What Do the Various Hand Signals in Blackjack Mean? 

Kevin Mackoy
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Blackjack is one of the most popular table games in both traditional casinos and internet casinos. Blackjack is also referred to as 21. (or Twenty-One). It is a wonderful choice for beginners because it is simple to learn and play, as well as exciting. 

Blackjack also has the best odds, with players having a 45 percent chance of winning every time they play. Before you play blackjack (or other games like poker, craps, or roulette) in a real-life casino, you must understand the significance of the hand signals and gestures used by both the dealers and the players. 

If you don’t grasp how to use all of the blackjack hand signals correctly, you risk slowing down the game, generating confusion, and even losing money.¬†

There is a chance that this content contains affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking on one of my affiliate links, I may get compensated. As an Amazon Associate, I also receive a commission on orders that match certain conditions. 

What are some of the most prevalent blackjack hand signals? 

Because hand signals differ depending on the type of blackjack game being played, you must first identify whether you are playing Face-Up or Face Down. 

Before we get into more detail about the signals themselves, here is a simple explanation of the most popular hand signals used in blackjack: 

Open Bets: The dealer makes a sweeping motion across the table with his hand from left to right

Close Bets: The dealer makes a sweeping gesture across the table with his hand from right to left. 

  • The term “hit” refers to the act of asking the dealer for another card.¬†
  • When a player declares a position, they commit to playing the cards they have.¬†
  • When a player wants another card and doubles their initial wager, this is referred to as “Double Down.”¬†
  • The act of doubling your wager if your first two cards have the same value as one another is referred to as “Split a Pair.”¬†

A player is considered to have “surrendered” when they opt to stop playing and forfeit their whole wager.¬†

Bets that are open and closed 

When a round of blackjack is about to begin, the dealer will open the betting by moving his hand across the table from left to right. The dealer will then clean the table by sweeping his hand from right to left across the table’s surface.¬†

Blackjack open and close bets 

The phrase “hit” in the card game of blackjack refers to the act of asking the dealer for another card.¬†

The following are the most common hand motions used to indicate a hit in games with players facing up: 

  • Use one or more of your fingers to tap or touch the table.¬†
  • One card is equal to one lap on the table.¬†
  • Two cards are equal to two knocks on the table (double hit)¬†

You can also demonstrate that you have been hit in Face Up games by doing the following: 

  • Pointing to your playing cards¬†
  • Raise your hand in a self-directed salute.¬†
  • You can get a hit by lightly sliding your cards across the field as if you were playing the Face Down form of the game.¬†

Stand or stay in blackjack (inverted)

When playing blackjack, “standing” means you are happy with the cards you have and do not want to draw anymore.¬†

Some of the hand motions used in Face-Up games to signify when a player wishes to stand are as follows: 

  • Make a wave motion with your hand across the cards.¬†
  • Shake your head and place your hands next to each other.¬†
  • Face Down games require you to hold your cards, and you can signal to the dealer that you want to stand by tucking your cards under your chips.¬†

Hold your position in blackjack and play Double Down

In the game of blackjack, doubling down means you double your initial bet and the dealer deals you one more card. This action causes the dealer to push. When you double your stake, you’ll get three cards in total: your initial two cards plus one more.¬†

In Face-Up games, you can double your wager by doing the following 

Express your intentions 

  • Place another stack of chips the same size as your initial wager next to the first stack (outside the betting box)¬†
  • To signify something, use one finger to point or raise one finger (optional)¬†
  • The hand signals are the same whether you are playing a Face-Up or Face-Down game; however, before you place a wager, you must flip your cards over so that the face-down side is visible.¬†

Blackjack with a split pair and a double down 

If your initial two cards in a blackjack hand have the same value, you have the option of splitting a pair, which lets you boost your stake by one. To split a pair, simply place another stake of the same amount (but keep your hands off your cards at all times!). 

In face-up games, you must place your chips on the table (outside the betting box) and form the letter “V” with your index and middle fingers.¬†

In games where the cards are dealt face down, you should follow the same approach, but turn your cards over before placing your bet. 

Splitting a pair is a blackjack strategy 


In the card game of blackjack, “surrendering” means you’ve opted to stop playing and forfeit your entire investment. If you opt to discard your hand after viewing your first two cards, certain casinos may allow you to recoup half of your original wager.¬†

The blackjack surrender technique is as follows

  • Because there is no globally recognized hand symbol for surrendering, you should express your intentions first.¬†
  • In a face-up game of blackjack, you can indicate your desire to surrender by drawing an imaginary horizontal line with your index finger.¬†
  • If you opt to surrender in a blackjack game when the cards are dealt face down, you must place your cards face up next to your bet.¬†
  • Before you begin playing, it is strongly advised that you speak with the dealer about the casino’s favored surrender policy.¬†

Why Are Hand Signals Required When Playing Blackjack? 

Live casinos are famously raucous places, with tables frequently occupied by players who have had many drinks. The trader has trouble hearing things because of the noise. 

As a result of this, a global system of blackjack hand signals has been devised to promote more explicit and intelligible communication. 

Maintains the game’s integrity and fairness¬†

When playing blackjack, you can communicate with the dealer by employing hand signals. This contributes to the games being played honestly and fairly. 

To keep an eye on the action, the majority of traditional land-based casinos use closed-circuit television video cameras, commonly known as “eyes in the sky,” positioned above the gaming tables. Casinos have cameras installed to catch cheaters and help settle disputes.¬†

  • Ensures that both the casino’s and the players’ interests are protected
  • If there is a disagreement, the casino can use playland to show which motion was made (or was not made).¬†
  • For example, suppose you had every intention of standing but the dealer mistakenly assumed you wanted to hit instead.¬†
  • The casino will then be able to review the camera to determine if the error was committed by the dealer.¬†
  • Similarly, hand signals can be used to determine who is correct if a player seeks to gain an unfair advantage by challenging a claim made by a dealer.¬†A casino’s dealers will also use a range of hand signals to show that they are not attempting to deceive consumers or take chips from the table.¬†
  • Allows beginners to seek assistance.¬†
  • If you are a beginner who is not using hand signals correctly, other players and dealers will notice you very quickly.¬†
  • If you get confused about the rules or your hand signals, someone more experienced will be able to step in and help.¬†

Furthermore, if you are unsure, you may always ask the dealer to inspect your motions while you are making the hand signals. This is something you can do whenever you want. Keep in mind that if you require frequent instruction and reminders on how to play, the game may go at a slower rate. 

The other players may become impatient, and the dealer should concentrate on more essential matters. Before you go out to the blackjack tables, go over the hand signals that are employed. 

Questions and Answers About Blackjack and the Casino 

What are the main differences between playing blackjack face up and face down? 

Blackjack is a card game in which the cards are dealt face up.¬†The most frequent blackjack variant deals each player two face-up cards, while the dealer receives one face-up card and two face-down cards. Each player is dealt two visible cards. The “hole card” is the card that is hidden from the dealer’s gaze.¬†Face Up 21 is a blackjack variant that also goes by the names Dealer Disclosure and Double Exposure. Both you and the dealer are dealt two cards with the face-up.¬†

The player has an edge because they have access to twice as much information; nevertheless, the rules have been changed in numerous ways to compensate for the casino’s disadvantage.¬†

Even though the house advantage in Face Up 21 is bigger than in other varieties of blackjack as a result of recent rule changes, the game is still regarded as one of the most beneficial wagers available within the gambling institution if played correctly. 

Blackjack was played face down

In the Face Down blackjack version, players are dealt both cards face down and must pick up both cards to examine them. Except for the one shown to the player by the dealer, every card is turned over.