3:2 Blackjack
The player is paid 3:2 when he hits blackjack. For example, a player has a $100 bet. He then hits blackjack such that the casino dealer gives him $150.
6:5 Blackjack
The player is paid 6:5 when he hits blackjack. For example, a player gets a ten and an ace for blackjack on his $100 bet. The dealer then gives him $120.
The total amount of money wagered in a session or overall.
The player seated to the farthest left of the dealer, thus receiving cards last.
Back Counting
Counting cards while not actively participating in the game. Also known as “Wonging.”
The total amount of money a player has to wager.
When a player is asked not to play at a blackjack table or casino.
Basic Strategy
A set of optimal decisions for each possible player hand against every possible dealer upcard.
Basic Strategy Chart
A chart that shows what the player should do in every situation.
A hand that consists of an Ace and a 10-point card. It is the best possible hand.
When a hand exceeds 21 points.
Actions and behaviors used by card counters to disguise their skills.
Card Counting
A strategy where players keep track of high and low-value cards to determine when the odds favor them.
Counting Cards
People think this means remembering every individual card in the deck. It is actually much simpler than that. Using a point system, players determine whether the remaining deck has good cards or bad cards. Cards 10 and higher are good. Cards 6 and lower are bad.
Cut Card
A solid colored card typically made of plastic, used to cut the deck after shuffling.
Deck Penetration
The percentage of cards that are dealt before a reshuffle.
Discard Tray
A tray on the dealer’s right side where the used cards are placed.
Double Down
To double the original bet and receive only one more card.
Early Surrender
The option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack.
The advantage a player or the house has.
Even Money
Taking a payout of 1:1 when having a blackjack and the dealer’s upcard is an Ace.
Face Cards
Jacks, Queens, and Kings, which are all valued at 10 points.
First Base
The first player to receive cards from the dealer.
Flat Betting
Betting the same amount on every hand without variation.
Hard Hand
A hand that doesn’t contain an Ace or where the Ace is valued as 1.
Heads Up
Playing one on one against the dealer.
High Roller
A player who places large bets.
Hole Card
The dealer’s card that is face down.
House Edge
The mathematical advantage the casino has over the players.
House Rules
Specific rules set by a casino for their blackjack tables.
A side bet that the dealer has a blackjack when their upcard is an Ace.
Late Surrender
The option to surrender after the dealer checks for blackjack but before the player starts playing their hand.
Games using more than one deck of cards.
Another term for blackjack – an Ace and a 10-point card.
Slang for face cards (Jack, Queen, King).
Pat Hand
A hand totaling 17 to 21 that doesn’t necessarily require a hit.
The area in a casino surrounded by table games.
Pit Boss
A casino employee in charge of overseeing the tables and the games.
When the player’s hand and the dealer’s hand have the same value. No money is won or lost.
Running Count
In card counting, the total value of the count, positive or negative, at any given time.
A period of blackjack play.
An employee of the casino who plays using house money.
A device that holds multiple decks of cards.
Soft Hand
A hand that contains an Ace valued as 11.
Turning one hand into two hands. For example, suppose we have a $100 bet and we’re dealt a pair of eights. We can put another $100 on the table such that we split our eights into two different hands (one eight for each hand).
To refrain from taking any more cards.
Stiff Hand
A hand with a total value of 12 through 16.
Giving up half the bet. If it looks like there is a good chance that the player will lose the entire bet the he can surrender and give up just half of it at casinos that offer this option.
Third Base
The player acting last. Looking towards the dealer, this is the player on the far left.
True Count
In card counting with multiple decks, the running count divided by the number of decks not yet dealt.
The size of a bet.
Up and Down
A blackjack betting strategy where the player bets two units, then, if he wins, bets 4 units.
The dealer’s card that is face up.
The statistical measure of how results can differ from the mean.
A term for a high roller, usually one who bets (and often loses) large amounts.


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Blackjack Dictionary
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