A trip to Las Vegas is a magnificent thing in itself – the lights, the action, the exuberant atmosphere emanating from the city itself – but to play Blackjack in Vegas is a dream come true for many gaming enthusiasts. Even as a spectator sport, Blackjack in Vegas can be a lot of fun, but nothing quite compares to the thrill of taking a seat and playing Blackjack in Vegas.
For maximum benefit, one must be able to enjoy playing Blackjack in Vegas while also experiencing all the city has to offer. To simply go to Las Vegas and play Blackjack, or any other casino game, until catching a plane back home would be a terrible disappointment, even though that may not occur to you until you’re sitting on the plane. Be sure to explore the different casinos and wondrous sights of the city before you leave.
Playing Blackjack in Las Vegas
Now on to the good stuff – how to play Blackjack in Las Vegas! First, you have to understand how the game is played. If you’re not familiar with the rules of Blackjack, don’t bother buying some cheap book or video game. It doesn’t even compare, and the rules may be quite different from how Blackjack is played in Las Vegas casinos. Instead, once you arrive at your hotel, inquire as to when the next Blackjack tutorial is being held.
These sessions are available at every casino on the Strip, teaching inexperienced players the rules and etiquette of Blackjack in Vegas. They usually offer new players the chance to place real money bets with special casino deals. This encourages player’s to keep wagering when the lessons are over.
If the next tutorial is too far off and you want to dive into the action right away, that’s okay too. Find a table with a few players and observe the game play for a bit. This will give you a much better understanding of the general game play and etiquette.
For those who don’t know the rules of Blackjack in Vegas, the idea is to reach a total sum of cards closest to, but not exceeding, 21. Starting with 2 cards, the player may either Hit (take another card) or Stay (keep the cards he has). Keep in mind Blackjack pits player against dealer, not player against player as found in poker games.
When holding only the original two cards, the player may also Double Down, meaning he doubles his original bet and takes a single card. Doubling is usually done when the first two cards total 9, 10 or 11, in hopes of reaching 19, 20 or 21 – a very good hand. Another good time to double is when the dealer is showing a 5 or 6, as he is more likely to bust.
When the original two cards dealt are exactly alike, such as Q-Q, the player may Split. Each Queen becomes the base for a new hand, placing an equal wager on the second hand. A new card is dealt to each Queen to create two complete hands. The player plays out the first hand, then the second.
Blackjack Etiquette in Vegas
Now let’s go over the etiquette section of playing Blackjack in Vegas. There is a certain behavior expected from the patrons at a Las Vegas casino. You should be courteous to the dealer and other players around you. Don’t drink too much – yes, the drinks are free – excessively belligerent behavior will get you unpleasantly seated on the sidewalk slurring for a taxi.
When you play Blackjack in Las Vegas, you can ask the dealer for advice, and they will help you to an extent (they are the opposition, remember.) You can ask the players around you for advice as well, and they will usually offer it quite willingly. Be careful who you ask though. If a player is losing and not very happy about it, they may not be in the mood for advising another player. Very serious Blackjack players are not the best to ask either – they are too intent on their own strategies.
Check out the casino gift shop and you’ll likely find a small Blackjack Chart, about the size of a business card, that provides mathematical strategies as to when a player should hit or stay in Blackjack. Novice players are encouraged to use these cards to increase their odds of winning. The house edge will still exist, or they wouldn’t be selling them in the casino, but any advantage you can get as new Blackjack player is helpful.
In conclusion, I’d like to offer this piece of personal advice. Do not travel to Vegas expecting to come home with a great wad of cash. The experience of Vegas is for entertainment. Just breaking even, or losing a moderate amount, is still worth the excitement of the trip. You can expect to pay a good bit of money for any thrilling vacation, including Vegas. Set your limit as to what you are willing to lose and don’t let yourself go over it. If you’re staying for 3 days, split your total limit into 3 portions so it will last the entire trip. Last, but certainly not least, have a wonderful time! Who knows, you just might get lucky and return home with a tidy profit!