Blackjack Dealer Tells – Blackjack Strategies

October 1st, 2009 Blackjack Systems

Card counting is used in blackjack as a way to beat the house edge which is always against the player. There really is no way to beat a casino’s dealer except through methods that might be considered cheating. Reading the dealer is another one of these methods that can be extremely easy for some players, especially poker players. It doesn’t require studying mathematics and blackjack basic strategy. Also, card counting is usually extremely hard for anyone to learn because you have to keep track of a card count throughout the game.

The benefit of reading dealer tells is you can concentrate on the game and not have to think as hard about the mathematical odds. All you need to do is watch the dealer for awhile to pick up a few important patterns that will be described below. If you wanted to get an even bigger edge, you could supplement basic strategy and card counting along with reading the dealer tells. The tells that the dealer will be giving off are going to be based on basic strategy, which is the assumption that there are more 10’s in the deck than any other card because all the face cards count as ten points as well. Because of this, there is a higher probability that 10’s will be drawn.

Determine the Dealer Hole Card

Knowing what the dealer’s hole card is would be far more valuable than card counting. If the dealer has an ace facing up, the hole card must be checked to determine if the dealer has a natural blackjack (21 points). It is possible to read the dealer during this time to determine what this hidden card may be. There are two paramount things that you should be noting. The first one is to notice how long the dealer looks at the card and the second is how much the card is being bent up so that the dealer can read it.

Each card has numbers, symbols and sometimes faces. We all know that a face card (paint card) is either a Jack, Queen or King. Notice that in blackjack, all face cards count as 10 points. So the dealer doesn’t need to check long to determine if it is a Jack, Queen or King. This corresponds to a quick glance at the hole card when the dealer is checking. This is a great tell with many experienced blackjack dealer who have played for a long time.

You can also determine when the dealer has a stiff hand or stiff hole card as well. If the dealer doesn’t have a face card, then they must look more closely at their card. A stiff card would be a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. These cards are bad for the dealer and good for the player because the dealer would have to draw one more card after showing the hole card. Because there are more 10 point cards in the deck, there is a high probability that the dealer would go bust and the player would automatically win. The higher this stiff card is, the better the odds are for you.

The best card for observing a dealer tell is a hole card of 4. If you look at a deck of cards, the ace and the 4 almost look alike. For example, someone with bad eyes would have to take some time to look at the card to see the difference between “A” and “4”! This would be a powerful dealer tell that would be denoted as the dealer taking longer than normal to look at the cards and possibly bending it up higher to observe the correct symbols.

The great thing about winning at blackjack due to dealer tells is that the dealer normally isn’t even aware that they are giving away tells. They are not poker players so they are not gambling with their own money. Players can usually get good at this by playing with the same dealer for the whole night or for many days. A good word of advice is to look for dealers who are “loose” and give off obvious tells such as bending the cards up at different heights and taking various time lengths to look at cards.

By: Ryan Peppy

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