Poker players are well aware of the term “tell”. A tell is any type of physical expression or gesture that a player would exhibit subconsciously. The tells are often signs of what type of hand the player holds in the game. There are several different types of tells in poker which are very well known and numerous articles teaching players how to read the tells of their opponents in poker. However, when it comes to blackjack the topic is not very widely discussed. Though it is uncommon, there are a few common dealer tells in blackjack too.
Are Dealer Tells Useful?
Dealer tells, no matter how subtle they are, are still quite useful in blackjack. If you would be able to read them you would be able to determine whether the dealer has a low or a high value hole card and accordingly play your hand. The dealer will not look at the hole card till all the players have completed their hands so in those cases dealer tells will not be useful. However, if the dealer has a ten or an ace as the up card, he/she would have to check the hole card to check for blackjack. This happens approximately 5 out of 13 hands so reading tells at that point of time can still make a significant difference to your profits.
Understanding Dealer Tells
When a dealer would check the hole card, he/she would know the value of that hand. The tells at that moment should be very carefully observed. Observe to see if there is anything peculiar in the mannerisms of the dealer. Watch the expressions of the dealer, where the eyes are rested, where the dealer places his/her hands. You would have to be attuned to even very minor changes in the tone of the voice, the demeanor and the expressions of the dealer.
If the tell is not obvious you can also draw it out if you hesitate over your hand. When you linger over the hand and deliberate over the decision, the dealer might get a little agitated and frustrated and that would be the time for probable tells. Once you establish a mental image of the dealer’s mannerisms, posture, demeanor and behavior you would have to wait for the next round. You would also have to learn to remember the expressions of the dealer when each type of hole card was revealed and put two and two together though it might take some time to do so.
In any case, if you are unable to understand the dealer’s tells the best thing to do is to stick to basic strategy but if you are reading the tells well you would be able to make a logical decision. Dealer tells can be really difficult to recognize since dealers are very well trained. They play internet blackjack day in and day out with all types of players and are especially trained by the casinos to ensure that they are not demonstrative of the hands that they have, but in some cases it is still possible to recognize the tells.