Table Games 101:

Your Gateway To Casino Thrills

    There’s something special about casino table games—the cards flipping, the roulette wheel spinning, that moment you have to decide—it’s a whole different world from the flashing lights of ThePokies. But stepping up to those tables for the first time? That can feel a little scary! Let’s break it down and get you comfortable with four casino classics: Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Poker.

    Blackjack: Bust The Dealer (Not Yourself)

    Blackjack, also known as Twenty-One, is a card game where you compete against the dealer, aiming to get a hand closer to 21 without going over.

    Basic Rules

    • Players are dealt two cards, face-up. The dealer receives two cards, one face-up and one face-down.
    • Card values: Aces are 1 or 11, face cards are 10, and numbered cards are their pip value.
    • You can “hit” (take another card) or “stand” (keep your current total).
    • The goal is to get a higher score than the dealer without exceeding 21 (busting).

    Beginner Strategy

    • Stand on 17 or higher.
    • Hit on 16 or lower (unless the dealer shows a 7 or higher).
    • Double down on 9, 10, or 11 if the dealer shows a weak card (2-6).

    Roulette: Where The Wheel Takes You

    Roulette offers pure chance and exhilarating anticipation. You bet on where a small ball will land on a spinning wheel with numbered slots and colored pockets.

    Basic Rules

    • The wheel is divided into red and black numbered slots, with one or two green pockets (0 and 00).
    • You place bets on the felt layout before the wheel is spun.
    • Common bets include single numbers, groups of numbers (inside bets), or colors (outside bets).
    • Winning bets are paid out based on the type and difficulty of the bet.

    Beginner Tip

    • Outside bets (red/black, odd/even) offer lower payouts but higher odds of winning.
    • Inside bets (single numbers) offer higher payouts but lower odds of winning.

    Baccarat: A Game Of Chance, Not Choice

    In Baccarat, you bet on whether the “Player” or “Banker” hand will have a total closer to 9. Unlike Blackjack, you don’t make any decisions during the game.

    Basic Rules

    • Two hands are dealt, one for the Player and one for the Banker, each with two cards.
    • Card values are the same as Blackjack (Aces = 1 or 11, Face cards = 10, numbered cards = pip value).
    • The hand closest to 9 without exceeding 9 wins.
    • You can bet on the Player, Banker, or a Tie.

    Beginner Tip

    • The Banker bet has a slightly lower house edge (casino’s advantage) than the Player bet.
    • Tie bets are discouraged due to the high house edge.

    Poker: The Art Of The Bluff

    Poker is a game of skill and strategy, where players compete to form the best five-card hand using a combination of their two-hole cards and five community cards dealt face-up.

    Basic Rules

    • Each player receives two hole cards face-down.
    • A series of betting rounds occur, with players having the option to check (call no bet), raise (increase the bet), fold (surrender their hand), or call (match the current bet).
    • After each round, community cards are revealed face-up in stages.
    • The remaining players use all seven cards (their two-hole cards and the five community cards) to form the best five-card hand according to poker hand rankings (e.g., Royal Flush, Straight Flush, etc.).

    Beginner Tip

    • Focus on learning basic hand rankings and pot odds before attempting bluffs.
    • Play tight in the beginning, only playing strong starting hands.

    Remember, these are just the basics! Each game has its own nuances and more advanced strategies to explore. Here are some additional tips for beginners:

    • Start with Free Play: Most online casinos offer free play versions of these games, allowing you to practice and understand the rules before playing for real money.
    • Set a Budget and Stick to It: Responsible gambling is key. Determine a budget for your table gameplay and stick to it.
    • Manage Your Bankroll: Don’t chase losses or bet more than you can afford.
    • Learn Basic Strategy Charts: Basic strategy charts exist for games like Blackjack, which outline the optimal decisions based on your hand and the dealer’s face-up card.
    • Observe the Tables: Take some time to watch table game action before you join, especially for games like poker and baccarat. This helps you get a feel for the flow of the game and the betting patterns.
    • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask: If you’re unsure about a rule or betting procedure, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer or other friendly players. Most casino communities are welcoming to newcomers.

    The Path To Mastery Begins Here

    While becoming an expert takes time and practice, having a grasp of the basics will make your initial ventures to the casino tables much more enjoyable. Remember, the journey is part of the fun!


    Casino table games offer excitement and strategy that slots don’t.  Blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker are classic options, each with its unique rules and gameplay.  Familiarize yourself with the basics, try free play versions online, and remember to always gamble responsibly.