A Beginner’s Guide to Different Blackjack Terms

Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is among the casino card games that draw many players in online gambling. The rules of this casino game are straightforward: beating the dealer’s hand by either getting twenty-one points on the first two cards or taking more cards than the dealer without going over twenty-one.

Blackjack appeals to many gamblers who rely on more than just the luck of the draw. It requires a fair amount of strategy combined with a bit of luck to have the winning hand. However, learning about the different terms in Blackjack can also be essential for players to familiarize themselves with the casino game.

                           A Beginner’s Guide to Different Blackjack Terms                                                                                                      

Basic Blackjack Terms

Basic Strategy

Basic strategy refers to the mathematically best plays in possible situations given the rules used in a blackjack game. A basic strategy chart tells players what they can do, given their hand and the dealer’s up card. However, the basic strategy only considers other cards saw or the current composition of the shoe in card counting.

Betting Spread

The betting spread refers to the standard technique card counters usually use to change their bet size.


Along with the game’s name, this term refers to the automatic winning hand that contains both an Ace and a ten-point card. An Ace and a ten-point card are considered the best possible starting hand for players, and typically, it automatically wins for the players with odds of 3-2, but some casinos may offer lesser odds than this. If the dealer has Blackjack, all players immediately lose the game.


In Blackjack, a hand is said to be busted if the total of the two cards at hand reaches 22 or more. If a player busts by going over 21, they immediately lose all bets on that hand. Meanwhile, if the dealer busts, all players still in hand win the game.


The dealer is the one facing the players who deal with the cards at the table during the game.


A deck refers to the fifty-two standard cards used for playing Blackjack.

Double Down

Double Down refers to the option of the player to double their bet with only one card to come. This option enables players to make a second bet in exchange for one more card. Double down is typically allowed on the first two cards a player receives during the game. It will enable players to place more wagers in advantageous situations, such as when holding an 11-point hand against a lower dealer-up card during the game.

Draw A Card

This term refers to drawing an extra card on top of the original hand during the game.

Early Surrender

This term refers to the player’s choice to surrender half their bet while the dealer checks the players for Blackjack.

Hard Hand

Hard Hand refers to a hand in which there is no ace or where the ace is only worth one point.


Taking an additional card for a player’s hand is called hitting. One of the two main options a player can use when playing their hand is hitting, and the other option is called standing. Usually, dealers need to hit with hands of 16 or less.


Insurance refers to the players’ option for half the price of their initial bet when the dealer has an Ace in their hand. If the dealer has a blackjack in their hand, the insurance bets pay off at 2-1 odds, meaning that players who made insurance bets can break even since they still lose their initial bet. An insurance bet is also offered for players with Blackjack in their hand as they can get even money on their Blackjack instead of the 3-2.


Push refers to the situation during the game wherein the dealer and the player have hands of the same value. In push, the player’s bet neither wins nor loses in the game, and they get to keep their initial bet, but they do not win any additional money.

Side Bets

Side bets are other games that can be played on a Blackjack table alongside the actual game. Side bets often cost additional stakes at hand, and the result differs from the Blackjack hand result.


Soft refers to the hand that includes an ace that still counts as 11 points. In Blackjack, soft hands cannot bust by taking another card since the ace can revert to counting as one point if necessary.


In Blackjack, the decision to stop taking more cards during the game is known as standing. Standing ends the player’s ability to play their hand. In many casinos, dealers must stand with a hand of 17 or higher.


Surrender refers to players giving up their hand and losing only half of their initial bet in the game. This option typically appears when players have little hope of winning the hand. There generally are two options for surrender in Blackjack: early surrender, wherein players may surrender before the dealer checks for Blackjack, and late surrender, wherein the dealer checks for Blackjack before the player has the surrender option.

Ten-Value Card

Ten-value card refers to any cards in the deck worth 10 points, including 10, Jack, Queen, and King.

Up Card

Up card refers to the dealer’s exposed card. The rank of the up card in Blackjack is the only information the player has about the dealer’s hand. It is an essential factor in identifying player strategy during the game.


Blackjack is a popular casino game among many bettors, and knowing the various game terminology can help you win and earn profit. Besides the traditional Blackjack games in casinos, there are also other variations that bettors can consider exploring, such as Spanish Blackjack and Blackjack Switch. In Spanish Blackjack, players can double down on any number of cards and re-double up to three times, while in Blackjack Switch, players can switch their two cards for the best possible hand.

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