Blackjack Terms

In this section we have provided you will a complete listing of commonly used blackjack words and phrases. Once you familiarize yourself with these terms an phrases, you’ll be on your way to playing like a pro. There terms apply whether online gambling or in a land based casino.

Action – This is the amount of money a player uses during an entire blackjack session.

Betting Limits – These limits are created to mark the minimum and maximum amounts that can be be bet at a time.

Blackjack – This is a hand where the cards total 21.

Break –  This term is another term for bust. It means that you have gone over the total of 21.

Burn Card – This is the card that is put on the bottom of the deck or in that discard tray after the shuffle and  the deck is cut. Before start of play it it recommended that you determine if this technique is used or not.

Bust – This term is the same as the term break. It means that you have gone over the total of 21.

Card Counting –  This is the technique of tracking which cards have and have not been played since the dealer shuffled. Card counting is not illegal in blackjack, but if a casino is aware that you might be doing this, they are likely to ask you to leave.

Color Up or Color Out – To do this is to exchange your chips of smaller value into chips with higher value.

Cut – This is what the dealer is doing when they divide the deck into two or more parts before the start of the deal.

Cut Card – This is the card that the dealer uses to cut the deck with. It is usually a distinctively different color than the actual playing deck. It is obviously not used for game play.

Early Surrender – This is when you give up after a player receives their first two cars, but before the dealer checks for a blackjack. By doing this you only lose half of your bet.

Even Money – When playing blackjack, this means you get paid the same as you bet on top of your original bet when the player has a blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace.

Expected Win Rate – This is the percentage of the total amount you bet that you can be expected to win or lose over a period of time. This can vary from online gambling to land based casinos. In many cases the online casinos offer better win rates.

Down Card – This is the dealer’s card that is facing down. Also the hole card.

Face Cards – These cards are the Jack, Queen, and King of each of the four suits. There are 12 face cards in each deck of cards. They have a card value of 10. While tens share the same value of face cards, they are not actual face cards.

First Base – This is the location at the blackjack table that players can sit at that is located nearest the dealer’s left side.

Hard Hand – This is any blackjack hand or hand that totals 21, that does not contain an ace with the value of 11.

Hit – This is when you want and take another card.

Hole Card – This is the dealer’s card that is facing down.

Insurance – This is a bet on the side that the dealer has a natural 21. Insurance is offered when the dealer’s up card is an ace. If the dealer has a natural and you have purchased the insurance bet, you win double. If the dealer does not in fact have a natural and you purchased the insurance, your bet is lost.

Natural – This is a hand where the first two cards have a total value of 21. This is also blackjack.

Online Blackjack – when players play blackjack online, commonly called online gambling.

Pit Boss –  The pit boss is the casino employee who is in charge of all the tables in a certain area. There primary objective is to make sure that the tables in their area are running smoothly and game play is fair.

Push – This is when the player and the dealer have valid hands with the same point total. This is a tie, and no money will change hands.

Shoe – This is the device on the table that holds multiple decks of playing cards waiting to be dealt.

Soft Hand – This is any blackjack hand that contains an ace valued at 11.

Stand – This is what you do when you do not want any additional cards dealt to you.

Surrender – This is when you forfeit half of your bet in order to not have to complete the hand.

Tip – This is the amount of money you give the dealer during the game and after you are finished playing. It is common practice to tip the dealer every five hands or so if you are winning.

Up Card – This is the dealer’s card that is facing up.