Blackjack Terminology


This is a general gambling term which refers to the total amount of money bet in a specific period of time. Ten bets of ten dollars each is $100 of action.


Last taken sit to the dealer’s right.

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The stake (available money) a player plans to bet with.

Basic Strategy

A playing strategy that is designed to minimize the house edge as much as possible without using techniques such as card counting, shuffle tracking, or dealer tells. Basic strategy is used as a foundation for card counting, but is also used by many non-counters.

Black Chip

A $100 chip.


Total of 21 on your initial two-card hand.


Exceeding the hand total of 21 (same as Bust).

Burn Card

A single card taken from the top of the deck or the first card in a shoe which the dealer slides across the table from his/her left o the right, and is placed into the discard tray. The card may or may not be shown face up (which can affect the count if you are counting cards). A card is burned after each shuffle.


Exceeding the hand total of 21 (same as Break).


When a hand’s value exceeds 21… a losing hand.

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Short for cashier’s cage. This is where chips are redeemed for Slot Gacor cash, checks cashed, credit arranged, etc.

Card Counting

Recording (in memory) played cards (usually high cards) so as to establish a conditional probability advantage on the remaining cards against the dealer.


Short for complimentary. If you wave lots of money around, the casino may give you things like a free room or free food, hoping you’ll keep losing money at the tables in their casino.


Someone who counts cards.

Cut Card

A solid colored card typically a piece of plastic which is given to a player by the dealer for the purpose of cutting the deck(s) after a shuffle.

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Double Down

Double your initial bet following the initial two-card deal, but you can hit one card only.

Double For Less

To double down with less than two times the original bet. Generally, when doubling is allowed, the player does not have to actually double his bet, but may increase it by any amount up to (but not more than) the original bet.


Call a card or adding a new card to your current hand (same as Hit).

Drop Percentage

That portion of the player’s money that the casino will win because of the house percentage. It is a measure of the amount of a player’s initial stake that he or she will eventually lose. On average this number is around 20 percent. That is, on average, Joe Gambler will lose $20 of every $100 he begins with.

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Early Surrender

Surrender allowed before the dealer checks for blackjack.

Even Money

Cashing in your bet immediately at a 1:1 payout ratio when you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer’s showing card is an Ace.

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Face Cards

Jacks, Queens and Kings.

Face Down Game

Your first card is placed face up while the second one is placed face down.

Face Up Game

Both your cards are placed face up.

First Base

First taken seat to dealer’s left – where the first card is dealt.

Flat Bet

A bet which you do not vary ie, if you are flat betting ten dollars, you are betting $10 each and every hand without changing the betting amount from one hand to the next.

Foreign Chip

A chip that is issued by one casino and is honored by another as cash. A casino is not necessarily obligated to accept them.

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Green Chip

A $25 chip.

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Hard Hand

A hand in which any Ace is counted as a 1 and not as an 11 (same as Hard Total).

Hard Total

A hand without an Ace, or with an Ace valued at 1 is said to be Hard in that it can only be given one value, unlike a ‘Soft’ hand (same as Hard Hand).

Heads On

A head to head play with the dealer – no other players are involved (same as Heads Up).



Heads Up

A head to head play with the dealer – no other players are involved (same as Heads On).




The pressure a casino puts on a winning player, typically someone who is suspected of being a card counter.



High Roller

A big bettor.




To request another card (same as Draw).



Hole Card

Any face down card. The definition most often refers to the dealer’s single face down card.



House Percentage

The casino’s advantage in a particular game of chance.




The Casino of course.


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Side bet up to half the initial bet against the dealer having a natural 21 – allowed only when the dealer’s showing card is an Ace.


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An organized group of gamblers that travel to a casino together. Junkets are usually subsidized by a casino to attract players.


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Late Surrender

Surrender allowed only if the dealer does not have blackjack.


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An IOU. A line of credit provided by the casino to a player.




A manipulator of the cards, typically for illicit purposes.


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Initial two-card hand totalling 21.




The overhead costs of running the casino.


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When a player’s first two cards are numerically identical (ie, 7,7).



Pat Hand

A hand with a total of 17 to 21.



Pit Boss

An employee of the casino whose job is to supervise BlackJack players, dealers, and other floor personnel.




The area inside a group of gaming tables. The tables are arranged in an elliptical manner, the space inside the perimeter is the pit.



Point Count

The net value of the card count at the end of a hand.



Preferential Shuffling

Shuffling when the remaining cards are deemed favorable to the players.




A player-dealer tie (same as Tie or Stand Off).


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Red Chip

A $5 chip.



Running Count

The count from the beginning of the deck or shoe. The running count is updated by the value of the point count after each hand.


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SWAG Player

Scientific Wild Assed Guessing player.




The resolving of the bet. Either the dealer takes your chips, pays you, or in the case of a push, no exchange of chips occurs.




A house employee who bets money and pretends to be a player to attract customers. Shills typically follow the same rules as the dealer which makes them somewhat easy to spot (ie, they don’t Double Down or Split).




A device that can hold up to eight decks of cards which allows the dealer to slide out the cards one at a time.




Device, usually a wooden box, used for holding and dispensing the cards to be dealt.



Shuffle Up

Premature shuffling by the dealer to discourage card counting.



Shuffle Up

Prematurely shuffling the cards to harass a player who is usually suspected of being a counter.



Soft Hand

A hand in which any Ace is counted as an 11 and not as a 1.



Split Hand

Split the initial two-card hand into two and play them separately – allowed only when the two first cards are of equal value.




The act of standing behind the dealer to peak at the hole card and then secretly convey the information to a partner player sitting at the table. An illegal form of cheating.




To place more than one bet before the cards are dealt.



Stand Off

Both player and dealer have the same hand total – player keeps bet (same as Push or Tie).




To decline another card (same as Stay).




Not requiring any more cards (same as Stand).



Stiff Hand

Hand with little chance of winning, regardless of how the hand is played (usually 12 – 16).




Giving up your hand and lose only half the bet.


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Tell Play

Observing the dealer’s body language and expressions to determine his hand of cards.



Third Base

Last taken seat to the dealer’s right.




Both player and dealer have the same hand total – player keeps bet (same as Push or Stand Off).




To “toke” the dealer is just another word for tipping the dealer.



Tough Player

a player who can hurt the casino monetarily with his or her intelligent play.



True Count

The running count adjusted to account for the number of cards left in the deck or shoe to be played.


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The dealer’s first dealt card, placed face up.


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WAG Player

Wild Assed Guessing player.