Imagine the scene.
There you are in your finest tuxedo or a glittering evening gown, sitting around a table with equally well-dressed people in the opulent surroundings of a giant casino. You're about to play a game of blackjack, and your chips are piled up beside you, ready for the cards to be dealt and for the betting to begin.
Sounds a bit like a James Bond film or Ocean's Eleven, doesn't it? You have the glamour and glitz, while only a few steps away, there’s the whirling of the slot machines, the bright lights constantly flashing and, occasionally, the sound of metal tokens pouring into the winning tray.
Well, you can dream, can't you? However, if you don't live anywhere near an actual casino and, let's face it, a lot of people don't, how can you experience the thrills of playing many of the great gambling games? You can always invite a group of friends over for a session of poker or blackjack, or even set up your own roulette wheel for an evening of fun and games. However, that can be a bit of a hassle, and with so many people today being busy, busy, busy, it could be difficult to get a regular session set up to get your gaming fix. Getting to a real-life table game can almost feel impossible at times. So, what to do?
The answer is, of course, to turn on your computer and join in the fun right here at Bitcasino to indulge your playing preferences! But, what exactly are table games, and how do you learn how to play them?
Table games explained
Many people think that casinos are all about slot machines, those classic one-armed bandits that in physical casinos are all based on video game technology and operated by pressing a button to spin the reels. Certainly, they are a huge draw, as are their counterparts offered by online casinos, and they are purely a game of chance. You can win big, keep around even or lose, and as every sensible gambler knows, you can lose as well as win on the slots. With these pretty simple games, the mantra has always been "don't lose more than you can afford."
Table games are a different matter. These are the games played at tables in casinos with areas set aside for them or special rooms where people can play privately if they wish. These games include blackjack, arguably one of the most popular card games in casinos, many variations of poker, baccarat, craps and roulette. There are also many others, though these are the ones most casual or non-gamblers will have heard of.
It is often thought that table games are all about playing cards and using your skill to outwit the dealer or other players, but there are also games based on rolling the dice – craps, for example – or ones of pure chance, where roulette is the prime example.
So, when you think of table games, keep the different variants in mind. Many players are not particularly interested in slots and prefer a card-based game, though these games are also predicated on chance, as the outcome depends on the cards you are dealt. Even the most skilful poker players can hit a losing streak when the cards are not falling right and, depending on the variant of the game, can use their skill to limit the amount of damage done to their pot.
As previously mentioned, slots are purely games of chance, and there are gamblers who prefer watching a roulette wheel spinning and betting on the outcome of what happens with each new spin rather than watching virtual wheels rolling on slots games.
Learn and practise
If you're new to table games, it is important that you understand as much as possible about the rules when playing online. If you take the position that knowledge is power, you're headed in the right direction. When you access online table games, there should always be a section that will teach you the basic rules of the game.
Take poker as an example. An online casino should show you the ascending or descending rank of winning cards and the odds of filling a specific hand. Again, it does depend on what type of poker you are playing, but there is a strict hierarchy of winning hands, and you need to be clear about what beats what.
Whichever table game you decide to explore, get those rules firmly lodged in your head so you are not unpleasantly surprised at the outcome of a specific hand. If you have been a casual player offline, it's still worth immersing yourself in rules to refresh your memory.
Once you think you have enough knowledge – and it doesn't have to take a long time – that's when you can start to play the practice games that online casinos offer. You don't necessarily have to sign up to the site to start with and here at Bitcasino, for example, there is the option to play for fun and test out your skills before betting for real money, like here with Carribean Poker. That's especially the case for card games, where skill and judgement are elements of the game's excitement. You can get a feel for the ebbs and flows of winning and losing hands and develop your own experience of when to bid on a hand and when to quit.
With games like roulette, it's a lot easier to get your head around the rules, but it's still a good idea to practice for a while with some virtual cash so you can test out strategies to see how well they work. There are so many roulette options for you to check out today, with live games adding an extra competitive edge to the game.
Think of your practice sessions as the demonstrations that online stockbrokers offer to show you how to invest in the financial markets. In a strange way, there is not a lot of difference between casinos and the markets. Basically, with financial markets, you are betting on whether something will go up or down, whether it's a specific currency, a big company stock or the price of precious metals. With casinos, you're betting on the outcome of a specific action or series of actions that, in some cases, you have some control over.
Therefore, the main difference is the control aspect, as you can't control the financial markets but only guess where they might go. Brokers have a wide variety of tools and educational resources to help traders, and that adds weight to the argument about learning your game rules thoroughly and practising until you are comfortable going live.
Now that you know a little more about table games, go and try them out for yourself right now for an idea as to what you think might best suit your style of playing. Of course, you might want to give them all a try to start with and then decide to concentrate on one or two that you enjoy the most.
Taking the plunge
Do plenty of research and practice before going live with table games. Take a good look at all the games on offer here at Bitcasino to get you started. The more experience you get, the more you have a chance of getting some good wins in your gambling activities.
Words: Sean McNulty
Images: PA and Bitcasino