Blackjack Dealer Tells : How to Read the Dealer

As in poker, one of the favorite strategies for gaining an edge in blackjack is to determine the tells of the blackjack dealer. This strategy, naturally, only works when there is an actual live blackjack dealer, so it will not be useful for most online blackjack games. Only if an online casino offers web-cam interaction with an actual person will a tell strategy be useful. If that's the case, players should be aware of a few important points.

Body Language

Each blackjack dealer has unique body language; no two will react the same way when they have a weak or a strong hand. That's why it is important for a player to evaluate the dealer's body language independently and over a few hands. The dealer may shift his or her weight when a hand is particularly strong or narrow his or her eyes when the hand is weak. Study the individual to get a feel for different reactions and compare them to the hand that is revealed. This is obviously easier to do with a real live blackjack dealer, but even a web-cam can capture changes in facial expression.

Focus and Attention

Some cards are easier to read than others and may require less than a quick glance to determine their value. Face cards, for example, require dealers only to take a quick glance at the cards to know that they hold a ten-value card. It's easier to confuse cards such as 3s and 8s, or 2s and 5s, so a blackjack dealer may take a few seconds longer to evaluate a hand with these cards. Players should evaluate how long a dealer looks at the cards.

These tips are obviously only useful with a live blackjack dealer, when little reactions can show a lot. If the online casino uses an automatic dealer, players will want to consider other betting strategies.