I’m in Las Vegas right now staying at the Encore. I love Blackjack, and have been playing for over 12 years. I’m not an expert, but those who know me can acknowledge I learned from an amazing card player. Throughout this time I’ve seen a lot, made some mistakes and won and lost money. But the ups and downs of the game have given me valuable key learnings I wanted to share with you if you are heading to the casino. Because it’s not just about luck, it’s also about skill. And even when it’s about skill, there’s a good chance the house will win.
This post isn’t going to give you an overview of the game of Blackjack (if you need that go here), but rather how to sit at the table and look like a #girlboss. Don’t be intimidated. These are pointers to hold your own, feel confident and most importantly… have fun! That’s why your here right? Because it sure as hell shouldn’t be to make the next mortgage payment.
10 Tips to Play Blackjack Like a Girlboss
Ask the Dealer: Number 1 Tip! Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer if you are unsure what to do. Asking doesn’t make you look ignorant. It’s better to do the right thing and respect the table then to just “have a feeling.”
Hit on 16! Cards are about risk and 16 is the worst hand you can be dealt. Yes there is a good chance you will bust, but Blackjack, just like any other casino game, is ebb and flow; a game of odds. You will win some hands and lose some, but not hitting on 16 is kind of rude because it messes up the cards for the rest of the table.
Don’t be Sloppy: Alcohol is a part of Vegas and I do love a drink or two, but playing drunk is a sure way to lose all of your money. Get your drink on after cards or at least make sure you drink a glass of water in between each cocktail. I use my Count Me Healthy bracelet in Vegas to track my daily glasses of water.
Welcome Double Downs and Splits: This is how you make your money! A double down is when you double your original wager after you receive your first two cards. A split happens if you are dealt a pair of identically ranked initial cards, known as a pair. You can split them into separate hands and ask for a new second card for each while placing a full initial bet identical to the original wager with each. If you are unsure when to double down or split, ask your dealer.
Split Aces and Eights: You should assume that face cards (tens) are coming your way with a pair of aces up and split (because you are a glass half full girl)! And you split eights because if you add them together as a single hand you get awful 16. You have better odds of beating the dealer if you split them.
Do Not Split 5s When the Dealer has a Bust Card: When the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6 up and you were dealt two 5s, treat them as a 10 and double down.
Congratulate Others: Energy is contagious (Good and bad). If another person at the table gets a 21 or has beat odds with well-played hits resulting in a 21 tell them great job! Most of the time they’ll reciprocate and I swear that’s when winning streaks start.
Form a Repor With Your Dealer: Be nice to them. Ask then about themselves. If they give you a good run then tip them. A little kindness goes a long way, especially with all of the rude, drunk people they see in a night.
Acknowledge a Hot Dealer: If the dealer is on fire pull back, pull your bet down or leave. It’s always nice to find a table where the dealer has to manually shuffle instead of using a machine. It slows the game down a bit and helps you regroup if things are going south.
Know When to Walk: A hot dealer is one reason. A grumpy dealer, sloppy men (or women) hitting on you or people who won’t play correctly are others. You’re protecting your money and your fun so remember there are always other tables! Plus both the Encore and Wynn are so gorgeous, you won’t regret walking around their gorgeous shops and esplanade.
Some notes on entrance and exit etiquette. When you sit down, say hi to the others at the table. Wait until a hand is done before you buy in. When you leave the table, “color up” your chips (exchange smaller value chips with larger value ones) so you don’t have a load of chips in your pocket or purse.
Good luck! xx CC