Blackjack Terms

Action

This is a general gambling term which refers to the total amount of money bet in a specific period of time. Ten bets of ten dollars each is $100 of action.

Bankroll

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

Breaking Hand

Any hard hand (hand that doesn't contain an ace) valued between 12 and 16 is known as a breaking or stiff hand, as it is possible to go over 21 with the addition of just one more card.

Bust

When you've been dealt cards that total more than 21. You can also bust out when you've stood on less than 21 but the dealer's total is higher than yours and less than 21 e.g. you stand on 18 and the dealer reaches.

Chips

Cash in your money for chips equal to that value. Chips are used instead of cash at the table and can come in many denominations.

Double Down

When you think that with just one more card you will be able to beat the dealer, you are allowed to double your original bet and draw one, and only one card.

Face Cards

All face cards are worth 10 – Jack, Queen and King are face cards.

Hard hands

Hands that do not contain an ace are known as hard hands.

High Roller

A big bettor.

Hit

When you request another card from the dealer after you've received your two opening cards and feel that another card will increase your total.

Hole Card

Any face down card. The definition most often refers to the dealer's single face down card.

Insurance

When the dealer gets an ace to start the hand, you can buy insurance for half of your total original wager. If the dealer gets blackjack, you are protected from the normal loss you would have faced. If the dealer does not get blackjack but still beats you, you lose your original bet, plus the half of the bet used for the insurance.

Pair

When a player's first two cards are numerically identical (ie, 7,7).

Pat Hand

A hand with a total of 17 to 21.

Push

When the player neither wins nor loses – i.e. the player ties with the dealer.

Soft hands

Any hand that includes an ace that can still be valued at 1 or 11 is called a soft hand.

Split

If the player gets two great opening cards he/she has the option of "splitting" the cards and basically having two active hands e.g. if the player is dealt two 10's, they can split the hand, and have two 10's as the first card of their hands.

Standing

When the player refuses to take any additional cards e.g. you've totaled 19 with your two cards and do not want to risk going over 21.

Up Card

The dealer's first dealt card, placed face up.

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