Blackjack is a wildly popular casino game and attracts millions of people to the tables each day. When looking for the best crypto casino, players usually check to see whether the game is offered. Not only is it extremely fun to play, but the rules are straightforward to learn, and you can master strategies reasonably quickly.
Having a thorough understanding of the game before starting your gambling session is so important. This includes knowing the appropriate blackjack hand signals when playing. Hand signals are used in a traditional setting at physical casinos, but every player needs to know what they are as some crypto casinos mimic these actions during live and online games.
Start With Blackjack Basics
The casino card game of blackjack can be described as a banking game. This is because each player at the Blackjack table plays against the banker, which in most cases is the dealer. Players do not play against each other, irrespective of the variation you choose to play.
Gameplay is with one or more standard decks of cards, where each deck contains 52 cards without Jokers. We’re talking four different suits with 13 cards in each of these suits. Suits don’t affect the outcome of the game, as you only need to accumulate scores.
The most common types of blackjack use multiple decks in both crypto and traditional casinos. In cases where your table uses one deck of cards, the dealer usually shuffles that deck manually.
Where multiple decks are used, the dealer uses a machine referred to as a shoe. This machine automatically shuffles all the decks of cards.
Betting and Outcomes Explained
Blackjack tables have betting limits that are usually displayed clearly together with the rules of that specific table. For each round that you play, these are the possible outcomes:
- You could lose, and the dealer takes your bet. You can lose by either busting or having a hand that is worse than the dealer.
- You can win, and the dealer pays your bet out. You win by having a more favorable hand than the dealer.
- You can hit blackjack that counts as a win, typically with a 3 to 2 payout
- You can tie the dealer, referred to as a push. In cases like this, you retain your bet but don’t qualify for winnings.
Conditions and Points
While you may have other gamblers playing with you at the table, you are only competing against the dealer. Therefore, the other players’ hands will have no consequence on your results.
In the same light, you cannot team up with other players and play as a collective against the dealer.
The overarching aim in blackjack is to get your cards to total 21, or a total higher than the dealer. This is provided that their total was below 21.
If your total goes over 21, it is an automatic loss and you go bust for that round. Your points total for every hand is calculated according to the ranking of the cards that you received.
An ace can be taken as one or 11, depending on which value is more favorable for your round. Any face card, such as a Jack, Queen, or King, is valued at 10.
All other cards in the deck are valued at their numeric. Suits don’t play a factor in these calculations.
Gameplay and Decision-Making Strategy
Once all active players have placed their bets, the round then starts with the dealer giving each player, including themself, two cards.
The dealer’s cards will be one card face up and the second card face down, while all players’ cards will be face up. The dealer’s card that is face down is referred to as the hole card.
Say the dealer deals a player an Ace and 10-valued card in the first two cards – this is a blackjack and automatic win. It’s is the ideal combination when playing the game.
If both you and the dealer get blackjack simultaneously, it is a tied round, known as a push. In the case of a push, your original bet is returned to you without any winnings.
If a dealer is dealt a blackjack and all other players at the table have no chance of getting a blackjack themselves, the dealer then wins that round. All other players lose and will not have an opportunity to play additional hands for that round.
More often than not, however, the players will have a chance to decide on the fate of their next hands.
The dynamics of the game allow all players at the table to make their decisions before the dealer flips the hole card. The dealer is obliged to follow the rules of that specific table, with each player acting in sequence when making their decisions, starting with the players to the dealer’s left.
Blackjack Hand Signals During Gameplay
There are some common actions that gamblers take during their gameplay. Some may choose to express these actions by using blackjack hand signals.
The way a player holds their cards or signs to the dealer depends on whether the game variation uses a single deck of cards with manual shuffling or multiple decks shuffled through a shoe.
For single-deck variations, the dealer holds the deck, and each player receives their two-card face down. The players can then pick up those cards and hold them.
When it comes to multiple deck, all the cards are kept in the shoe, which then automatically shuffles them. Players receive their cards face-up and are not allowed to touch them.
There are common instances at the blackjack table where players can just tell the dealer what they would like to do.
For example, if a player wants another card, they can just say “Hit” or “Hit Me,” which is understood in blackjack circles. Similarly, if a player doesn’t need any more cards, they can just say “Stand,” which means that they would like to back off from getting more cards.
