Casino Blackjack Glossary

In order to get a deeper understanding of Blackjack, you should be familiar with the terms used in the game first. Get to know what all these terms are, as well as how you can apply them. This list of terms should help you increase your overall Blackjack gameplay experience when you encounter them at an online casino.


Anchor: The seat to the right of the dealer is commonly referred to as the ‘anchor’. If you play Blackjack with other players, the cards are usually dealt from left to right.


Banker: A banker is the person responsible for the money and betting in a Blackjack game. The banker is the one who collects the winnings and losses at an actual table in land casinos.

Bankroll: The amount of money that a player chooses to dedicate to play a casino Blackjack game or any online casino game.

Basic Blackjack Strategy: The simple strategy a player uses in a Blackjack game. A basic Blackjack strategy is typically used by beginners or casual players.

Blackjack Tournament: A Blackjack tournament is typically a big event between casinos and multiple players. Oftentimes, a tournament can last for two to three days. Some online casinos offer Blackjack tournaments on a regular basis.

Betting Limits: Each casino game should have both minimum as well as maximum betting amounts you can place at a Blackjack game. For example the minimum you can choose to bet is 3.67د.إ/$5 and the maximum amount is usually 36.73د.إ/ or 183.66د.إ at most online casinos. The betting limits will depend on the online casino.

Betting Ratio: A ‘betting ratio’ is a system that is used by casinos to spot card counters who increase their wagers when they have a favorable hand. A betting ratio is commonly implemented in land casinos.

Bottom Dealing: A technique used by a dealer in order to cheat in Blackjack. In this case, the dealer deals one : two cards from the bottom of the deck instead of the top, especially if the cards are unfavourable. Bottom dealing is frowned upon, and does not promote fair and honest play.

Blackjack: A ‘natural Blackjack’ is the best hand a player gets in Blackjack. This type of hand would consist of two cards: an Ace and a Ten/King/Queen/Jack worth 21.

Burn Cards: During a game of Blackjack a dealer ‘burns’ cards by removing the first top card from the shoe/deck before any other cards are dealt for distribution. This is usually practiced across most casinos, both offline and online in livestream.

Break / Bust: A busted/ broken hand usually occurs when you have managed to get a hand of 2 or more cards that exceeds the total score of 21.

Buy: Typically used in the Blackjack variant ‘Pontoon’. The term ‘buy’ is when a gambler chooses to double his/her bet.


Camouflage: This term is used when a Blackjack player is trying to cover up or hide what he is doing from the land casino. Usually, a gambler commits ‘camouflage’ when he plays at a brick and mortar casino. The gambler may disguise his strategy to confuse the dealer and the other players at the table.

Card Counting: A strategy in Blackjack when a gambler chooses to keep track of any cards that have been played and discarded. This is done to guess the probability of the next card to be drawn out of the deck.

Card Sharp: A term used when a player is very handy or skillful with cards.

Cut: Cutting cards’ in Blackjack is a method of splitting cards after shuffling has been done by the dealer.

Cut Cards: This term is applied to colored plastic cards commonly used to cut a deck of cards after it has been shuffled by the dealer.


D’ Alembert System: The d’alembert system is a progressive betting strategy used by advanced level Blackjack players. It is known as one of the safest systems you can use to increase your bets after a loss, or if your bankroll is low.

Deal: A deal is made when the dealer hands out cards to the Blackjack players at the table.

Dealer: A person hired by the casino responsible to accommodate players of a Blackjack game. The person who gives out cards to the players and manages bets is a dealer.

Deck Penetration: Used to describe how many decks of cards the dealer is using before the dealer proceeds to shuffle the next.

Discard Tray: A case or box where discarded cards are placed by the dealer.

Double Down: You have an option to ‘double down’ if you choose to place a second bet on the table.

Draw: The word ‘draw’ is another term used for ‘hit’. You get additional cards when you draw.


Early Surrender: During a Blackjack game, you can decide whether to surrender your initial wager before the dealer reveals a Blackjack in his/her own hand.

Even Money: If you manage to gain a natural Blackjack during the game and the dealer’s face card reveals an ace, you can choose to take your winnings before the dealer looks at his other cards. The payout in this case is commonly 1:1.


Face Cards: Blackjack cards that have pictures on them. Face Cards are Jacks, Queens and Kings. In each deck of cards, you’ll find that there are four kinds for each card suit (Spades, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds).

Face Down Game: In some variants of Blackjack, one card is dealt face up while the second card is distributed face down. This is commonly known as a face down game.

Face Up Game: Cards are typically dealt face up for all players to see.

First Base: A ‘first base’ indicates the particular seat around a Blackjack table at land casinos. This is the seat to the left of the dealer. If you’re in first base, you’ll be the first one to get the card. Note that cards in Blackjack are distributed from left to right.

