Glossary of Terms & Blackjack Dictionary
Below you'll find several definitions of terms associated with
blackjack, although it's not essential for you to know all these
terms in order to play the game, they're still good to know. Some
of the terms listed below are also used throughout BlackjackProfessor.com
so you may understand our site a bit better if you quickly skim
Action: A general term in gambling, referring
to the amount of money played in a specific time period. For example,
if a player places five $10 bets, the total action for that player
Bankroll: The total amount of money that the player
plans to gamble with. Also known as the stake.
Black Chip: A chip with a $100 denomination.
Burn Card: At the beginning of the game and after
every re-shuffle, the dealer takes the top card of the deck or the
first card in the shoe and places it into the discard tray. This
card is the burn card. The burn card may or may not be revealed
to the players.
Bust: When the total of the players cards is higher
than 21… an automatic loss.
Cage: The cashier’s “cage” is
where the player exchanges cash for chips, redeems chips for cash,
arranges credit, etc.
Comp: Short form for complimentary. A casino may
reward loyal players with gifts, such as, free rooms in their hotels,
free dining experiences, complimentary drinks, etc., in hopes that
the player will continue to gamble in their establishment.
Counter: A term used to describe someone who counts
Cut Card: A colored plastic card that the dealer
gives to a player after every shuffle. The player will use this
card to cut the deck.
Drop Percentage: A measure (percentage) of a player’s
initial stake that the casino will take because of the house advantage.
On average, this number is about 20 %. So if a player begins with
a bankroll of $100, he will eventually lose $20 of it to the house.
Flat Bet: A bet that the player keeps consistent.
For example, if the player is flat betting $20, he/she is betting,
without changing the amount of the bet, $20 for every hand played.
Foreign Chip: A chip that is issued by one particular
casino, but can be redeemed for cash by a different casino. However,
a casino is not obligated to accept foreign chips.
Green Chip: A chip with a $25 denomination.
Hard Hand: A hand in blackjack where an Ace is
valued at 1.
Head-On: A game of blackjack where you and the
dealer are the only two present at the table. There are no other
players involved in the game.
Heads up: When you are playing alone at the table.
High Roller: A player who is betting large amounts
Hit: A request made to the dealer asking for another
card to add to your current hand.
Hole card: Any card that is face down on the table.
Typically this term refers to the dealers’ single card that
is face down. The players at the table are unaware of its value
until all their hands are complete and it’s the dealers’
turn to draw.
House: Another name for the casino.
House Percentage: The advantage that the casino
has over the player in a particular game.
Insurance: A side bet in a hand of blackjack that
the player has the option of purchasing (up to ½ of their
original bet) if the dealers upcard is an Ace. This type of bet
will pay 2:1 if the dealer draws Blackjack.
Junket: Usually organized by the casino, a junket
is a group of gamblers who travel together to play at the casino.
Organizing a junket is a great way for the casino to attract players.
Late surrender: A surrender by the player, which
is allowed if the dealer does not have a natural 21 (blackjack).
If the dealer does have blackjack the player will lose their entire
bet. However, if the dealer is not holding onto a blackjack and
the player believes they cannot win the hand, they can surrender,
and the house will take half their original bet and does not play
the remainder of the hand.
Marker: A line of credit provided to the player
by the casino.
Pair: When the original two cards that the player is dealt are the
same (i.e.: two 5’s, two Queens).
Pat Hand: A hand in blackjack that has a total
from 17 to 21.
Pit: The area within the perimeter of a group
of tables on the casino floor.
Pit Boss: A casino employee, the pit bit boss
supervises all the players, dealers and other employees within a
Play upcard: The dealers’ first card. This
card is dealt face up, in order to aid the players in there decisions
on how they will play out their hands.
Point Count: At the end of each hand, the point
count is the net value of the cards played.
Push: A tie between the player and the dealer.
Red Chip: A chip with a $5 denomination.
Running Count: The running total of the point
count, from hand-to-hand. The running count commences from the beginning
of the deck or shoe.
Settlement: The exchange of the chips after each
hand. The dealer takes the chips in a losing situation, pays you
in a winning one or if the hand results in a push, no exchange is
Shill: A casino employee who is acting as a player
in order to attract other players to the table.
Shoe: A device used by the dealer to deal the
cards. Shoes can carry up to eight decks of cards. The dealer simply
slides the cards from the bottom of the shoe one at a time.
Shuffle Up: When the dealer suspects a player
of counting cards, he/she will prematurely shuffle the deck.
Soft Hand: A hand in blackjack where an Ace is
valued at 11 (not as a 1).
Stand: When the player is satisfied with their
card count they will stand (declines drawing another card).
Third base: Refers to the seat at which the last
player to act at the table is sitting.
Toke: Another word for tipping the dealer.
True Count: An adjustment to the running count.
The true count accounts for the number of cards remaining in the
deck or the shoe that are still to be played.