Understanding hand gestures in blackjack

If you’ve ever played blackjack before, you’ll likely know that there are many different ways to win. There are side bets, insurance and even various styles of play! However, did you know that there are hand gestures in blackjack too?

In this guide, we’ll take you through what the different blackjack hand signals are, and why you might use them. Additionally, we’ll explain why using these signals has grown so common in casinos around the world.

What are the hand gestures in blackjack?

The different hand gestures in blackjack help you signal which moves you’d like to make in the game. For example, you can gesture when to hit, when to stand, surrender, split or double down.

Blackjack hand motions are useful when you want to play the game efficiently. It’s also a great way to avoid any miscommunication.

For example, you may play blackjack at a casino where you and the dealer speak different languages! These hand signals are universal, meaning most table dealers will understand what you’d like to do.

Blackjack hand gestures and signals

Here’s a really simple breakdown of the different hand signals and gestures, and what they all mean:

Cards PositionHand SignalMeaning
Facing UpOne finger tapping behind the hand of cards‘Hit’ – you want your dealer to draw another card
Facing UpWave a hand sideways above your cards‘Stand’ – you want your dealer to stop drawing cards
Facing UpLay two new, touching chips and point to them‘Double Down’ – you want to double your bet but not hit
Facing UpLay two, new touching chips and splay two fingers‘Split’ – you want the dealer to split your two cards into two new hands
Facing UpDraw a line, or cut, under your hand of cards‘Surrender’ – you want to surrender your hand, or give up and recover half your bet
Facing DownScrape the table with the cards in your hand twice‘Hit’ – you want your dealer to draw another card
Facing DownSlide your face down cards under your chips‘Stand’ – you want your dealer to stop drawing cards
Facing DownTurn cards over, add a bet and hold up one finger‘Double Down’ – you want to double your bet but not hit
Facing DownTurn cards over, add a bet and hold up two fingers‘Split’ – you want the dealer to split your two cards into two new hands
Facing DownDraw a line from left to right over your cards‘Surrender’ – you want to surrender your hand, or give up and recover half your bet

You won’t be able to touch your cards if they’re face up. You can only touch them if they’re yours and they’re facing down. Never use more than one hand to signal either!

When playing blackjack online, these rules won’t come into play in either live or emulated games. However, as VR casinos start becoming more popular, you may need to start using gestures from home.

How do you signal surrender in blackjack?

To signal surrender in blackjack, you need to draw a short line under your cards, with your finger. This applies when the cards are face up and tells the dealer that you want to halve the bet and give up.

When the cards are facing down, draw a similar line from left to right, but over your cards. As mentioned, you’ll normally be permitted to touch your cards when they are facing down.

In many cases, players choose to surrender verbally instead of with a gesture. This is because they’re effectively ending their bet. Then, there’s no confusion as to whether they’re hitting, splitting or standing.

It’s not always a good idea to surrender. When learning how to play blackjack, try to memorize some of the math and probability. If you know what your biggest chance of winning a hand may be, there may not be a need for you to surrender!

In online blackjack, you can simply tap or click ‘surrender’ if the option is available in the version you are playing. There’s no need for gestures just yet!

Make sure to check out our full guide to surrendering in blackjack if you’d like to learn more.

What is the hand signal for double down in blackjack?

To double down in blackjack, you’ll need to lay two touching chips and point if your cards are face up. If they’re face down, you’ll need to turn over the cards, add a bet and raise a finger.

It’s important to remember the difference between splitting and doubling down when using gestures. The main difference is that doubling down uses one finger, while splitting uses two. Both gestures use chips, which is where some confusion may arise.

Don’t get the two confused! Splitting will lead to the dealer creating two new hands and doubling down will double your bet. Also remember the difference between face up and down signalling to avoid any confusion at the table.

What does tapping the table mean in blackjack?

Tapping the table usually means you want your dealer to hit to reveal a new card. You’ll do this when you want to increase your total. For example, if you have an ace and a 5, you may tap the table in the hope of drawing a 5 to make blackjack.

Again, as with doubling down, splitting and surrendering, you must be careful with tapping gestures. Pointing alone can indicate you want to double your bet. If you use two fingers, you may accidentally split your hand in two.

You’ll only need to tap to signal ‘hit’ when the cards are facing up. When they’re facing down, you’ll need to scrape your card hand across the table twice.

It’s important to remember these differences as the gestures may be similar to those you’d use to surrender. This is a very different move — learn the difference or risk disappointment.

Playing blackjack at Resorts Casino

The table dealers at Resorts Casino are well versed in all of blackjack’s many curious hand gestures! Again, when playing online with us, you won’t have to worry about your physical hands. However, make sure to read up on the above if you play a hand or two in person at our brick-and-mortar casino.

Blackjack is a deceptively complex game! While it’s one of the easiest to get into, there are nearly endless ways to play. Learn some of the common hand gestures in blackjack and master a few strategies. You can even try the game for free online.

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC