Glossary of blackjack terms


Blackjack: Name of game, also known as 21.

Anchorman Third Baseman: The player who sits on the last   chair and plays card last.One initial card with two cards (one Ace and one of 10 points -10 or picture-), which gives 3:2 of the bet placed by player.

Chips: Roundlike coins given by the   casino in exchange for money, to be used in the game.

Dealer: An employee of the casino who is responsible for BLACKJACK game at table. He deals cards, accepts and pays out on bets.

Doubling down: Double of player’s initial bet, who is to receive only one more card.

Ten points card: Ten points or picture card, value of ten points.

Twenty one: Another name of the game BLACKJACK.

Dangerous card: Any card which may bust (or burn). Like a  hard 12-16 (taking over 21).

Hole card: The face down card of the dealer.

Insurance: A bet made by the player when the dealer shows his first card   as Ace. This bet wins if the dealer makes BLACKJACK (and rest of the players bets lose).

Bust (or burn): When card is taken and more than 21 is calculated on hand.   Player or dealer lose.

Burning of card: The removal of the first card from the dealer in first round, before dealing begins.

Soft total/card: Cards that contain an Ace that is counted as eleven.

Card count: Observation of cards that have been already played. This is very difficult when a game is played with 6 sets of cards, but does happen in casinos.

Natural: Term meaning BLACKJACK. Many sets:
The use of more than one set of cards for BLACKJACK in casino.

Push: Tie between dealer and player, so money does not change hands.

Round: A full round in game so that all players and dealer plays their cards.

Shoe: A box containing 4-6 sets of cards which dealer uses for BLACKJACK etc.

Hard card: Total of players cards which don?t include an Ace, or include other countable as unit (not as 11).

Splitting pairs: Separation of two cards even value (e.g two eights) so they can be played as separate cards.

Standing, Standing Pat: Not taking other cards.

Upcard: The face up card of dealer which players see before playing their own cards.

Card/Hand: The total of cards which one player holds and will play with.

First Baseman: The player who is dealt first and plays first.Usually seated in the first seat at the table

Hit and draw: The taking of more cards for the initial card.

The Table Of Blackjack


A halfmoon shaped table covered in green felt. The dealer who deals cards and accepts bets sits opposite players in a central position. Table accepts up to 7 players, which are seated on the outside of the large arc. The dealer is an employee of the casino and always holds the bank.In front of the dealer is a tray containing chips which belong to the bank.Players may play with chips or cash money. Cash money will be counted by the dealer in front of all watching, the money will be put in a case chute and the dealer will give cash value in chips to the player.The dealer plays with each player individually.Bets usually start from 5 to 900, a card is placed at the table showing all possible bets.
On the table in front of the dealer are written the following:

Insurance pays 2 to 1 means that when the dealer’s first card is an Ace, any player can insure his self against the chance of the second card of the dealer being a 10 or a picture card, creating BLACKJACK. If the dealer makes BLACKJACK, players win bets rewarding themselves with double their bet, (which however cannot be more than 50% of players previous bet). In this way players can win if the dealer has BLACKJACK, otherwise they lose their insurance. Most experienced players do not advise this bet; only if the player has BLACKJACK will win this bet.On the left hand side of the dealer there is a box with cards that the dealer uses. This box is called a shoe and has 6 packs of 52 cards. After each deal, the dealer collects the used cards and puts them in a special box on his right.

Years ago, until the 1960s, BLACKJACK was played in casinos using only 1-2 packs of cards. Because experienced players could remember which cards had been played (used) they where constantly wining, thus the bank was losing. This made the casinos renew the rules of the game to their favour, thus playing BLACKJACK with 6 packs of cards. When all 6 packs are finished in the shoe, the dealer shuffles 6 new ones. Next, he gives to the last player or the following new player a blank white card so he may cut the pack (set) of 6 wherever he wants. Another white card identical with the first one is placed in sets, about 2 packs before end. Then, the whole set is put in the shoe which makes them transparent. Before starting the game, the dealer takes one or more cards from the top to make sure that nobody has seen them before they play. Then, he deals one card to each player from left to right,dealing his self last. Next, he deals the second card. All cards are dealt either face up or face down to the players, but face up to the dealer. All bets are placed in bases in front of each player to mark their place before cards are dealt. Nobody can lose on the deal of second card, because no two cards together are no more than 21.

1) If the dealer’s two cards are less than 17, then he must draw another,until he reaches at least 17 or more up until 21, thus the bank wins. If he passes 21 the bank looses. That explains the term “DEALER MUST STAND ON ALL 17”. This is a rule for both player and dealer and is respected in most casinos. If the dealer looses (burns or busts) he pays players who didn’t burn or burst, or players who have more points than him (under 21). Players who have the same points (stand off) stay in their place and if they wish may withdraw their bet.If on the table the term is written “DEALER MUST HIT SOFT I7”,the dealer must count his Ace (if he has drawn one) as 11 and stops dealing, unless a player asks him to continue. If no one asks, he says NO MORE CARDS. Then he pays those who have won and collects chips and bets that have lost.The term on the table may also read “DEALER MUST STAND ON 17 AND MUST DRAW TO 16”, which means that the dealer must draw cards to the value of 16 but must stop at 17. Winners win as much as the bet placed.

2) If a player gets 21 with his first 2 cards he makes BLACKJACK. His win is 150% of his bet. This explains the term “BLACKJACK PAYS 3 TO 2”. BLACKJACK has a greater value than 21 made with more cards, like 21 after the split (see below). When the dealer?s card (first card) is an Ace, picture card or 10, he does not immediately pay the player because there is a chance that he himself will achieve BLACKJACK (STANDOFF), in which case the player may demandimmediate payment winning 100% to his bet and not 150.

3) If you get 21 (Ace +10 or picture card) you have BLACKJACK which is the best hand and wins all, even 21 made upot more cards, but as BLACKJACK is made with 2 cards neither player or dealer has more than 2 cards. You may feel very lucky and go for Insurance (see pages 2 and 3).

4) If you have under 21 points (most likely) then you have 2 choices.i) You may not draw any more cards (STAND) so you don’t pass 21. You make a sign to dealer moving your palm of your hand up and down towards your cards.ii) If you feel your points are low you may ask for 3rd card (HIT) knocking your finger on table. If you wish to higher your bet you must say “DOUBLE DOWN” to the dealer and place your bet in the base, the same amount as before.Some casinos allow the player to “DOUBLING” only if his first 2 cards are 10 or 11 in value. This is in casinos favour.In Greek casinos (i.e in Regency Hayiat in Thessaloniki) the player may do DOUBLING if his first two cards are between 2 and 11 points. In this way you can double your bet taking only one more car.To make a split you must have 2 cards of same value (i.e two eights) or one ten and one picture card, or two picture cards, or two tens. To split, player has to separate cards, move his bet on one and place the same amount on other. Player continues to play both hands.If the split happens after, each casino has its own rules. Usually the rules are as follows: for each card that was split the player can take as many cards are needed, but if the cards are Aces only one card can be taken for each Ace, there the game will finish, but player cannot make BLACKJACK with 2 cards, leaving the dealer at an advantage.After the first split, there may be a second or a double.
In casinos in Greece (e.g Regency in Thessaloniki) the player can make a split when the two first cards are of the same value. Then he can separate them, resulting in separate hands of cards, each valued separately. In the Regency casino, you may separate your cards up to 3 times making 4 separate hands. Usual rules stand for all separated hands including Doubling. So, one card holding 2 cards with total of 21 points is not BLACKJACK and wins only 100%.


The Choise Of “Surrender” images

Some casinos offer this choice: player may surrender his first card of the two and half his bet if he is sure that the dealer does note have BLACKJACK and before player uses any of his other choices.To surrender the player must turn face up his two cards (if face down) in front of his bet and say surrender to the dealer. The dealer takes his cards and half of his bet.EARLY SURRENDER is a choice rarely offered to player to give up his card and half bet BEFORE dealer sees if he has BLACKJACK. This only exsists in Atlantic City in New Jersey USA, after was abolished.
This choice can be used if player is convinced that he has 15 or 16 points and the dealer’s next card is worth 10. Or if the player’s cards are worth 14 points and are 2 sevens and dealer?s next card is worth 10. Otherwise the player must use this right if offered by the casino, remembering -or believing he remembers- cards and convincing his self that he will not be dealt a good card. Otherwise he must risk trying to win dealer. This choiceis offered by few casinos, so ask the dealer at the casino you are playing.


