Here at Counting Edge we receive a lot of emails from our regular readers, and it would be accurate to say that many of those emails are from individuals that are getting ready to play blackjack for the first time. Some of them will be going to a live casino, others will be playing online with one the casinos we recommend. All of them want an idea of what to expect when they sit down at the blackjack table.
Playing Blackjack For The First Time Online
Perhaps you have already created your online blackjack account, downloaded the casino software, and spun a few slot machines for fun. Now, you’re ready to tackle the real action at the blackjack table.
The first thing you will notice in most online blackjack games is that you are the only player. There will usually be just you and the dealer at the table. This can actually work to your advantage. For starters, there are no other players to make bad plays like splitting tens that can cost you money when the dealer draws out because they took his bust card. You can also control the tempo of the game when you are playing alone. If you are using the online blackjack game to perfect card counting and basic strategy, this can be very useful. If you lose the count, just stop for a moment and compose yourself. Pick it back up.
In a live casino there can also be other distractions from the additional players at a table. Loud talking, cigarette smoke, and obnoxious drunks are just a few of the things you never have to worry about when you are playing online.
You’ll also notice that the table limits in online blackjack are often much smaller in a live casino. It is not uncommon for the minimum bet to be $1 per hand. So, you can expect to play with a smaller bankroll online than you could in a live casino.
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Playing Blackjack For The First Time Live
This is where it all gets interesting. The live casino, baby! As an example If you visit the “The cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Casino” When you enter the casino your senses will be overwhelmed with a flurry of lights and sounds. People will be talking loudly and yelling in celebration. Music will be blasting from overhead speakers. You’ll hear the constant ding ding ding of slot machines—they are everywhere in a casino. It can all be overwhelming, so prepare yourself beforehand.
As for the blackjack table itself, the biggest thing to prepare for is the presence of other players. Blackjack tables can seat anywhere from six to nine players. What you need to realize is that the person in the seat next to you has as much right to be there as you do. They may smell bad, drink too much, or make crazy plays that cause the entire table to lose. You won’t be able to do anything about it except move to another table.
The pace in live blackjack is very different from playing online. While there is technically no rule that says you must act on your hand within a certain amount of time, if you slow down the flow of the live game you will draw stares of disapproval from the dealer and your fellow players. This is why you need to practice counting and basic strategy at home before you attempt playing blackjack live.
Be prepared for the table limit to be a minimum of $5 per hand, higher at peak times like the weekends and holidays. The casino raises the table limits on a whim and treats every seat as a premium. There is no feeling worse than getting to the live casino and realizing you don’t have enough bankroll to play. If you sit down at a $10 table with only $50, that is five bets or hands. You don’t want to be under that kind of pressure so be sure to take enough money.
At the live casino blackjack table you will also be offered drinks for free. Whether or not you choose to drink while playing blackjack is a personal decision. Do not let us make it for you, but be aware that the casino has no problem plying you with alcohol until you cannot properly function. That is why they give drinks away for free to blackjack and other table game players.
Above All Else, Have Fun
If you are about to play blackjack for the first time, either live or online, do yourself a favor and just focus on having fun and soaking up the experience. Don’t place high expectations on your ability to win the first time that you play. If you do win, that is great. Celebrate your victory with a drink or a nice meal and be sure to send us a testimonial!