Check out the Blackjack ABC Dictionary of Blackjack terms. Have you come across a word or expression you are unsure about? Look it up below in our comprehensive glossary of terms.
Blackjack – Reaching the sum of 21 with the first two cards dealt – an ace and a royal or face card or ten. (See also Natural 21)
Bust – When your cards exceed 21 you go bust and are out of the game.
Card Counting – Keeping a note of all the dealt cards to help you anticipate the remaining cards still to come.
Chinese Blackjack – is played my many in Asia. As with standard Blackjack the rules vary from casino to casino but many do not allow splitting and have created their own rules to add extra spice. In some the dealer has the right to reveal players’ hands and an ‘unbusted’ hand of five cards can have special status.
Discards – The cards that have already been dealt.
Double After Split (DAS) – After splitting a pair (See Split), some casinos give players the option to ‘double down’ on each of the pairs. (See Double Down)
Double Down – This doubles your original bet and wagers that you will win with only one more card dealt to you.
Exposure Blackjack – Literally leaves you exposed – both your cards are dealt face-up.
Hard Hand – A hand that either does not have an ace or that has one that can only be scored as 1 in order not to bust.
Hit – The term used for asking to be dealt another card (because your first two or more cards need supplementing in order to reach 21).
Hole Card – The dealer’s cards are dealt one face up and one face down. The second, face down card is called a hole card.
Insurance – A side bet on the dealer receiving a natural 21. Insurance is agreed before the dealer turns the hole card face up. (See Hole Card) A player may play insurance if the first upturned card in an ace – increasing the dealer’s chances of getting a natural 21.
Late Surrender – a rule employed by some casinos whereby a player can surrender after the dealer’s cards are revealed. (See also Surrender)
Multi Deck – Games played with more than one deck. Blackjack can be played with one, two, four, six or eight card decks.
Multiple Action Blackjack – Here players can have 2 – 3 bets on a single hand and the dealer is given a hand for each bet the player places.
Pat hand – A hand with a total of 17 or more.
Pontoon – The English variation of Blackjack. (See our Pontoon article for more details)
Push – When a player’s hand turns out to be equal to that of the dealer, with neither winning. In most casinos, the player’s stakes are returned in these circumstances.
Resplit – (See Split first) This takes place subsequent to a player having already split his hand into two pairs. With the exception of aces, if a third card of the same value appears, he can resplit his cards into a 3rd hand and have three bets on the table. Some casinos ban splitting altogether, some limit it to 3 or 4 hands, others allow unlimited resplitting.
Shoe – In multi-deck games the cards are dealt out of a tray like box that is called a shoe.
Soft Hand – A hand containing an ace is called a Soft Hand – in this hand the ace can be valued at either 1 or 11 depending on the value of the other cards already drawn and the value of cards yet to be drawn.
Spanish 21 – A more liberal version of Blackjack with rules such as payouts on special hands, a player’s blackjack always beating the dealers and no tens in the deck.
Split – If you are dealt two cards of the same value, ‘a pair’, these can be split – doubling your bet and giving you two single card hands to play with.
Stand – To stick with your current hand and have no further cards dealt.
Stiff Hand – A hand valuing between 12 and 16. (See also Pat Hand)
Surrender – Some casinos will allow you to surrender your hand and your bet if you don’t want to continue with the game. This forfeits half of your bet but may protect you from losing the lot.
Twenty-One – The original name for Blackjack.
Up Card – The dealer’s first card – the one which is face up.
This Blackjack Dictionary is designed to grow over time. Do you need to know the meaning of a term which doesn’t appear here? Send it through to us and we will add it to our list.