Blackjack Hand Signals Guide | LeoVegas

Blackjack Hand Signals Guide


Main hands signals used in blackjack:

  • Hit: Tap the table with your finger.
  • Stand: Wave your hand over your cards.
  • Double down: Place an additional bet next to your original bet and hold up one finger.
  • Split: Place an additional bet next to your original bet and hold up two fingers in a V-shape.

Blackjack is one of the most beloved casino table games of all time, played live in over 140 countries and online. The objective is simple; Beat the dealer by having a hand value as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Table of Content:

Blackjack’s limited barriers to entry, mainly the effort required to find a table that meets your betting budget, make it an everyman's game. Once you take a seat in a noisy, crowded casino however, you’ll quickly see how the need for hand gestures came to be.

Blackjack hand signals keep the game pace rolling while clearly communicating the player’s intended actions. Perhaps most notably, universal blackjack hand signals provide the casino’s security team with a video record of each decision made at the table in case a dispute arises.


Origins of Blackjack Hand Signals

As blackjack evolved and grew in popularity, so did the need for a non verbal language to help navigate around noisy casino situations. Consider this - it wasn’t too long ago that casinos were hustling with the clink-clink sounds of coins falling out of machines, rather than quiet slips of e-cashier papers. This noise alone contributed to the need for decisions to be backed by theatrical hand gestures. Thus, a set of subtle hand gestures became not just a pragmatic necessity, but an iconic element of the game.


With blackjack games moving fast, you can also only imagine the disputes that erupted if a card was issued to a player, specifically one that busted them, when that wasn’t their intended action! Nowadays, with blackjack hand signals required, a casino's security cameras can replay video footage to resolve issues.

Blackjack hand gestures were refined over time. Today, the blackjack experience wouldn’t be the same without hand signals. Blackjack hand signals transcend language barriers during our times of global travel and are simply part of the blackjack experience.

Learning the Basics of Hands Signals in Blackjack

Understanding Signal Types

Hand signals are a universal way for blackjack players to communicate their decisions at the table without speaking. It’s in every player’s best interest to both verbalize and gesture their intended action. With the pace of play sometimes being quite quick, there’s no time for confusion. In the name of efficiency and smooth flowing, blackjack games utilize both.

Verbal blackjack signals are of course, the spoken word. Any player can confidently say ‘hit’ or ‘stand’ but they’re also going to need a hand gesture when playing at any reputable casino.

Non verbal signals are hand gestures - the theatrics of the game that create the blackjack experience. These include waving a hand over the cards to signal a bust, tapping the table for a stand, or making specific hand movements to indicate actions like doubling down or splitting pairs. Let’s get into the basic ones you’ll need to know.

How to Use Hand Signals

When seated at a blackjack table, use your hand signals when it’s your turn to act. Speak your action, and reinforce it with a hand signal, to keep the game moving at an appropriate pace. For new players, this shouldn’t be intimidating or prevent you from taking a seat - after all, dealer’s are there to help and will show or remind you of what’s needed to be shown at the table to either hit, stand, double down or split (or anything else for that matter).

Common Hand Signals in Blackjack

For blackjack players, a table’s flow and pace of play is crucial to enjoying the game. Blackjack hand signals help create this efficiency. Below are some of the most common universally accepted blackjack hand signals.

Hit - To indicate you want another card, tap the table with your finger.

Stand - Wave your hand horizontally over your cards to indicate you don’t want any more.

Double Down - To double your bet and take another card, place an additional equal sized bet behind your original bet, and extend one finger.

Split - Create a V-shaped gesture by separating your index and middle finger. This signals a split of your one hand into two, which also requires an additional, equal sized bet to be placed beside your original.

Surrender - Simply draw an imaginary line behind your bet to indicate you’re done.

Advanced Hand Signals

These advanced blackjack hand signals aren’t commonly used, but good to know in case one of these unique situations arises.

Insurance - Point your index finger and slide it along the edge of the betting circle towards you. This signifies to the dealer that you’d like to take insurance, a side bet usually only available when the dealer’s up card is an Ace.

Even Money - When the dealer is showing an Ace, you may want to bail out and take even money. To communicate this to the dealer in a hand signal, tap your fingers or hand on the table. A handy way to remember this signal is to think of it as ‘tapping’ out of the game.

Late Surrender - If you're looking to forfeit after the dealer checks for blackjack, use your finger to draw a line across your bet.

Uncommon Hand Signals

‘Bust’, ‘Push’ and ‘No More Bets’ aren’t necessarily actions found at a blackjack table, rather they are outcomes. These are uncommon simply because they are somewhat unnecessary - if you bust because your hand value is over 21, there’s no need to reiterate your state of being out of the round - it’s over! Nonetheless, it’s good to know these ones too.

Bust - While there’s no action required, many blackjack players out of habit will simply wave their hand over their cards, palm down, indicating they’re done.

Push - Denotes a tie between the player and dealer, whereby both hands total the same. A tap of the table or a light push of cards towards the dealer can also drive this declaration home.

No More Bets - This is an announcement you’ll hear the dealer say, but also reiterate with a hand gesture that’s a wave horizontally over top of all betting boxes. This signifies that no more bets can be placed to participate in the round.

Online Blackjack and Hand Signals

Live Casino blackjack tables are live-streamed from a studio and feature live dealer’s managing the game. In a game of live casino blackjack it’s not necessary to make blackjack hand signals as the dealer cannot physically see you. All communication remains digital - using your mouse or a tap if you’re playing on mobile. So, if you do happen to make a ‘hand gesture’ at the screen after a good or bad hand, it’s ok, it won’t be seen!

Blackjack Hand Signals FAQs

What if I forget a hand signal?

As hand signals are also a necessary component of live play, the dealer will be quick to remind you that one is necessary. This provides the casino security camera with a clear indication of your move, in any case any post hand controversy arises.

Can I use verbal cues instead of hand signals?

When playing blackjack in a casino setting, they are going to insist you use the hand signal as a security measure. It avoids a player versus dealer conflict as any disagreements can be easily resolved by checking in with the security camera.

Are hand signals standardized across all casinos?

They can vary slightly, but for the most part, casinos all adhere to a general set of hand signals.

How do hand signals vary in multi-deck versus single-deck games?

In general, the hand signals used in blackjack, including those for hit, stand, double down, and split, remain consistent across both single-deck and multi-deck games. The primary difference between the two variations lies in the rules and strategies associated that allow such actions, rather than the actions themselves.

Do live dealers online blackjack use signals?

Playing live casino blackjack relies on the user interface to communicate actions like taking a hit, stand, or double down. So, the dealer cannot see any hand gestures you may be making.

Learn more about blackjack in other guides: