Blackjack Hand Signals – How to Play Like A Pro
Last Updated: August 6, 2022
When you go online and search about the basic rules related to blackjack, you will find general information and other essential stuff to get as close to 21 without going over.
However, though it's vital information about blackjack strategy, there are some subtleties of playing this game at brick-and-mortar casinos that online gaming doesn't teach you.
In fact, one of the biggest cons of playing blackjack at land-based casinos is the slow pace which you won't experience while playing online.
Playing the same number of blackjack hands per hour is impossible. But now the good news is you can increase the tempo of playing this card game using some blackjack hand signals.
In this article, you'll learn all you need to know about using blackjack hand signals and how to use them!
Blackjack signals are required at the land-based casinos so that your actions are monitored using security cameras in case of any dispute.
Most dealers and croupiers often explain the hand signals for blackjack to people who don't know about them or players who have just started playing.
If you're a newbie player and want to be prepared beforehand, you should check out this detailed post here.
In this article, we will explore the different rules and hand signals in blackjack. At the same time, you can learn about indicating different actions for blackjack variations.
Besides looking cooler, these blackjack hand signals serve numerous purposes that we'll discuss in great details below.
By the end of this article, you will be able to use different blackjack hand signals and be able to play confidently at casinos.
Different Blackjack Hand Signals with Examples
Before we discuss the different hand signals for blackjack, you need to know these hand gestures aren't required while playing blackjack online.
This might be obvious as the sky appear blue to most people. Still, for anyone who has just started playing blackjack, it's essential to be clear.
It is important to note that blackjack hand signals are different when the player himself handles the card. But over here, we will talk about the various signals used in this card game when there is no card touching.
At the same time, we will tell you other signals that you can implement while playing with friends at home.
1. Hit Hand Signal
This one is simple and easy. If you want another card or want to improve your hand, just tap with a single finger on the table just behind your hand.
Since no specified area is marked on the table, you can tap anywhere behind the cards. Double tap and the dealer will understand that you need another card.
You must have patience and wait for your turn. If you want to hit again after a 3rd card is being dealt, continue doing the same thing again. At last, when you're happy with your blackjack hand, it's time to stand.
2. Stand Hand Signal
Whether you have a good hand to begin with or have already created one, it’s important to stand at a certain point to allow the game to play out.
After that, you must put your hand face down above your cards and move it sideways as if waving.
It’s crucial to offer some movement so that the blackjack signal appears clear to the dealer and fellow players. It doesn’t mean you need to continue waving madly, though.
Instead, make a sideways movement once or twice, and the dealer will know whether to reveal the hole card or move to the next player.
3. Double Down Hand Signal
There might be a time when your cards look promising. You need to double down your wager to make the most out of this situation.
Since you will place an additional bet equal to the initial bet, you need more than just the hand signal.
Now, lay down your extra chips next to your initial bet in the same order. This way, the dealer can determine that both stakes are identical.
So, if you have a black chip under two green ones, you must place the double bet in the same order. Again, the chips should be positioned as if they're almost touching or touching each other.
Now comes the signal. If you want an extra card, put your index finger forward adjacent to the extra chips on the table. But, please ensure you aren't tapping. Else the dealer will presume that you're asking for a hit.
4. Split Pair Hand Signal
This signal is similar to the doubling down one, but you must split your hand and place extra chips to pay for your bet.
Once you make the necessary wager, you need to use your index and middle finger to make a V sign with your hand tilted upward at an angle of 45 degrees.
Now you’ve two hands to play with, and the dealer will point at both hands one by one to make it clear which hand you’re playing with. Again, follow the same blackjack hand signals discussed above, and then you’re good to go.
You don't want this moment to come while playing, but if it's the last option, ensure you're using proper signals to get it right.
The majority of the dealers prefer some verbal cues in addition to the blackjack signals from the players.
This is an ideal time to vocalize your decision that you want to surrender your hand.
You must draw a line beneath the cards for this blackjack hand signal. Some players use a single finger, while others prefer using two. Also, some players would use their entire hand.
You just need to make a cut motion from left to right as if you're underlining something. It's essential that your hand signal is clear and the dealer can understand it correctly.
Blackjack Hand Signals with Face Down Cards
Here comes the part when you have to touch the cards that are dealt face down and pick them up to see the hand. You have to pick cards with your single hand only, and things will be different in this case.
Now that you've seen the cards, these are some of the different blackjack signals to vocalize your decisions:
- Hit: This means you're requesting the dealer for another card. In this case, the signal would be to use your hand holding the cards and scrape them twice in front of the table.
- Stand: It indicates the hand you want to play, and the signal is sliding the card face down beneath the chips.
- Double: This blackjack signal means adding an equal bet to the original one, and for that, you've to put the cards.
- Split: Place the cards face down on the table, showing you want to split and add an equal bet to the initial one. After splitting the card, continue with the blackjack signals.
- Surrender: If you want to quit the game, place your cards down on the table and use your index finger to draw a horizontal line from left to right as if you're underlining something.
Other Blackjack Actions at the Casino
When you're playing this card game at the land-based casinos, there're other things to keep in mind besides hand signals for blackjack. For example, you need to get additional chips.
