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Blackjack Terminology



An ace in blackjack is one of the most valuable cards in the whole deck. It can be worth the value of 1 or 11. An ace is also a significant component in achieving blackjack.

Ace Poor

Ace Poor is a counting term that is used to describe a game where the aces that have been dealt are less than what is usually expected.

Ace Rich

Ace rich is a counting term used to describe a game where the dealt aces are much more than what is averagely expected.


Action describes the total amount of money that has been wagered over a blackjack session or on a sure bet. It applies to a single player or to every player involved at the table.


Advantage in blackjack describes the edge one player has over the other. It is typically expressed in percentages.

Advantage Player

An advantage player refers to a blackjack player who bets strategically to gain an edge over the casino or other competing players at the table.


Anchor, also known as anchorman/Third base, refers to the player who is the last to make a move at the blackjack table before the dealer.


Back Counting

Back counting, also known as "Wonging" is the act of counting the cards that are currently being dealt in a blackjack game while standing at the back of the blackjack table.

Back Off

A backoff is when a casino stops a player from playing blackjack for a specific period in a bid to restrict the player from making too much money at the casino.

Balanced Count

A balanced count refers to the result of a counting system where the total positive and negative cards are equal in value. A count is considered balanced when the running count after the whole deck has been counted equals zero.


Bankroll refers to the total amount of funds a player brings to the blackjack table to bet with.

Basic Strategy

Basic strategy in blackjack refers to a practice that helps players reduce the casino's advantage through using basic strategy charts, which advise them to make moves that bring them the best odds.

Bet Sizing

Bet sizing can reduce or increase the amount of money you are betting with based on your game strategy.

Bet Spread

A player's bet spread describes the difference between his/her maximum and minimum wager.


The term "Blackjack," which doubles as the game's name, refers to the most powerful hand in the game that guarantees a win every time it's received. It consists of an ace and a 10-value card.


The Box in blackjack refers to the area where players place their bets.

Burn Card

To burn a card means the dealer to discard the topmost card on the deck before dealing out the cards. This practice helps to prove transparency in the blackjack game.


Bust is when a player's total hand value is more than 21. When a player busts, such a player has lost his/her bet.


To buy in on a blackjack game means for a player to make his/her first bet.



The cage refers to the area where players exchange their chips for actual money.


Camouflage refers to a skill used in blackjack that involves performing an action to cover up/ hide an advantage play or a card counting process.

Card Counting

Card counting can be described as the practice of keeping track of the cards during the game to gain an edge over the dealer.

Chip Down

To chip down means for a player to reduce the amount he/she initially placed as a bet during the last round.

Chip Up

To chip up can be described as a player increasing the amount of money he/she initially placed as a wager during the last hand.


A civilian refers to a blackjack player who doesn't have any knowledge about advantage play.

Cold Deck

A cold deck refers to a deck of cards that has dealt several low-value cards in a row to different players in a blackjack session.

Color Up

Color up is an action word said to a dealer by a blackjack player whenever a player wants to exchange his/her small denomination chips for high denomination chips of the same value.


CVBJ (Casino Verite Blackjack) is software that teaches civilians how to card count.


CVCX (Casino Verite Chapter X) is a program that card counters use to run simulations.



D9 refers to a rule that allows a player to double on a hand that possesses values of 9, 10, or 11.


DA2 rule can be described as a rule that allows a player to double any two cards (soft & hard hands inclusive).


DAS ( Double After Split) is a rule that a player can double down on a bet right after such a player has split a hand.


In blackjack, a dealer is every player's competition. Apart from being a player's opponent during the game, a dealer is an individual who deals out the cards to every player at the table.


A deck is a pack that contains 52 cards

Deck Penetration

Deck penetration is used to describe the number/percentage of cards that have been dealt before the entire deck is reshuffled.


Discards in blackjack refer to the cards dealt and discarded in previous hands.


DOA ( Double On Any) is a rule that allows players to double on any first two hands (including hands that have been split).

Double Down

To double on a bet means for a player to increase such that the bet is now twice its original value.


Even Money

Even money can be described as a bet where a player stands a chance to win or lose the same amount.


EV (Expected value) can be described as the value that a hand is expected to have at a particular time.


Face Cards

Face cards, also known as Monkeys, refer to cards with pictures/faces on them among the deck.

First Base

The first base in blackjack refers to the player who is the dealer's first person to be dealt cards.

Five Card Charlie

Five cards Charlie refers to a rule that secures the win automatically for any player who draws five cards without busting.

Flat Betting

Flat betting involves betting a certain amount of money throughout a full blackjack gaming session or a series of consecutive game rounds.



A Hand refers to the cards a player possesses during a round of blackjack.

Hand Spreading

Hand spreading involves the playing of two hands at the same time. This practice helps to increase the number of hands a player can play in an hour.

Hard Hand

A hard hand can be described as a hand that contains no ace. It can also be described as a hand that contains an ace with a value of 1.

