Blackjack Terminology

Blackjack terms

Blackjack termsPart of knowing the ins and outs of blackjack is recognizing the terms and slang that will accompany blackjack. Whether you play online, just for fun with friends, or in actual casinos it is important for you to be familiar with these terms

Basic blackjack terms:

Blackjack: Blackjack is simply where your cards are equal to 21. This is the highest you can go without busting and you will never lose with 21, so it is definitely an enviable position.
Natural blackjack: A natural blackjack is when you are dealt a blackjack right off of the bat. You receive an ace and a card worth 10 [10, Jack, Queen, King]. There is a 4.8% chance of being dealt a natural blackjack and natural blackjacks are usually paid out 3 to 2, which means you will win 15 dollars on a 10 dollar bet.
Bust: When you go over 21. The only way to bust is to hit with 12+ and end up with 22+. You automatically lose upon busting which is why the house has an advantage in blackjack.
Hit: When you wish to be dealt another card.
Stand: When you are satisfied with the cards you have currently and do not want to risk busting.
Double down: Most casinos offer doubling down to their players. You can double your original bet after seeing your first two cards. The catch is that you do not have the option to be hit again after doubling down. Being able to double down is a huge advantage to the player when it is used correctly.
Split: If you are dealt two of the same cards [2 2's - 2 Ace's] you have the option to split the cards into two different hands. This will effectively double your bet and start you off with one card each.
Blackjack strategy card: A small card that tells you when it is in your best interest to hit, stand, double down or split. These cards can do wonders for your game, virtually eliminating all human error.
Insurance: If the dealer is showing an ace you have the option of buying insurance. It pays 2 to 1 but it is a sucker bet, as the odds of the dealer having a card in the hole worth 10 are 1 to 2.25 (30.7%)
House edge/advantage: The percentage that the house will net, over time, with each hand. If the house edge in blackjack is 0.5%, a 10 dollar bet will result in a 5 cent profit to the casino over time. Smart blackjack is all about decreasing house edge and knowing when to stop.
Card Counting: Made famous by the movie 21, counting cards is a complicated but potentially rewarding way to shift the odds in your favor. Certain cards have certain counts and you are required to keep up with the count in your head.
Early surrender: If you feel as if you are destined to lose the hand, you may have the option to surrender early and lose only half of your original bet. This is usually a sucker bet.
Upcard: The card that the dealer has that you can see.
Bankroll: The amount you have available to wager. You want this to grow, obviously.
3 to 2 blackjack: The most common form of online blackjack, where natural blackjacks are paid out at a 3 to 2 ratio.
6 to 5 blackjack: The most common form of actual casino blackjack, where natural blackjacks are paid out at a 6 to 5 ratio.

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