Complete Blackjack Glossary

If blackjack is your favorite game when it comes to online casino games, you should make sure you are familiar with the rules, strategies and blackjack terms as well as how to handle money while playing the game. Read below to find out what type of jargon is commonly used while playing the casino classic!


’21’: This refers to the second best hand in Blackjack games where a hand of 3 or more cards adds up to a score of 21.

Anchor: The seat to the right of the sensor is usually referred to as “anchor”. If you are playing blackjack, you will notice that this is the seat that is normally the last one to be taken due to the fact that the cards are usually dealt from left to right.

Banks: The person responsible for the money and bets through the blackjack game is called the banker. Essentially, the banker collects gains and losses.
Bankroll: A bankroll is how much money a player chooses to spend playing a game / blackjack game.
Basic Blackjack Strategy: The simple strategy a player uses through a blackjack game.
Betting Limits: Normally, each casino game has both minimum and maximum bets that you can place on a blackjack table. For example, the least you can choose to bet is $1 / $5 and the highest amount usually ranges from $10 / $50.
Betting Ratio: A ‘betting ratio’ is a system used by casinos to spot card counters that increase their bets when they have a favorable hand.
Bottom Dealing: This term is related to a technique used by a dealer to cheat. In this case, the dealer shares one: two cards from the bottom of the deck rather than the top provided the cards on the top are unfavorable.
Blackjack: A “natural blackjack” is the best hand a player is able to acquire through a game of blackjack. Usually, this type of hand would consist of two cards; an ace and a 10 / King / Queen / Jack.
Burn Cards: During a blackjack game, the dealer burns cards by performing this maneuver, he removes cards from the deck.
Break / Bust: A busted / broken hand usually occurs when a player has managed to obtain a hand with 2 or more cards exceeding the total score of 21.
Buy: Usually used in the blackjack variant “Pontoon”, the term “buy” points to when a player chooses to double his / her bet.

Camouflage: This term suggests that a blackjack player is trying to cover up or hide what he / she is doing from the casino. Usually, a gambler who plays at a brick and mortar casino can choose to hide his / her strategy, act drunk, etc. to confuse the dealer and other players at the table.
Card Counting: This bears reference to a strategy used in blackjack that refers to when a player chooses to take into account which cards have been played and discarded to help you determine the probability of the next card being pulled out of the deck.
Card sharp: This term is used to indicate that a person is very handy with cards.
Cut: In blackjack, the term “cut cards” refers to a method of splitting the cards after shuffling has been completed by the dealer.
Cut Cards: This phrase is used for the colored plastic card that is usually used to cut a deck after it has been shuffled by the dealer.

D’Alembert System: The d’Alembert System is a progressive betting strategy used by blackjack players. It is known as one of the safest systems you can use to increase your bets after a loss or if your bankroll is quite lowDeal: A dealer distributes the cards to blackjack players at the table.
Dealer: A person hired by the casino to be responsible for a creakless operation of the blackjack game and to issue cards until the players are known as a dealer.
Deck Penetration: This phrase is one used to describe how many decks the dealer uses before moving on and mixing it together. Normally in the classic version of Blackjack, about 6-8 decks are used.
Discard Tray: This statement indicates where discarded cards are usually placed.
Double Down: A blackjack player can choose to “double down” by choosing to place a new bet on the table. This decision is usually based on the hand the player can obtain during the game.
Draw: The word “draw” is another way of saying “hit”. Therefore, if a player chooses the draw, he / she would get a new card from the dealer.

Early Surrender: During a blackjack game, a player can decide if he / she will surrender his original bet before the dealer looks for Blackjack in his / her own hand.
Even Money: If you manage to get a natural blackjack during the game and the dealer’s card reveals an ace, you can choose to take the winnings before the dealer looks at their other cards. The payout in this case is usually 1: 1.

Face Cards: Image cards are cards that have pictures on them. These include jacks, queens and kings. In each deck, you will find that there are four of each.
Face Down Game: In some variants of blackjack, one card is dealt face up, while the other card is dealt face down. This is known as a face down game.
Face Up Game: In blackjack games described as a Face up game, the cards are usually dealt so that all players see the card.
First Base: The term “first base” serves to indicate a particular seat around a blackjack table. Essentially this is the seat to the left of the dealer. If you are in first base, you will be the first to get the card.
Flat Bet: This is a term used to describe when the same amount is wagered on each hand through a blackjack game.

