Key Blackjack Terms and Their Meaning
Blackjack is a casino game adored by many, with players enjoying the fact that it combines both skills and luck. Making optimal decisions on each hand is crucial for players as strategic play allows them to reduce the house edge and increase their winning chances in the long run. While there are numerous blackjack variations one can play, they all share similar layout, gameplay, and rules. That said, you should always be aware of the specific rules of the game you are about to play.
Before you proceed playing blackjack, however, you must be aware of all terms you may encounter during your gaming sessions. Knowing key terms will also help you learn more about the game of 21 and the correct strategy you need to implement during your blackjack sessions. Below, we have composed a glossary list of all common blackjack terms, helping you to learn everything you need to know about this casino classic.
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.
- 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.
Stand: To continue the game without drawing any extra cards.
Split: To split a pair that consists of two equally ranked cards in order to make two separate hands.
Insurance: To place a side bet that will pay out in case the dealer has blackjack.
Surrender: To give up a losing hand in order to retain half of the original bet.
- 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, being 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 casinos have over players
- 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 dealer’s second card facing down, which doesn’t allow players to see the card’s value
- Up Card: This is the up card of the dealer, allowing all of the players to see its value
- Face Cards: The cards that have pictures on them -Jacks, Kings and Queens.
- Soft Total: A hand that consists of an Ace that is valued as eleven.
- 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.
- Stiff Hand: A hand whose total value is between 12 to 16 and that will exceed 21 if players decide to hit.
- Push: Also commonly known among blackjack players as a tie – when both the dealer and the player have the same total, meaning no one wins the betting round
- Blackjack: The highest winning hand in the game which is comprised of an Ace and a 10-valued card.
- 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 containing the decks used in the game
- 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: A blackjack playing system developed to estimate the optimal move on each combination of player’s hand and dealer’s up card
- Card Counter: A player who keeps track of the value of cards left in the deck, which allows significant 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 gaining 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 seat that is located on the left side of the dealer, indicating the first one to receive their initial two cards and the first one to make decision for their hand
- Third Base: The place/seat that is located on the right side of the dealer, indicating the player who is the last one to act
- Flat Betting: When players wager the same amount on every hand, without changing their betting pattern
- Unit: The size of bet that is established as a standard
- Bankroll: The budget blackjack players set up for their betting sessions before they start playing
- Betting Limit: The minimum and maximum amounts that a particular blackjack table allows to be placed for each hand
- Wager: Another word for bet, 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 larger 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 casinos came up with them was to make the game even more unique and help players feel included in this thrilling experience.