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Blackjack Glossary of Real Money Terms 2023

Lee Park | April 6, 2023 | Updated on: July 20th, 2023

Welcome to the No.1 Blackjack Glossary Guide. Where players can find and learn about every Blackjack term there is. We have covered in our Glossary for Blackjack, everything starting with the numbers like 21 and then going on to every word until ‘Z’.

Whether you are new to playing Blackjack or just need a quick refresh, this Blackjack Glossary page has every known Blackjack Term and a table of the best online casinos where players can practice their new Blackjack lingo.

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21: In Blackjack, the aim is to get as close to 21 without going over, which is why the game is also called “21”.

21+3: Make a side bet in online Blackjack using your cards and the dealer’s upcard, and win big if you form a straight, three-of-a-kind, flush, or straight flush!

Blackjack Glossary

Letters: A-C


Ace: Aces are the ultimate wildcards in Blackjack, worth either 1 or 11, and if you get it with a 10-value card, you have a ‘Blackjack’ – the ultimate winning hand!

Ace Poor: If fewer aces than expected have been dealt in a game, it’s known as “ace poor,” meaning that the statistical probability of getting an ace is lower than expected.

Ace Rich: “Ace rich” is a counting phrase used in Blackjack when more aces than expected are dealt up to a certain point in the game, increasing the chances of hitting a winning hand, which is good news for skilled card counters!

Action: The total money bet in a blackjack game can be either your bet or the total bet of all players in that room, which helps track your betting patterns and get a sense of the overall betting trends to make strategic gameplay decisions.

Advantage: The advantage one player has over another or the house, commonly known as the house edge in casinos, but can be reversed by card counters.

Anchor: The Anchor is the final player that acts before the dealer does. However, there is debate about whether this position holds any real advantage or disadvantage.



Balanced Count: A balanced count is a section of a counting system which considers negative and positive cards to have equal value and is indicated by a running count of zero once the deck has ended.

Bankroll: A player’s bankroll is money they have set aside for their gambling experience.

Basic Strategy : The term describes players who understand and use the optimal strategies to increase their odds of winning, such as knowing when to split, hit, stand, or use insurance.

Bet Sizing: This refers to adjusting your wager amount based on your betting or card-counting strategy.

Bet Spread: The betting spread is the range between the lowest and highest bet values a player places in a game.

Blackjack: A “Blackjack” is the classic hand consisting of any Ace and any value of 10 card, usually paying out more than a regular win.

Box: The designated space for player where their bets are placed.

Burn Card: The dealer removes the top card face down before dealing the cards. This is done to prevent players from knowing the first card.

Bust or Break: If a player’s hand total exceeds 21, it is called a “bust,” which automatically loses the bet. However, if the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, it is called a “dealer bust,” which results in a win for the player.

Buy-in: In online Blackjack, buying in is simply making your initial bet to start playing the game.


Camouflage: This is a betting technique used by card counters in land-based casinos, where they strategically adjust their bets to look as if they are playing for fun rather than for profit to avoid detection by the casino staff.

Chip Down: If you want to minimize your losses or take a more cautious approach, you can “chip down” by reducing your bet amount from the previous round.

Chip Up: If you’re feeling confident and want to boost your wager for the next hand, you can chip up by betting more than you did on the previous hand.

Cold Deck: Describe a deck that has dealt several poor hands consecutively, causing the player to lose. It is hoped that the deck will eventually become “hot,” but this is not guaranteed.

Colour Up: Exchanging your smaller denomination chips for bigger value ones is known as a colour up. Doing this before leaving a table is considered good etiquette to avoid the dealer running low on smaller-value chips.

Counting Cards: Card counting is a technique used in Blackjack to keep track of the cards that have been dealt and adjust your bets accordingly, giving you an edge over the casino.

CSM: Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM) is used in land-based casinos that automatically shuffles used cards back into the deck.

CVCX: Also known as “Casino Verite Blackjack,” is a comprehensive blackjack software program developed by Norm Wattenberger, author of the book “Modern Blackjack.” Many professional blackjack players use it to simulate different strategies and analyse the game’s probabilities.

Letters: D-F


D9: In a D9 game, players can only double on hands that value 9, 10, or 11. These hands will most likely benefit from doubling if you land a 10 or an ace, and only hard hands can be doubled.

DA2: In a DA2 game, players can double down on any two cards, whether they are hard or soft hands.

DAS: Double After Split (DAS) is a rule in Blackjack that allows you to double down on your bet after splitting a pair. This can be beneficial because it gives you another chance to increase your winnings if you have a strong hand after splitting.

Dealer: In Blackjack, the dealer represents the house and is responsible for dealing the cards, managing the bets, and playing the dealer’s hand.

Deck Penetration: Deck penetration is a term that describes the percentage of cards dealt out of the deck before the dealer shuffles again. A higher deck penetration means more cards are dealt before the deck is shuffled.

Discards: Discards are the cards played and then placed in the discard tray or pile by the dealer.

DOA: “DOA” stands for Double on Anything, which means that a player can double down on any two cards, regardless of their value. This includes doubling after splitting.

