Popular List of Blackjack Terms

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Myrto Shane | December 24, 2023 | Updated on: March 25th, 2024

online blackjack termsBlackjack terms can be pretty confusing if you are new to the game. Do you know how to ask the dealer for more cards? Do you know how to tell the dealer that you don’t want more cards?

Well, if the answer to both of those questions is “no”, we have got the guide for you!

Below we list all the most popular blackjack terms you need to know. Then, from A-Z, we teach you all the lingo you need to know to get going in this popular table game!

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Blackjack Terms: A-C


Anchorman is the term used to refer to the last player to play before the dealer.

Balanced Card

A card counting system where there is an exact balance between plus and minus cards. If you added all the cards in the deck together, the result would be 0.

Basic Strategy

The most famous strategy in blackjack. A list of actions detailing how you should respond to each possible situation in the game.


This is the money you have allocated to gamble. For example, if you deposit $100 in a casino game, you have a $100 bankroll.


Although blackjack is the game’s name, it also refers to a hand where you have a natural 21 (an ace and a 10.)

Burn Card

Before anyone gets a card, the dealer removes the first card of a deck and puts it to one side. That way, no one knows what the first card is or how it could affect bets.


Bust refers to when you go over the allowed number of points in blackjack (21). In such a situation, you automatically lose.

blackjack glossary

Bust Card

The card that takes your hand over 21 and causes you to lose instantly.

Cold Deck

A deck that keeps giving you losing hands. This is the opposite of a hot deck.

Colour Up

Colouring up refers to a situation where you ask the dealer to exchange many lower denomination chips for a few higher denomination chips.

Constant Shuffle Machine

A machine that shuffles the deck of cards after each round. It is heavily disliked by players.

Blackjack Terms: D-F


A card that has already been dealt and is no longer in play is known as a discard. It will sit on one side until a new shoe is created with reshuffled cards.

Double Down

Doubling down refers to doubling your starting wager on your hand. You only do this if you think you are going to win. To keep your game sessions long, we don’t recommend doubling down often.

Even Money

In blackjack, even money is a version of insurance. If you have a natural and the dealer is showing an ace, you can select to take a 1:1 payout before the dealer reveals their next card. You can also place this bet and receive double the insurance amount if the dealer has a natural blackjack.

blackjack terms

First Base

This is the name of the first spot next to the dealer. Usually, this is the first person to receive cards.

Five Card Charlie

In some blackjack games, you automatically win if you have got five cards and haven’t busted yet. In other games, this is considered a bonus win.

Flat Betting

You are practising flat betting when you do not move your bet up or down; you keep betting the same amount over and over again.

Blackjack Terms: G-L

Hard Hand

A hand that has a hard chance of busting if you hit again.


In blackjack, you say “hit” when you want to ask for another card.

Hole Card

The face-down dealer card which is not revealed until you have made all of your bets.

House Edge

The advantage a casino has in a particular game. Generally, in blackjack, the house edge is around 2% or so. However, with knowledge of the game, you can reduce it to less than 1%.

list of blackjack terms


When the dealer shows an ace in some blackjack games, you can take up insurance by betting that the dealer has blackjack. The insurance bet pays 2:1 and should cover your losses, but it is never recommended because it can quickly lead to bigger losses.

Late Surrender

Some blackjack games have a surrender rule where you can give up on your hand before the dealer reveals both of their cards. You will then get half of your stake back.

Blackjack Terms: M-R


Most blackjack games use more than one deck of cards. In fact, even classic blackjack uses eight decks of cards. A single deck game is usually easier to beat because you can card count.


A natural refers to getting a blackjack with your first two cards. A hand that has a value of 21.


Penetration is a fraction calculated by the number of cards dealt before the total number of cards still in play.


The table area where blackjack games are played is called the pit.

Pitch Game

This is a version of blackjack, which is dealt from the hand of the dealer. Generally, the game uses only two decks.

popular blackjack terms


This is a tie. Any hand where you and the dealer both have the same score.

Blackjack Terms: S-Z


A machine used to hold several decks of cards.

Shoe Game

A blackjack game where a hand is dealt from the shoe. Usually, a game with more than two decks is a shoe game.


A soft hand has a hand value of 11 instead of 1.


In most blackjack variations, if you have two cards of the same rank, you can split them. You can then choose to play them separately for two chances to win.


When you stick to the hand you have, and stop asking for more cards.


A hand where it is possible to go over 21 if you get one additional card. So, any score above 12.


See late surrender. Abandoning your hand early to get half your bet back.

Third Base

The spot on the left-most side of the dealer. The last player to act in a game featuring more than one player.


A toke is a slang word used for the term “tip”. You can tip your dealer if you are feeling generous.

Up Card

The dealer gets only one face-up card when their own hand is being dealt. This means you cannot see their other card until the end of the round.

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