BLACK JACK GLOSSARY
Anchor – Last taken sit to the dealer’s right.
Banker – In a card game, dealer or the players who books the action of the other bettors at the table.
Bankroll – The total amount of money you have the intention of gambling with.
Basic Strategy – Basic strategy for blackjack consists of a complete set of rules that cover all possible decisions a player may encounter, but without taking into account any other player’s cards or any previously dealt cards.
Blackjack – A hand whose first two cards total 21.
Burn Cards – Remove cards from the top of the deck and place them in the discard tray after a shuffle and cut.
Break – Exceeding the hand total of 21.
Bust – same as Break, exceeding the hand total of 21.
Camouflage – Anything a skilled gambler does to conceal their activities from the casino. Camouflage can include mixing in playing and betting behavior that mimics typical gamblers, or using disguises, appearing to be drunk, or any number of other possible ploys intended to throw the casino’s scrutiny off.
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.
Card Sharp – A person who is an expert at cards.
Color Up/Out – To exchange smaller denomination chips for larger denomination chips.
Chip/Check – A casino term for tokens used instead of money.
Cut – To split the deck of cards before they are dealt.
Cut Card – Colored faceless plastic card used to cut the cards after the shuffle.
Deal – To give out the cards during a hand.
Discard Tray – A tray on the dealer’s right side that holds all the cards that have been played or discarded.
Draw – (Also Hit.) Call a card or adding a new card to your current hand.
Double Down (Doubling Down) – Double your initial bet following the initial two-card deal, but you can hit one card only. In blackjack, it is the players option to double their original bet in exchange for receiving only one more card. To do this the player turns over their first two cards and places an equal bet alongside the original bet.
Early Surrender – To surrender or give up after a player receives their first two cards but before the dealer checks for a blackjack. Player loses half of their bet.
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.
Expected Win Rate – The percentage of the total amount wagered that the player can be expected to win or lose over time.
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.
Hard Hand – (Also 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.
Heads Up or Heads On – A head to head play with the dealer – no other players are involved.
Hit – (Also Draw) Call a card or adding a new card to your current hand. The card received is also called a hit.
Hole Card – In blackjack, the facedown card that the dealer gets. In stud and hold ‘em poker, the facedown cards dealt to each player.
Insurance – Side bet up to half the initial bet against the dealer having a natural 21. Insurance is offered only when the dealers up card is an Ace. The insurance bet wins double if the dealer has a natural, but loses if the dealer does not.
Late Surrender – Surrender allowed only if the dealer does not have blackjack.
Natural – In blackjack, a natural is a two-card hand of 21 points. In baccarat a natural is a two-card total of eight, or nine.
Pat – In blackjack, an unbusted hand worth at least 17 points. In draw poker, a hand that does not need any more hands.
Pit Boss – A casino employee who is in charge of all the tables in a particular area.
Plug – A shuffling technique that is sometimes employed in card games like blackjack where the game is often dealt from a multi-deck shoe. When freshly shuffled cards are brought back into action a substantial portion of the cards are kept out of play by the insertion of a cut-card at the back of the deck or shoe. The placement of the cut card marks the place where play will be stopped and the cards are again shuffled. During the play, used cards are stacked in a discard tray. When the cut-card is reached, the game is stopped, and the remaining un-dealt cards are inserted somewhere into the middle of the cards that have already been stacked up in the discard tray. The cards so inserted are referred to as a ‘plug’. Such action is called ‘plugging’ the deck.
Point Count – (In card counting systems) 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.
Push – (Also Tie or Stand-off.) Both player and dealer have the same hand total – player keeps bet.
Running Count – (In card counting systems) 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.
Shiner – A reflecting device used to try and glimpse the dealer’s hole card.
Shoe – Device, usually a wooden box, used for holding and dispensing the cards to be dealt.
Shuffle – At the start of each game when the dealer mixes up the order of the cards is said to shuffle the cards.
Shuffle Up – Premature shuffling by the dealer to discourage card counting.
Soft Hand – Any blackjack hand that contains an ace valued at eleven.
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.
Spooking – 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.
Standing Hand – In blackjack, meaning a hand which hard-totals to 17 or more, which is very likely to bust if one more card is called and therefore the player is expected to stand.
Stand-off – (Also Tie or Push.) Both player and dealer have the same hand total – player keeps bet.
Stand or Stay – Not requiring any more cards, to refrain from taking another card.
Steaming – A blackjack term where a player has become frustrated with how badly the events of a session of play have turned out. ‘Steaming’ in blackjack has practically the same meaning as ‘going on tilt’ in poker. In either case the player has lost emotional control and is betting more aggressively and often recklessly in an attempt to turn things around.
Stiff Hand – Hand with little chance of winning. A hand that is not pat and that may bust if hit once. Stiffs include hard twelve through sixteen.
Surrender – Giving up your hand and lose only half the bet.
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.
Tie – (Also Push or Stand-off.) Both player and dealer have the same hand total – player keeps bet.
True Count – (In card counting systems) The running count adjusted to account for the number of cards left in the deck or shoe to be played.
Upcard – The dealer’s first dealt card, placed face up for all the players to see before they play their hands.