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Different blackjack hand signals you can use 

In both land-based and online casinos, there is a certain set of etiquette that guides all gamblers to be respectful of each other. This is to prevent disturbance or any action that can come across as rude for some. Part of casino etiquette is the use of hand signals, which is present in various table games.

The most common hand signals that you should keep in mind are the ones used for blackjack. Take note that there are two variations which are classic and face down variations. To know how to use these hand signals, continue reading the following sections below.

Hand signals for Classic Blackjack

Classic blackjack is the variation where both the players and dealer have face-up and face-down cards. From there, you need to place a bet on which hand will have a value closest to or exactly 21. But before you reach the part where the dealer reveals their last card, you need to take some actions first. 

There are four different actions in Classic Blackjack, and all of them have different hand signals. They are as follows:


The action of hit means you are asking for an extra card that will increase your hand’s value. The hand signal for this is to tap the table with your fingers, and the dealer will recognise what you want to do. 


Standing in blackjack means that you’re fine with your hand value and you don’t want to change it. For this action, you need to wave your hands on top of your cards to signify to the dealer that you are standing for the round. 

Double down

Choosing to double down in blackjack means that you want to increase your wager. This is because you have a good hand value, and you are assuming that the dealer’s hand is weaker than yours. If you plan to select this action, you need to place another set of chips beside your initial bet, then point towards it to let the dealer know that you are doubling down.

Split pairs

It is possible to receive a hand consisting of pairs. When that happens, it can be the perfect time to split them apart. Doing so will give you two hands in total, and your wager will also double. As for its hand signal, place an equal amount of chips beside the initial bet, then create a V-shape with your fingers. When the dealer sees this, they will give you one additional card for each of your hands.

Hand signals for Face Down Blackjack

The goal and premise in Face Down Blackjack are the same as the classic variation. However, the difference between the two lies in the card placement on the table. For this variation, the dealer hands out the cards face down to all the players. Having this said, there are a different set of hand movements that you need to learn, and they are as follows:


Hit has the same meaning for the face-down version, but the hand signal is different from the classic one. You need to scrape your cards on the table to show the dealer that you are requesting another card. 


Standing in Face Down Blackjack also means the same as in its classic variation. To signal this action, you need to slide your cards underneath your chips. 

Double down

The action and hand signal of doubling down are the same for both classic and face down blackjack. Although for the latter, you will need to turn your cards over first before adding new chips and pointing at them to signify that you are doubling down.

Split pairs

The meaning and hand signal of split pairs remain the same for the two variations. However, for Face Down Blackjack, you need to turn your cards over on the table.

The action of surrendering

It is sometimes inevitable to receive a hand that has no hope for winning. When this happens to you, your best course of action is to surrender. For both Classic and Face Down Blackjack, you need to draw a horizontal line using your index finger behind your stack of chips. At the same time, you also need to verbally announce that you are surrendering.

To know when to surrender, here are some scenarios to guide you: 

  • Surrender 14, 15 or 16 when the dealer has a face card of 10
  • Surrender 5, 6, 7, 12,13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 when the dealer has an ace
  • Surrender hard 4 when the dealer hits a soft 17
  • Surrender a pair of 7 or 8 when the dealer has a face card of 10
  • Surrender a pair of 3, 6, 7 or 8 when the dealer has an ace.

Blackjack etiquette: Do’s and don’ts

Now that you know the different casino blackjack hand signals, it is best if you also delve into the etiquette of this table game. Knowing this will help you have an idea of what you should and shouldn’t do while playing.

Signal instead of saying your action

With the number of hand signals, it is best to use them so the round can go faster. Saying your action can delay the flow and distract other players. Additionally, the dealer may not hear what you are saying. 

Avoid using the phone while playing

Any casino game requires your full attention, especially when you are playing with other people. Since other players are present, you need to be considerate by not using your phone while playing. This can disrupt the game because of the unnecessary sounds of your phone and the movements you do. 

Avoid holding your cards with two hands

Always hold your cards with one hand only so you won’t be mistaken for switching them. 

Never remove the cards from the table

All playing cards should always be seen by the dealer, other players and security cameras. Removing it can be considered cheating or disruption to the game. 

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