How to Deal Blackjack

Part 3: A Vegas Aces Guide

Cutting the Deck

At the end of the shuffle, you will always offer the player the cut card so he can cut the deck. Cut cards are used to cover the bottom of a handheld deck and it is also used as a warning card to signify that its time for a shuffle. You must always cut the deck after a shuffle. There is usually 1 cut card on a shoe game and 2 cut cards on a handheld deck game. The reason why the cards are cut is to prevent someone form cheating by swapping decks. That is why it is important to rotate which players cut the deck.

Never stick to one person because this looks suspicious. Make sure to keep your focus and attention on the deck when the player is cutting it. Never allow the players to run the cut card along the edges of the deck. If the cut is unsatisfactory then the cut card must be removed from the deck and offered again to the player for a re-cut. If no players want to cut the deck then the dealer is allowed to cut. First announce “Dealers cut” and once you get the approval then you can cut the deck.

Offering the Cut Card on a Handheld Deck

The dealer hands the cut card to the player on a single deck game There are different ways to offer the cut card depending on what game you’re at. For a single or double deck the procedure starts by making sure the decks are squared off. Place the cut card on top of the deck and put your forefinger on top to hold it in place. Extend the deck and the cut card towards the player. Don’t go past the insurance line.
This highlights the area of the deck that is acceptable to cut The player will grab the cut card and place it anywhere in the deck. Most casinos will tell you to place the cut card between the first 15 cards and the last 15 cards. Bring the deck back to you and, holding the deck close to the table, cut the deck and place the bottom portion on the top of the deck so that the cut card is now on the bottom.

Offering the Cut Card on a Shoe

This picture highlights the area of the shoe where the player can place the cut card You start the procedure when you finish shuffling. Call out “Rolling” and roll the deck. Place the deck against the shoe and hit the edge so you straighten the deck. Then place the cut card on top of the decks and hold it in place with your forefinger. Extend this to the player but do not go past the insurance line. The player will grab the cut card and cut anywhere between the first deck-and-a-half and last deck-and-a-half. Bring the deck back and place it against the shoe.
This picture highlights the area of the shoe where the dealer should place the cut card

Bring the top portion back to the bottom portion so that the cut card is now on the bottom. Pick up the second cut card and place it about 1 to 1 ½ decks from the bottom.

The second cut card is placed there to indicate to the dealer when it is time to shuffle.

Putting the Deck in the Shoe

Take the wedge out of the shoe and with your right hand thumb and middle finger, grip the deck and tilt up. With your left hand, make a flat palm and put it under the deck. Lift up and tilt downward and slide the deck into the shoe. While still holding the cards, put the wedge back in. If you use one hand on the cards, especially new ones, you will find that they are slippery and will burst from your hand, all over the table and onto the floor. Do not lift the shoe over the cards and do not lift the decks over the shoe.

Burning a Card

A card must always be burned at the end of a shuffle and when a new dealer arrives at a table. To begin the procedure; take the top card and slide it across the table placing it in the discard rack. Make sure not to expose this card. If it accidently flips up and is exposed then notify the floor.

Washing the Deck

This dealer is washing the deck

You will always wash the deck after getting new cards. Take the deck and swirl them in a circle. With your hands open and fingers spread, blend the cards together. This will mix the cards up and stop someone from accusing the house of fixing the deck.

Card Counting Drills

This is how you would do card counting drills

Because the game has to be dealt at a certain speed, you are not allowed the time to sit there and count the cards with their fingers. When the card comes out, you need to know immediately how much you have. That is how these drills are going to help you; by getting your speed up. First, you’ll need a deck of cards; make sure to take all the 10’s out of the deck. Flip over one card at a time, counting until you get the total number. Keep doing this until you go past 21 and “bust”. When you’re at home practicing, don’t worry about speed, take all the time you need to count the cards. Speed will come with practice.

Delivering the Cards from the Shoe

The dealers finger placement on the shoe

All cards will be dealt from a shoe located on the left-hand side of the table. The procedure for taking the cards out of the shoe start with you using your first two fingers of your left hand to push the cards up a bit and then slide the top card out.

The dealer is taking the card out of the shoe

As you flip the card up, grip with the middle finger and thumb.

The card is out of the shoe

With your right hand, grip the card with your thumb and the side of your forefinger and place in front of the players bet.

The cards are laid out on the table

Placement of the cards is important. When placing the second card on top of the first, make sure to place it on the side, where the empty white space.

Where the pips are located

Do not cover the pips, the floor and the cameras must always be able to see the center pips. The “Pip” is the dot in the middle of the card that represents the value of that card.

How the cards are placed

There are 2 ways you can place the cards on the table. The first, and most common way, is when the hands are angled and centered towards the dealer.

How the cards are placed

The second way, and the way I like to use, is when the cards edges are parallel to the edge of the table. This makes it easier for the floor and cameras to see your cards.

  • When dealing from the shoe, you will place the cards face up from left to right. On the first cycle, give the players one card, then give yourself one card facing down. On the second cycle, you will give the players their second card. Then slide your card over and with your right hand flip over your first card while making sure that the second card was not exposed in any way. Make sure to never place the cards on top of the cheques. On the first 2 spots on your left you are allowed to give the players their cards with your left hand because this makes dealing quicker. When sliding the card out of the shoe, grip the bottom of the card with your thumb and flip it over from bottom to top.

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