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Blackjack Dealer Tells

Read The Dealer

Blackjack "tells" are subconscious gestures or expressions that people might make without knowing it. In this section you will find information to help you learn to try to pick up on dealer tells, which are gestures and expressions a blackjack dealer might make without knowing about it. If you can learn to spot black jack dealer tells, you can increase your edge in blackjack.

Do Dealer Tells Really Work?

Yes. When discussing dealer tells, some players will often discredit tells because they have never used them or they have never before noticed them. However, dealer tells can in fact greatly help benefit your game if you learn to use them correctly.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to dealer tells is that not all dealers will show expressive tells. You might play several different tables before finding a blackjack table with a dealer that has noticeable tells. The next section will show specific blackjack dealer tells and explain their importance and how they can benefit you.

Dealer Reveals Hole Card

One of the most common types of dealer tells is the that the dealer accidentally reveals his hole (under) card. This is a common tell and has a few different variations which are explained below. To master this tell you must carefully watch how long the dealer glances at the hole card and at what type of angle he bends the card at to be able to clearly see his under card before continuing game play. The two common forms of this blackjack tell are listed below.

Dealer Has a Stiff Card

If the dealer has a small stiff card such as a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, in the hole, he might be required to lift the card slightly more than usual to make sure the card isn't an Ace. The most difficult of these cards for the dealer to see is the 4. Even experienced dealers will be forced to lift the card once or twice when holding a 4.

Dealer Has a Paint Card

We derive the next most common dealer tell from the previous tell. Dealers can generally spot face cards quickly. If you ever see a dealer take an extremely brief glance at the under card that seems quicker than the standard peek, there is a good chance he's holding a paint card or a card larger than a 6.

Steve Forte

If you're looking for additional information on blackjack dealer tells, you should find a copy of Read the Dealer, by Steve Forte. This book is the first intensive study on how to beat blackjack through applied psychology. In this book, the author describes how to find tells, create tells, and even force tells. The book teaches how to gauge the strength of a dealer's hand by carefully observing subtle physical mannerisms.

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