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Blackjack terms

A list of terms that are popular in blackjack and a blackjack glossary that new blackjack players will find useful.

Blackjack – This is another name for the game of 21. It is also used to refer to a hand that contains an Ace and card valued at 10 (ten, Jack, Queen or King). "Blackjack" used to refer to a hand containing specifically a black Jack and an Ace. Today, any card valued as ten, together with an Ace is referred to as "blackjack." Blackjack hands pay out at 3 to 1. A blackjack hand is also referred to as a "natural."


Bust– A hand that goes over the total point value of 21. This results in an automatic loss.


Card Counting– This is a strategy that is used in blackjack to determine the ratio of high cards to low cards in the deck. The player then adjusts his bet according to the ratio.


Cut Card– This refers to the plastic card that is used to cut the decks. The dealer will reshuffle the cards when he reaches the cut card.


Double Down– This is a type of play. You can choose to double your bet and receive only one more card from the dealer. Different casinos will have different rules regarding when double down is allowed. It is important to be aware of your specific casino's rules.


Draw– More commonly referred to as "hit," this means to receive another card from the dealer.


Early Surrender– Surrendering your cards (ending your game) before the dealer has even checked his hole card. If you do this, you only lose 50% of your bet.


Face Cards– These refer to picture cards or Jack, Queen and King. They are each worth 10 points.


First Baseman– This refers to the player who is seated to the left of the dealer and is the first player to act.


Hard Hand– This refers to a hand that does not contain an Ace or a hand that does contain the Ace, but in which the Ace must be counted as 1 to avoid going bust.


Hit– This means to take another card. It is also known as "draw."


Hole Card– This refers to the dealer's face down card.


Insurance– This is a type of bet that can be taken against the dealer having blackjack. It is half of your original bet. It is played when the dealer's up card is an Ace.


Late Surrender- Surrendering your cards (ending your game) after the dealer has checked his hole card.


Natural– Another name for a "blackjack" hand.


Push– This is a term that refers to the player and the dealer having the same total hand.


Soft Hand– This refers to a hand that contains an Ace that can be counted as 11 or 1 without the hand going bust.


Soft Double– This refers to the decision to double down on a soft hand.


Stand– This means to end your hand without taking any additional cards.


Stiff Hand– This refers to a hard hand that totals between 12 and 16. This hand is more likely to bust when another card is drawn.


Up Card - This refers to the dealer's card that is played face up.