“Soft” and “Hard” 1 (5)

When a player has an Ace, it is counted as 1 or 11 as we have seen. When the second card is small the Ace is valued as 11. If for example we have Ace and 4, the value is 15, which we call SOFT 15. If we take another card which turns out to be 9, then Ace is counted as 1 (because as 11 value will be 24 and player will bust. So we have a value of 14 less than we had before.
In general if dealer has a small card (6 or 7) and player has soft card (with Ace) he stops at 16 points. If dealer has many points (8, 9, 10 or Ace) he may need to pass 18 soft points at risk.
Many casinos have written on BLACKJACK table “DEALER MUST STAND ON ALL 17”. (Dealer must stop at any 17). This rule favours the player: even if the dealer has an Ace and a 6 he is forced to calculate them as 11 and stop at SOFT 17. But if table writes “DEALER MUST HIT SOFT 17”, the casino allows dealer to take more cards to give him a better chance of good cards.It makes a difference where you sit: players who have sat before you and play before you may affect your card.

 Verbal Rules Of Blackjack images

The rules above are not unvariable and are often different from country to country, or from casino to casino. Below we refur to different game rules of BLACKJACK which we may encounter. Remember to ask the dealer about the rules before you start playing.

In most casinos player may double on any two cards (initial cards) as in most Greek casinos. There are casinos which allow you to double if you have 10 or 11 points only, which is in casinos favour.

In most casinos in Greece it is allowed to make up to 3 splits, of any two initial cards allowing a new card to be dealt with a bet even with the second initial card. So, you now have 4 cards. However, in some casinos only one split may be allowed.

This player’s choice is only available in casinos in Nevada USA and does not apply in Greece.

Most casinos in Greece allow doubling after splitting. Let us assume that you split a pair of sixes and after draw a 5 n your first six. In most casinos you may double on these 11 points. This is in the player’s favour. It is wise to seek a casino which offers this choice.

In most casinos (including Greek) the dealer must stop at any 17 (hard or soft, i.e Ace and 6). In others, the dealer may stop at soft 17. It is advised to play at casinos or tables where the dealer is obliged to stop at any 17, hard or soft.

In some casinos, if the dealer shows a card value 10 points or Ace, he must look at his last card to see if he has BLACKJACK. If he has, the game finishes there (this does not apply in Greek casinos). In the event of this if you double or split and after see that the dealer has BLACKJACK, you only loose your initial bet.

In some casinos both of dealer’s cards are dealt face up. This is a huge advantage to player because it reveals any good cards that the dealer may have (in Greek casinos all cards, both player’s and dealer’s, are dealt face up). Some casinos in the USA who have this advantage for player, do not pay on BLACKJACK (Ace and picture card) a win of 3:2, but an 1:1 only. Most casinos in the USA, class this even value in game as defeat of the player!
The following information may be used to calculate the affect of different casino rules in their ganiota (i.e the advantage of the casino against the player in the game, meaning a wining or possible wining bet favoured by the casino. The percentages on a positive bet indicate advantage to the casino. The percentages on a negative bet indicate a negative advantage to the casino, therefore advantage to the player:

Game with 1 card pack NIL advantage
Game with 2 card pack: %2B 0.35%
Game with 4 card pack: %2B 0.52%
Game with 6 card pack: %2B 0.58%
Game with 8 card pack: %2B 0.61%
Dealer may achive soft 17: %2B 0.20%
Doubles with only 9, 10 and 11 points: %2B 0.10%
Doubles with only 10 and 11 points: %2B 0.20%
Resplit Aces: %2B 0.05%
Double after split: – 0.13%
Late surrender: – 0.05%
Early surrender: – 0.62%
No split Aces: – 0.17%
Double in 3 or more cards: – 0.21

Using the overhead facts we are in the position to estimate the ganiota of casino with any set of rules.
For example, a game with six set sets of cards (0.58%) where the dealer stops on soft 17 (+0.20%) and the casino allows