Do you think you understand all the terms used when playing blackjack? Check the meaning of these words in our blackjack termbase.
- 86'd – a slang term referring to the situation where a casino has forbidden you from playing. In general, this is due to a suspicion of cheating.
- Balanced count – A balanced card counting system which maintains an overall balance between plus and minus cards. This means that if we were to sum up the values of all cards in a pack, the result would be zero.
- Bankroll – the amount of money available to a player.
- Blackjack – the name of the game; here, players aim at holding cards whose values sum up to 21 while ensuring that this value is never exceeded. At the same time, this term refers to the best possible combination of cards in the game. This consists of an ace and any card with a value of 10 (i.e., 10, J, Q and K).
- Break – the sum of the card values held by a player exceeds 21. Also called a Bust.
- Bust – the sum of the card values held by a player exceeds 21. Also called a Break.
- Bust card – the card which made the card values held by a player exceed 21.
- Basic strategy – a basic strategy is a set of actions which increase your probability to win when a new game is started with a new card pack. These differ depending on the rules of the game.
- Cut card – a plastic card used by the dealer to identify the point after which the dealer will shuffle the cards.
- Double or double down – doubling the bet. If a player begins the game with a good combination of cards, he/she can double their bet. However, in that case the croupier will then draw a single card for the player and then the game ends.
- Draw – the situation when the player receives his/her first additional card after his initial two cards.
- Even money – if a player gets a blackjack and the dealer draws an ace as his/her first card, he/she will offer “even money” to the player. The player can then choose to get a 1:1 payout (usually, the payout is 2:1). This allows players to avoid a stand off. See stand off.
- First base – the position on the left of the dealer; this player receives the first card and in case of non-tournament games also begins the game.
- Five card Charlie – a rule used in some games, where if a player does not exceed a value of 21 even with five cards, he/she receives a bonus or automatically wins.
- Hard hand – a term which refers to the situation when the player is not holding an ace and is at risk of a bust on the next draw.
- High Roller – a “big player”; those who play with high stakes and big bets.
- Hit – asking for an additional card.
- Hole card – the dealer’s hidden card; it is only revealed once the players play their hands.
- Insurance – this can be applied if the dealer begins with an ace and there is a risk that the next card will result in a blackjack. In this case, the player can place one half of his/her original bet on the side. If the dealer then indeed gets a blackjack, the player receives an insurance payout in a ratio of 2:1. However, the insurance is lost if the dealer does not get a blackjack.
- Natural – a blackjack with the first two cards.
- Penetration – a percentage representing how many cards were dealt before the dealer opened a new pack or mixed the pack.
- Pitch game – a game of blackjack played with one or two card packs, dealt by the dealer from his/her hand.
- Shoe – a device used to store several card packs. The dealer uses it to deal cards during the so-called “shoe game”.
- Shoe game – a blackjack game played with 4 to 8 card packs stored in a special device called a shoe. The dealer deals cards directly from this device.
- Soft hand – the situation where the player is holding at least one ace.
- Split – this is an operation that players can do if they hold two cards of the same value. These can be split and played with separately; in this case, players can bet on both of those, i.e., double their bet.
- Stand – the term used by players to signify that they don’t want another card.
- Stand off – a draw; this occurs if both the dealer and the player are holding the same value of cards in their hands. In this case, there is no winner and the dealer returns the whole bet to the player. Also called a Push.
- Stiff Hand – every Hard Hand with a sum of 12 to 16, where each additional card risks a Bust.
- Surrender – some types of games allow players to surrender. This is an action where players fold their hand in exchange for a refund of one half of their bet.
- Third base – the position on the right of the dealer. This player usually plays last.
- Unbalanced count – An unbalanced card counting system. This refers to all blackjack systems where summing up the values of all cards in a pack does not result in a zero.
- Upcard – the dealer’s card that is face up.