Blackjack Terms and Definitions
- BLACKJACK or NATURAL
- is a hand that comprises two cards totaling 21 (an A♥ and a ten-valued card). Note: an A♥ and a ten after split is not a Blackjack, but a total 21.
- a loosing Blackjack hand that exceeds 21.
- a strategy unwelcome by most of the casinos, that includes keeping track of the dealt cards in order to see the percentage of small/large cards in the deck, thus realising the odds.
- FIRST BASE
- the first player at the Blackjack table, from which the dealer starts dealing the cards.
- one of the dealer's cards that is dealt face down. The hole card is flipped over only after all the players have played their cards.
- asking the dealer for another card.
- to ask for no more cards. The hand that stands stops playing and will compete with the dealer's hand.
- when first two cards dealt to the player are a pair (two eights, two A♥) they can be split into two independent hands by increasing the initial bet twice.
- DOUBLE DOWN
- an option that allows doubling the initial bet and receiving only one extra card and automatically STAND. Note: double only when you are positive that the extra card will make your hand beat the dealer's hand.
- if the dealer's up card is an A♥, the players will be offered to insure half of their bets from possible dealer's BLACKJACK A♠ J♠. Insurance usually pays 2:1. If dealer's hand is not a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠, the insurance bet is lost, but the hand continues playing.
- EVEN MONEY
- if the dealer's up card is an A♥, and the player has a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠, the dealer may offer "even money". This bet is a lot like insurance, however, the player bets that a dealer has a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠ and in case he does, in addition to a push, the player gets paid 2:1 for an even money bet.
- a tie between the player's hand and the dealer's hand. A tie occurs when both the dealer and the player have unbusted hands of the same total. Note: a 21 doesn't tie a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠.
- an option that allows a player to give up his hand by forfeiting half of his original bet.
- EARLY SURRENDER
- a surrender, allowed before the dealer checks his HOLE card for a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠.
- LATE SURRENDER
- a surrender, performed only after dealer checks his HOLE card for a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠. In case dealer actually does have a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠, all the bets will be lost, thus the option of Late surrender is not very pleasant.
- in Pontoon's terminology means to HIT (take another card).
- in Pontoon's terminology means to STAND (take no more cards).
- in Pontoon's terminology means to DOUBLE DOWN (only in Pontoon a player can still TWIST after he Buys and he may Buy on any hand from 2 to 4 cards).
- FIVE CARD TRICK
- in Pontoon it is any 5-card combination that is not a BUST.
- a BLACKJACK A♠ J♠ or a NATURAL in Pontoon game's terminology
- BASIC BLACKJACK STRATEGY CHART
- a table with abbreviations that represents all possible game situations and mathematically best player's solutions.
- RUNNING COUNT
- the count of cards made by the player by adding or subtracting one according to the rank of card dealt from the deck.
- TRUE COUNT
- card counting strategy that involves the result of the running count and divides it into number of decks used in a specific game.
- FACE-UP CARD
- one of the dealer's cards that is dealt face up, so that everyone sees its value.
- HARD HAND
- any hand without an A♥ or a hand with two or more Aces that can only count as 1.
- SOFT HAND
- any hand that has an A♥ that can be counted as 11 (e.g. a hand of an A♥ and 7).
- option offered in a Switch Blackjack game. Player can switch the second cards dealt to two initial hands.
“Remember this: The house doesn't beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself”
Nicholas (Nick the Greek) Dandalos