Online Gambling Guides: Blackjack Terminology

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Online Blackjack Strategy Guide

Action: This is a general gambling term which refers to the total amount of money bet in a specific period of time. Ten bets of ten dollars each is $100 of action.
Burn Card: A single card taken from the top of the deck or the first card in a shoe which the dealer slides across the table from his/her left o the right, and is placed into the discard tray. The card may or may not be shown face up (which can affect the count if you are counting cards). A card is burned after each shuffle.
Cut Card: A solid colored card typically a piece of plastic which is given to a player by the dealer for the purpose of cutting the deck(s) after a shuffle.
Hole Card: Any face down card. The definition most often refers to the dealer’s single face down card.
Shoe: A device that can hold up to eight decks of cards which allows the dealer to slide out the cards one at a time.
Hard Hand: A hand in which any Ace is counted as a 1 and not as an 11.
Soft Hand: A hand in which any Ace is counted as an 11 and not as a 1.
Pat Hand: A hand with a total of 17 to 21.
Stand: To decline another card.
Hit: To request another card.
Bust: When a hand’s value exceeds 21… a losing hand.
Push: A player-dealer tie.
Pair: When a player’s first two cards are numerically identical (ie, 7,7).
Point Count: The net value of the card count at the end of a hand.
Running Count: The count from the beginning of the deck or shoe. The running count is updated by the value of the point count after each hand.
True Count: The running count adjusted to account for the number of cards left in the deck or shoe to be played.
Bankroll: The stake (available money) a player plans to bet with.
Flat Bet: A bet which you do not vary ie, if you are flat betting ten dollars, you are betting $10 each and every hand without changing the betting amount from one hand to the next.
Black Chip: A $100 chip.
Green Chip: A $25 chip.
Red Chip: A $5 chip.
Foreign Chip: A chip that is issued by one casino and is honored by another as cash. A casino is not necessarily obligated to accept them.
Settlement: The resolving of the bet. Either the dealer takes your chips, pays you, or in the case of a push, no exchange of chips occurs.
Toke: To “toke” the dealer is just another word for tipping the dealer.
Marker: An IOU. A line of credit provided by the casino to a player.
Junket: An organized group of gamblers that travel to a casino together. Junkets are usually subsidized by a casino to attract players.
Comp: Short for complimentary. If you wave lots of money around, the casino may give you things like a free room or free food, hoping you’ll keep losing money at the tables in their casino.
Heat: The pressure a casino puts on a winning player, typically someone who is suspected of being a card counter.
Shuffle Up: Prematurely shuffling the cards to harass a player who is usually suspected of being a counter.
Nut: The overhead costs of running the casino.
Pit: The area inside a group of gaming tables. The tables are arranged in an elliptical manner, the space inside the perimeter is the pit.
House: The Casino of course.
Cage: Short for cashier’s cage. This is where chips are redeemed for cash, checks cashed, credit arranged, etc.
House Percentage: The casino’s advantage in a particular game of chance.
Drop Percentage: That portion of the player’s money that the casino will win because of the house percentage. It is a measure of the amount of a player’s initial stake that he or she will eventually lose. On average this number is around 20 percent. That is, on average, Joe Gambler will lose $20 of every $100 he begins with.
Head-On: To play alone at a BlackJack table with the dealer.
WAG Player: Wild Assed Guessing player.
SWAG Player: Scientific Wild Assed Guessing player.
Tough Player: a player who can hurt the casino monetarily with his or her intelligent play.
Counter: Someone who counts cards.
High Roller: A big bettor.
Mechanic: A manipulator of the cards, typically for illicit purposes.
Shill: A house employee who bets money and pretends to be a player to attract customers. Shills typically follow the same rules as the dealer which makes them somewhat easy to spot (ie, they don’t Double Down or Split).
Pit Boss: An employee of the casino whose job is to supervise BlackJack players, dealers, and other floor personnel.

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