An Advanced Guide to Dealer Tells & Hole Carding – Blackjack for Advanced Players

Welcome to this how-to video. Today, we’ll be providing you with our Advanced
guide to Dealer Tells and Hole Carding in Blackjack. A “tell” is an unconscious action that
is thought to betray an attempted deception. It’s a word very commonly used in poker,
where players give away their true hand’s value while attempting to bluff or act in
another deceptive manner. What many blackjack players don’t realize
is that it’s possible to find dealer tells that can make a significant difference in
game strategy. There are three examples of dealer tells that
we want to share. They are by no means the ONLY blackjack dealer
tells, but they might just be the most common. The first tell is a smile or cheerful attitude. Dealers who want to act with players are happy
to bust. This type of dealer may sometimes even smile
or act cheerfully when they see a low card underneath a 10 that could lead to a bust,
or upset if they see a high card that might beat even good hands. You can also use this tell in the opposite
way, where dealers who are against the players are usually happy when you bust out and sad
to see low cards under their aces. Frequent hole card checking is another possible
tell. When you have a dealer that checks their card
two or even three times, expect the hole card to be high. That’s because the difference between a
numeral and a letter is more noticeable, and they should only need to look once if it’s
a numeral. If it’s a face card, the dealer might have
to double-check to differentiate between a “K” and an “A” showing through. The final tell we want to go over is card
placement. Watch where the dealer places their cards
after checking the hole card. If they place the cards slightly to their
right, it’s a subtle sign that the hole card is low and the dealer expects to take
a hit from the shoe. If the cards are placed more towards the center
of the table, the dealer probably has a hand they’ll be standing on. If you can read a dealer’s tells, you can
tell if the dealer’s hole card is high or low. This means you can better predict a dealer
bust or “pat” hand and act accordingly, with greater insight than the traditional
blackjack strategy chart. In most casinos, the dealer only checks their
hole card if they have an Ace or a 10-point card showing… so this won’t apply to situations
where the dealer has another up-card. However, when they do check, dealer tells
can make a big difference more than one-third of the time. When the dealer checks the hole card, they
learn the value of the hand and their behavior may exhibit that knowledge. Look for the dealer’s expression to change,
watch where their eyes rest, where their hands go. Some players find that hesitating before making
a decision can help draw out a dealer’s tell. Eventually, if you watch closely enough, a
pattern will emerge for you to exploit. If you have a hard 15 against a dealer 10,
and the dealer’s tell makes you confident that the dealer is holding a bust hand, then
you could go against the Basic Strategy play of surrendering and just stand. Then, if you read the situation correctly
and the dealer does bust, you’ll come out ahead. “Hole Carding” is another method to take
advantage of a dealer’s mannerisms, and doesn’t require any of the psychology or
“reading” abilities that using tells needs. “Hole carding” just requires being in
the right spot, having a sloppy dealer, and looking in the right place at the right time. Hole carding is literally where you obtain
knowledge of cards that are supposed to be hidden from view. A 1983 court case in Nevada found that this
type of conduct “did not constitute a violation of the cheating statutes”, so it IS legal. To scout for good hole-carding opportunities,
you need to be on the lookout for three things. First, poorly designed card shuffling machines. Two common shuffling machines… the Shufflemaster
Ace and the iDeal… are manufactured in such a way as to almost require the hole card to
be revealed. … Second, Poorly-designed casino or table
layouts. Shuffling machines are almost always out of
the view of gamblers… but not 100% of the time. Those machines kept in-view are ideal for
the hole-carder… Finally, poorly-trained or sloppy dealers
or procedures. You have to look for small but consistent
and revealing procedural problems for this one. Some dealers grip the cards the wrong way
and may show enough of a glimpse of the symbol to give away the card. Some dealers raise their cards too high, or
turn their wrist out. All a seasoned hole-carder needs is a quick
glimpse to gain an edge. To succeed at taking advantage of things like
dealer tells and reveals, you have to combine traditional game preparation with hours of
scouting and research and find the perfect moment in time. … We have plenty of additional videos and
articles for you to make sure you are the best blackjack player you can be… including
more within the “Advanced Blackjack” section… so make sure to check out
for even more on the game.

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2 thoughts on “An Advanced Guide to Dealer Tells & Hole Carding – Blackjack for Advanced Players

  1. All blackjack that I’ve seen use an RFID card reader that checks for blackjack in the dealers hand. So the dealers themselves never know their hole cards. I haven’t seen a game where the dealers check their hole cards manually in years. The dealer can’t give off a tell if they don’t know what they have.

  2. This video is a joke. If a dealer checks the hole card using a peeker when a 10 is showing, the only card they would be able to see is an ace due to the design of the cards. If there is no ace, the peeker will be blank. The same goes for when an ace is showing and the dealer turns their hand sideways to check it in the peeker. The only card they can see is a 10 or a face card, again, due to the design of the cards. To say that the dealer can see if the hole card is higher or lower is completely false. It is literally impossible for a dealer to have a "tell". The only way for any of what you said to be true is if the dealer is lifting the cards off of the table, completely exposing the hole card for the world to see.

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