Blackjack Glossary

The player sitting to the dealer's right.

The value in money of the chips the player has to bet with.

Basic Strategy
A simple easy-to-remember set of gambling plays that players can use to improve their winning chances.

When the first two cards a player receives are an ace and a 10-value card (10 or picture), he has blackjack. The same applies to the dealer.

Breaking Hand
Any hand that could go over 21 with just one more card.

Burning Cards
Taking cards from the top of the deck and not using them in the play of the deck. This is done after the deck has been shuffled and cut.

To go over 21 and automatically losing that deal.

Counting Cards
A skill that players can learn. They can remember the value of cards not played yet. This gives them a statistical advantage over the house because they can make more educated guesses about the likely value of the next card.

To take some cards from the top of the deck, usually about half, and put them at the bottom of the deck. This is done after shuffling.

Deal (verb)
When the dealer passes the cards to the players and to himself.

Deal (noun)
The play of a single round.

Discard Tray
A receptacle usually at the dealer's right where he puts all the cards that have already been played.

Double Down
To double one's bet and then to receive one card only. If a player feels confident that he can win the hand with only one card it may be strategically wise to double down.

When the player asks for another card on the hand he is playing.

Early Surrender
A player's option where he can surrender the hand before the dealer checks his second card for blackjack (see Surrender).

Even Money
A player's option where he can choose to win his blackjack at a one to one payout when dealer's up card is an ace.

Face Cards
The King, the Queen, and the Jack. All face cards have a value of 10.

Face Down Game
Where the first card is dealt face up and the second card is dealt face down.

Face Up Game
Both cards dealt to the players are dealt face up

First Base
The first seat or player to the left of the dealer. The dealer always deals to the left first.

Hard Count
The sum of the face value of the cards in a hand. The hard count implies that an ace can be valued as 1 or as 11 but not as both.

Hard Hand or Hard Total
This is either a hand without aces or a hand with an ace that must be counted as one to avoid going over 21.

Heads Up
A game where only one player is at the table.

To ask the dealer for another card.

Hole Card
In blackjack this refers to the dealer's second card which he deals to himself face down. In a face down game it is also the player's second card.

This is an option that a player may exercise when the dealer has an ace showing. The player may bet up to one-half his original bet "on the side". If the dealer has a blackjack the side bet pays 2-1. If the dealer does not have blackjack the insurance bet loses. Players who count cards may sense that there is a better than usual likelihood of a ten card as the dealer's hole card and use this knowledge to place an insurance bet.

Late Surrender
This is an option that the house allows only after the dealer has shown not to have blackjack. (see Surrender)

A player automatically wins and receives 3-2 payment when his first two cards are an ace and a ten-card.

A hand between 17 and 21. The dealer stands pat with this hand.

Point Count
For players who count cards. This is a number value of the cards already played. The exact count varies from system to system.

To add to a bet.

When both the player and dealer have the same total. No one wins and the player keeps his bet.

Running Count
In card-counting systems this number is adjusted after every hand to reflect all the cards played from that deck.

A container that holds all the cards to be used in the play. It could hold several decks. It is designed so a dealer slides the cards and doesn't have to lift or hold them.

Shuffle Up
If a dealer suspects a player of counting cards he may shuffle the cards early. This negates any advantage the player had at the time from his hard work counting cards.

Soft Hand
A hand that has an ace where the ace can still be used either as a one or as an eleven.

An option that allows the player to play two cards of the same face value as two separate hands.

Standing Hand
A hand that has a high likelihood of busting if the player takes another card.

Stand or Stay
The player declines to take another card.

Stiff Hand
A hand with a low probability of beating the dealer.

Giving up a hand before it is definitely lost. The player who surrenders his hand loses only half his bet.

Third Base
The player closest to the dealer to the dealer's right.

A tip from player to dealer.

True Count
In card counting systems, this is the adjusted count after each hand. The true count also factors in the number of cards remaining in the deck.

Up Card
The dealer's first card is dealt face up. As the players can see it, they often have strategy decisions to make based on the value of the up card.

Posted by Nick David

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