Hard Hand: The ace is what fundamentally separates a hard hand from a soft hand. In a hard hand, an ace is counted as a “1”, while in a soft hand it is counted as an “11”. A hard hand is also sometimes referred to as a ‘hard total’.
Heads Up or Heads On: In this type of blackjack, you will find that there will be only one dealer and one player on the blackjack table.
Hit: When a player wants the dealer to give him / her another card, the player opts to use “hit” as a maneuver.
Hole Card: The dealer’s first card inserted face down is known as a “hole card”.

Insurance: Normally an insurance on a bet taken out if a dealer has an ace card face up. Essentially, it is a secondary bet to the general game where the player guesses if the dealer has a natural blackjack. If the player is right, he / she can win double his / her original bet.

Late Surrender: This is a term used in some games when the dealer does not have a blackjack.

Pat Hand: This indicates that the player’s hand in blackjack is at least 17 points. Usually when a blackjack player manages to get a 17 he will stand pat.
Perfect Pairs: In blackjack, a player can obtain a pair of cards of equal value. Of course, these can be mixed pairs, a pair of colored ones, or a perfect pair. A perfect pair is when you have 2 cards that belong to the same variety and are of equal value.
Point Count: This term refers to a card counting strategy where the Card Counter would choose to take the net value of the card eventually.
Preferential Shuffling: This is a term used to describe when the cards left in the deck are desired by the players.
Push: A push occurs when both the dealer and the player end up with the same number of points. In this case, the player does not lose his bet or get a win.

Resplit: After a split, a player can choose to ‘resplit’ provided he / she gets another hand where there are a pair. Therefore, after the player chooses to replit, the 2 hands he / she already has will be 4 different hands.
Running Count: In card counting, “counters run the card at the beginning of the deck where the card counter would change the value of the running count on each hand, after the point allocation.

Shiner: The word “Shiner” refers to the device used to cheat in the Blackjack game to find out what the dealer’s hole card is.
Shoe: The term “shoe” is related to where a deck is held.
Shuffle: Shuffling, or shuffling as it is called in New Zealand language, is a system used by the dealer to mix cards randomly.
Shuffle Up: A dealer shuffles the cards before it is needed to prevent players from counting cards during a blackjack game.
Soft Hand: This term refers to a case where the Blackjack hand consists of an ace that has a value of 11 and another card. However, if the player chooses to hit, the value of the card will be changed to 1 instead.
Split: The term “split” refers to a move used by a blackjack player to split a hand with two cards of equal value in two hands. This is known as a ‘split hand’.
Spooking: This is a method of cheating that is not allowed in any way in a casino, and can in practice get a player banned, where a person is behind the dealer to watch the game and look at the dealer’s hole card. The person will then proceed to transfer the information to a player playing at the table.
Standing Hand: “Standing Hand” is one where the player has a total hand value of 17 and above. In this case, it is not considered sensible to take a new card.
Stand-off: The term “stand-off” is another word for the term “push”.
Stand or Stay: This term is used to refer to a maneuver used by a player to show that he / she is holding onto his / her own hand. Thus, in this case, the player does not require any other cards from the dealer.
Stick (Stay): This is a term used in the Blackjack variant ‘Pontoon’ and means stand.
Stiff Hand: “Stiff Hand” is a hand that is not rated as a big hand. Usually, the total score at hand in this case is quite low, so you know in hindsight that the player doesn’t have much of a chance of winning. Still, if the player chooses to hit, he / she may bust as a result
Surrender: This is a maneuver is blackjack where the player throws and gets half his / her bet back as a result.

Tell Play: The term ‘tell play’ is characterized as observing the opponent’s / dealer’s movements in order to determine what he / she has in his hand.
Third Base: The term “Third Base” is another term used to mean “anchor”.
Tie: Push and Standoff are synonymous with the blackjack term ‘tie’ and mean tie.
Twist: A word used in the blackjack variant “Pontoon” instead of “hit”.

Unit: A blackjack “unit” is the minimum bet or bet that a player chooses to bet.
Up card: An up card is what lies face up on the table and is often the dealer’s first card. Players are able to see his / her cards and decide whether they want to continue playing the game.

Wager: This is another way of saying effort. To play real money blackjack, the player must place a bet in the initial stages of the game.
Wonging: The term ‘Wonging’ is used when a player counts back on the cards until he / she thinks the table is ‘favorable’ to him. When he / she decides that the odds are in his / her favor, the player will then join the game and bet

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Glossary blackjack

The game of luck and strategy has been around for three centuries, and as the years have passed it has become a coveted favorite in the hearts of many players around the world. Playing the exciting blackjack game can leave your heart pounding like a compressed air drill as you place bets and wait for the outcome of whether you have won big money or lost the amount you have wagered. If you are familiar with the blackjack terms we have listed on this site and feel ready to give this casino classic a try, we recommend you take a look at our Blackjack guide so you can find a Casino for you today!