Blackjack Dealer Terms & Hand Signs

Blackjack is the undisputed table gaming champion. It may not produce the revenues it once did in the US, but thanks to online casinos and crypto wagering, it remains a popular gambling choice for all age groups. And, for those wishing to hunt for blackjack-produced riches at brick-and-mortar spots, here are some elements of casino culture to remember.

Dealer Terms

For any gambling game to function and move at a decent rate with multiple people wagering simultaneously, it must develop a catalog of phrases unique to its circumstances/rules that will propel things along at a good clip. The ten most renowned ones related to blackjack get detailed below. 


Here is likely the most famous term in the entire blackjack vocabulary. It is a casino subculture slang that signifies that a gambler is demanding another card from the dealer that will add to his hand total en route to attaining a twenty-one combo or a number closest to this one without surpassing it.


To stand in blackjack means that a player is happy with his current hand or is not interested in risking busting, so he does not wish to get any more cards from his dealer.


Doubling is just duplicating one’s initial bet and receiving one more card. Hence, when someone doubles down, they perform a request that leads to the described action.


Splitting is when a gambler gets two identical cards in one hand, and he has the choice, at specific tables with a split rule, to divide them into two different hands, making an additional wager.


Surrendering is a nifty stipulation, an option that some blackjack games provide, where a player can forfeit his hand, which will supply him with half of his initial/ante wager back as a consolation. Note that early and late surrender exist. The latter requires that gamblers wait to check and see if the dealer has gotten dealt a natural blackjack first.


When someone’s hand total exceeds twenty-one, they have busted, resulting in them automatically losing their stake.


When nobody wins or loses in blackjack, that is a push. It usually happens when the player and the dealer’s hand have the same value, which is when a tie gets called. Or it can also occur at some tables when the dealer draws twenty-two.


Blackjack insurance is a side wager for gamblers when the dealer’s up-card is an ace. It bears this name because it acts as insurance against a potential blackjack from the dealer if he draws a follow-up ten-value card. Many veterans call it a sucker bet, ranking it as one that should not factor into any blackjack money management scheme and always get avoided at all costs.

Soft Hand

Soft hands are ones holding an ace that can be counted as a one or an eleven, depending on which one is more favorable.

Hard Hand

A hand with no ace gets considered a hard one.

Hand Signs

Since most experienced high-stakes blackjack fanatics like to play quickly and with as little chit-chat as possible, a more-or-less widely accepted arsenal of hand signals have gotten adopted at twenty-one tables to facilitate speedy and conversation-less betting action.


Often, asking for an extra card, meaning to hit, entails players tapping the cards in front of them. Alternatively, they do a little wave of the hand towards themselves to tell the dealer to supply an additional card.


Sliding cards under chips indicates that a player is happy with what they are holding. And they do not want any more cards. Also, a stop-hand gesture does the same job.

Double Down

How does one signal a double-down? Well, the most common way is by placing an additional wager next to the initial one and pointing one finger downwards.


To trigger a blackjack hand split. Gamblers often add an extra bet equal to their ante and make a two-finger downward pointing gesture, whose goal is to tell the dealer they are splitting.


To receive half of their ante back through a forfeit called a surrender, players, with their fingers, draw an imaginary line behind their cards. That is the universal surrender cue.

To Wrap Up

If someone wishes to go to a land-based venue to gamble at tables that offer twenty-one entertainment, knowledge of the above-discussed terms and hand signals is mandatory if one does not wish to appear as a newbie. These are aspects of the casino subculture that all experienced gamblers know, and if a person wishes not to stand out on a gaming floor, they also must have them in their arsenal. If someone is trying to remember them, then it is best for those individuals to stick to playing online. That is possible at hundreds of premium platforms that offer gaming services remotely, which are wonders of modern technology.



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