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How to Use Hand Signals in Blackjack

Although you will often see players on TV say "I'll take a hit" or "stand", most Blackjack games in casinos prefer that hand signals be used instead. If you are going to play in a live venue, you need to know what gestures they use.

There are a couple of reason why Blackjack hand signals are preferred by dealers and casinos. One is to avoid any misinterpretation; if there are a lot of players involved, it can be difficult to keep track of who said what. Second, and more important, being able to track the movement of players on the table will be easier for the video and surveillance cameras.

If you are in an up card game, the Blackjack hand signal used in indicating you want another card (to hit) is by tapping your fingers on the felt. On the other hand, if you are satisfied with what you hold, then wave your hand across your cards.

If you are in a game where the cards are in the hole, you must hold them with one hand. If you want to hit, move the cards towards yourself. Once the card is dealt to you (up) you mustn't touch it. To tell the dealer that you do not want any more hands, place the edge of your hole cards next to the chips you wagered.

Whether it is an upcard game or facedown, you just turn over your Blackjack hand if you bust. Do not toss them on the table; just flip them up.

If you want to double down, turn up your hole cards and put them directly next to your bet. Next put the added wager next to the original wager. The dealer will give you another hole card. Doubling down in Blackjack is permitted after you are handed the cards; if you hit, it's no longer allowed. The maximum amount, by the way, is up to the original wager.

The Blackjack hand signal for splitting hands is as follows: lift up your hole cards, place it adjacent to your bet, and then place a wager worth exactly as your original bet. Just remember that the rules for splitting vary widely with each casino; some only allow you to split once, but others permit up to three times or more.

If you want to take an insurance bet, you'll have to tell the dealer. Once you've informed her, you can place your side bet in the appropriate spot. If you're not sure, ask her. Most players however, don't take this option, as the odds are almost always in favor of the house.

If you are new to the game, all of this may seem very confusing and difficult to follow. Don't worry, it isn't; the best way to learn about these Blackjack hand signals is to use them in a game. Play with some friends at home, and practice. It won't take long to learn them, and before you know it you would be using these gestures intuitively.