Actions and Hand Signals in Blackjack Explained

Blackjack Hand Signals, Blackjack Casino Table and Cards

One of the biggest downsides of experiencing blackjack in a real casino compared to online sites is the slow pace. You simply can’t play the same number of hands per hour. The good news is that you can accelerate the tempo by using blackjack hand signals.

They are also required by the casinos, so all actions are actually taped on security cameras in case of a dispute. Most dealers will gladly explain the hand signals in blackjack if you don’t know them.

If you want to prepare beforehand, this post can teach you how to indicate actions for the main blackjack variations. I’ve also added tips for other general rules to help you feel comfortable in the casino.

Hand Signals in Classic Blackjack

There are plenty of blackjack variations based on rules. In most of them, your starting cards will be face-up on the table. The dealer’s hand will include one card that’s face up and another that’s face down.

If you’re playing this version of the game, you should use the following blackjack hand signals to indicate your actions.

  • Hit – Tap the table with your finger if you want the dealer to give you another card. That’s the most common signal for hitting.
  • Stand – If you’re content with your hand and you don’t want more cards, you should simply wave your hand over the cards you already have.
  • Double Down – If you want to double the stakes, just take the required number of chips, and put them next to your initial wager. Point with one finger, but make sure the extra chips are outside the betting box.
  • Split Pair – If you’ve been dealt a pair and you want to split it, the blackjack hand signal would be to once again place chips for a second stake and use two fingers to show a V shape. That last part is essential to avoid any misunderstandings.

I’ve been asked about the blackjack surrender hand signal because this option is available for many versions of the game. There’s no universal action or gesture for that action, as far as I know.


If surrender is offered at the table and you want to take advantage of the opportunity, simply tell that to the croupier.

The blackjack hand signals above cover most tables in land-based casinos. They apply to all versions of the game in which you receive your cards face up, including double exposure blackjack in some places.

In this version of the game, your starting two cards are again both face-up on the table, but the same applies to the dealer’s hand.

There’s one blackjack type that comes with different hand signals, though, so let’s take a closer look.

Face Down Blackjack Hand Signals

If you’re playing a face-down blackjack game, your cards will both be face down on the table. You have to check your hand on your own, and many players like that variation.

A lot of land-based casinos are more than happy to offer it, too, because it makes card counting tougher.

Further Info:

The core rules remain similar, and the same applies to the actions. However, the hand signals in face-down blackjack are different.

Let’s take a look.

  • Hit – Scrape the table if you want another card in face-down blackjack.
  • Stand – Move your cards underneath your chips to indicate you don’t want more cards. It’s important not to move your chips in that blackjack hand signal.
  • Double Down – To double your wager, turn your cards face up and put a second bet on the table. Then hold one finger up to show the dealer you want to double down.
  • Split Pair – Splitting pairs in face-down blackjack is similar to doubling down. You should repeat the same process, but show hold two fingers up on the last step.

Now that you know how to request a certain action using blackjack hand signals let’s take a look at other common actions at the tables.

Other Blackjack Actions in the Casino

When you’re at a live casino, there are other things you’ll need to do while playing blackjack. You might need to get more chips, for example.

It’s important to know how to perform such actions properly by following proper casino and blackjack etiquette.

Let’s take a look at some common dos and don’ts for live blackjack.

  • You’re not allowed to touch cards dealt face up under any circumstances.
  • You can touch cards dealt face down if they’re yours, but you have to use one hand only.
  • Don’t try to change or remove your wagers after the new hand has started.
  • If you want to buy more chips, wait for the hand to finish and prepare the money, so you can get them before the next one starts.
  • Don’t give the money straight to the dealer when buying chips. Leave them on the table, so he can count them and give you the chips.
  • If you want to split or double, always place the chips for the new wager next to your initial bet, not on top of it.
  • Don’t ever remove cards from the table when playing blackjack.
  • Don’t touch the chips you’ve wagered after the hand has started.
  • You can ask the dealer for advice during the hand.

That pretty much covers the main blackjack guidelines for live gambling. Of course, you should also stick to the universal casino etiquette tips for the best experience.

Playing Blackjack Online

If the whole thing with blackjack hand signals and gestures seems too complicated, you can always try the best online casinos for blackjack instead. You will see nice and shiny buttons on your screen for every action, so there’s no way to get it wrong.

You can also expect generous bonuses and comps, as well as much lower minimum wagers. You can even try their blackjack tables with live dealers for the best of both worlds!

Petko Stoyanov
Get in touch with Petko
About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.