Your guide to Blackjack terminology


Whether playing online or in a land-based casino, Blackjack is a common game amongst casino affiliates – new and experienced alike – as it is a simple game to understand and play.

With the use of some fascinating technology, you can also take part in a live casino version of Blackjack online. Interact with other players and a real-life dealer, as the gaming action takes place right in front of your eyes, and is streamed directly to your screen.

The excitement that Blackjack offers is boundless, but if you want to delve into the popular casino game, there are a few terms that you should know before you begin. So, we’re here to explain the terms you may come across when playing Blackjack.

  • Anchor-man

At a land-based Blackjack table, this is the player sitting to the right of the dealer. This means they are the last player to have their cards dealt before the dealer’s hand, and the last to act before the dealer makes a move.

  • Blackjack

Although this is the name given the entirety of the casino game, it also refers to a particular winning hand. It’s the best possible hand you can be dealt, and consists of an Ace paired with a 10, Jack, Queen or King. In most games, this would reward you a pay-out of 3:2 as a winning hand.

  • Burn card

This is the first card in a deck from the dealer’s shoe, and is placed to one side, faced down, by the dealer before they begin dealing. It is known as the burn card as its disregarded from the game, with the idea that it is then impossible for the player(s) to know what the first card is going to be in that round.

  • Bust

This is what every player wants to avoid when playing Blackjack. It is when a player has total number of cards that exceeds 21, which usually occurs when taking another card. This means that you having a losing hand, and will have to wait until the next round of play to bet again. The individual card that brings the hand’s total over 21 is known as the bust card.

  • Cut card

In the form of a brightly coloured plastic card, this is a piece of equipment used to cut the new deck(s) being used. This then marks the point where that shoe finishes, and either the dealer needs to reshuffle the cards or a new shoe is required.

  • Double down

Once their hand has been dealt, a player can ‘double down’, or ‘double’ as it is sometimes known, which means they can place an additional bet that is equal to their initial wager. This then entitles them to draw one other card and add it their hand. This move can only be used for the first two cards dealt, and usually is applied when the player thinks they have a promising hand compared to that of the dealer. If the player goes on to win that round, they will receive a pay-out based on the value of the doubled wager. It does however, mean there is the possibility of losing the full doubled stake, if it turns out to be a losing hand.

  • Stand

This is the simple action of telling the dealer that you don’t want any more cards adding to your hand. You can do this on your initial hand, or after you’ve taken a hit of another card.

  • Shoe

Used in a land-based casino, the shoe is a device that holds multiple decks of cards and allows the dealer to take one card at a time. In a game of Blackjack, using a shoe usually holds more than two decks of card.

  • Up card

In Blackjack, the first card that is dealt goes to the dealer and is the only card of their hand that the players can see. It is placed face-up, while all the other cards in the dealer’s hand remain face down. As the up card is the only one showing, a lot of your decisions in the game will be based on the value of this card.

Disclaimer: Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. Click HERE for more information. 

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