High Roller

A high roller refers to blackjack players who bet big.


Hit in blackjack can be described as an option to pick another card if the player assumes that the currently possessed cards in his/her hands would not be strong enough to beat that of the dealer.

Hit 17

Hit 17 is a blackjack rule that enforces a player to take a bit after he/she has been dealt a 17 ( either in a soft or hard hand).

Hole Card

A hole card in blackjack is used to describe a card faced down. The dealer of the game only uses it.

House Edge

House edge can be described as the casino's advantage over the blackjack players at the table. It is usually measured in percentage.

Hot Deck

The hot deck is a term used to describe a deck of cards that deals out several high-value cards to blackjack players in a game session.


Index Number

Index numbers in blackjack are used to describe numbers that help card counters to dictate better playing decisions.

Insurance Bet

An insurance bet is a side bet only offered in cases where the dealer's upcard is an ace.


Kelly Betting

Kelly betting or Kelly criterion refers to a betting formula experienced players employ to get the perfect size for a bet at any time in a blackjack game round.

Knock Out Count

Knock-out count, also known as KO, is the most straightforward card counting system. It focuses primarily on running count instead of the true count. It is the perfect system for amateurs to learn card counting.


Loaded Deck

A loaded deck is used to describe a deck containing many high-value cards.


Martingale System

Martingale system refers to a betting system where a player has to double his/her bet after each loss to win back the lost funds along with the initial wager.

Multi Deck

Multi-deck refers to a blackjack game with more than 1 deck of cards on the table. This practice is usually employed while playing blackjack to make card counting harder for players.



A natural/natural blackjack is described as a blackjack that is achieved with an ace and a 10-value card, dealt together to a player.

Negative Count

A negative count results when the count is less than zero. It mostly occurs when bettors bet low.


NRSA ( No resplitting aces) refers to a rule that disallows players from splitting an ace pair that has been split before.



Paint is a common term that refers to a 10-value card.


A pair can be used to describe a hand that contains 2 cards that have equal value.

Perfect Play

Perfect play can be described as a performance where a player plays blackjack in accordance with the common blackjack strategies.


A ploppy is used to describe an inexperienced or amateur blackjack player who does not know how to count cards or employ winning strategies.


A poor deck is a term used by card counters to describe a deck that contains low-value cards.

Positive Count

A positive count refers to a count that occurs when the total count of cards at a table is more than zero.


A push, also known as Stand-off, can be described as a situation where there is no winner or loser between the dealer and player. When a push occurs, the players get to keep their bet.



Resplitting of cards can be described as the process of splitting cards twice.


ROR (risk of ruin) is a term used to explain the amount of money a player stands to lose on a single bet.


RSA (Resplitting Aces) is a rule given in rear cases, allowing a player to resplit aces.

Running Count

Running count refers to counting cards to get the total value of the positive or negative count in a blackjack round. The running count total is used in calculating the true count.


Seven Card Charlie

Seven card charlie refers to a blackjack rule that secures an automatic win for any player who can draw seven cards without busting.

Side Bet

Side bets can be described as bonus bets in blackjack, which are placed on outcomes that do not involve whether a player or dealer will win or not.

Single Deck

A single-deck game can be described as a blackjack game played with a single deck of cards.

Sit & Go

Sit & Go refer to casual blackjack tournaments. Sit & go allows players, irrespective of their experience ( until the table is complete). The rules, as well as the length of play in this type of tournament, are very flexible.


A shoe refers to a device used at a blackjack table by dealers to simultaneously hold multiple decks of cards.

Soft Double

Soft doubling involves the practice of doubling a hand with an ace.

Soft Hand

Soft hand is described as a hand that contains an ace whose value can be set at 1 or 11.

Soft Total

Soft total results from the total valuation of a hand with an ace.


A player is said to stand when the player decides not to pick any additional card from the dealer.

Stand 17

Stand 17 is a common blackjack rule that forces a dealer to stand if his hand reaches the value of 17 or more.


A hand is stiff when it almost exceeds the value of 21.

Standing Hand

A standing hand can be described as a hard hand valued at or beyond 17.


Surrender is an option for blackjack players who want to surrender their hand after they have been dealt their cards. An early surrender allows players to secure half their original bet. This option can only be accepted after the dealer has checked your cards for blackjack.


True Count

A true count is a count which can be calculated by the division of the running count with the number of decks left at the game table.



Upcard in blackjack can be described as the one card that is faced up among the dealer's cards. The upcard is normally visible to all players at the blackjack table.



Wash can be described as a type of shuffling method that involves shuffling cards faced down on a table in a wash-like motion.


Whales are used to describe blackjack players who regularly bet with much money, much more than an average high roller.

Win Rate

Win rate refers to a measurement (in percentage) of how likely a bettor is to win a blackjack game.


Zen Count

The zen count refers to a card counting system that helps to monitor all the 10 value cards and aces in the deck.