Blackjack Terms – Glossary and Definitions

Newbies in online blackjack are sometimes perplexed by some of the more colourful phrases and blackjack terms used by veterans while discussing the game. The majority of words and their definitions are unfamiliar to even advanced gamers. In order to discuss some of the words used at blackjack tables, we have created this dictionary on blackjack terms and phrases.


A-J Bonus

A popular variation rule in which the ace and jack of spades are given a bonus payment.


The total amount of money wagered. It might refer to the overall amount of bets placed over a period, or it can relate to the sum currently in play on a specific wager.

Ace adjustment

Increasing or decreasing the quantity of one’s wager dependent on the number of aces remaining in the deck.


The potential statistical advantage one side has over another, typically represented as a proportion of the wager. Generally, the casino has the blackjack house edge, although use of blackjack strategies can provide an advantage to the player.

Advantage player

A gambler who employs strategy in order to obtain a numerical edge over the house.



The term given to the game of 21 when it is contested in any offline or online casino. It further denotes a hand including an ace and a 10. This hand usually pays out at a 3:2 ratio.

Bet spread

The minimum and maximum bets you will make during a blackjack play.

Back counting

This refers to counting cards even when you aren’t playing blackjack at the table. You are standing behind the players. When the count gets favourable, someone who is back counting wants to walk up to the table and put a wager.


The sum of money that you have put aside expressly for gambling purposes.

Bankroll management

Managing your bankroll, including how much of it you risk in a wager, session, or visit.


Getting a tally of 22 points or higher will result in blackjack loss of a hand.


Cut card

A card made of plastic is used to cut the deck following shuffling. Once the dealer finds the cut card, he re-shuffles the deck prior to dealing the hands.

Card counting

A method for obtaining a leg up at blackjack via keeping note of the high card-to-low card ratio that has already been used. A card counter will raise his wager when the deck provides him better odds, and will reduce his stake when the deck gives him worse odds. There are a variety of card counting methods available, each with differing levels of efficiency.



To distribute cards during the course of a hand.

Discard Tray

A right-hand tray used to keep all the cards played or rejected.

Double Down

After the first 2-card deal, you can double your original stake, but only 1 card can be hit (you have to take one extra card). The player does so by turning over his or her initial 2 cards and placing an equal wager beside the initial bet. If indeed the player is in a solid position and the dealer’s card is poor, this is a favourable option. You can double down on just about any 2 cards in many casinos. Some online casinos allow you to double down after splitting, while others restrict you to doubling down on hands totalling 10 or 11.


Put a new card in your present hand or call a card to it.


Early Surrender

After a player receives his or her initial 2 cards but before the dealer verifies for a blackjack, the player can give up or surrender. A player’s loss on a bet is 50%.

Even Money

An even-odds bet is one in which the player stands to forfeit or earn the identical sum of money. Whenever a player gets a natural hand and the dealer does have an Ace as an up card, the player can ask for a 1:1 payoff on his hand.

Expected Value (EV)

The monetary value of any specific time period according to statistics. Even while short-term results seldom match a player’s anticipated value, the Expected Value is the conceptual “worth” of a hand. Actual outcomes will eventually catch up to Expected Value if given sufficient time.


Face cards

The king, queen, and jack. Each one is worth ten points.

Flat betting

To place a bet of the equal amount of money on each hand..


Hard Hand/Hard total

In contrast to a ‘Soft’ hand, a hand with no Ace or with an Ace rated at 1 is considered to be ‘Hard’, meaning that it can only be assigned one value.


Augment your existing hand with a new card or call a card. A hit is a term used to describe a card that has been received.



The player can make a blackjack side bet of up to half the main wager if the dealer has a natural 21. A dealer must have an Ace up in order to provide insurance. When the dealer has a natural, the insurance side bet pays double, whereas it loses when the dealer does not.


Late Surrender

Surrender is permitted only when the dealer lacks blackjack.



Natural is a hand of 21 pts in blackjack consisting of two cards in blackjack.



The casino’s area which is encircled by table games.

Point count

At any one time, the count’s total value, whether positive or negative.



The apparatus for storing and distributing the cards to be dealt. It is generally a wooden box.

Soft Hand

A hand with an ace rated as 11.

Split Hand

Split the original 2 card hand in half and play each half individually – this is only possible if the first 2 cards are of similar value.

Stand or Stay

To abstain from taking another card since no further cards are required.


Losing just half the wager, since you give-up your hand.


Up card

In a traditional blackjack game, the dealer has one hand with face up and the other with face down. The face-up card is known as the “up card.”


A wagering sum.



The propensity for random outcomes to occur in the near term. For instance, you may get three naturals in a row. That will probably not be the case over the long term, but short-term variation means anything can happen.


Win rate

How much do you anticipate to win every hour of card counting? Your real victory rate over time is sometimes referred to as this.


Zen count

A method of card counting popularised by Arnold Snyder. The zen count is a second-level counting method.