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Blackjack Terms

Back Counting – Term used by card counters to describe when they stand behind players at a blackjack table and count cards without playing. Once the deck reaches a count where it’s favorable to the player they take a seat and start playing.
Backed Off – When you’re asked to stop playing by the casino you’ve been backed off.
Bankroll – Your total amount of money you can use to wager on blackjack.
Basic Strategy – A specific strategy developed by computer analysis that tells you the best way to play every situation at the blackjack table based on your two cards and the dealer’s up card.
Bet Spread – The distance or amount between your lowest bet and your highest during a game of blackjack
Bust – When a player or the dealer reaches a hard total of 22 or higher.
Card Counting – Keeping track of the high cards in relation to the low cards left in the shoe or deck. When the count reaches a certain point, the edge switches over to the player, who then bets more.
Continuous Shuffling Machine – A machine that continuously shuffles the cards so dealers can deal more hands per hour.
Cut Card – A plastic card a player can place in the deck for the position of the cut.
Double Down – A player may double their initial wager and receive a single additional card.
Even Money – Even money is another name for an insurance bet.
First Base – The player seated to the immediate left of the dealer is sitting at first base.
Flat Bet – When you bet the same amount on every hand you’re flat betting.
Hand Held Game – A hand held game is a single or double deck game where the dealer holds all of the cards and deals from their hands.
Hard Hand – A hand using an ace as a one or a hand with no ace.
Heads Up – When a single player plays against the dealer one on one.
Hit – A hit is when you receive another card from the dealer when you’re trying to improve your hand.
Hole Card – The dealer’s face down card is their hole card.
Insurance – When the dealer shows an ace the player may place a bet that pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack.
Natural Blackjack – If your first two cards are an ace and a 10 value card you have a natural blackjack.
Paint – Slang for any of the face cards in the deck.
Pat Hand – A pat hand is a good hand that a player doesn’t try to improve.
Peek – When the dealer looks at her hole card she peeks at it.
Push – When the player and dealer tie no money changes hands and it’s called a push.
Running Count – A card counting term describing the ratio of high and low cards remaining in the deck.
Shoe – The device used to hold the shuffled cards that the dealer slides cards out of and gives to the players.
Soft – A hand that has an ace that can be counted as a one or an 11 is soft.
Split – If you have a pair you may split them by placing a second bet beside your first. The dealer then gives you an additional card on each card creating two new hands.
Stand – When you don’t want any more cards from the dealer you stand.
Stiff Hand – A stiff hand is a hard total of 12 to 16. It means that if you draw a 10 point value card you bust.
Surrender – A rule found at some blackjack tables that allows the player to surrender his or her hand and get back half of their bet. This must be done before the player takes any other action on the hand.
Third Base – The player to the immediate right of the dealer is in the third base position.
Up Card – The dealer’s face up card.