    Go on www.wizardofodds.com and print a basic strategy card

    There is a online trainer at called hit or stand (free), just Google it

    Find the game that offers the best rules for your bet size (you need 20 bets to survive variance).

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  5. Zapisocki

    Zapisocki Tourist

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    Go on www.wizardofodds.com and print a basic strategy card

    There is a online trainer at called hit or stand (free), just Google it

    Find the game that offers the best rules for your bet size (you need 20 bets to survive variance).

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  6. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    wizards of odds also has an online trainer.

    Other than 3:2 payout on a natural, Blackjack, don't sweat the rules. If you plan on playing on the strip expect to see Double after Splits, Dealer Hits Soft 17 and no surrender.
     
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  7. Zapisocki

    Zapisocki Tourist

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    Go on www.wizardofodds.com and print a basic strategy card

    There is a online trainer at called hit or stand (free), just Google it

    Find the game that offers the best rules for your bet size (you need 20 bets to survive variance).

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
  8. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

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    Congratulations on making a very wise decision! Yes, get a strategy card. Here are the ones I use:

    For shoe games: http://www.amazon.com/Blackjack-Basic-Strategy-Chart-Dealer/dp/0982119151/ref=pd_sim_b_1/180-9127252-0086525?ie=UTF8&refRID=0YPECSFSPQ7Z5WF2DRJ4

    For double-deck games, H17 (like Main Street Station): http://www.amazon.com/Blackjack-Basic-Strategy-Chart-2-sided/dp/0982119135/ref=pd_sim_b_8?ie=UTF8&refRID=1053XFEJAKA29B19X5ZP

    This will cover the majority of the games you will want to play.

    Yes, avoid 6:5 games like the plague.

    I don't know where you are staying. If you're anywhere near center strip, try Ellis Island (behind Bally's). It's where I first played. They have a 3:2 game, dealt from a shoe, $5 minimum, 24/7. Another good spot is Gold Coast, which I believe has a good low-limit double-deck game. Downtown, I like Main Street Station for their $5 double-deck game, although there is no double after split.

    Put in some time here:

    http://wizardofodds.com/play/blackjack/

    Set it to dealer HITS soft 17 to mimic the vast majority of the games you'll play. You can practice with shoe games (6 deck) or double-deck if you think you'll be somewhere where they offer it.
     
  9. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    A couple of things to be aware of before you sit down to play:

    1. Is it a game dealt from a shoe? If so, you never touch your cards - all of your choices regarding your hand are communicated through hand-signals. If you want a hit, you tap the felt near your cards (not on the cards or on your bet!). If you wish to stand, wave your palm over you hand, or near it. If you wish to double-down, simply place a matching bet next to your original bet, being careful to not touch your original bet. If you're splitting, do the same thing. (When you are dealt 2 fives, be sure to hold out 1 finger to indicate you are doubling down & not splitting.)

    2. Is the game dealt from the dealer's hand? That is a known as a 'pitch game', and your communication is quite different. You pick up your cards after they are dealt. Be sure to only use one hand - holding your cards with two hands is never permitted! If you want a hit, gently scratch the edge of your cards against the felt, being careful to not bend the cards. When you want to stand, tuck your cards underneath your bet, being careful to not actually touch your chips with your hand. If the cards don't slide under the chips, don't worry about - so long as your close, the dealer will know that you're standing. If you wish to double down or split, turn both of your cards face-up on the table next to or in front of your chips, and place your matching bet next to your original bet. If you have split, then treat each hand as if it were dealt from a shoe - meaning use the same hand signals as a shoe game. In a pitch game, be sure to flip over any blackjack that you get.

    If you wish to periodically tip your dealer, there are two ways to do it.
    The most common is to play a 'tip' with your next hand. You do this by placing a second bet in front of your own bet, with that tip-bet touching the circle or box that your bet is in. A tip-bet does not have to be the table minimum. You can bet as little as 50-cents on a tip bet.
    The other way to tip is to simply place a chip/toke on the felt in front of your play box, (not touching the box/circle) and let the dealer know that it's for her.

    As others have posted, avoid 6:5 games. only play games that pay 3-to-2 for a blackjack. If you play reasonably close to 'basic strategy', and you're going to be playing for several hours a day, the difference between a 6:5 table and a 3:2 table will easily pay for having to bet a little bit more per hand. ($10 3:2 is better & less costly than $5 6:5... $25 3:2 is better & less costly than $10 6:5).

    So - don't let the lower limits fool you into playing 6:5. Go to casinos that let you play true blackjack (3:2 games), for $5, $10 or $25 a hand.
    As a new player, I would suggest playing lower limits until you are very comfortable with the game.
    Good luck!
    :beer:
     
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  10. rhinoman7

    rhinoman7 Tourist

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of blackjack!!!

    The blackjack payout should be printed on the felt or clearly seen on a sign, placard or screen somewhere on the table. If not, just ask the dealer or pit boss what the blackjack payout is, and they will either tell you 3:2 or time-and-a-half (OK to play here) or 6:5 (run away!!!).

    Since you are new, you will probably want to start at the lower minimum tables ($5 or $10). Moving up to $15 or $25 tables opens up a lot more good tables, but good tables can still be found at the $5 and $10 levels. During the daytime during the week, this is more likely, since most casinos tend to raise the minimums during busier times (evenings and weekends). Based on my experience, here are the casinos on the strip where you can find $5/$10 3:2 blackjack tables:

    Luxor (look in the pit closest to the cashier/casio cage. They even have $10 tables during peak times sometimes)
    Excalibur (look in the pit closest to the escalators heading up to the Castle Walk)
    Tropicana
    MGM Grand (sometimes they are hard to find, but mostly tend to be closest to the cashier and mLife desk)
    Bellagio ($10 can be found here, but sometimes you really need to look)
    Paris (I have found $10 3:2 tables here in the past, but I haven't been back in a while)
    Circus Circus (A bit of a scary place, but they do have some decent blackjack tables)
    TI
    Hard Rock (off-strip)

    Many of the casinos downtown on Fremont Street also have good blackjack tables. Again, just be sure to pay attention to the blackjack payouts, because 3:2 tables tend to be mixed in with 6:5 tables.

