Blackjack Terminology

Blackjack Terms and Lingo

Blackjack terminology is very specific – not knowing or understanding this language could result in your making an incorrect move which in turn will in all probability result in your losing your hand and therefore losing your money.

The player seated to the dealer’s furthest right.
A player’s total amount of money with which he can bet.
Basic Strategy
A simple method which should be memorized by all players that maximizes a player’s advantage and helps him make educated decisions regarding his moves.
A total of 21 on a player’s first two cards dealt.
Breaking Hand
A hand that will most likely go bust if hit.
Burn Cards
Taking cards from the top of the deck and placing them in the discard tray after shuffling and cutting.
To go bust – having a card total that exceed 21; losing the game.
Card Counting
The skill to mentally count and memorize the cards which have been played and to judge how many (usually high) cards are left in the shoe. This skill gives a player a conditional probability advantage on the rest of the cards against the house.
To hand out the cards.
Discard Tray
The tray holding all the discarded cards.
Double Down
An option to double the original bet, but only getting a one-card hit.
To request more cards to be added to one’s hand.
Early Surrender
A surrender which is allowed before the dealer sees if he has a blackjack.
Face Cards
Jack, Queen and King.
Face Down Game
When the player’s first card is face up, but the second card is face down.
Face Up Game
When both cards are placed face up.
First Base
The first seat to the left of the dealer to which cards are first handed out.
Hard Count
The true face value of the cards.
Hard Hand (Total)
A hand that has no Ace, or with an Ace which should only be counted as 1 value.
Heads Up
A game between one player and the dealer.
Requesting that the dealer deal another card.
Hole Card
A face down card, usually relating to the dealer’s single card placed face down.
A side bet when the dealer is showing an Ace.
Late Surrender
Surrender which is allowed only if the dealer does not have a blackjack.
A line of credit from the casino to a trustworthy player.
Multiplayer Blackjack
A revolutionary trend in the world of blackjack whereby a tournament is played between 5 live players with fully interactive software.
A two-card hand totaling exactly 21 points – an automatic win which pays 3-2.
The mathematical chances that a bet will be won or not.
A hand which totals between 17 – 21.
Point Count
Used in card counting systems: the net value of the card count at the end of a round.
To increase the amount of a wager.
When the player and the dealer both have equal card totals. The player keeps the bet in the end.
Running Count
Used in card counting: the count from the beginning of the deck; the running count is adjusted to the value of the point count after every hand.
A wooden box or case which holds and dispenses the cards.
Shuffle Up
Premature shuffling by the dealer used to deter the practice of card counting.
Soft Hand
A hand of cards containing an Ace that can be used as a 1 or an 11
Split Hand
The option to split two cards of the same value and to play them out separately.
Standing Hand
A hand which has a hard total of 17 or more, and will most probably go bust if hit with another card – the player “stands”.
Stand / Stay
Not having any more hits.
Stiff Hand
Hand with a slim chance of winning.
Giving up a hand and only losing half of the bet.
Third Base
The seat to the dealer’s right.
A tip given to the dealer.
True Count
In card counting systems: the running count is adjusted to the number of unplayed cards remaining in the deck.
Up Card
The dealer’s first dealt card, placed face up for the players to see.

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