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Dealer Tells in Blackjack Game

24 Apr 2008

The name of the article might be a little confusing, unless you are a poker player. In a game of poker, a “tell” is a gesture or expression, exhibited subconscioussly, that tells the information about the hand the player has. In Blackjack for instance, dealer tells exist only for a dealer. Of course, dealer tells may only be used in a typical Blackjack game with a live dealer.

Some players may say that dealer tells never work, it’s probably because they didn’t use them properly. If you learn to pick up and understand the meaning of dealer tells you could increase your winning chances.

Dealer reveals hole card

This is probably one of the most wide-spread dealer tells, when dealer accidently reveals the hole card. To understand what might dealer’s particular look mean in a particular situation read the rubric below.

All the casino dealers are taught to avoid dealer tells, still some of them do have tells. First thing you should do is watch the particular dealer in action. This may help you notice that some gestures do tell, and some do not.

If the dealer’s hole card is a stiff card (2, 3, 4, 5, or 6), he may need a little more time to make sure it’s not an Ace, and maybe even to lift it up a bit higher.

On the other hand, all the painted cards (face cards) need just a second to be recognised. So, if you noticed a very short pick, there’s a great chance that the hole card is a face card or one that is higher than 6.

You may find more information on blackjack dealer tells in a book Read the Dealer, by Steve Forte. It is an intensive study on how to win in Blackjack with the help of applied psychology. Steve Forte describes how to read dealer tells, find dealer tells, create dealer tells and even force dealer tells. In this book you will find how to reveal the value of the dealer’s hand by observing subtle physical mannerisms.

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Mitch Hedberg
I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle