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June 8, 2003, 3:46 am EST

Proper Blackjack Etiquette

Blackjack is a game that requires concentration, and people who play it normally take it fairly seriously. Whereas roulette is a social game, blackjack is more of a serious game. Since it is a bit more serious, there are more rules of etiquette that you should follow. Here is a short list to get you started:

1) Leave a tip to the dealer every 5 - 10 hands. This is not necessary of course, but the dealer isn't getting rich from dealing, so it's good karma to leave a tip every few hands. Simply place the chip that you want to tip outside of your playing area while playing a hand.

2) Get your drinks in between hands. There is nothing more frustrating than a game being held up by somebody who is trying to decide whether they want a rum and coke or a beer.

3) If you are going to watch, watch from a distance. Don't stare at someone's cards over their shoulder while they are playing. That is agitating to the player, and can distract them. If there is an empty seat at the table, stand behind the seat and watch.

4) Place your bets quickly. Don't make the dealer and the rest of the table wait while you decide how much you want to bet.

5) When you sit down, introduce yourself, but don't gab. It is polite to say "Hi I'm Dave from New York" but don't get into your life story in the middle of the game. If you feel the need to socialize, stand up and walk away from the table.

6) When you leave the table, thank the dealer and thank your fellow players at the table. Also, you should leave a tip from the dealer when you step away from the table.

You follow these rules of etiquette, and people won't stand up and walk away from the blackjack table when you sit down.

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