Blackjack Terms

Blackjack Terms Table of Contents

Blackjack is one of the most played casino games of all time and as such, it is no wonder that it can be found in most brick and mortar casinos as well as online. Its interesting nature and gameplay are among the things that attract a number of players globally. It is a game of skills and luck, meaning that in order to win it, gamblers need to apply a reliable strategy and follow it throughout the game.

Blackjack, just like most casino games, has its own unique terms that are used during the course of the game. In order to be able to play it properly, players need to get familiar with them. Knowing the most commonly used terms is just as important as having a reliable strategy or money management skills. It is essential to be acquainted with the game’s glossary in order to be able to fully understand it and follow the gaming process properly. Therefore, let’s have a look at some of the most important terms which every player should learn before playing.

Blackjack Glossary

When it comes to blackjack, one of the first things that players should get familiar with is the possible moves they can make for each hand. It is also essential to know all of the additional terms that are used during the gaming process as this way, players will be able to fully understand the rest of the participants and all of the things they are referring to. By knowing the proper name for a particular situation or hand, players also show that they are truly dedicated to playing blackjack.

  • Hit – to draw an extra card
  • Blackjack Player Move Hitting

  • Draw – another way to indicate the move hit
  • Twist – another name for the move hit in one of the famous variations of blackjack Pontoon
  • Double Down – to make the original bet twice as much
  • Blackjack Player Move Doubling Down

  • Stand – to continue the game without drawing any extra cards
  • Blackjack Player Move Standing

  • Split – to split a pair that consists of two equally ranked cards in order to make two separate hands
  • Blackjack Player Move Splitting

  • Insurance – to place a side bet that will pay out in case the dealer has blackjack
  • Blackjack Player Move Insurance

  • Surrender – to give up a losing hand in order to retain half of the original bet
  • Blackjack Player Move Surrender

  • Early Surrender – to give up a hand before the dealer checks for blackjack
  • Late Surrender – to give up a hand after the dealer checked for blackjack
  • Dealer – the person who represents the casino and who is responsible for dealing the cards and conducting the game
  • House Edge – it is measured in percentage and it is used to indicate the built-in advantage the casinos have
  • House – another word for a casino
  • Pit Boss – a representative of the casino who strictly monitors the tables for any forbidden activity
  • Hole Card – this is the face down card of the dealer which players cannot see
  • Up Card – this is the up card of the dealer which can be seen from all of the players
  • Face Cards – the cards that have pictures on them – Jacks, Kings and Queens
  • Suit is irrelevant in Blackjack
  • Soft Total – a hand that consists of an Ace that is valued as eleven
  • Soft 19
  • Hard Total – the opposite of a soft total – a hard total is a hand that contains no Ace or a hand in which the Ace is counted as one
  • Hard 16
  • Stiff Hand – a hand whose total value is between 12 to 16 and that will exceed 21 if players decide to hit
  • Stiff 14
  • Push – also commonly known among blackjack players as tie – it is a situation in which the dealer and the players have the same total and in such cases there is no winner
  • Blackjack – the highest winning hand in the game which is comprised of an Ace and a 10-valued card
  • Classic Blackjack
  • Twenty-One – another name for blackjack
  • Deck – Fifty-two playing cards form one deck
  • Deck Penetration – this term refers to the number of packs used in the game before the cards are shuffled together
  • Multiple Deck Game – a game that features several packs of cards, in most cases six or eight
  • Shuffle – the random manner in which the cards are mixed by the dealer
  • Shoe – a box on the table in which are placed the decks
  • Shoe Game – a game in which the cards are dealt from a shoe
  • Discard Tray – this is the place where the discarded cards are placed
  • Bust – also known as break, is when the total value of players’ hand goes over 21 and the result is a bust or in other words, an instant loss
  • Basic Strategy – an efficient way for players to improve their game as this strategy suggests the best possible move that can be made in a certain situation
  • Card Counter – a player who keeps track of the cards in the game in order to gain advantage over the casino
  • Card Counting – this term refers to the process or the strategy that involves keeping track of the cards in the game in order to be able to determine the ratio of the high value cards to low value ones and this way gain advantage over the casino
  • Hi-Lo – one of the most popular balanced card counting systems
  • Cut Card – a plastic card that is used to indicate the point at which the dealer have to reshuffle the cards
  • First Base – the first place that is located on the left side of the dealer and the player who is sitting on that spot is the first one to receive the first two cards and to act
  • Third Base – the place that is located on the right side of the dealer and the player who is sitting on that spot is the last one to act
  • Flat Betting – when players wager the same amount on every hand, without changing this pattern
  • Unit – the size of bet that is established as a standard
  • Bankroll – the funds that players have decided to play with
  • Betting Limit – the minimum and maximum amounts that a particular blackjack table allows to be placed for each hand
  • Wager – another word for bet which is used in real-money blackjack games when players would like to place a bet
  • Checks – another word for chips
  • High Roller – a player who tends to place large bets
  • Hand-Held Games – blackjack games in which the dealer holds the cards in his hand


It is extremely essential to be familiar with the blackjack glossary in order to be able to fully enjoy and understand the game. This way players will be able to play properly and participate in the gaming process freely. Even though the above-mentioned terms may seem quite a lot, they are very easy to remember and once read, it is hard to forget them. One of the reasons why the casinos came up with them was to make the game even more unique and help players feel a part of it even more.