Flat Bet: Used to describe the same amount wagered on each and every hand in a Blackjack game.


Hard Hand: The ace differentiates a hard hand from a soft hand. In a hard hand, an ace is worth one. In a soft hand, an ace is worth eleven. A Hard hand is also referred to as a ‘hard total’.

Heads Up or Heads On: A heads on game is when you play Blackjack with only a dealer in live at online casinos.

Hit: A move in Blackjack declared by the players when they want to ask for additional cards.

Hole Card: The dealer’s first card that is put face down.

Insurance: Insurance bets are done when the dealer is about to reveal whether he has an ace card face up or not. An insurance bet is a secondary bet where you guess if the dealer has a natural Blackjack. If you are right, you could win double his/her initial bet.

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Late Surrender: A term used in some games when the dealer doesn’t have a Blackjack.


Pat Hand: A Pat Hand is when your hand in Blackjack is at least seventeen points. Usually, if a Blackjack player manages to acquire a seventeen he’d stand pat.

Perfect Pairs: You can acquire a pair of cards of equal value. These can be a mixed pair, a colored pair, or a perfect pair. A perfect pair is when you have two cards that belong to the same suit and have the same value.

Point Count: A card counting strategy used to estimate the net value of the card at the end of the hand.

Preferential Shuffling: This is a term used to describe when the cards that remain in the deck or shoe are desired by the players.

Push: A push happens when both you and the dealer end up with the same value of points. You do not lose your bet or gain any winnings.


Resplit: Following a split, you can choose to ‘resplit’ provided that you acquire another hand that has a pair. After you decide to resplit, the two hands you have will become four different hands.

Running Count: In a card counting strategy, the ‘running count’ is based on the values of the cards dealt. You do a running count to determine if the cards left in the deck are in your favour.


Shiner: A shiner is a device that is used to cheat in a Blackjack game to find out what the dealer’s hole card is. Using a shiner is frowned upon in both land casinos and Blackjack tournaments.

Shoe: The term ‘shoe’ refers to the place where a deck of cards is kept. A card shoe is usually a plastic box.

Shuffle: Shuffling is done by the dealer to mix the cards in a random way.

Shuffle Up: Some dealers would shuffle up the cards to prevent gamblers from counting cards during a Blackjack game.

Soft Hand: When a Blackjack hand consists of an Ace worth eleven and another card. But if the player chooses to hit, the value of the card will be changed to one instead.

Split: A move done by Blackjack players. In order to split your cards, you must have a hand of two cards of the same value.

Spooking: Spooking is more common at land casinos and Blackjack tournaments. This method of cheating is done by standing behind the dealer to watch the game and peek at the dealer’s hole card. The person would then go on to transmit the information to a gambler playing at the table.

Standing Hand: It is called a ‘standing hand’ when your cards have a total hand value of seventeen and higher. Once you get a standing hand, it is not recommended that you hit again. That is because you might go over 21 and result in a bust.

Stand-off: The term ‘stand-off’ is another word used for the term ‘push’.

Stand or Stay: Decision made by a player when he does not want to get any more cards in Blackjack.

Stick (Stay): This is a term that is used in the Blackjack variant ‘Pontoon’, and it also means stand.

Stiff Hand: A ‘stiff hand’ is a hand that is not a great hand. This means that the total score of the hand is not in the favour of the player. If the player chooses to hit, he might bust as a result.

Surrender: An option in Blackjack where you fold your cards. You get half of your bet back as a result when you withdraw from progressing in a round in Blackjack.


Tell Play: Tell play is the act of observing the opponent’s or dealer’s moves for the player to determine what he/she has in his hand.

Third Base: The phrase ‘Third Base’ is another term used to describe ‘anchor’.

Tie: Push and Standoff are the same with the Blackjack term ‘tie’.

Twist: A word that is used in the Blackjack variant ‘Pontoon’ instead of using ‘hit’.


Unit: A Blackjack ‘unit’ is the minimum bet or wager that a player chooses to bet.

Up card: An up card is the card that lies face up on the table. This is usually the dealer’s first card. Most Blackjack players would always base their next decision on the up card that the dealer has.


Wager: Another term for ‘bet’ that is used across both land based and online casinos. In order to play Blackjack for real money, you must place a bet during the initial phase of the game.

Wonging: The term ‘wonging’ is used when a player ‘back counts’ cards until he thinks that the table is ‘favourable’ to him. If the player decides the cards are favourable to him, then he’ll continue to play Blackjack with the cards he is dealt with.

Most of these terms in Blackjack are only applicable to land based casinos, but you may still encounter some of them at online casinos. Aside from knowing the general rules of Blackjack, it is also important for you to be familiar with these terms in order to progress in your game.

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