Blackjack Glossary

Blackjack School

Ace - In a standard deck of 52 cards, this is the highest-ranking card.

Ace Adjustment - When a player decreases or increases his bet according to how many Aces are left in the deck.

Ace Five Count - A card counting strategy. This counts only fives and Aces.

Ace Neutral Count - A card counting system. This counts Aces as 0 or ignores them completely.

Ace Poor - A deck which has fewer Aces in it than the average (statistically).

Ace Rich - A deck which has more Aces in it than the average (statistically).

Ace Side Count - The count of how many Aces have already been played.

Action - The amount of money in play during a single wager or the amount of bets which have been made over a certain period of time.

Anchorman - The player seated in the last seat to the dealer's right.

Back Counting - The counting of cards by spectators.

Balanced Count - A card counting strategy. Here the sum of all of the cards in a deck is 0 as there is an equal number of cards valued at minus and plus.

Bankroll - The total amount of money which the player has to gamble with.

Bankroll Management - A type of strategy or system that the player uses while playing that allows them to wisely manage their bankroll and ensure its sustainability.

Basic Strategy - This is the best blackjack strategy for the player who is not counting cards.

Big Player - The leader of a blackjack team who places big bets when the count is favorable.

Blackjack - When a hand's first two cards total 21. The name of the game and its objective.

Blackjack Tournament - A competition playing blackjack between a group of players that is played for a fixed period of time, with one player emerging victorious at the end of it.

Burn Cards - Cards which are discarded by the dealer during the course of the game, usually after a shuffle and cut.

Bust - When a player's hand total exceeds 21. Otherwise known as “Break”.

Card Counter - A player who memorizes which cards are in play and which have been discarded in order to gain an advantage over the casino.

Card Counting - Memorizing which cards are in play and which have been discarded in order to gain an advantage over the casino.

Camouflage - Any tactic employed to hide playing methods like card counting from casinos.

Chips -Tokens used at casinos instead of cash.

Cut - The act of splitting the deck after it has been shuffled and before cards are dealt.

Cut Card - The plastic card which is used to cut the deck of cards.

Dealer - The person who deals the cards. The players compete with the dealer.

Deck - The 52 cards of a traditional deck of cards used in a game of blackjack.

Deck Penetration - The percentage of cards played out of a shoe or deck before the dealer reshuffles the cards.

Discard Tray - The place on the dealer's right where the cards which have been played with are discarded.

Double Deck Blackjack - Played with two decks shuffled together.

Double Down - When a player doubles his original bet and is dealt just one additional card.

Double Exposure - A variation of blackjack where both of the dealer's cards are played face up.

Draw - Also known as “Hit”. Where a player adds a card to his hand.

Early Surrender - Where a player surrenders his hand before the dealer checks for blackjack (in order to get half of his original bet back).

Eight Deck Blackjack - A game of blackjack which is played using 8 decks of cards at the same time.

Even Money - When a player gets paid the same amount as was originally wagered.

Expectation - The statistical amount which a player is expected to win or lose on a bet. This is expressed as a percentage value.

Eye in the Sky - The casino's video surveillance of the casino floor.

Face Card - A King, Queen or Jack. These are all valued at 10.

Face Down Game - A game where the player's first card is dealt face up and his second card is dealt face down.

Face Up Game - A game where the cards always are dealt face up.

Favorable Deck - Where the cards remaining in the deck of cards are to the player's advantage.

First Baseman - The player sitting in the seat nearest to the dealer's left.

Five Card Charlie - A hand containing a total of five cards which do not exceed the value of 21, meaning that the player has not gone bust.

Flat Bet - Where a player bets the same amount for every hand.

Floorman - The casino supervisor who monitors the dealers.

Hand - The first two cards dealt to every player.

Hard Ace - A hand containing an Ace which can only be used as a 1.

Hard Hand - A hand with a hard Ace or no Aces.

Head-to-Head (or Head-on) - Playing one on one against the dealer

High Roller - A player who makes big bets.

Hi-Lo Count - A card counting strategy. This assigns cards 2-6 a count of +1 and face cards, tens and Aces a count of -1.

Hit - Also known as “Draw”. Where a player adds a card to his hand.

Hole Card - The dealer's unexposed, face down card.

House - The casino or game operator.

House Edge - The advantage that the casino has over the player. Expressed as a percentage.