Seasoned professionals, however, like to use blackjack hand signals to communicate at the table. The signals you use vary depending on whether you play a single or multiple deck blackjack variation.
Hit or Stand
When playing the single deck variation, you can hold the cards in your hands. If you need to hit, you can scrap your cards gently on the table in a stroking motion. If you need to stand, you merely place your cards face down underneath your chip stack.
For multiple deck variations, your cards will be in front of you faced up. You cannot touch those cards, so you can point at your cards with your finger or palm if you need to hit. If you need to stand, you can wave your hand or palm over the cards as a sign of refusal.
If your hand goes bust in a face-down blackjack variation, just lay down your cards face up next to your bet. As tempting as it sounds to throw your cards in disgust, that is not good casino etiquette.
Taking insurance is actually a side bet that players take when a dealer has an Ace as the up card.
The bet size of the insurance is the same size as the original bet. If the dealer happens to have a 10-valued card in the hole, a player will get even money on that bet, although they will lose their original bet.
Say the dealer does not have a 10-valued card in the hole; they will lose that insurance bet and continue with the rest of that specific round as usual.
With this option, players may surrender half their bet to the dealer and keep the other half. This is usually the case when the dealer has a solid hand, and a player has a relatively weak one.
In these circumstances, the player is not obliged to play out the entire hand and will just surrender. Different casinos and different variations of blackjack all have specific rules when it comes to surrendering.
There is no standard in blackjack hand signals if you want to surrender your hand. But if a gambler wants to surrender, they may place a finger above the table then draw an imaginary horizontal line from their cards to the dealer’s cards.
At the same time, it is crucial to verbally state your intentions of surrendering so that the dealer has clarity on the next steps.
Say you’re dealt two cards with the same points value; you are entitled to split that hand into two separate hands, with each bet being the same as the original bet size.
Each of those first two cards is now considered to be part of two new hands.
It is possible to split two picture cards even if they don’t match, i.e., King and Jack, since they hold the same point value of 10.
In variations where your cards are received face up, if you want to split your cards, you need to state your intentions and place another stack of chips of equal value next to your initial bet at the table. These two stacks of chips must be slightly further apart than you would when requesting to double down.
The blackjack hand signals for a split (which applies to both face down and face up game variations), is to lift your index and middle fingers in the shape of a ‘V.’ This signifies two different hands.
Players do have the option to double their bet size and take only one additional card. This usually happens when a player has a high first card and hopes to score a high second card to maximize his/her total. This can be very effective and profitable if you have the right cards falling into place.
In game variations where your cards are received face up, if you want to double down, start by stating your intentions. Then place another stack of chips equal to your original bet next to it at the table.
If you also want to use the blackjack hand signals, hold your first finger up, so the dealer knows that you only want one more card.
When a player chooses to stand, it essentially means they no longer wish to take any more cards for that specific round. They are happy with the total they have got and want to wait for the dealer to reveal their cards.
At this point, the dealer will continue dealing to the other players at the table until all are satisfied and waiting for the reveal.
After that, the dealer reveals the hole card and then proceeds further into the game, if necessary. If the dealer’s two cards total to under 16, they must draw more cards until they are above 17.
The dealer is also obliged to stand on any hand with a point’s value of 18 or higher. If the dealer draws 17 in total, that dealer must use his/her discretion depending on whether the hand is hard or soft.
A soft hand includes an Ace with dual value so that the dealer can draw additional cards safely.
A hard hand won’t contain an Ace, or the Ace can only count as 1, so the actual value of the hand is already determined.
Rules regarding soft hands differ amongst the different casinos and variations of the game. They are sometimes required to hit or stand, so those rules can impact the game’s flow.
If the dealer goes bust on their hand, all active players at the table will win that round.
If the dealer has 21 or under and is higher than the players’ totals, the dealer will win that round.
Should the dealer’s total be lower, the players with higher totals than the dealer will win.
A tie is a push bet where the original bet size is returned to each player.
The Bottom Line
While incorporating blackjack hand signals can be pretty fun when playing, you might not have the opportunity to use it at a crypto casino. Crypto and online casinos already have the buttons on the blackjack dashboard to replace those signals, so a click of a button will do.
Make sure to visit BC.Game’s blog to pick up some strategy before heading off to the tables. Good luck!