But we usually don’t talk nearly as much about blackjack tables. That’s a shame, because a good blackjack table can add a lot to the fun and excitement of a game. From basic tables that you can use in your own home when playing or practicing with your friends to the ornate tables found in major casinos around the world, a blackjack table is a major part of this great casino game.
If you’ve ever played a table game in a casino, you’re probably familiar with the basic layout of a blackjack table, as it is a layout that many other games have also used. In a casino, the table features a semi circle layout, providing room for people to sit around the outside of the rounded half of the table while the dealer stands behind the straight half. In front of the dealer is a holding area (or bank) for chips that the dealer both gives out to players and collects from losing bets. The dealer also has quick access to the show of cards and often a hold for cash (often next to where the chips are, but built into the table so that the cash goes until the table’s surface).
In front of the players are several areas. There may be a dedicated spot for placing bets, but more commonly these are not placed on the table. Instead, you’ll see a rectangular area for each player that designates where the dealer will be placing that player’s cards. All bets are made in front of this spot. There is sometimes a circular area next to the area for the player’s hand; this is used for any side bets being offered in this game.
Behind the hand area is a thin area that spreads across the table. This area is used for insurance bets, and displays the payout for insurance (this should always be 2-1). Behind this will be information on the rules dictating dealer play in the game; this will let you know whether or not the dealer stands on all 17s or hits on soft 17s.
A good, casino-quality blackjack table features a flat, felt surface. This is important in order to ensure that cards can sit flat on them (ensuring that cards will rarely be exposed when they are not meant to be) and that the soft surface will cause as little damage to the cards as possible, preventing them from becoming marked.
If you want to host your own blackjack games for fun, a charity function, or to operate an illegal gambling enterprise (okay, we don’t recommend that last one), there are numerous options available to you on the marketplace today. These range from simple solutions to tables that can rival those found in some casinos.
First of all, many people can play blackjack for fun or practice with friends without purchasing a real table at all. For casual play, any old table will do; as long as you know the rules and can keep track of the bets on play, then a coffee table or dining room table will work just fine for your purposes.
If you want to make your existing table look a little more like a casino though, you can purchase a portable blackjack table top set. This is essentially a sturdy mat that can be placed over your table to give yourself a layout that can be pulled out of the closet whenever you want to play a few hands. Some of these sets also offer layout for other games like poker or roulette, and can usually be purchased for less than $50.
If you want an actual dedicated table, you’ll have to be willing to spend at least a few hundred dollars. In the $200-$300 range, you can purchase a folding table that comes with a complete blackjack layout, including a hold for the dealer’s chips. For most players and events, these will be good enough to make players feel like they’re getting an actual casino experience without forcing you to spend a lot of money. They’re clearly of lower quality than a real table, and tend to be a little lower to the ground, but they can still seat several players.
For those who must have the full casino experience and are willing to pay for it, there are tables out there that seek to emulate the same quality you’ll find at the Crown or Skycity. These tables can range from under $1,000 to as much as $2,000 or more. The price you pay will show in the quality of construction and the size of the table, with those on the higher end being essentially the same ones found in a casino environment.
Finally, if you’re a little more hands-on about your furniture, you can always consider building your own blackjack table. While this will require some work and materials, it’s undoubtedly cheaper than buying a quality pre-made table (though also probably more expensive than the cheapest table top options). While we’re not in the table making business ourselves, there are many examples of table-building guides that can be found online. While none of these tables would quite pass for a casino table, their uniqueness and sturdy construction make them a unique attraction for any home.