How to Run a Blackjack Game at Home
While playing blackjack at the casino is fun for most players, it's also nice to be able to play with your friends in a more relaxed environment. Not to mention it's a hell of a lot cheaper to play at home because the game is less competitive and more about entertainment than anything else. If you've never played blackjack at home or run your own home blackjack game this page will gve you a general guideline.
Home Blackjack Games - Understand the Rules
Before you even attempt to run a home blackjack game you have to make sure every player at the table is aware of the house rules. The rules do not need to be military style but you don't want to run into a situation where you have the players, who are also your friends, arguing over a particular hand. So when everyone sits down at the table, make sure you clearly outline what the payouts are and what type of blackjack game you'll be playing. If you have new players to the table, make sure they know what a hard 17 and soft 17 is and which rule the dealer will be following. Same goes for splitting. In one home game, the splitting rules weren't announced at the beginning of the game, and we had one friend who called the casino to ask and verify their hand. The better you explain the rules, the more enjoyable the night will be.
Things to Consider
- 1 - Who is the dealer / banker?
- 2 - What are the stakes?
- 3 - What is the max bet per hand?
- 4 - What are the blackjack rules you'll be following?
Who is the Dealer / Banker?
In some home blackjack games, the dealer / banker can be designated to one individual who will continue to be the dealer throughout the night. The biggest problem with this is its expensive. Home games require the dealer to be the banker and as such all winnings from players is paid out of the dealer's bankroll. If by chance your friends are on a lucky streak, your dealer can lose quite a bit in a short period of time.
A way to avoid this situation is to have the dealer/banker position rotate. What we do at our home games is start by determining what the dealer's chip stack will be. In this example, we'll use $50. If at anytime, the dealer's stack goes under $50 and another player has $50 or more in his or her stack, the dealer will switch to the other player. Therefore, as long as the dealer has $50 or more in front of him he continues to deal the cards. This provides for a more relaxed game, which means your friends will have more fun.
Blackjack Shoe or Automatic Shuffler?
It's not necessary to use a blackjack shoe and automatic shuffler in a home blackjack game although if you plan on using more than 2 decks you'd probably want to buy one. Shuffling three or more decks of cards isn't the easiest task in the world, and making sure the cards are properly shuffled can be tedious. If you do decide you need either the shoe/shuffler you don't need to invest a lot of money. You can usually pick one up at your local Wal-Mart for under $20.
Remember, a home blackjack game is about having fun with the guys and not about rolling them for a load of cash. You can play a home game while waiting for a poker game to start or when having a casino night. We do suggest you alternate the dealer, as the dealer will always have an advantage over the players. Your friends are there to have fun. Think of it this way - do you want your first home blackjack game to be the only game you host? If you send your friends packing broke, it likely will be.