If you’re a frequent blackjack player, there’s a good chance you have your fair share of horror stories. Whether you lost your bankroll in a matter of minutes or you were sitting next to the world’s most obnoxious gambler, bad experiences at casinos happen.
Blackjack is one of the best games at casinos and can be entertaining most of the time. Unfortunately, there are some times your mind goes back to that fill you with dread. Hopefully, they are few and far between.
For those of you who haven’t experienced something of this nature, count your blessings. But know that these types of situations are almost inevitable. To make sure you’re prepared to avert disaster, here are seven reasons to switch blackjack tables at the casino.
1 ‒ The Dealer Is Terrible
Out of the gate, I need to clarify that most blackjack dealers are consummate professionals. In all my years of gambling, I’ve come across a handful of bad dealers out of the hundreds I’ve interacted with. But in a game like blackjack, the dealer can determine what kind of day you’re going to have at the casino.
While dealers don’t have any bearing on the game’s outcome, they can influence the mood at the table. To have success at the table, gamblers need to limit any form of negativity or adversity. If a dealer becomes a distraction to you, it might be time to change tables.
Dealing cards can be challenging, especially for new dealers. You might find yourself at a table with one of these new dealers who can’t seem to do anything right. In my experience, these dealers often botch the deal, payout, or are incapable of handling tougher personalities.
If your dealer seems to be crumbling or committing several mistakes, color up your chips, and walk away.
2 ‒ You’re Distracted
Casinos strategically place televisions and other distractions around the casino, often in the gambler’s line of sight. As your attention to the game at hand decreases, the house’s edge increases. These distractions are plentiful and admittedly, make it hard to focus on counting cards.
Other table games don’t require as much attention as blackjack. So, if your favorite team is on TV, consider playing a game that isn’t as hands on. Blackjack can be fast-moving and intense. If you’re able to count cards, there’s no time to get distracted.
Some tables are positioned in a way to be less distracting than others. Before you sit down, I recommend glancing around the table and making a mental note of all possible distractions. If you still find yourself unable to focus, scout out a table with fewer distractions.
3 ‒ You’re Bleeding Money
Every smart blackjack player should know when to say when. It can be challenging to push back from the table, but it’s a skill you need to implement into your game.
In blackjack, winning and losing streaks are part of the game. You can sit down at a table and win your first couple of hands, only to subsequently lose several hands in a row.
The challenge with this tip comes in figuring out when it’s time to cut your losses. Personally, I take a break from the table after five losses in a row. I will often take this as a sign that it’s time to walk the floor and find a different table. There isn’t a right answer, but make sure not to wait too long.
It might sound delusional to newer players, but there are such things as hot and cold tables. Card counters know this better than anyone.
If you find yourself at a cold table, abandon ship and avoid ruining your day at the casino.
4 ‒ The Stakes Are Too High
Casinos offer different games of blackjack at different price points, known as table minimums and maximums. If you want to win money playing blackjack, you need to prepare to play for several hours. To help ensure success, it’s crucial that you find a table that works for your financial situation.
If you sit down at a table and quickly realize that it’s too expensive, don’t be too proud to admit your mistake. There are few things worse than blowing your bankroll on an expensive game of blackjack.
When I first started playing, I made this mistake and couldn’t bring myself to walk away. Instead of swallowing my pride, I watched as my stack of chips quickly vanished.
New players should always consider starting at the least expensive table in the casino. These tables will provide the most bang for your buck and give you the best opportunity to learn the game.
5 ‒ You’re Playing With Bad Gamblers
Allow me to clear something up. The way other people play blackjack cannot decrease your chances of winning—that is, unless you allow it to.
I’ll admit, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch someone play against the book. Certain players seem to go out of their way to play the game wrong. At some point, it’s impossible to keep your head on straight and not get frustrated.
This situation happens more than you would expect. Blackjack certainly isn’t a complicated game, but some players are deft at overcomplicating it.
If you have the misfortune of sitting next to gamblers who refuse to play by basic strategy, you should switch tables.
While I acknowledge other players can’t affect your game, it’s easy to convince yourself they can. Once you start thinking that they’re ruining your chances, it’s next to impossible to get yourself out of that mindset. Consider looking for better players instead of stewing in anger and resentment.
6 ‒ There’s an Antagonistic Person at the Table
The worst person in the casino is the one who ruins everyone’s good time. Typically, this gambler is the type who berates other players and casino employees. If you’ve never been to a casino, I hate to break it to you, but these types are quite common.
As I said earlier, you must remove any type of distraction while playing blackjack. If you can’t focus on the game, you’re ruining your chances of winning. Rude and overly emotional players are some of the biggest distractions. Once you spot this type of player, do everything you can to avoid playing next to them.
Even if you consider yourself a good blackjack player, they will most likely take exception to something you do. These kinds of gamblers love to blame everyone else for their misfortune. You might think you can ignore them, but they will become too obnoxious to ignore after a while.
7 ‒ You Aren’t Having Fun
Winning money is fun, sure. But I would argue that most of blackjack’s entertainment value comes from the interactions with other players. I often tell new gamblers that if you aren’t having fun at the casino, there’s no point in gambling.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to spot which tables could potentially be entertaining. The construction of a quality blackjack table must happen organically. Chemistry and camaraderie will develop over time as you and your tablemates ride the highs and lows of blackjack.
Sharing in each other’s wins, while commiserating over losses, bonds players in the brief time you’ll be playing together.
If your table lacks any chemistry and you find yourself bored, then try a different table. Dealers play a large role in creating this sense of camaraderie at a table and provide a good indication of the type of table it is. If the dealer is gregarious, there’s a good chance the table will be a source of fun.
Life is too short to be stuck at a terrible blackjack table. Luckily for gamblers, most casinos have plenty of variety when deciding which table to sit at. If you pick incorrectly and find yourself wanting to escape, don’t wait for the table to get better. Instead, gather your chips together and walk the casino floor to pursue greener pastures elsewhere.
When deciding whether or not to stay at a table, take note of the dealer. If they commit careless mistakes or have about as much charisma as a goldfish, consider a different table. Limiting distractions while playing blackjack is vital to profitability. Staring at a TV while cards are being dealt is one of the easiest ways to get out of your zone.
Make sure you feel confident in your financial situation at the casinos. If you can’t afford to play at a particular table, find one with a lower minimum. Finally, always avoid playing with gamblers who lack experience. Most of the fun in blackjack comes from the people sitting next to you. So, don’t get caught sitting next to gamblers who can ruin your experience.