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Why do casino card dealers clap their hands in the air before leaving the table?

This is to show the security cameras that they have nothing, like chips or cards, in their hands.

Ever hear the term, “Eye in the Sky”? Closed-circuit cameras in casinos monitor what’s happening on the gaming floor.

Casino security systems oversee the integrity of game play. These cameras help protect guests, and guard against theft and cheating. They also protect the casino too.

When dealers show their hands-- called ‘clearing the hands’-- they motion to the camera that nothing is in their hands. The clapping from the dealer prior to this is intended to dislodge anything that might have been there. You may see casino cashiers do this also when they are finished counting money, and it’s partially to reassure you, the customer, that they have laid down all the bills.