Casino & Poker

Blackjack Terms – Basic Glossary To Learn Blackjack

blackjack terms & rules

Want to become a blackjack master? First things first, you need to make sure you’re familiar with the blackjack terminology. Brushing up on your knowledge will allow you to go into the game with a head start and know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. In this article, we explore some of the key blackjack terms in more detail.

Basic Terms

Before getting stuck into a game of blackjack, you need to understand the basic terms. Below, we explore the basic blackjack terms further.

Hit/Stand: To play a game of blackjack, the first two terms you need to learn are hit and stand. When it’s your turn, you must tell the dealer whether you’d like to “hit” or “stand”. If you choose “hit”, you’re saying that you’d like another card dealt to you. If you decide to “stand”, you are satisfied with your current hand and don’t want to add another card. Depending on your preference, you can say your choice aloud or signify using a hand gesture. Tapping on the table indicates hit and waving your hand over the cards suggests that you want to stand.

Bust: You go bust when you take on an extra card that tips your total over 21. When you go bust, you lose your bet and are eliminated from the rest of the game.

Chips: Another one of the blackjack terms you’ll need to know is chips. Before the game, you can exchange your money for chips to bet with. If you win, you will be given chips to exchange for cash at the end.

Shoe: The shoe is the device that holds the deck of cards as they are being dealt. The term is also used to describe a round of blackjack. For instance, all of the hands dealt by the dealer in between shuffles.

Hole Card/Upcard: These blackjack terms are the dealers two cards. The hole card is laid face down so you can’t see it, while the upcard is exposed.

Bankroll: Bankroll is another basic term you need to know. This is the money you have to gamble with.

Burn Card: The burn card is the first card at the top of a new shoe. This card is taken off and discarded to assure players that the deck isn’t rigged.

Cut Card: The cut card is a plastic card used by the dealer to control the shuffle. It is then given to one player at the table to cut the deck. This is another step to help assure players that the game isn’t rigged.

First Base/Third Base: First base and third base are more blackjack terms that you need to know. These blackjack terms are the two end positions at a blackjack table. First base is the position to the dealer’s left, and third base is the one to the right.

Blackjack hands

Blackjack: As well as being the name of the game, blackjack is the name of a hand. When you’re dealt two cards totalling 21, you’ve got a blackjack.

Soft Hand: A soft hand is when the dealer or a player has been dealt two cards, one of which is an ace.

Soft 17: A soft 17 is when the dealer or a player has been dealt an ace and a 6. Depending on the venue, the dealer may be required to hit on a soft 17, or they may be asked to stand.

Push: This is when the dealer and the player end up with hands of the same value. In this case, there is no winner, and the original bet is returned to the player. The only time this doesn’t apply is when the dealer and the player both have blackjack. In this case, the dealer is the winner.

Pair: this is when a player has a pair of cards of equal value. These can be a coloured pair, a mixed pair or a perfect pair. A perfect pair is when two cards of the same suit are of equal value.

Hard hand: the difference between a hard hand and a soft hand is the ace. In a hard hard, the ace is counted as a 1. In a soft hand, the ace is counted as an 11. Sometimes, a hard hand is referred to as a hard total.

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Bet types

Insurance: If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, the player is offered an extra bet to protect against a possible blackjack. This bet pays at 2:1.

Surrender: In some casinos, you can surrender if you don’t believe your hand will win. Typically, this will be if you have a poor starting hand of 15. When you surrender, you win back half of your initial bet. It’s worth noting that not all casinos offer this, so check before making this decision.

Even Money: If you’re dealt 21 and the dealer’s upcard is an ace, you will be offered an “even money”. If you accept this, you will receive the equivalent of your bet, rather than the 1.5 times your wager you would normally win for a blackjack. This is to protect you against both you and the dealer having blackjack and you losing the hand.

Double Down: You double down when you place another bet on top of your initial wager. In most cases, you would double the amount of your original wager, hence the name double down. Today, some casinos allow something called “doubling for less”. This is where your second bet can be as little as half of your initial wager. When you double down, you will be dealt one additional card to complete your hand.

Splitting: Splitting is when you are dealt two of the same cards and choose to split them into two separate hands. When you do this, you place a second wager on the new hand. The dealer will then deal another card for each hand, and you then make your hit or stand decisions like normal.

So, there you have it – the basic blackjack terms explained. This blackjack glossary contains the essential terms and phrases you need to understand if you want to start playing blackjack and blend in with the pros. Put your new-found skills to good use at our online casino where you can play blackjack online and more games like slots, roulette, and even live blackjack.