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Intimidated by Table Games

Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
64 posts
135 reviews
Intimidated by Table Games

I've been to Vegas once before 10 years ago and only played the slots. In September my husband and I are coming back and I'd like to get up the courage to play some table games, at least Blackjack. I've been 'practicing' a little bit from downloading a Blackjack trainer app on my phone, but any suggestions for a newbie who wants to try out the tables? Where can I find a lower-limit table where people won't be extremely annoyed if I do something stupid? Is there anything casinos do to make it easier for new people to table games?

Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
1,586 posts
15 reviews
1. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Some properties will give you free lesson on craps and poker so Im sure there are those that give BJ lessons.

As far as limits, off strip tends to have lower limits but also the BJ tables have more serious players and locals so if you don't play the "correct" way they will grumble. Just ignore them and play how you like. On strip has higher limits but you will find more new players like yourself.

Level Contributor
27,100 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

What would you consider a "lower limit table" ? Pretty much most of the tables on the strip are going to be at least $10 and will have lousy rules and pay 6:5 for black jack. There are $5 tables for some of the other games that I don't bother with because they are pretty much all high house advantage games.

Some casinos have lessons, but they really don't help that much. Just learn how to play basic strategy, and jump on a table. There are no mistakes, so ignore anyone who gets annoyed. We were all beginners once.

I also suggest you learn how to play craps. It is better odds for the players if you play properly and stick with the 6 best bets on the table. It's a very simple game if you do that, and probably the most fun game in the casino.

Level Contributor
397 posts
41 reviews
3. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Just assume the dealer has a 10. The only time I get annoyed is if the dealer has a bust card showing (3-6) and someone hits when they have 13 or higher. 12 is a tricky hand so I don't fault people either way. Also if you are unsure you can ask other players for advice. They should be happy to help. If someone is rude to you they are just a jerk or having a really bad day so just ignore. It should be fun!! I agree with other post about craps. It is so much fun and the people running the craps tables usually love women.

Kenosha, WI
Level Contributor
13,027 posts
16 reviews
4. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Unfortunately, with the majority of the strip casinos switching to 6:5 on their lower limit tables, it is getting harder and harder to suggest a good lower-limit game for newbies. Of course, off strip and downtown offer some of these, but like was mentioned these are the places most locals frequent, and they tend to be more serious than the average tourist just trying to have some fun.

I guess my best advice would be to inform the dealer and the other players at the table that you are new and still learning, and more often than not both the dealer and the other players at the table will be more than happy to help you along. Just remember, that it is YOUR money you are playing with, so ultimately you can make whatever decision you want on each and every hand. Don't let it get to you if someone expresses their disgust at a choice you make. More than likely they will eventually leave the table anyway, and you always have the option of leaving yourself if things get a little too uncomfortable. While nobody likes to lose, and everybody wants to win, unless you are having fun while you play, it really doesn't matter if you win or lose. After all, it is just a game, and games are meant to be fun!!!

Bottom line.......HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
126 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Downtown casinos will have better limits than the Strip and most players are friendly and willing to help, dealers too. If you go downtown in the mornings, some craps tables are so slow the dealers will help you out. I played for an hour by myself so I was the only shooter (roller of the dice) and I learned about every bet on the table (the hard way - pardon the pun). The classes offered are fun as well.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
127 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Don't let yourself be too intimidated, if you have a workable hand to point down with and slide over your bet you will get the hang of it real quick. You will be much more relaxed and feel good in less than an hour. If you want go ahead and tell the dealer or folks at table you are just getting started learning the table thingy. If you want try a solo table early in the morning that is actually a good way to get comfortable too. Some places offer lessons mid-day and a good place with low limits and good rules for a new table player on strip I would suggest TI.

Level Contributor
76 posts
19 reviews
7. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

We found playing early in the morning was a good way to get comfortable playing the table games as it was quieter. We did this in the Cosmopolitan. The minimums in the morning were less than in the evenings too.

The dealers were all friendly, and others at the table were helpful explaining rules / strategies e.g. assume the dealers hidden card is 10 and let the dealer bust themselves.

Forget about annoying people. You have as much right to be at a table than anyone else. It's your money - gamble it as you want! If they don't like it they can go to another table. You just enjoy yourself.

I'm sure if you google $5 blackjack you'll find casinos that have this lower minimum.

Edited: 13 August 2015, 16:36
Level Contributor
6,250 posts
8. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Another vote for TI! I would learn basic strategy at www.wizardofodds.com . It will give you the best chance of winning. Blackjack...with a 3:2 payout...is a lot of fun. We all had to learn once and some of us became students of the game because we liked it so much.

Level Contributor
298 posts
1 review
9. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

First, like everyone else is saying, don't let the other players intimidate you. I have played a lot of blackjack, and trust me when I tell you that many, if not most, players at thd tables don't really know what they are doing either. That goes double for the ones who grumble about the way you play. Just havd fun and don't bother about anyone else. Besides, it is also my experience that the vast majority of players in Las Vegas are on vacation, having fun, and generally pleasent to play with.

Second, familiarize yourself with the rules and etiquette involved in the mechanics of the game. This was the most intimidating thing to me when I started out. The dealers will also help you if you mess up. Basically, don't touch your cards if they are being dealt face up. Don't touch your wager after the dealer starts dealing the hand. Communicate everything you want to do with hand signals. When you buy in, don't hand the dealer your money. Lay it on the table and take your hand away. If you bet chips of different denominations on a single hand, they should be arranged with the highest denomination in the bottom of the stack. If you have any questions, just ask. Practice and watching the other players will have you handling yourself like s pro in no time.

Third, I might actually recommend that you play Free Bet Blackjack instead of regular blackjack if you are looking for a good game for beginners at low minimums. Many Strip properties, particularly the MGM casinos have it at $10. It pays 3:2 on naturals. And because of the free bet feature, you never have to get three or four times your bet on the table at once.

Essex, United...
Level Contributor
1,256 posts
10. Re: Intimidated by Table Games

Go downtown and play at the casinos there. Lower limits, more fun, less pressure to make the right decision every time.