Blackjack Dealers Must "Clear Their Hands" Before Leaving

August 27th, 2017 2:02 pm EST

The outline of a blackjack dealer - Casino - Drawing.Why do blackjack dealers clap their hands before they leave the table?

This is a commonly asked question that we receive and there is a very simple answer.

Blackjack dealers are required to "clear their hands" when they leave a table to show that they are not keeping any chips, cash or cards in their hands.

The simple fact of the matter - most of the theft that takes place at casinos is carried out by dealers. Dealers have access to all of the cash, chips and cards that are being used in the game, and for some dealers, swiping a chip or some cash is just too much of a temptation to avoid.

For this reason, casino operations will force their dealers to "clear their hands" before leaving the table. What does this entail?

When a dealer leaves a table, they will clap their hands and then show their palms to the players at the table. This is done to show:

a) there is nothing being concealed up their sleeves (clapping their hands would jar any concealed chips or cash loose)
b) there is no money or chips being pressed into the palms of their hands


If somebody was playing $500/hand blackjack at a local casino, how easy would it be for a dealer to simply palm a $500 chip before leaving the table?

This is why "clearing the hands" is done - it is to protect the players against a dealer who may have ideas of stealing cash or chips from the game. It is also done to protect casinos from rogue employees.