Blackjack Glossary of Terms
The purpose of this page is to keep you in tuned with the jargon used in the various types of Blackjack. We update it regularly with new terms and phrases and hope that one day it will become a complete Blackjack dictionary filled with key Blackjack words and definitions.
- Basic Strategy - The key way for Player to optimize his game play by reducing the house edge.
- Bust - an automatic loss, whether to the Dealer or Player. It is a hand that is over the count of 21.
- Double Down - Also referred to as Double, it is one of the basic strategy moves. If a Player doubles, he will only receive one more card after his initial cards are dealt. Irregardless of your hand, you must Stand after Doubling Down.
- Hit - The act of taking another card in order to make a winning hand. You can hit as many times as you wish until you decide to Stand or until you Bust.
- Insurance - Purely a sucker bet, Insurance is a side bet that offers the Player 2:1 odds. If the Dealer's Face Up card is an Ace, you take Insurance in the hope that his Hole card is a 10 and that he has Blackjack. If the Dealer does indeed have Blackjack, you win the Insurance bet. However, you also lose your original bet (if you don't have Blackjack that is). If you do have Blackjack as well, then it's a Push game. Either way, you more often than not end up losing one of the bets. Never take Insurance.
- Pair - Two like cards. Two 7 cards dealt in the same hand give you a Pair.
- Push - This is also known as a Tie. It is when your hand and the Dealer's hand have the same value. So, if you have 20 and the Dealer has 20, irregardless of how many cards are dealt to each of you, the game is Push. No money is won or lost in the event of a Push.
- Soft Hand - A hand consisting of an Ace which can be counted as 1 or 11. An Ace and an 8 can either be counted as 9 or a soft 19.
- Split - If the first set of cards that are dealt to you are of the same value, you may Split them; in which case you separate them into 2 separate hands. You must bet the same amount on each hand. Some casinos allow you to Split up to as much as 3 times. Some casinos as well allow you to Double Down after Splitting. These casinos are the best ones to play Blackjack.
- Stand - The act of not taking any more hands/cards. If you Stand, this potentially means that you are pleased with your hand and think it could be a winning one.
- Stiff – A hand where the draw of one card will cause you to bust is referred to as a Stiff. Examples of a Stiff hand are 13 and 15. In the case of 13, the draw of a 9, 10, or any Face Card will cause a Bust. In the case of 15, the draw of a 7, 8, 9, 10, or any Face Card will cause a Bust.
- Surrender - You can use this option if you think you will lose after seeing your initial cards and the Dealer's face up card. It allows you to forfeit your hand and only half of your bet.
- Up card - The Dealer's Face Up card.