Double Down: You double your original wager and receive one additional card. After that, you cannot hit again. This is typically best done with a hand that has a strong chance of winning with one additional card, such as a hand that totals 9, 10, or 11. You will receive double your original wager as a payout if you win the hand.

Double Exposure: In Double Exposure, both dealers’ cards are face up, giving players extra information to make decisions. However, the disadvantage is that the dealer does win all ties except for a tied blackjack, and there are no options for surrender or insurance.


Early Surrender: Early Surrender is a rule where you can forfeit your hand and half your bet before the dealer checks for Blackjack, even if the dealer has an ace or 10 value card as their face-up card.

Entry-Level Card Counting System: The entry-level card counting system involves assigning a positive, negative, or zero value to each card from the deck and adjusting a running count as the cards are dealt to determine whether the remaining deck is favourable for the player or dealer.

EV: Expected Value (EV) is a mathematical equation that helps players calculate the average amount of money they can expect to win or lose on each bet over time.

Even Money: This option is called even money, and it means you give up the chance of getting paid 3 to 2 on your bet, but you are guaranteed to win a payout equal to your original bet.


Face Cards: In Blackjack, “face cards” refer to cards with pictures – the Jack, Queen, and King of any suit.

First Base: The first base player is the player seated to the dealer’s immediate left and is the first player to act on their hand.

Five-Card Charlie: A Five-Card Charlie is a rare but advantageous hand in Blackjack where the player is dealt five cards without busting, and it automatically beats all other hands except for a dealer’s Blackjack.

Flat Betting: The player consistently bets the same amount for each hand, regardless of previous wins or losses.

Letters: G-I


Hand: Your hand in Blackjack refers to the cards you are currently holding for a round of play.

Hand Spreading: Hand spreading refers to increasing your bet size on multiple hands at once instead of playing two hands at once.

Hard Hand :  A hard hand in Blackjack is a hand that does not contain an ace or a hand where the Ace can only be valued as 1.

Hard Total: A hard total in Blackjack is the total value of a hand that does not contain an Ace, or if it does, the Ace is counted as 1.

Heads Up: A game of Blackjack between just one player and the dealer is commonly called a “heads-up” or “one-on-one” game.

High Roller : High rollers are players willing to wager large amounts of money at the casino and are often rewarded with special perks and VIP treatment by the casino.

Blackjack High Roller Glossary

Hi-Lo Counting: Hi-Lo is a simple card-counting strategy where each card is assigned a value, and the count is adjusted accordingly. Cards with a value of 2-6 are given a value of +1, cards with a value of 10-Ace are given a value of -1, and 7, 8, and 9 are given a value of 0.

Hit: Hit is a blackjack term that means taking another card from the dealer to improve the value of your hand. Players can continue hitting as many times as they want until they stand, reach 21, or bust.

Hit 17/H17: In most blackjack games, the dealer must hit if their hand value is 16 or less and stand if their hand value is 17 or more, regardless of whether it is a hard or soft hand.

Hole Card: The “hole card” refers to the dealer’s face-down card that is not revealed until all players have completed their hands.

Hot Deck: A hot deck is a term used in Blackjack to describe a deck of cards that has a high proportion of valuable cards remaining.

House Edge: The house edge in Blackjack is the casino’s statistical advantage over the player, usually around 0.5% for players using basic strategy. It represents the expected average loss of a player’s bet over time.


Illustrious 18: The 18 variations of blackjack strategy, also known as the Illustrious 18, were developed by mathematician Don Schlesinger to help players adjust their strategy during play and maximize their chances of winning.

Index Number: These numbers indicate when to make certain plays, such as standing instead of hitting, based on the remaining cards in the deck.

Insurance Bet: The insurance bet is a way for players to protect themselves against the possibility of the dealer having a natural blackjack.

Letters: J-L


Kelly Betting: The Kelly Betting or Kelly Criterion is a mathematical formula developed by J.L. Kelly Jr. which helps advanced players calculate the optimal size of a bet at any point during a blackjack game.

Knock Out Count: The KO Count is a simple and effective card counting system focusing on a running count rather than a true count.


Late Surrender: Late Surrender is a blackjack rule allowing players to surrender their hand and lose only half of their original bet after the dealer checks for Blackjack.

Loaded Deck: The term “loaded deck” can have different meanings depending on the context, but it generally refers to a deck that has been rigged or marked in some way to cheat at the game.

Letters: M-O


Martingale System: The Martingale System is a betting strategy where you double your bet after each loss to recoup your losses and make a profit.

Money Management: Bankroll management is a crucial aspect of gambling, and it’s essential only to bet what you can afford to lose.

Monkey: “Monkey” is a term used to refer to a 10-value card in Blackjack. The term is sometimes used in Asian culture to refer to any card with a 10 value, as it sounds like the word for “10” in some Asian languages.

Multi-deck: Multi-deck refers to a blackjack game played with more than one deck of cards.