House Rules - The rules governing a game at any particular table.

Kelly Betting System (Kelly Criterion) - A system where the player bets the percentage of a bankroll equal to the percentage of the advantage.

Insurance - A side bet that the dealer has a blackjack, which is available when the dealer's up card is an Ace. This is limited to half of the player's original bet.

Las Vegas Strip Rules - The rules which are most commonly used at the Las Vegas Strip casinos.

Late Surrender - When a player surrenders his hand to get half of his original bet back, after the dealer checks his hole card and does not have blackjack.

Martingale Betting System - A money management system which requires the player to double his bet after every loss.

Mechanic - A dealer or a player who uses "quick fingers" to cheat at cards.

Mucker - A player who cheats by adding favorable cards in a multiple deck game.

Multi-level Count - A card counting system which uses count values higher than plus or minus one.

Multiparameter System - A card counting system that tracks at least 2 separate counts. In most cases it combines a main counting system with a side counting system like counting aces.

Multiple-Deck - A game of blackjack which is played with two or more decks shuffled together.

Natural - A hand whose first two cards total 21 (“blackjack”).

No double after Split - A rule which prohibits doubling down after a pair is split.

Paint - A face card of a King, Queen or Jack.

Pat Hand - A hard hand with a value of between 17 and 21.

Perfect Pairs - A side bet that the first two cards dealt to the player will be a pair.

Pit Boss - The casino employee who is stationed in the pit and monitors table games and dealers.

Plug - When cards which have not been played are placed with the discarded cards before the cards are shuffled.

Plus/Minus Count - Another name for the 'Hi-Lo' card counting system.

Point Count - In card counting systems, this is the net value of the card count at the end of each hand.

Positive Count - A card counting system that indicates a deck rich in 10-value cards.

Preferential Shuffling - A method of discouraging card counting by shuffling earlier or more often.

Push - Where the player's and dealer's hands are of equal value and the player's bet is returned.

Resplit - To split a second pair formed in a hand after splitting a first pair.

Round - A complete section of the game in which all players have acted on their hands, wins have been paid and losses have been gathered.

Running Count - The point count at the start of each deal in card counting.

Session - The total amount of time which a player has spent gambling without a break.

Shoe - A container that holds up to eight shuffled decks. Used by the dealer to dispense cards.

Shuffle - The act of randomly mixing cards before play.

Shuffle-Tracking - Keeping a close eye on the shuffle to work out where most of the Aces and face cards are, and then cutting the deck so that those cards are put into play.

Shuffle Up - A method of discouraging card counting by shuffling earlier or more often.

Side Count - Tracking a specific card with a count maintained separately from the point count.

Single Deck Blackjack - Blackjack played with just one deck of 52 cards.

Six Deck Blackjack - A blackjack game played with 6 decks of cards. This is the most commonly played type of blackjack

Soft Hand - A hand which contains an Ace which can count as either 1 or 11.

Soft Double - Doubling down with a soft hand.

Split - To separate a pair of equal cards and then to play them as two separate hands.

Spooking - Where a person cheats by peeking at the hole card whilst standing behind the dealer. He or she then conveys the card's value to the player.

Stand - Where a player refuses to receive an additional card.

Stand-off - Where the player's and dealer's hands are of equal value and the player's bet is returned.

Steaming - A losing player who has lost control of his emotions and started to bet wildly and recklessly.

Stiff Card - Dealer's up card valued between 2 and 6.

Stiff Hand - Player's hand valued between 12 and 16.

Surrender - When a player gives up his hand to get half of his original bet back.

Table Limits - The maximum and minimum wagering amounts that are allowed for each player per each round of play.

Ten-Poor Deck - A deck containing a low number of cards with a value of 10.

Ten-Rich Deck - A deck containing a high number of cards with a value of 10.

Ten-Value Card - A card with a value of 10.

Third Baseman - The player seated in the last seat to the dealer's right.

Tie - When the player's and dealer's hands are of equal value and the player's bet is returned.

True Count - The total number of points divided by the number of decks in a shoe.

Twenty-One - Another name for “blackjack”.

Unit - The amount of a bet.

Up Card - The first card played by the dealer, which is placed face up.

Vigorish - The advantage that the casino has over the player. Expressed as a percentage.

Whale - One of the biggest bettors at a casino.

Win Rate - The average amount which a player wins every hour.

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