Blackjack Glossary: Game Slang & Blackjack Bets Explained
Understanding the language used at the table is an integral part of playing Blackjack. It determines not only how much you win—you can’t split if you don’t know what splitting is—but how well you interact with your gaming comrades.
In fact, rule number one—don’t make noise at the table, especially during the placing of Blackjack bets—often proves to be entirely untrue. In both land and online casinos, whether live or on chat, players are frequently fine with, if not keen on, speaking to fellow players; hence, your first need of a not-so-basic Blackjack glossary that includes both in-game terms and the Blackjack slang used at the tough-talking, streetwise Blackjack tables.
The second need of a Blackjack glossary stems from the game itself. Playing Blackjack requires skill, of course, but before even that comes something more basic: knowing how to play the game! Understanding Blackjack bets and Blackjack game flow and the ability to distinguish between a rule specific to the dealer and a one specific to you are crucial aspects of the game.
The below Blackjack Glossary explains the various types of Blackjack bets and highlights some of the key Blackjack terms and Blackjack slang in popular use today.
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Blackjack Glossary: Basic Blackjack Terms & Definitions
Banker: the person that accepts and distributes wagers and payouts; in casino Blackjack the banker and the dealer are the same.
Bankroll: the money a player has set aside specifically for wagering.
Burn cards: cards the dealer discards from the deck after every shuffle.
Bust: rule that dictates any hand over 21 results in an automatic loss.
Card counting: Keeping track of cards that have already been played in order to predict what remains in the deck.
Chart: a Blackjack “cheat sheet” that includes the optimal move for every possible player versus dealer hand.
Chips: the betting currency for casino Blackjack; all cash must be converted to chips before use at the Blackjack table.
Dealer: casino employee that distributes the cards and against whom all other Blackjack players are competing.
Deposit bonus: free cash a casino awards to eligible players; usually a code is required to redeem deposit bonuses.
Double down: doubling your original bet and requesting just one additional card; a unique player option usually only utilized with a hand total of 10 or 11.
Hand probability: the likelihood of receiving a particular hand (like a natural 21) at any given time.
Hard Ace: a hand with an Ace that can only be used as a 1.
Hit: to receive an additional card.
House edge: the casino’s set advantage over a player; in Blackjack, a perfect strategy can actually eliminate the house edge.
House rules: game rules that dictate how the dealer must play his hand.
Insurance: a side wager against the dealer holding Blackjack; this is typically half of a player’s original bet.
Limit: the minimum or maximum amount that a player can bet per hand when playing Blackjack at any specific table.
Natural: the acquisition of a 21 with your first two cards.
Push: when the dealer and the player have the same hands.
Shoe: a box or stack of cards that contains several decks; shoes have replaced single decks in Blackjack to discourage players from counting cards.
Shuffle: when the dealer remixes the cards in a deck or shoe; this is also done to discourage card counting.
Soft Ace: an Ace that may be played as either a 1 or 11.
Split: when a player’s original two-card hand is a pair, they may double their bet and split those two cards into two separate hands; this is generally only advisable with Aces and 8s.
Stand: to accept your existing hand by refusing any additional cards.
Surrender: the option to fold your hand and keep half of your original bet; this option is not available at all casino Blackjack tables.
Blackjack Glossary: Summary of Blackjack Terms for Future Card Sharks
The ability to navigate game terminology without hesitation or confusion is important. Don’t get lost in translation during a big hand. Take the knowledge contained in the above Blackjack glossary to the tables. Throw around a few Blackjack terms and slide in some Blackjack slang. We can’t guarantee this will turn you into a winner but we’re sure it will help you better understand Blackjack bets. Good luck!