    If you are willing to move up to $15 tables, these can easily be found at the above listed casino, in addition to: Mandalay Bay, NYNY, Cosmo, PH (sometimes), Wynn, and Encore.

    Good luck, and HAVE FUN!!!

    Just remember that this is only a game, and if you aren't having fun, then you need to find something else to do. NEVER gamble with money you aren't willing to lose, and you should be just fine. If you happen to win some money in the process, then great!!!
     
  11. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    The previous two posters have provided excellent, detailed advice.

    I will add: The pace of the game will surprise and possibly fluster you. You might consider sitting as close as possible to the dealer's right hand side, in last position. That gives you more time to decide how to play your hand. Don't allow the impatience of the dealer or other players to force you to speed up your decisions. Take your time. You are doing the other players a favor by slowing down the action a little.

    There are two sources of poor advice at the blackjack table: dealers and other players. It is better not to listen to either.
     
  12. Jammer

    Jammer Tourist

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    I've been told not to play CSM and this can actually be worse than playing a 6:5 as the cards are dealt so quickly your expected loss is more (plus no breaks for shuffling)

    Is this true?
     
  13. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    No.
    I can guarantee you that you can play as few hands as you wish at a CSM table...or you can play every hand that is dealt. You are in complete control of that.
    If you normally play, say, 70-hands per hour on a shoe game or two deck, simply track the number of hands you play. When get to 70, take a restroom break, or simply sit-out a few hands until the hour is up...or reduce your bet so that adding the extra 10-20 hands per hour ends up totalling the same money-at-risk as playing only 70 hands at a higher bet

    6:5 is, by far, the single worst concession you can make playing blackjack.

    I have to admit though - if a casino offered a $10 6:5 two-deck pitch game - with 80-90% penetration, S17, DAS, LS & RSA all permitted, with mid-deck entry allowed, I would play THAT 6:5 game...I'm just sayin'...
     
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  14. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

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    Very true! I have almost never heard good advice being given, from either source. It's pretty astonishing, really.

    I don't know about sitting at 3rd base, though--what Bardolator recommends. But do take your time.

    You do go through more hands with a CSM, as there are no shuffle breaks. Just sit out a hand every now and then, take a bathroom break, etc. I find it actually relaxing to play a (3:2) CSM every once in awhile, because I don't need to bother with counting. It's certainly better to play a 3:2 CSM than a 6:5 game.
     
  15. Jammer

    Jammer Tourist

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    Thanks. I've actually found a page on WizardOfOdds where it says CSM's can actually lower than house edge so no problem there.
     
  16. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    According to the Wizard the house edge for that game is 1.52%
     
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  17. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    No doubt...but it would be so easy to count, along with the ability to Wong-out on bad counts & jump back in on good ones... I'd be happy to play it!
     
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  18. powersof10

    powersof10 Tourist

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    I've read that too. As long as you aren't trying to count it's a viable option, and with usually lower table limits.
     
  19. dannyocean

    dannyocean High-Roller

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    I remember first starting out ... I often tried to play at off-peak times, when the casino was dead, with lower limits, and gained confidence that way. It's worth spending a few hours on a training game (Wizard of Odds is a really good one, but there are also several good ones free for the iPhone; I still brush up on some basic strategy things on the flight out using one), which will make you comfortable with things.

    The most important thing to do is find a 3:2 blackjack table and have fun. Don't risk more than you're comfortable losing. And never chase your losses. Play by the basic strategy, and if something feels off at a table -- really bad run, not a good crowd around you -- don't sweat getting up and coming back later or finding another spot. It's all about comfort, fun, and relaxing.
     
  20. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    One thing nobody mentioned, before playing I would go to a table and watch how others play until I get comfortable with the game. You can watch how they act, how they bet and how they handle cards. There are some things you shouldn't do so best to learn before a dealer or someone "scolds" you (not really scold but they usually mention if you are doing something wrong, like holding your drinks over the table, taking the cards away from the table, using a cel phone at the table, etc.).

    I would also recommend taking one of those "free" lessons provided at some casinos. Some casinos have a billboard showing times they have those lessons. The casinos will try to educate you on the game and how to play it. You can also ask all the questions you want. They also have mock sessions where you can acclimate yourself to the game and actually will allow you to bet and play the game. Casinos are very happy to teach you, they are glad to get more customers to play the game (and "donate" money to the casino, lol).

    I wouldn't recommend following bardolator's recommendation to take the "last" chair next to the dealer (sorry, but that is JMHO). That position is referred to as "third" base and some other players can get outright obnoxious and nasty if you make what they consider an "unconventional" play that others may question (or think dumb). Best to take the seat next to third base or any other seat so you don't anger or upset anyone else with your play. While your play shouldn't affect anyone else third base is sometimes a possible "hot" seat. Just a suggestion because some people are sensitive about the way a person plays at third base, better to avoid the seat and avoid possibly upsetting another player.


    Don't be embarrassed being a newbie. Just remember that we all had to start somewhere so best to learn how to play the game and you will probably enjoy the game a lot more.
     
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