Blackjack And The Novice By Lola Smith First let me start off with I have never claimed to be an expert at playing Blackjack nor will I ever claim to be. All I know basically is if I want to win at Blackjack, I have to beat the dealer with the cards I am dealt without going over 21. Pretty simple, right? To some, yes. To others, no. How many of you have walked into a land-based casino and looked at all the live card tables and thought to yourself "I wish I could play cards at a table". They look so fun, intense and certainly different from slot machines. But not all people know how to walk up, sit down, place bets and win (being optimistic here). Before I was introduced to a game of Blackjack at a real table, I thought that all the time. And after the years of frequenting land-based casinos and never playing at a real Blackjack table, I finally did so a couple years back. And how did I become so brave to do so? I went with a friend who knows all about the game. I had no fear that I was going to look like a novice because it was written all over my face. The fact that my friend was explaining every detail with each deal was a red flag that I was a newbie also. Words like "hit", "stand", "split", double down" and "push" were flying out of his mouth as fast as the cards were being dealt. Hand gestures were being made. Tapping on the table to say you want to "hit" or running your hand over your cards to say you want to "stand". Numbers were flying in my head and my math skills (which are pretty decent) suddenly went out the door. As I was adding my cards up, the next hand was already being dealt. The game is fast. Well, fast to those who know how to play anyway. But I did not let any of that bother me. I didn't let the fact that other players at the table would get upset at me because I "hit" when I shouldn't have. Why is that a big deal? Because by me "hitting", I affected the next player in line. These "pros" can almost read the card before it comes off the dealer's pile and know when they are going to get screwed because of my inexperience. You know what? It's my money on the table and I will play as I want to. If you have the urge to play live Blackjack, I'd suggest brushing up on the basics of the game, the terminology and then go with a friend who knows what they are doing and can help you along. As a kid learning to ride a bike, didn't you have your parent right by your side, holding onto your handle bars steering you along. Eventually they give you a little push to get you going and then they let you go down that sidewalk all by yourself. One day I will be able to sit down at a table all by myself and play like the pros do. Not any time soon though. I need more play time to gain more experience. I am not ready to take off the training wheels just yet. In conclusion ... is live Blackjack nerve racking? Yes! Is it fun? Yes! Having a few drinks in me probably helped make me less nervous about the fact I was sitting at a table with people who knew what they were doing. That made it easy for me to laugh and laugh at my mistakes and at the scowls on the other players' faces. Give it a shot and have a great time. There are plenty of band aides for your scraped knees.