Blackjack Terms and Definitions

A-J BonusA special high-payout option for a blackjack consisting only of an ace and the jack of spades. Declining popularity.

Ace-Five CountOne of the easiest counting strategies. The count only includes aces and fives.

Ace Neutral CountA count where aces are worth zero; they are not tracked.

Ace Poor DeckA deck with a lower than expected number of aces remaining.

Ace RichA deck with a higher than expected number of aces remaining.

ActionDirectly proportional to the size of the bets that a game has seen. Lots of action represents a table that has seen many large bets.

Back CountingCounting cards as a mere observer, not as a player.

BankrollThe total amount of money that a player has, at present, available for gambling purposes.

Big PlayerThe key player in a card counting team who only bets large, and only bets when the count is stacked in his favor.

Burn CardThe top card of a deck immediately after the shuffle and cut. To prevent cheating, this card is “burnt” and put on the bottom of the deck.

BustHaving a hand that is worth more than twenty-one. A losing hand no matter what the dealer has; even if the dealer busts as well.

CageThe slang term for the casino cashier.

Card CountingAny system that keeps a continuous “count” based on the ratio of high and low bets. Popularized way to win at blackjack.

Color UpExchanging lower-valued chips, with the dealer, for higher-valued chips. Generally takes place after winning.

Cut CardPlastic playing card inserted into the deck. After the dealer has dealt their way down to the cut card, they then re-shuffle the deck.

bodog casino banner

Deck PenetrationThe ratio of cards that have been removed from the deck, via play, since the previous shuffle.

Double DownDoubling the size of your first bet under the condition that you only you accept exactly one more card for your hand.

Face CardsJacks, Queens and Kings. In blackjack they are worth ten each.

False ShuffleA controlled shuffle preformed by cheating dealers.

Flat BettingBetting the same every round. No variation in wager size.

Griffin BookA book, published by Griffin Investigations. The “black book” of blackjack card counters.

Hard HandAny hand with only one possible value. This means no aces, or only an ace in an hand high enough so that the ace must be worth only one.

Heads UpWhen only one player is playing at a table.

High/Low CountA basic counting system. Cards valued two through six increase the count, while face cards and aces lower the count. Learn more here.

HitTo receive an additional card from the dealer.

House EdgeThe statistical advantage the house has on casino games.

Kelly BettingMaking your bet size directly proportional to your statistical advantage. This is the statistically preferred way to bet.

Money PlaysWhen casinos allow cash wagers.

NaturalA two-card hand worth exactly 21; must include an ace. Also known as a blackjack.

PaintSlang for a face card.

Past PostingA form of cheating where players make or take down wagers after they learn the final results of the game. This is illegal.

Pit BossThe direct superior to the dealers on the floor.

PushWhen your bet is returned for tying with the dealer. Not available if you bust.

Running CountThe count at any moment when counting blackjack cards.

Soft HandA hand with an ace worth less than twenty one. Considered soft because the ace can be worth one or eleven.

StandDeciding to keep your current hand. The opposite of hitting.

Stiff HandHard hands that fall between the value of twelve and sixteen. If you hit, you may likely bust. This applies to the dealer as well.

SurrenderThis is rarely an option, but when available, it allows you to give up your hand and get half of your wager back. This is only advisable in a few select circumstances.

TokeSlang term for a tip.

True CountTake your running count, and divide it by the number of decks being used. Gives a more accurate representation of a less heavily weighted count.

Up-CardThe face-up card played by the dealer.

Related Blackjack Articles