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Glossary of Blackjack Terms & Rules

Glossary of Blackjack Terms & Rules

Know your A-Z of Blackjack Terms

An alphabetic list of all the Blackjack terms

Mostly, you’ll just need to know whether to hit, stand or double. But every once in a while, you come across a term that just doesn’t make sense. Our Blackjack glossary is here to help.

A - Z of Blackjack Terms & Definitions
A - Z of Blackjack Terms & Definitions

Some of the terms below you may already know. Some you won’t.

The whole point of this casino Blackjack glossary is to give you a quick reference if you come across any terms in this Blackjack game guide that you don’t understand.

Or just if, when you’re playing, you come across something unfamiliar, you can come back and read all about it here.

We concentrate on the terms you might find in online Blackjack on mobile and PCs, not offline. Such things as counting systems or backdoor kennys won’t be here.

A is for…

Ace: The card that counts as 1 or 11, depending on how your hand looks.

B is for…

Blackjack: Shocker, right?

If you’ve reached this far into our guide and you’re still trying to figure out what the freak Blackjack is all about, we’ve clearly failed at our jobs.

Still, Blackjack is a card game where you aim to beat the dealer with the best possible hand of cards without exceeding 21 points.

Basic Strategy: We’ll go into this in more detail in our Basic Blackjack Strategy sheet cheats. Essentially, statistically, you can only make a finite number of choices to try and win a hand of Blackjack.

What action you take, whether double, hit or stand, depends on your cards, the cards of the dealer, and the number of decks in play.

Bust or Busting Out: The term used to describe if you’ve gone over 21 points whilst playing Blackjack. Otherwise known as ‘losing’.

Betting Limits: Most online blackjack tables will have betting limits, which include how much you can bet per hand or per round (if you can play more than one hand).

This includes a minimum and maximum you can bet at a table.

C is for…

… Nothing? Sure, at real casinos we can talk about cut cards, card counting and card sharp.

But in online blackjack games, all these are irrelevant. As the numbers are random, you can’t count cards, and there’s no point in cutting cards to prevent the dealer from cheating because… computers.

D is for

Deal: The button you press to start the game. Your cards are then dealt, and you can no longer withdraw your bets.

Deck: One deck of cards is 52 cards with four suits.

Double or Double Down: Once you’ve got two cards that have been dealt, you can, sometimes, place an additional bet equal to your original bet. The dealer will then hit you with one more card, and that’s it, and you are expected to win using three cards, with double your bet’s worth.

You can use this tactic when you have a strong chance of winning.

Draw: See ‘hit’.

Double Exposure Blackjack: Probably one of the newest variants of Blackjack, and usually only found at online and mobile casinos, this is where both cards of the dealer are ‘exposed’ for you to see. Also known as Face up 21 or Dealer Disclosure.

E is for…

Early Surrender: An option that allows you to surrender or give up your bet before the dealer checks for a blackjack.

Also, see ‘late surrender’.

Even Money: At its simplest, this just means a payout of 1:1. So if you bet 1 in cash and you win, you’ll get winnings of 1.

F is for…

Face Cards: Otherwise known as Jacks, Queens and Kings – i.e. they have ‘faces’. They are each worth 10 points.

Five Card Charlie: Managing to ‘hit’ till you have five cards in your hand and not busting out. Unusual in online and mobile blackjack games, but sometimes you do get some that offer you a 2:1 bonus for achieving this.

G is for…

Nope. We’ve got nothing. Get in touch with us if there’s a term you’d like explained.

H is for…

Hard Hand: A hard total without an ace card, which can be counted as either 1 or 11. Or, to twist the meaning, a hand where the players can bust on a hit because there’s no other way to read the numbers on the cards.

Hit: Asking the dealer to deal you one more card. You can hit as often as you like until you bust.

Hole Card: The second card to be dealt to the dealer that is dealt face down and not revealed to players until after they have acted upon their hand(s).

I is for…

Insurance: If the dealer shows an Ace, some online blackjack tables allow you to buy insurance. This means that you place a side bet of half the value of the original bet, and if the dealer has Blackjack, you get your wager back plus the value of the original bet.

If the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack, you lose your insurance wager.

J & K is for…

Jeranimo Kirostectic! Yeah, we just made that up. Nothing for you here.

L is for…

Late Surrender: An option that allows you to ‘surrender’ or give up after the dealer checks whether or not he has a blackjack hand.

Also, see ‘early surrender’.

Las Vegas Strip Rules: A variant of traditional Blackjack where you can only double on your first two cards, never after a split, and dealers stand on a soft total of 17.

M is for…

Multiple Decks: Exactly what it sounds like. You are playing with more than one deck of cards.

N is for….

Natural Blackjack: When you reach 21 points using only two cards.  Ie. An Ace and a face or 10 cards.

O is for:

Olives? for that dirty martini you make for yourself when playing online Blackjack at home? Yeah. Let’s go with that.

P is for…

Pat: A hand with at least 17 in total.

Paint: See ‘face cards’.

Push: Otherwise known as a ‘tie’ – you and the dealer get the same points. In a game of Blackjack, most will give you back your bet if a push happens, but not always, so check the rules.

Q and R is for…

We are running out of fillers. A Quarter of a Rind of lemon to go with that dirty martini?

S is for…

Soft Hand: A soft hand is a hand that holds an ace, which can be counted as either 11 or 1. Alternatively, think of it as a hand where if you hit, you won’t necessarily go bust, as you can change the value of the ace.

Split: If you are dealt two cards which are of the same rank (i.e. two 10s, two queens, two 3s etc…), you can choose to split them and play with two hands.

You’ll then put up the same bet again for that new second-hand you just created, and the dealer will deal you two new cards to go with your split cards.

Stand: You stop asking for more cards, and your turn for that set ends.

Stiff: A common term to refer to a hand where the possibility to exceed 21 on the next ‘hit’ exists, i.e. 12,13,14,15 or 16. You won’t see this term often in online Blackjack, but it can make you sound knowledgable with your friends and family when playing at home.

Surrender: Also see ‘late’ and ‘early’ surrender, but this just means that you abandon your hand and recover half of your initial bet.

T is for…

Tie: see ‘push’

U is for…

Upcard: the dealer’s card, which you can see.

V, W, X, Y, Z is for…

It’s Very Wasteful to eXcite your Yearnings for blackjack Zen by staying on this glossary page.

Time to move on and start learning some real Blackjack strategies or simply find out the best mobile casinos to play.

Time to cheat: Learn the best blackjack strategies »

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