How to Deal Blackjack

Part 4: A Vegas Aces Guide

Delivering the Cards from a Handheld Deck

  • The procedures for the handheld deck are different then from the shoe. The first thing you need to learn is how to properly hold the deck. For a right handed dealer hold the deck in your left hand and visa versa for left handed people.
How to hold the cards in your hand

Put your forefinger across the top edge of the deck.

How to hold the deck from the other side

Use the 3 remaining fingers to hold the deck and make sure they are tightly together so no one can see the deck underneath. The purpose is to cover the front and edges of the deck. Try not to grip too tightly.

How to hold the deck from a third angle

Use your palm to push the bottom of the deck up so that the deck fits snuggly in your hand and the deck will be angled.

Use your thumb to push the first card out

Place your thumb on the top right corner of the deck and then push out so the card is ready for delivery.

The dealer is holding the deck correctly

When holding the deck tilt it slightly up so that the players can’t see the top.

Two pictures of the dealer holding the deck too high or too low

Make sure that the deck is not too high or too low, and try not to keep it close to your body.


The dealer holds the deck in their dominate hand

When you deal a handheld game you will be asked to pitch the cards. To start the procedure hold the deck in your dominate hand and look at the palm of your other hand.

The dealer positions the edge against their other hand

Put the top corner edge of the card parallel with the top part of your forefinger.

The dealer holds the top card in place

With your thumb, grip the right corner of the card and hold it in place.

The dealer uses the middle finger to flip the card

Using your middle finger, flick the card while letting go with your thumb.

  • This should send the card flying. Your wrist should be firm and straight. Do not flick your wrist to deliver the cards. Your fingers should do all the work. When holding the deck and delivering the cards; hold it at the level of your stomach and slightly away from your body. Do not dip the deck when you are delivering the hit card. Do not hold the deck chest high and close to you body. You want to protect that deck at all times. When practicing aim, practice going from left to right since this will best emulate being on a live game. Also, use an object as your target, because at the table you will be pitching to the bets not the people.

Tucking the Hole Card

  • Some casinos will want you to tuck your hole card while others will want you to do the simple maneuver. Every house is

different so make sure you know your house rules. The procedure for tucking your hole card starts when you get to your hand. Remember to tuck the hole card underneath the top card as fast and low to the table as possible.

The dealer pushes the top card over a bit

Take the top card from the deck and using your thumb push it out so it is ready for delivery. Put the deck low to the table and close to your card but try not to cover the top card because the cameras always need to see them.

The dealer grips the top card

Put the top right side edge of the card in between the forefinger and the middle finger so that the curve from the tops of the fingers hides the card.

The dealer uses the middle finger to flip the card

Use your left hand to hold the up card in place and press down slightly on the left edge so that the right side is lifted and the hole card can be tucked efficiently. In a fast movement take the card from the top of the deck and slide it under the up card.

The dealer uses the middle finger to flip the card

Be careful because if your deck is too far away from the table or if your tuck is too wide then you will flash your card and show the players. This is bad dealing and you could get fired.

The dealer uses the middle finger to flip the card

The simple procedure for tucking the cards starts when you lay a card face down in front of you. Make sure the deck is low and the maneuver is done quick enough that no one can see the card. Then you’ll deliver the players their second card. When you get to your hand you will flip over one card so it is face up. Straighten the cards so you can’t see the hole card underneath.

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Dealer Receives a Ten or Ace Up Card

  • The dealer receives a 10 or ace up card - When you have a 10 or an ace up card then you’ll need to check and make sure you

do not have a blackjack. There are two different ways of doing this depending on what casino you’re at. If your casino doesn’t have a mirror on the table, then you will probably be checking the cards by hand.

The dealer is taking the card out of the shoe

If the casino does have a mirror on their table then you would follow this procedure. If you have a 10 up card, then quickly put the lower left hand corner into the slot area and look at the mirror. If the area is white you do not have a blackjack, if the area is filled, you do have a blackjack.

The card is out of the shoe

If you have an Ace up card, then you are going to turn the cards sideways and announce insurance while running your hand under the insurance line. Once all decisions have been made then take the cards and put them in the contraption with the lower left hand corner going into the slot.

The cards are laid out on the table

If the mirror shows a white space, then you do not have blackjack, if the space is filled then you do have a blackjack.

Where the pips are located

Because every casino is different, it is a good idea to go to the casino you want to apply at and watch them to see how they check their ten and ace up card. That way when you are auditioning you won’t stumble if you get a ten or ace up card.

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