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Blackjack Terms

Blackjack has a language all its own. If you’ve never played the game before, you may wonder what these people are saying as they play. It’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with these blackjack terms, so that you understand what’s happening during the game, and make the game more enjoyable for you and your fellow players.

We’ve tried to gather just about every blackjack term we could think of. It is possible that we may have missed a blackjack term or two, so please feel free to contact us if you feel there is something more we should add to our little list of blackjack terms.

Action
A certain amount of money risked by a blackjack player during a given amount of playing time.

Basic Strategy
A set of rules that governs your blackjack playing decisions that doesn’t consider previously dealt cards or the cards of other players.

Betting Limits
The minimum and maximum amounts a blackjack player may wager on a single bet.

Blackjack
A hand of two cards that totals 21. Also, referred to as a “natural”.

Burn Card
The dealer will discard one card of the top of the deck after the deck has been shuffled and cut.

Bust
When your hand totals more than 21 you lose, or bust.

Card Counting
Keeping track of the cards that have been played by all players since the last shuffle. Not much use on games that use continuous shuffling machines (CSMs).

Chips / Checks
Money is exchanged for these tokens which are used to place your wagers.

Color Up
Exchanging chips of a smaller denomination for chips of a larger denomination.

Cut
Dividing the deck in two.

Cut Card
A card used to cut the deck, usually a different color.

Early Surrender
Giving up your hand and losing half of your bet after receiving your first two cards and before the dealer checks for blackjack.

Even Money
When you win, you are paid an amount equal to your original wager, plus your wager if you have blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace.

Expected Win Rate
The amount of a player’s total wagers expected to win over a certain amount of time.

Face Cards
Jack, Queen and King of any suit.

First Base
The position closest to the dealer’s left.

Hard Hand
Any hand that does contain an ace counting as an eleven.

Hit
Drawing or taking an additional card.

Hole Card
The dealer’s card that is face down.

Insurance
The dealer will offer a side bet called insurance, when the dealer’s face up card is an ace. If the dealer has blackjack the player wins twice their bet. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the insurance bet loses.

Natural
A two card hand that totals 21, also referred to as blackjack.

Pit Boss
An employee of the casino who oversees the blackjack tables of a certain area.

Push or Tie
When the player and the dealer have hands with the same total. No money changes hands.

Shoe
Cards are stored and dealt from a plastic or wooden box called a shoe.

Soft Hand
Any hand that contains an ace counted as eleven.

Stand
When you no longer take any additional cards.

Surrender
Giving up your hand and losing half of your bet when you do not wish to complete your hand. Not offered at all blackjack tables.

Tip
A small amount given by a player to a dealer.

Up Card
A card belonging to the dealer that is face up.





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