All-comprehensive guide to blackjack terminology
The following is an all-comprehensive list of terms and definitions used in both live and online blackjack. You are by no means obliged to know all the terms listed here when playing online blackjack.
However, if you want to improve your chances of winning and to better understand the terms used by the dealer and other players, it would be best to have a good read of the below terms. When ready, check out the other blackjack guides and begin your blackjack journey!
21+3: Blackjack and 3-card poker being played at the same time. This European-style blackjack game adopts a 3-card side bet similar to that found in Three Card Poker game.
Ace: An Ace can count as either 1 or 11. As a general rule, an ace counts as 11 unless you go over 21. In that case, the ace counts as one.
Action: The total number of bets spent over a specific time period.
Banker: The dealer.
Bankroll: The amount of money you wish to spend on gambling.
Basic Strategy: The basic strategy that could maximise your advantage leading to a win.
Blackjack: A game where the main aim is to reach a total of 21 without going over using the initial two-card hand. You must come as close as possible to 21 to beat the dealer.
Break: Going over the hand total of 21.
Bust: Similar to Break, a bust is when you exceed a hand total of 21.
Five Card Charlie: A rule variation when you get 5 cards without busting.
Cut: To split the deck of cards before they are dealt.
Deal: Giving out the cards during a hand at the start of the game.
Double Down: The option of doubling your initial bet after the first two cards have been dealt, but you can only hit one additional card. To Double Down, the players must turn over the first two cards and place an equal bet to go alongside the initial bet.
Draw: Also known as a hit, it’s when you ask for an extra card to your current hand.
Early Surrender: It’s when a player surrenders before the dealer/bank checks for a blackjack.
Even Money: Cashing in on a wager when you land a blackjack and the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace.
Face Cards: Jacks, Queens and Kings of any suit.
Face Down: Your initial card is placed face up while the second one is placed face down.
Hard Hand: A hand without an Ace or with an Ace that is valued as 1.
Heads Up: Playing against the dealer with no other players involved.
High Roller: Term used for a player who makes big bets.
Hit: Also known as a Draw, a hit is when a player asks for an additional card.
Hole Card: A Hole card is the facedown card that the dealer receives. In online poker, facedown cards are also dealt to players.
House: Another term for a casino.
House Edge: The chances and percentage ratio a casino has of winning over players.
House Rules: The regulations of the game including buy-ins.
Insurance: A side bet that is up to half the initial bet against the dealer achieving a natural 21. Insurance is sometimes offered only when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. The insurance bet wins double the wager if the dealer achieves a natural.
Natural: A natural in online blackjack is a two-card hand that equals to a total of 21 points.
Pat: A hand that has at least 17 points.
Perfect Pairs: A side bet played in the standard online blackjack game and that is adaptable to the standard game without changing the rules. There are three different types of pairs including Mixed Pair, Coloured Pair and Perfect Pair.
Point Count: The value of the card count at the end of the hand.
Push: Also known as a Tie or a Stand-off, a Push is when both the dealer and the player have the same hand value.
Shoe: Also known as Sabot, the shoe is the box that holds and dispenses the cards that are to be dealt.
Shuffle: The act of the dealer mixing the order of the cards.
Soft Hand: A Hand that contains an ace counting as 11.
Split Hand: When you split the initial two-card hand into two and play them separately.
Standing Hand: A hand that totals to 17 or more, but which is likely to bust if another card is requested.
Standoff: Also known as the tie.
Stand or Stay: When you need no more cards and refrain from asking for an additional card.
Stiff Hand: A hand that has a minuscule chance of winning.
Surrender: Giving up a hand and losing half the initial bet.
Tie Bet: This is the term used when both the dealer and the player get the same amount of points.
Upcard: The dealer’s first dealt card that is placed face up for the player to see.
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