Blackjack Terms 2023


Natural: In Blackjack, a natural refers to a two-card hand consisting of an Ace and a ten-value card, which adds up to a total of 21. This hand is the strongest possible and usually pays more than other winning hands.

NDAS: No Doubling After Splitting, or NDAS, is a rule in some blackjack games where players are not allowed to double down after splitting a hand.

Negative Count: A negative count means that more low-value cards remain in the deck, which can put the player at a disadvantage.

No Win: In Blackjack, a ‘no win’ refers to a situation where neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand, resulting in a push. This means the player’s bet is returned without additional winnings or losses.

NRSA: No Resplitting Aces (NRSA) means that after splitting a pair of aces, players are not allowed to split them again if another ace is dealt to one of the split aces.

Letters: P-R


Paint: Face cards such as kings, queens, and jacks all have a value of 10, which is why they’re sometimes called “paint.”

Pair: A pair is a two-card hand containing equal-value cards.

Pat Hand: A pat hand is a term used in Blackjack and other card games to describe a hand that has a total value of 17 or higher and does not require any more cards.

Perfect Play: Perfect play is a blackjack strategy that uses a mathematically optimal approach to playing every hand, maximizing the player’s chances of winning in the long run.

Ploppy: “Ploppies” is a term used by some more experienced players to refer to less experienced players at the table.

Poor: A poor deck is a term used by card counters to describe a deck in the shoe that has a low number of high-value cards.

Positive Count: A positive count in Blackjack refers to a situation where the running count of the cards is above zero.

Progressive Betting: A betting system where the bettor adjusts the size of their bets based on whether they win or lose.

Push: When you and the dealer have the same hand value, it’s called a push or a tie, and you don’t lose or win any money. Instead, you get your original bet back.


Resplit: Resplitting refers to splitting a pair of cards you have already split once. For example, if you split a pair of 7s and then draw another 7, some casinos will allow you to resplit and play the new pair of 7s as a separate hand.

Rich: A rich deck in Blackjack refers to a deck or shoe high in 10-value cards and Aces favouring the player.

Risk or Ruin (RoR): Risk of Ruin (RoR) is a statistical term used to describe the likelihood of losing all your gambling bankroll before reaching a particular winning goal.

RSA: RSA stands for “Resplitting Aces,” a rare blackjack rule allowing players to split a pair of aces and then split them again if another ace is dealt to one or both hands.

Running Count: The running count is a vital part of the card-counting strategy in Blackjack. It involves keeping a tally of the low-value, and high-value cards played to determine the ratio of high to low cards remaining in the deck.

Letters: S-U


Shoe: A shoe is a device used to hold multiple decks of cards in table games such as Blackjack.

Side Bet: A side bet is a separate wager that a player can place in addition to their main bet in a casino game, such as Blackjack or craps.

Single Deck: A single deck game is a blackjack game where only one deck of cards is used in the shoe.

Sit and Go: A Sit and Go tournament is a single-table tournament with a predetermined number of players where the game continues until one player wins all the chips.

Soft Double: Doubling down on a hand containing an ace, where the Ace is valued as 1 or 11.

Soft Hand: A hand with an ace that can be valued as 1 or 11, giving the player more flexibility in gameplay.

Hard Hand Term Blackjack

Soft Total: The total value of a hand containing an ace that can be valued as 1 or 11.

Split Play: The act of splitting a pair of cards into two separate hands and placing a new bet equal to the original bet on the second hand.

Stand: The decision to keep your current hand as is without taking any additional cards from the dealer.

Stand 17: The rule in some blackjack variations requires the dealer to stand on a hand total of 17 or higher rather than taking additional cards.

Standing Hand: A hand with a total value of 17 or higher that a player chooses to stand on.

Stand-Off: A tie between the player and dealer where the player’s bet is returned without a win or loss.

Stiff: A hand with a low value that is at risk of busting with the addition of another card, typically between 12 and 16.

Surrender: An optional blackjack move that allows the player to forfeit half of their bet and exit the game early, typically used when the player’s hand is weak, and the dealer’s upcard is strong.


Third Base: Third base refers to the seat at the blackjack table farthest to the dealer’s right and the last to receive cards and play their hand before the dealer.

True Count: True count is a term used in card counting to calculate the player’s advantage in a game. It is derived by dividing the running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe.


Unbalanced Card-Counting System: Unbalanced card-counting system is a strategy used by card counters where the values assigned to the cards in a deck do not add up to zero.

Upcard: Upcard is the dealer’s face-up card visible to all players at the table in games like Blackjack.

Letters: V-Z


Variance: In gambling, variance refers to the statistical distribution of wins and losses. Games with high variance have a greater likelihood of swings in the player’s bankroll, while games with low variance offer more consistent but smaller wins.


Whale: A whale is a high roller or a player who bets large amounts of money at a casino.

Win Rate: Win rate refers to the percentage of hands or sessions a player wins in a gambling game.


Zen Count: The Zen Count is a card counting system used in Blackjack that assigns point values to cards in a way that helps players determine when to make certain plays, such as increasing their bets.

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