Blackjack Games

Terms Often Used in Black Jack

Black Jack terminology is not as large and complex as other card games like Poker, but it should be studied nevertheless. If you are new to Black Jack these are the terms and definitions that you should learn. If you are experienced, it is always good to take a refresher every now and then.

Black Jack, of course, means getting the number 21.If your initial hand gets you the 21 it is called a natural. Other fundamental terms employed are hit, which means drawing another card to approximate 21. Draw in Black Jack is synonymous with hit. A stand indicates that the player is satisfied with his hand and will not take another card.

Options in the game include the following: double down, wherein the player agrees to double his initial wager and hit another card. If both cards have the same value, a player can opt for a split; that is, double the bet and use each card in the next hand. Resplitting means doing the same thing if you get another pair, but this option is seldom allowed in casinos.

When a player goes over 21 his hand is called a bust and he loses. A push signifies that there is a tie between player and dealer. Usually the player's wager is returned, although if both hit Black jack the dealer wins.

The term surrender means the player has decided not to play the hands he has received. There are two types: an early surrender means forfeiting the game before the dealer checks her card. If he surrenders the player loses %0% of his wager. A late surrender takes place when the player quits after seeing the dealer's hole (face down) card. Not all casinos offer these options.

Other Black Jack terms that you will often encounter include a Soft Hand (a hand where the Ace can be considered a 1 or 11 without going over 21), Hard Hand (to avoid going bust the Ace must be counted as 1) and Stiff Hand (any total between 12 and 16). A pat hand means a total of 17.

A Soft 17 means the dealer's hand total 17 or higher with an Ace. Depending on the rules, a dealer may hit or stand at this point. A Hard 17 denotes a dealer who holds a 17 or higher hand without an Ace. Almost always the dealer stands.

A bet spread refers to the bets a player wagers during a game. A spread of 1 to 8 means a minimum of one and a max of 6 per game. If your wager remains constant, it is termed a flat bet.

An insurance is a special type of wager. If the dealer holds an Ace, she can suggest to the player to take the insurance before she ups her hole card. If the player accepts the offer he can bet up to half his original wager. If she has a Black Jack your insurance pays 2:1, so you will be able to break even. If she does not have a 21 you lose the insurance.

It is easy for a new player in a casino to get confused by the jargon being used by the dealer and fellow gamblers, which can have unfortunate results. But by keeping these terms in mind you will not make any mistakes.