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Black Jack School

Blackjack Terms and Lingo

Blackjack Terms: The Lingo!
by Wilson of Predictem.com

Blackjack is perhaps the most played casino table game in the world. Why is blackjack so popular? There are a variety of reasons why blackjack is so prevalent amongst casino dwellers, but the main reason may be because all you have to do is out score the dealer by getting a 21 or as close to 21 as possible. For most people, counting to 21 is relatively easy. Ahh, but what about all that gibberish players speak at the table, is it really that important? Yes, if you want to play blackjack and be successful it really helps to first, know the language used for the game, and second, know who you are up against. Let’s take a look at some of the basic lingo, terminology, and overall definitions involved with the game of blackjack.

Anchorman (also known as the Third base position) – This is the player who sits closest to the dealer’s right. The anchorman is the last to make a play before the dealer’s turn.

Barring a player – The exclusion of a player from the blackjack table. This usually is a result of an unruly player or a player who is cheating. However, casinos have been known to Barr players who simply win too much money!

Blackjack – First two cards are an ace and a ten-valued card.

Bonus Bet - An optional bet that is offered to players at some casinos, usually for an extra $1 a player can win a 5 to 1 or 10 to 1 pay off if they receive a certain combination of cards, such as a suited blackjack or a pair.

Card Counter – keeping track of cards that have already been played in an effort to know what the remaining cards will be. This helps a player determine how to adjust their betting strategy. Casinos always keep an eye out for card counters as they can literally win millions of dollars if they are proficient.

Dealer – The casino worker who actually deals the cards and keeps the game moving. The dealer will collect lost bets and pay out winning bets. Some casinos pressure their dealers to deal out as many hands as possible per hour. The thought process for casino owners is simple: the more hands or rounds a dealer can dish out, the more opportunity for the house to make money.

Double Down, Doubling – A player may double their original bet after seeing their two cards. Most casinos clearly identify when or what two cards may be doubled.

Early Surrender – An option for the player to forfeit their hand and only lose half of their bet. This usually takes place when the dealer is showing an ace as their top card.

Exposed card – The dealer’s face up card.

Eye in the Sky – refers to the black bulbs or mirrors located on the ceilings and throughout the casino which are usually fixed with high tech cameras. This protects that the dealers and the players in case of a dispute or cheating incident.

Face Card: A Jack, Queen or King.

First Base – Player seated closest to the dealer’s left.

Head to Head – Playing alone against the dealer.

High Roller – A player that bets a lot of money. Also known as a "whale".

Hit – The act of requesting a card from the dealer. This is usually done by gently tapping the table layout with your hand.

Hole Card – The dealer’s unexposed downcard.

Insurance – A side bet made when a dealer shows an ace as their upcard. It pays off at 2 to 1 if the dealer turns a blackjack, but if the dealer does not have a blackjack then the bet is lost.

Multiple Deck Game – Blackjack game that is played with two or more decks of cards. In most casinos multiple deck games use 6 to 8 decks per game.

Natural – same as a blackjack.

Paint, Paint it – refers to a face card or a ten-valued card.

Pit Boss – casino employee who supervises play at the tables.

Push – A tie between the dealer and the player. The player gets his money back in this case.

Shoe – The box that holds multiple decks of cards.

Soft Hands, Soft Total – A hand in which the ace equals or is used as 11 points. In BJ an ace can be used as 1 point or 11 points.

Splitting Pairs – A player may split two cards of identical value in order to create two separate hands.

Stand - A player’s decision not to request another card.

Stiff hand – This is a hand that can be busted if hit. For example, 12 through 16.

Ten-Value Card – ten, jack, queen, king.

Obviously there is a lot of language used in the game of blackjack, but most of it is easily defined even by the novice player. However, it never hurts to review the lingo before you buy-in at a table. As with most gambling games, blackjack can suddenly become confusing and intense, but the educated player who knows the proper terms and situation will likely remain cool under pressure.

Remember, you are in control of your gambling decisions. Blackjack is definitely more understandable when you know the language and the process. If you’re interested in a true account of a sophisticated blackjack approach I recommend reading Ben Mezrich’s Busting Vegas, or watching the movie “21”  which is based on the book. Luck to ya.

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Interesting Facts

Did you know... that the chances (probability) of being dealt a blackjack is .024%, which equates to one BJ approximately every 42 hands dealt?