Blackjack Hand Signals | Knowing Blackjack Etiquette

Even though blackjack rules are the same whether you play the game in a land-based or online casino, the experience is quite different. When playing blackjack online, you don’t have that many distractions you normally encounter in a brick-and-mortar casino. It’s also far less noisy. Therefore, it’s important to use specific hand signals to indicate your move. If you’re new to the game, hand signals might be confusing. That’s why we’ll tell you all about blackjack hand signals to help you familiarize yourself with blackjack etiquette.

Hand Signals in Classic Blackjack

The key part of this guide is learning how to use blackjack hand motions correctly without disrupting the gameplay. It might not seem complicated at first, but they are quite basic. Each one can be mastered with just a little practice.

In addition, there are variations in hand signaling based on the blackjack type. For example, face-up blackjack and face-down blackjack involve different hand signals. Below, you’ll find a brief explanation of each signal in blackjack.


Hitting means asking for more cards. Generally, index fingers are used when tapping. Nevertheless, some casinos accept both index and middle fingers for tapping.There are different signals for hitting in face-up and face-down blackjack:

  • In face-down blackjack, you scrape the table to indicate that you would like another card;
  • In face-up blackjack, however, you tap on the table or simply point at your cards.


As opposed to hitting, standing means you are happy with the hand you’re dealt and don’t want more cards. Your round has now effectively ended, and all that remains is to see the dealer’s hand.

Face-up and face-down blackjack games have different signals for standing:

  • In face-down, move your cards underneath the chips, but be careful not to move the chips;
  • In face-up blackjack, wave your hand over your chips to indicate you want to stand, which is more simple.

Double Down

Doubling down in blackjack means that you want to double your bet in the middle of a hand. In that case, you’ll get another card. Blackjack signals are the same whether you play face-up or face-down blackjack—just put extra chips next to your initial bet.


You’ll sometimes receive two identical cards in a blackjack hand. When this happens, you can choose to split the hand into two separate hands and place two separate wagers on each. Splitting a hand requires an additional bet equal to your initial bet. Each hand gets one more card after the cards have been split.

The same signal for splitting is used in face-up and face-down blackjack. Simply hold up your index finger and middle finger to create a V shape.


Use the blackjack surrender hand signal after seeing your first two cards and the dealer’s up-card if you believe that you have less than a 50% chance of winning. Surrendering allows you to keep half of your initial stake instead of losing it all.

In blackjack games where the cards are dealt out of the shoe, the hand signal for surrender is to draw a line on the table behind your bet using your index finger. You can also verbally announce that you intend to surrender.

Procedures for surrender may differ in handheld games, so you might want to check with the dealer about the proper etiquette before playing.


Some blackjack variants allow you to purchase insurance. In this case, you can place a side bet if the dealer’s up-card is an ace. You can do that to protect half of your initial bet. There’s no specific hand gesture in this case, so you can verbally signal to the dealer that you want to buy insurance. You can read here why experienced players have mixed feelings about Blackjack insurance.

Why Use Blackjack Hand Signals?

In blackjack, hand signals aren’t only the way for you to look cooler at the table. They serve the purpose of making your intentions clear.

That’s why universal blackjack signals are developed to make communication easier. Listed below are some reasons why using signals is so important.

Ensuring Fairness in the Blackjack Game

While playing, gestures show the dealer your intentions and eliminate the possibility of foul play.

Furthermore, most casinos have security cameras positioned above the tables to determine if a player is cheating.

Ensuring the Interests of Both Players and Casinos Are Protected

In land-based casinos, for instance, blackjack hand signals are required in case any dispute arises. Most dealers explain the signals to new players.

Speeding Up the Game

It’s necessary to use proper signals to maintain the rhythm of the game. Once players become accustomed to different signals, the game becomes faster. Blackjack signals enable players and dealers to communicate without any disruptions during the game.

Providing Assistance to Novice Players

Blackjack dealers and fellow players can tell if you’re using the hand signals correctly. The more experienced players can step in to help.

Of course, there’s always the option of requesting the blackjack dealer to assist you if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Other Rules and Etiquette for Live Blackjack

Now that we’ve established hand gestures in blackjack, let’s go over some additional rules you need to know.

  • When buying chips, many casino players turn over their money to the dealer instead of putting it on the table. Dealers in Las Vegas casinos aren’t allowed to take the money from your hand. Instead, you should place your money on the table so that the dealer can spread it out, count it, and give you the chips.
  • You shouldn’t hold your cards with two hands. This rule is imposed to prevent players from switching cards.
  • You should refrain from engaging in inappropriate behavior at the table, such as yelling or swearing. Furthermore, giving unsolicited advice to other players is not a smart move.
  • Never remove the cards from the table. Everyone should be able to see your cards at all times.
  • When the dealer announces that there are no more bets, you aren’t allowed to touch your chips until the end of the game.
  • You should never touch your cards when they are dealt face up. If you want to hit or stand, you should use hand gestures to indicate your move.
  • You should always signal your decision instead of verbalizing it. This rule is imposed so that cameras can capture everything that players do at the table.

What Happens If You Forget to Use a Hand Signal?

Hand signals for blackjack may seem confusing if you’re playing live blackjack for the first time. A fear of making a mistake can easily creep in, especially if the game moves quickly.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry if you forget to use a signal — nobody will remove you from the table if you forget to do so. The dealer will take the time to remind you how to play blackjack correctly. Even so, make sure you’re prepared. Practicing hand signals in advance surely helps.

Are Hand Signals Used in Online Blackjack?

If you have ever played live dealer blackjack in a land-based casino, you know that it’s a different experience from playing it online. The software is an intermediary between the dealer and the player, enabling communication via virtual controls and removing the need for hand signals.

However, you can still see the dealer making hand signals to indicate open and close bets. These have more to do with the aesthetics of the game rather than necessity, as all the information will appear on the screen.


That’s all you need to know about the blackjack hand signals at land-based casinos. To learn these signals, you’ll need to practice them before you start playing blackjack. Use this article as a guide, and you’ll master the game in no time.


How do you tell a dealer you want to split in blackjack?

To indicate that you want to split in blackjack, hold up your index and middle finger to create a V shape. It’s one of the classic blackjack hand signals.

What is the hand signal for surrender in blackjack?

The hand signal for surrender in blackjack is drawing a horizontal line behind the bet on the table using an index finger.

What is the hand signal for double in blackjack?

In blackjack, the casino signal to double down is to place an additional bet next to your original bet and then point to your cards. This indicates to the dealer that you want to double your original bet and receive one additional card.