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Blackjack glossary: The complete guide to blackjack terminology

Blackjack glossary: The complete guide to blackjack terminology

Whether you are new to the world of online blackjack, or else looking to comprehend a specific term, we have got you covered. Regardless of whether you prefer live or online blackjack, we have compiled the ultimate list of blackjack terms and other terminology to help you get to grips with the all too important blackjack terms.

The below terms should help give you a kick start into the world of online blackjack, what the terms of action mean, and so much more. However, if you are looking for strategy and tutorials on the game of blackjack, keep checking GamblingMetropolis for a full collection of blackjack tutorials.

Glossary of blackjack terms


21+3: It’s a combination of online blackjack and 3-card poker played concurrently. This game of Blackjack adopts a three-card side bet, most commonly found in the game of Three Card Poker.

Ace: An Ace can act either as 1 or else, 11. Generally, an ace acts as 11 unless there’s a chance of busting, in which case, it acts as 1.

Action: The total number of bets spent over a specific time.

Advantage player: When the player has a mathematical advantage over the house.

Banker: The dealer.

Bankroll: The sum of money set aside for gambling.

Basic Strategy: A strategy that aims to boost the player’s advantage towards a win.

Bet sizing: The size of the bet in proportion to the mathematical advantage over the house.

Blackjack: Also known as 21, the aim of this game is to create a hand, whose total comes as close as possible to 21, but without going over. Its hand value must be greater than the dealer’s to win.

Break: A loss that results from having a hand value of over 21.

Bust: Like Break, a bust is when a hand exceeds 21.

Cut: To split the deck of cards before they are dealt.

Deal: Handing out cards prior to the commencement of a game.

Double Down: An option available in specific blackjack variations. To double down means to double your initial bet, once the initial two cards have been dealt one. Once this option has been selected, an additional card is requested.

Draw: Also known as a hit, it’s the request for an additional card.

Early Surrender:  The option to surrender prior to the dealer checking for a blackjack.

Even Money: Cashing in on a bet when you have a blackjack and the dealer has an Ace.

Face Cards: Jacks, Queens and Kings of any suit.

Face Down: One of the dealer’s initial cards is placed face down, away from the player’s view.

Hard Hand: A hand without an Ace or with an Ace that is valued as 1.

Heads Up: Playing against the dealer only.

High Roller:  A term used to describe players who make large bets.

Hit: Also known as a Draw, a hit is when a player asks for an extra card.

Hole Card: A Hole card is the other card that the dealer received that is placed facedown.

House: Another term for a casino.

House Edge: The percentage ratio a casino has of winning over players.

House Rules: The terms and conditions of the game including buy-ins.

Insurance: A side bet that is equal to half the initial bet against the dealer achieving a natural 21. Insurance is also additionally offered only when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. The insurance bet wins double the bet if the dealer has a natural blackjack.

Natural: A natural is a two-card hand that amounts to 21.

Pat: A hand that amounts to 17 points.

Point Count: Your hand value.

Push: Also known as a Tie or a Stand-off, a Push is when both players (dealer and player) have the same hand value.

Shoe: Also known as Sabot, the shoe is the box that holds the cards.

Shuffle: The act of the dealer mixing the order of the cards.

Soft Hand: A hand that has an ace counting as 11.

Split Hand: When the player splits the initial two-card hand into two and play them separately. This option is usually available to hands that have cards of a similar value.

Standing Hand: A hand that totals to 17 or more, but which is likely to bust if a hit is requested.

Standoff: Also known as push or tie.

Stand or Stay: When you require no additional cards.

Stiff Hand: A hand that has a very small percentage of winning.

Surrender: Giving up and surrendering half the initial bet.

Tie Bet: This is the term used when both the dealer and the player get the same hand value.

Upcard: One of the dealer’s cards placed facing up, for the player to see.

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