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50+ Common Blackjack Terms Explained

blackjack terms explained

If you’re new to blackjack, you may be overwhelmed by all of the unfamiliar terms. Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

In this post, we’ll explain some of the most common blackjack terms so that you can start playing with confidence.

Glossary of Blackjack Terms

blackjack terms glossary


An Ace in blackjack can be worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on which value gives the player the highest hand without going over 21.

Ace Poor or Rich

The phrase “Ace Poor or Rich” is a counting term in blackjack. The terms “ace poor” and “ace rich” refer to the proportion of aces in the remaining deck.

  • A “poor” count indicates there are more low cards in the deck, which is favorable for the dealer.
  • A “rich” count indicates there are more high cards, which is favorable for the player as it increases the chances of getting a high hand total or a blackjack.

Card counters use this information to adjust their betting and playing strategies accordingly, in order to gain an advantage over the house.


Advantage is a term that refers to the mathematical edge that the house has over players in any game.


The anchorman (or third base) is the player who sits furthest to the right of the dealer.

This position at the blackjack table is often considered the most advantageous as it allows you to see all of the cards that have been dealt. The anchorman is usually the last person to act on each hand.

Barring a Player

When a casino refuses to let a player take part in a blackjack game or enter the premises. They are said to be barred.


The amount of money that a player has set aside for the purpose of gambling on blackjack.

Bet Spread

The range of bet sizes used by a player during a session. It is the difference between the player’s minimum and maximum bet sizes.

Blackjack (Natural Blackjack)

An initial hand that consists of an Ace and a 10-point card (10, Jack, Queen, or King), resulting in a score of 21 points.

This hand is considered the highest-ranking hand in the game and is an automatic win, unless the dealer also has a Blackjack.

Betting Strategy

A set of rules or guidelines that a person uses when playing blackjack to determine their bets.

It is a systematic approach to gambling, aimed at maximizing profits and minimizing losses. It can include basic strategy, card counting systems, and other advanced systems.

Burn Card

A burn card in blackjack is a card that is removed from play before dealing the cards to the players.

The number of burn cards used in a blackjack game can vary, but typically one to three cards are burned before each round of play.


The term bust in blackjack refers to a situation where a player has gone over 21. When this happens, the player automatically loses their bet regardless of the dealer’s hand.

Bust Card

Is the card that causes a player or the dealer to exceed a total of 21, resulting in a loss of the round.

Card Counter

A card counter is a person who uses a card counting system to keep track of the ratio of high to low cards remaining in a deck in order to increase their advantage in a game of blackjack

Card Counting

Card counting is a technique used by card counters to gain an advantage over card games such as blackjack. By keeping track of the ratio of high to low cards, card counters can increase their chances of winning.


The dealer is a person who manages the game of blackjack. They are responsible for dealing the cards, handling the chips, and following the rules of the game.


A standard 52-pack of cards used in the game

Double or Double Down

Refers to a playing option where the player can double their original bet and receive only one more card.

Draw a Card

This refers to the action of taking another card from the dealer to add to one’s hand in an attempt to improve the total value of the hand without exceeding 21 (also known as a hit).

Double Deck Games

This is a game of blackjack played with two decks of playing cards shuffled together, as opposed to a single-deck game or multi decks using more than two decks.

This can affect the player’s strategy, as well as the house advantage.

Early Surrender

An “early surrender” in blackjack is a player’s option to forfeit half of the bet and end the round before the dealer checks for blackjack.

It is a rare rule and not available in all blackjack games. It is distinct from the more common “late surrender,” which allows a player to surrender only after the dealer has checked for blackjack.

Face Down Card

The dealer’s card which is dealt face down in many versions of blackjack.

Favorable Deck

This refers to a deck of cards that contains a higher proportion of high cards (such as 10s, face cards, and aces) as opposed to low cards.

This is favorable for the player, as having a higher concentration of high cards increases the likelihood of getting a strong hand and reduces the dealer’s chances of having a natural 21 (blackjack).

First Baseman

The player who is first to receive cards from the dealer.

Five Card Charlie

A bonus or automatic win in some games when a hand contains five cards without busting.

Flat Bet

Flat betting is where a player consistently bets the same amount each round, regardless of their recent wins or losses.


The original 2 cards dealt to a player.

Hard Total

A hard hand is a hand where there is no ace, or the ace counts as one.

High Roller

A player who spends large amounts of money gambling.


The used by a player when requesting another card from the dealer.

Hole Card

The dealer’s card that gets dealt face down. Only the dealer gets a hole card.


Another word for casino

House Edge

The advantage that the casino has over the player, expressed as a percentage of the player’s average bet.


An optional or side bet that the dealer has natural blackjack. Often made when the dealer is showing an ace. It is treated independently of the main wager and pays 2:1.

Multiple Deck Games

A game consisting of more than one deck of cards in a shoe. Often 6 or 8 packs of cards are used. These games are more difficult to count cards in.


Any picture card – eg a Jack, Queen, or King.

Pat Hand

An original with a total of between hard 17 and 21 that doesn’t require a hit.


When both the player and dealer have the same hand total. A tie between the dealer and the player. It’s a tie no one wins or loses.


A complete game of blackjack where everyone has acted on their hands.

Rogue Casino

An online casino identified as having poor business ethics with the intention of cheating players.


A gaming device used to hold multiple decks of cards.

Shoe Game

A blackjack game dealt from the shoe.


Mixing up the cards before they’re dealt.


A single-deck game of blackjack where only one deck of cards is used.


Slang for a blackjack.

Soft Total

Soft hands refer to a hand containing an ace that has a value of 1.

Stand, Stand Pat

Stand means when the player decides not to take any more cards. the opposite of Hit.

Stiff Card

A card between 2 to 6, which may force the dealer to hit.

Stiff Hand

A hand with a total of between 12 and 16, which will bust if a player hits and gets a 10-value card.

Split (Splitting Pairs)

A blackjack move where the player splits two cards of the same value into two separate hands.

Soft Hand

A soft hand is a blackjack hand that contains an Ace card, which can be either counted as a 1 or an 11.


Surrender is a blackjack move that allows the player to forfeit their hand and half his bet – they get half of their initial bet back.

This move is usually done when the player has a weak hand or feels that they have little chance of beating the dealer.

Ten-Poor Deck

A deck where there is a low number of cards with a value of 10.

Ten-Rich Deck

When there is a high number of 10-value cards in the deck.

Ten-Value Card

A card worth 10 points, eg a 10, Jack, Queen, or King.


A tip or gratuity given to a dealer by a player.


Another name for blackjack games.

Unfavorable Deck

A deck where the remaining cards favor the casino, not the player.


A standard bet size.

Up Card

The dealer’s exposed card, the face-up card, seen by all players.


It is important to have a good understanding of these different blackjack terms in order to become an effective blackjack player.

Knowing the terminology and strategies can help you gain an advantage over the house and increase your chances of winning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Slang Word For Bet?

A slang term for “bet” in blackjack is “wager”.

What’s a Monkey in Blackjack?

In Blackjack, a “Monkey” is a slang term for a 10-value card, typically a 10, Jack, Queen, or King. Receiving a monkey can improve the player’s hand value and increase their chances of winning.

What do Gamblers Call Their Money?

Gamblers often refer to their money as “bankroll”.

What is it Called When You Get 21 in Blackjack?

When a player gets a total of 21 in Blackjack, it is called a “Blackjack” or a “Natural”.

Last Updated on December 27, 2023

David Graham
Posted in FAQ, Rules & How to Play

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