Basic Moves in Blackjack
Learn what blackjack moves to make and when, with Mr Blackjack’s guide to the basic gameplay. This video covers when to hit, stand, surrender, split, and double down.
There may be only three basic moves to learn in blackjack, but they give you plenty of opportunity to strategize and win jackpots from the casino.
The three basic moves are hit, stand, and surrender. You will always have these three options in blackjack. Technically, players have five moves if you include split and double down, but we'll get to those more complex moves later.
Now, you can only begin to move in blackjack when the dealer comes around to your turn.
If you're happy with the value of your hand and you don't want any more cards, you can 'stand'.
To do this, you signal to the dealer by waving your hand over the table so the camera can see you no longer wish to receive any more cards. Each move in blackjack has a universal hand signal. So whether you're playing 21 in Vegas or Macau, the dealer will know exactly what you want to do.
It still helps if you verbalize your intention as well as the hand movement though, so your intention gets across clearly.
Now, let's say your hand value is low and you need another card. This is called a 'hit'. If you wish to receive another card you tap the table with your hand or finger to indicate you wish to receive another card.
The final basic move is surrender. This happens when you have a terrible hand and you don’t see yourself winning, or the odds are not in your favor. You can simply tell the dealer that you wish to surrender verbally.
Now for the fun moves: double down and split.
When you want to double down on your original bet, slide the same amount of chips next to your current bet and indicate to the dealer verbally that you wish to double.
When you want to split two cards of equal value into two new hands you simply slide over the same bet without touching your initial bet, and indicate to the dealer that you wish to split. You do that by splitting your index and middle finger to indicate splitting, like this.
It’s important that you do this, especially when both your cards are 5s. That hand could either be a double or a split so it’s important to gesture and verbalize your intentions
So you know the basic moves in blackjack, but do you know about the special rules in the game? Watch our next video to find out.
What this lesson covers
- What moves you can make in blackjack
- The hand signals for each move
- When to stand, hit, surrender, double down, & split
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
- What if the dealer misinterprets my hand signal?
You can correct them verbally. If you discover the error has been made while the game has continued on playing, ask the dealer or pit boss to check the video coverage of the game. If the mistake has been made, they will correct it.
- When should you surrender in blackjack?
Season two (basic strategy) of Blackjack Academy covers the optimal moment to play each move, including surrender. Alternatively, our guide to blackjack basic strategy gives detailed explanations of when to make each move depending on the dealer’s up-card.
- What is ‘folding’ in blackjack?
To fold is to drop out of a hand and forfeit your wager. Players generally say this when they have busted or have been dealt a poor hand.
- Do casinos allow players to make all these moves in blackjack?**
Yes, although many will add restrictions on the number of times you can make certain moves on one hand. For instance, some casinos will prohibit players from splitting a hand more than three times. Lesson six of season one (Special Rules in Blackjack) discusses these restrictions in more detail.
- When should I stand in blackjack?
Players new to blackjack should generally remember to stand on hands worth 17 or more. This gives you a decent chance of beating the dealer.
- How can I make hand signals in online blackjack games?
In online blackjack, you don’t need to make any hand signals. The game will offer you moves based on your hand, and you simply click on the one you want to make.
- What if I make a mistake? Can I revert my decision?
Once you verbalize and signal your intention, the dealer will finish playing your hand. You cannot revert your decision if you change your mind or accidently make the wrong signal.