You must be adequately performing such actions and follow the table etiquette. Here are some dos and don'ts that you need to remember.
- Don't touch the cards dealt in a face-up position
- Only touch cards in face-down position, if they're yours
- Use only one hand to deal with the cards
- Once the new hand starts, don't remove or change your bets
- Wait for the hand to complete before requesting more chips
- Don't give cash to the dealer while buying chips; instead, place it on the table
- While playing blackjack, don't remove the cards from the table
- After the hand starts, don't touch the chips
Understanding the Importance of Blackjack Hand Signals
The hand signals for blackjack are more than just looking at the part. And they're essential for the casino and the players.
Besides looking cooler at the table, its primary purpose is to clarify your intentions with the dealer and fellow players.
The brick-and-mortar casinos are noisy, and it becomes difficult for the dealer to hear the players properly.
Things get messy if the patrons have had several drinks. For this reason, universal blackjack signals are developed for clear and precise two-way communication. Below are some reasons why hand signals are essential in the blackjack game.
1. Makes the Blackjack Game Fair and Honest
The hand gestures during the game show your clear intentions to the dealer, which helps the game continue honestly with no foul gameplay.
In addition, most casinos have security cameras positioned above the tables to identify players who cheat or steal chips.
2. Protects the Interest of Players and Casino
Since the cameras don't pick up sound, the signals maintain the game's fairness. If there's any dispute, the dealer can readily refer to the camera and use the hand signals to prove who's wrong.
The video replay can clearly show whether the hand gesture was (or wasn't made) by the player or dealer.
3. Increases the Pace of the Game
Using proper hand signals for blackjack definitely accelerates the game. Once the players are familiar with different signals, gameplay becomes faster as you use gestures instead of verbally announcing decisions.
Also, the blackjack signals improve two-way communication between the players and the dealer.
4. Offers Help to the Novice Players
Dealers and fellow players don't take long to find if you're a novice and not using the blackjack hand signals correctly.
In this case, more experienced people can step in to help with the signals or correct a wrong hand gesture.
Of course, if unsure about your signals, you can always request the blackjack dealer to check your actions properly.
Table Etiquette During Blackjack Signals
Blackjack is undoubtedly an exciting and engaging table game played extensively at land-based casinos.
Whether you're a seasoned player or starting your casino journey, you must respect some table etiquette during blackjack hand signals. Some of the important ones are discussed below:
1. Don't Hold Cards with Both Hands
This is a general thumb rule while playing any table game, including blackjack. When the cards are facing down, ensure you don't pick the cards using both hands.
Instead, use a single hand as it prevents card tampering, cheating or resorting to dishonest ways of winning the game.
2. Never Touch Chips Once Card are Dealt Out
Once the dealer starts dealing the cards and you've placed your bets, you should not touch the chips under any circumstances.
If the hand is tied or you win, then you can change the bet or collect the casino chips. This prevents people from changing the stakes while the game is in progress.
3. Avoid Being Stingy with Tips
There're no guidelines regarding how much and how often you should tip the dealer. However, please remember that the dealers are paid hourly for their services.
Still, if you want to tip them, just slide a chip or two towards the dealer as a part of a signal to understand you're tipping them.
4. Stack up the Chips Properly
While placing bets with two different denomination chips (say, for instance, $5 two chips and $10 three chips), always place the chip with the highest denomination at the bottom.
Otherwise, the dealer would have to stop the game in the middle and re-arrange them for you.
5. Don't Sit at Last Spot if You're a Newbie
We recommend taking the middle seat across the table if you've just started playing blackjack. This is the best place where you can see the action happening.
The last spot is often called 3rd base, and the player who sits there always takes the heat for any mistakes.
Some Final Advice While Using Blackjack Signals
While playing blackjack at an offline casino, you must be clear and concise. Else you will create a lot of confusion while playing at a busy table.
The last thing you want is any commotion while splitting, asking for a card or something else.
Therefore, it is crucial that your actions are clear and don't leave your fellow players and the dealer flummoxed.
The recommended way to ensure clarity while playing blackjack is not only to speak clearly what you intend to say but also to use different hand signals when required.
This way, there will be clear communication and no misunderstanding among players and the dealer.
Though blackjack signals are easy to learn, they won't come naturally if you haven't practiced enough. So, you must practice the signals thoroughly at home.
At the same time, it will remove the jittery feeling when using the blackjack signals for the first time in front of so many people.
Ready to Play Blackjack? – Our Final Thoughts
So, there you have it – all the essential blackjack hand signals required while playing at any land-based casino. Of course, it's okay if you're a beginner to make wrong gestures occasionally.
Still, you must practice these signals in your spare time to get mastery over the game. These signals are developed to protect the interests of the casino and speed up the game at the same time.
The signals are easy to learn, and you need a little bit of practice to get used to them.
If you're just starting your gambling journey, you can request the dealer to use verbal actions along with hand signals.
In this way, the dealer would be able to help you out in the event of mixed-up signals.
Lastly, we recommend everyone to pay attention to the detailed guide discussed above and practice the signals at home.
This way, you will have complete confidence and experience no problems while playing blackjack at your favorite local casino!