Glossary of Terms


Soft Hands: These are any hands that have an Ace, where the player can choose between two values i.e. 1 and 11. The important thing, to keep in mind with soft hands, is that you have less chance to go bust.

Insurance: This is a bet placed when your dealer has an ‘Ace’ that is facing up. Half of your initial bet is meant to be against the dealer having blackjack. But if the dealer has blackjack (21), the bet will be doubled and if this is not doubled i.e. does not have a 21 then the bet is lost. Insurance can only be used if you are sure that the dealer’s hand is blackjack and beat yours.

Insurance in Blackjack : In fact, insuring you against the possibility that the dealer has a 10. However, you’ll rarely, if ever, use insurance unless you’re sure that the dealer’s hand will beat you.

Surrender: This mainly means that you’re giving up your hand. You’ll receive 50% of your bet back. Most people will want to surrender when they have a hard 15 and the deal has a 10 or surrender when they have a 16, and the dealer has a 10 or 9 or even an Ace.

1st Base: a term used for the first player to get his or her cards. This person is often seated to the left of the dealer.

Ace side count: This is the term used by people who use card counting and refers to the number of aces that have been played.

3rd base: This is the last player to get all the cards dealt. Usually located to the right of a dealer in a physical casino.

Ace rich: This is a term used for a deck of cards that have an unusually high number of aces.

Action: This is a term for the total number of bets that a player has placed.

Bankroll: The overall amount of money that the player has in order to play.

Bar/Barring: This is a sort of ban against blackjack players who are suspected to use card counting techniques.

Betting ratio: This is used by casinos to spot winners who then increase their bets when they see that the hand is in their favor. They usually compare both, low and high bets, in any given table during every round. The idea is to identify and track down card counters.

Bottom: A cheating method used mostly by dealers. The dealer will deal 1-2 cards directly from the bottom of their deck if they see that the cards on top are not favorable.

Burn cards: These are cards that are discarded after the dealer has reshuffled the deck. Usually, these cards are taken off the top of the deck.

Bust or break: A term that describes a player who has exceeded 21 points as part of their hand’s value.

Draw: This is asking the dealer to hand you another card. But this does not refer to the initial two cards that are handed to you.

End play: The last hand played by the player prior to the cards being reshuffled.

Even play: A term used to describe when the bet equals the money won.

Free cards: Also called face cards like kings, queens, and jacks. Every deck of 52 cards has 12 free cards.

Hole card: A card dealt face down to the dealer.

House edge: This refers to the amount a casino can make with every win in the game.

Late surrender: The option to surrender if the dealer does not have blackjack or natural. They then give the player the option to surrender.

Pat: This is a hand that has cards that are worth 17 points.

Natural: This refers to a two card hand that has 21 points.

Stand: When the player does not ask for more cards.

Suit: This is one of the several categories in which cards in a deck are divided into. These are usually categorized based on the symbols on the cards.

Progressive betting: A betting that uses money management to recover previous losses during a gambling session. The method entails doubling your bet with each game so that the eventual winnings cover all the losses you’ve incurred.

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