Blackjack hand signals and gestures: Everything you need to know

Profile Picture: Simon Young

November 10th, 2020

Casino games are so easy online. You load up the game and bet with just the click of a mouse. There can be no dispute with the dealer misunderstanding you or whether you bet a certain amount. It’s all electronically logged and automatic.

In a live casino, however, things are very different. By their nature, casinos are noisy places, and often you have bettors at a table having enjoyed the "occasional" drink.

All of which makes it very difficult for the dealer to hear clearly. Without some system, you can see how many expensive mistakes could be made and how everyone’s enjoyment would be affected.

To get around this, blackjack players use a system of universal blackjack hand signals when they play, showing their intended actions on every round. The dealer can easily keep track of who is doing what in these circumstances. And even if there were a dispute, a casino’s network of overhead security cameras could be replayed to show what gesture was (or wasn’t) made.

Before describing the signals, let’s recap on the choices you have on each blackjack round:

  • Hit: take another card
  • Stand: Stick with the cards you have
  • Double down: double your initial stake and receive one more card
  • Split: Double your stake when you have a pair and play as two hands

Hand signals for blackjack

When you first play in a casino, even if you know the blackjack terms and hand signals, it’s easy to forget to use them. The dealer will gently remind you so that you don’t repeat the mistake. Remember, it’s for your own good that the dealer understands exactly what you wish to do.

Blackjack signs for hit

When you want to take another card, gently tap the table in front of you with your finger. Some players like to motion their hand towards themselves in a "come here" fashion, but casino staff prefer the undisputable tap.

Blackjack hand gestures for stand

If you like the look of your cards and don’t want to risk taking another, then you must stand. The blackjack hand signal for standing is to wave your hand over your cards, signaling you want no further part in the action.

Blackjack sign for double down

If you love the look of your first two cards – and the dealer looks weak – then it’s wise to double down, doubling your stake. To do so, pick up the correct amount of chips, place them next to your original stake (but outside the betting box), and point with one finger.

Splitting blackjack hand signal

Another way to add cash to the table is by splitting when you have a pair. Again, put down the chips to double your stake (again outside the betting box). But this time, point with two fingers in a clear V shape. The V shape is crucial as it makes it more apparent to the dealer you mean to split rather than double down.

In very rare circumstances, casino blackjack tables allow the surrender rule. There is no universal hand gesture for this, so verbally engage with the dealer if you wish to surrender.

Blackjack hand signals speed up the game

Once you settle into your live blackjack game, you will soon notice how quickly things can proceed when all players at a table use the hand gesture rules. It can be a little frustrating when one or two forget or keep getting it wrong.

You can always do some practice at home before venturing into your first live casino session.

How do you prefer to play blackjack?

Play blackjack online

With all that being said, nothing is more convenient than playing blackjack online at BetAmerica Casino. You don’t have to worry about any hand gestures, except those you might make at your screen if you get a bad beat.

You can even play blackjack games for free while getting used to the game before making your first deposit and playing for real money. Remember to pick up your new player bonus package, which will help your deposit go further.