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Blackjack Game Terms

For those of you not familiar with the game terminology, the following terms are often used when playing Blackjack. Note that some terms are not likely to be used when playing online, as there's no 'pit boss' when playing a download or browser game :)

Bankroll – The stake (available money) a player plans to bet with.

Basic Strategy – A computer-developed method for playing blackjack that may be easily memorized by a player without counting cards.

Breaking Hand (Stiff) – A hand that will break (go over 21) with a one-card draw, such as a hard 12,13,14,15 or 16.

Burned – Discarded; what is done to the top card after the deck is cut so that the player can't see it's value.

Busted – To overdraw to a total greater than 21; an immediate losing hand.

Counting – The ability of a player to keep an accurate mental record of the cards that have been played. Can allow players to have a relatively good idea of which cards remain in the shoe.

Doubling Down – An option in which the player, feeling he/she has a good hand which will win with one more card, turns his/her two cards face up and adds to his/her bet by as much as his/her original bet. This gets him one additional card.

Draw – To obtain additional cards to the original two cards.

Face Card – The King, Queen or Jack.

First Base – The first seat at the blackjack table, immediately to the left of the dealer.

Hard Count – The true face value of the cards being played with.

Hard Hand – A hand without an ace, or a hand with an ace that can only be counted one way (for example, an ace, 6 and 9).

Hit – To add another card to a players hand. The players ask the dealer for another card by saying or signaling “hit me”.

Hole Card – The dealer's face down card.

Insurance – A side bet offered to the player by the house, when the dealer's face-up card is an ace, that the dealer has a 10 as his/her hole card, making blackjack. Pays 2 to 1.

Natural – A total of 21 in only two cards. Automatic winner pays 3 to 2.

Pat Hand – A hand with a total of 17 to 21.

Pit Boss – The person in charge of the blackjack games.

Point Count – The net value of the card count at the end of a hand.

Press – To increase the size of the subsequent wager.

Push – A tie between the dealer and player in which no money changes hands; a standoff.

Shoe – A dealing box for multiple-deck games.

Soft Hand – A hand with an ace, which can be counted as 11 (for example, an ace and 7 can be counted as 8 or 18).

Splitting Pairs – An option the player has with two original cards of the same denomination (4s, 8s etc.) of splitting the two cards and playing each hand individually.

Stand – What a player does when he/she is satisfied with his/her existing cards and stays with his/her hand as is.

Surrender – This is not available in all casinos. The ability of the player to give up only half his/her bet when the player believes he/she cannot beat the dealer. Must be done before any cards are drawn.

Third Base – The last seat at the blackjack table, immediately to the right of the dealer.

Toke – The tip or gratuity given to dealers from players.

“21” – Another name for the game of blackjack. Also, the winning total in blackjack.

Up Card – The dealer's face-up card.

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