Blackjack Hand Signals & Etiquette

She is also required to stand on any hand with a point value of 18 or higher. You just click on buttons labeled "hit", "stand", etc. Stand — Gently slide your cards under your chips. The dealer also has to hit on a soft 17 and a blackjack hand tops any other hand of It's also a lot of fun and offers some of the best odds in any casino. On hand 2, he gets dealt a nine for his additional card.

…and Hand Signals

Know the Rules…

While the casino environment is highly entertaining, we are dealing with real money and real people, and real money and real people need real rules. Casinos go to the utmost lengths to maintain control and ensure security. Most dealers and other players are helpful in providing instructions should you forget a particular hand signal or misunderstand a rule, for example. However, needing constant help and reminders on how to play can unfairly slow down the game.

Other players may become impatient of such inexperience, and the dealer has more important things to worry about than constantly teaching someone the rules they should already know. So brush up on the everything you need to know before hitting the tables.

Each signal varies depending on whether the blackjack game played is face-up or face-down, but all are easy to remember:. If you are dealt a matching pair, it is important to make your intentions clear, because you may wish to double or split; so hand signals are quite useful. Having said that, you still need to verbalise what you intend to do.

If might sounds obvious, but make sure you know whether you are playing a face up or face down game of 21 prior to commencing, in order to avoid any confusion. The dealer is there to handle the game on behalf of the casino. Friendly banter and conversation is fine, but you should always remain mindful of their primary role as a dealer, and be respectful when playing at their table. They may provide you with an insightful answer, they might give you a vague answer, or they may refuse to offer any advice at all.

Whatever they choose to do, chances are they will be polite about it, so you should too. I have witnessed a few players express strong frustration with a poor hand, displeased at the dealer and expecting some sort of favour. Your hand is your hand and nothing can be done to change the cards dealt, so enjoy the game and make your next decision based on careful thinking.

Most casinos allow you to bet behind a player back betting. If they win, your bet also wins, and the same goes for a loss. Drunken behaviour will turn other players away from a table and is almost guaranteed to get you escorted.

If your casino serves drinks on the floor, be respectful of other players and decide on what drinks you want in between hands. For example, casinos usually pay 3 to 2 for a "blackjack", but sometimes they only pay 6 to 5 or worse still even money.

In any of those cases, this payoff is posted at the table. The betting limits are also posted at the table, along with what rules the dealer has to follow while playing. Casino blackjack games use chips to bet with.

You buy those from the dealer. In order to play, you place your chips your bet in the appropriate circle on the table. Even though you're playing at a table with multiple other gamblers, you're only playing against the dealer. The other players' outcomes have no effect on your hand. It's not an "us versus them" game, either. You have no opportunity to "team up" with the other players in order to beat the dealer. Your goal is to get a point total that's greater than the dealer's, but if you get a point total of 22 or greater, you automatically lose.

This is called "going bust" or "busting". The point totals for a hand are determined by the cards' ranks.

An ace is worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on which is better for your hand. All of the face cards the jack, queen, and king are worth 10 points each. And all of the other cards are worth their rank—for example, a two of spades is worth 2 points, a three of hearts is worth 3 points, and so on.

Suits don't matter for this calculation. A round starts when the players place their bets. The dealer gives each player and herself two cards. The dealer gets one card face up and the other card face down. The face down card is called the dealer's "hole card". If a player gets an ace along with a 10 on his first two cards, then he has a "blackjack" or a "natural".

If the dealer and the player both have blackjacks, you have a "push", in which case the player gets his bet back but no winnings.

The dealer checks for blackjack before any additional action. If she has a blackjack, then all the players at the table who don't have blackjack automatically lose. They don't even get a chance to play their hands. But most of the time, the players will have decisions to make about their hands. Players make all their decisions before the dealer, and players can make any decisions they like.

The dealer's decisions come after the players have all acted, and the dealer has no latitude in deciding how to play her hand. She has to follow the rules for playing her hand set by the house. The players act one at a time, starting with the first player to the dealer's left. Players have the following options.

This is a side bet that's only available if the dealer has an ace showing. The bet is the same size as your original bet. If the dealer has a 10 in the hole, you get paid even money on this bet and lose your original bet. If the dealer doesn't have a 10 in the hole, you lose your insurance bet and play the rest of the hand normally.

This gives you the option of just giving up half your bet and keeping half your bet. You don't have to play out the rest of the hand. Different casinos have different rules about when and if surrender is available. If you're dealt two cards with the same point value, you can split your hand into two hands by placing a 2nd bet of the same size as your initial bet.

Each of the 2 cards you have become the first card in two new hands. You could split a king and a jack, for example, even though they're not the same rank. They have the same point value. This is an option to double the size of your bet and take one—and only one—additional card.

To hit a blackjack hand means to take an additional card and increase your point total by the corresponding amount. To stand means to refuse to take any additional cards and move forward with the total you have. The dealer doesn't act until all the players have finished. Any player who busts during his turn loses his bet immediately. When all the players have finished their actions, the dealer flips over her hole card and plays her hand according to the casino's rules.

The dealer is required to take additional cards on any hand with a point value of 16 or below. She is also required to stand on any hand with a point value of 18 or higher. But if she has a total of 17, she has to make an additional distinction—is she playing a soft hand or a hard hand? A soft hand is a hand with an ace in it. A soft 17, for example, might be an ace with a six or an ace with a four and a three. A hard hand is a hand without an ace in it or a hand where the ace has to count as 1 to avoid going bust.

In some casinos, and indeed, at some different tables in the same casino, the rules for whether or not a dealer hits a soft 17 differ.

At some casinos and tables, she's required to hit. At others, she's required to stand. This is one of the rules variations that's always posted at the blackjack table. If the dealer winds up with a hand that busts, any player still in action wins even money.

If the dealer winds up with any other total, she wins the player's money if she has a higher total. If she has a lower total, the player wins. Ties result in a push—the player gets his bet back but no additional winnings.

How you handle the cards and signal the dealer vary according to whether or not you're playing in a game with a shoe. In single deck games, the dealer holds the deck in her hands. You receive both your cards face down and hold them in your hand. In multiple deck games, the dealer keeps the cards in a shoe.

You receive both your cards face up, and you're not allowed to touch them.

Gameplay and Decisions