Blackjack Game Guide

What are blackjack dealer 'tells'


What Are Blackjack Dealer 'Tells'? – Reading a Blackjack Dealer

Blackjack dealer ‘tells’ are signs made by the dealer and are followed by the blackjack player in an attempt to predict the cards.

Blackjack dealer tells are subconscious expressions or gestures that blackjack dealers make in the course of a blackjack game. Many blackjack players spend time trying to read the dealer's tells as, if they exist, you can possibly increase your edge in your blackjack game. Dealer tells may vary between dealers, however there are some that appear to be relatively standard.

Do Blackjack Dealer Tells Work?

Blackjack dealer tells do work if you know what you are looking for. Tells are not always there to be found, however. An experienced blackjack dealer is unlikely to show any obvious tells. In fact, at many casinos, the dealers are trained specifically in how not to give away tells. Some are very good at this and some are not. You may have to play at a number of blackjack tables before you find a dealer who is subconsciously giving away tells.

The Dealer Reveals that he has a Hole Card

Most commonly, a blackjack dealer will reveal his hole card. You need to carefully watch how long the dealer looks at his card and at what angle he bends the card in order to be able to clearly see his card before he continues the game. How much effort the dealer needs to put in to see his card and how long he looks at the card are the aspects that you need to focus on. The most common forms of this blackjack tell are whether the dealer has a stiff card or a face card.

The Dealer Reveals that he has a Stiff Card

If the dealer has a small stiff card (the numbers 2 through 6 inclusive) in his hole, he may have to lift his card for longer, bend it up higher or lift it more than once to be sure that the card is not an Ace. These cards can commonly be confused with an Ace with a quick glance. A number 4 card is the most difficult card to see as it is the most easily confused with the Ace. This number card is the most obvious dealer tell to spot.

The Dealer Reveals that he has a Face Card

If the dealer takes a very quick peek at the card in his hole, it is likely to be a large stiff card (a number greater than 7) or, even more likely, a face card. Face cards are the easiest numbers for the dealer to spot quickly and therefore he is likely to spend the least time looking at these cards.

Before you Begin to Play

You should always try to compare dealer glances – if a glance is briefer than the glance before, or longer than the glance before, that will tell you the most. In order to do this successfully, watch the dealer at a table before you join to play. If you spend some time observing the dealer, you may get a feel for his tells before you start to risk your money. This will help to increase your odds at winning.

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