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Blackjack Terminology — Most Important Terms in Blackjack Explained

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Blackjack terminology is crucial if you want to start playing the classic game online or offline. Naturally, game lingo plays a more prominent role in traditional venues. That said, online variants still include a good amount of blackjack slang you need to understand. In this article, we’ll explain terms relevant to gameplay and touch on a few others you may find helpful. 

 

What Is Blackjack?

In order to begin with the blackjack glossary, we must explain the game itself.  Blackjack, also known as 21, is one of the world’s most popular table and card games, both online and offline. The objective is to defeat the dealer by getting as close as possible to 21 points without exceeding it — if you do go over, you lose. Moreover, you lose if the dealer’s hand is higher than yours but up to 21. In other words, your hand’s total needs to be higher than the dealer’s but below 21 to win.  But what happens if you get 21 in blackjack? Hitting 21 is called blackjack, and it’s an automatic win unless the dealer also has 21, in which case it’s a push or a tie.

Here’s how the cards are valued:

  • 2–10 — Each card is valued according to its number. 
  • Jack, Queen, and King — Each equals 10 points. 
  • Ace —  The card’s value is either 1 or 11 points, whichever works better for the player.

For example, if you get an Ace and a Queen, you’ll have 21 points (11 + 10). But if you have an 8, a 3, and an Ace, the total won’t be 22 but 12.  Blackjack is a game of luck and skills. It’s primarily luck-based since you never know what cards you’ll get. However, you can use specific strategies to improve your winning chances. In most cases, you can determine the best course of action based on the cards you and the dealer have.  Remember, every blackjack player competes against the dealer. So, if you’re playing with others, you’re working with them, not against them. You can also play blackjack with bonuses that increase your available playing chips. For instance, you can get a casino refer-a-friend bonus or a hefty no deposit promo, two common deals in social and sweepstakes casinos. 

Blackjack Terms | Sweepstakes Casino Fortune Coins in the U.S. and Canada

How Is Blackjack Played?

A blackjack game starts with the initial play — deciding how many chips to play with. The dealer then hands out a face-up card to you and a face-down card to themselves (most games use a 52-card deck). Then, they deal the player and themselves another face-up card. You can then decide to either stay or hit. Staying means not getting another card, which is usually the case when you are near 21, and you’re happy with your hand. If you hit, the dealer will give you another card. You can hit as many times as you need.  Finally, the dealer shows their face-down card to determine who won or whose hand value is higher but not over 21. If you lose, you forfeit your chips; if you win, you get double the amount. If you win with a blackjack, you get  with a 3:2 ratio. And if the game ends in a push, you get your chips back. 

Why Is Blackjack Called Blackjack?

The game of blackjack has been around since the 1700s. For obvious reasons, the original name was 21. At some point, casinos started offering a bonus of 10-to-1 to players who had a hand with a jack of clubs or spades (called a blackjack) and an ace of spades. The bonus’s popularity contributed to the game’s success as well. The bonus eventually faded, but the name Blackjack stuck around until it replaced 21 completely. 

Why Is Blackjack So Popular?

Blackjack’s popularity can be attributed to its simplicity — everyone can learn to play it easily. Meanwhile, there’s also the fact that it’s both based on luck and skills, similar to poker. You can use various strategies to improve your chances of winning, which is an attractive aspect to many card players. 

Important Blackjack Terms and Rules Explained

Let’s review the most important blackjack terms and actions you can take. 

TermsRules
SplitIf your first and second cards are the same, you can split your hand into two. You need to add the same number of chips to the new play, and when you hit, you can hit both hands separately. Essentially, it’s an extra turn. 
Double DownDoubling down in blackjack is to double your initial play before the dealer hands you the next card. If you feel your chances are high, you can increase your final win by doubling down. However, it also means that you can hit only once. 
SurrenderSurrender is not just one of many blackjack slang terms. This action can make or break your play. If you feel on the verge of losing, you can surrender instead of hitting or staying. You’ll get half of your chips back, so you avoid a complete loss.
DASBlackjack DAS stands for Double After Split. In other words, DAS in blackjack means you want to double down on both or just one of your hands right after splitting. You should only do this if the dealer has a weak hand, like a 2 or 3, and you have a strong pair, like a pair of 8s. If you succeed, your winnings will be significantly higher with DAS. Remember, this play is also risky, so only do it when you’re sure of your hands.
NDASNDAS stands for No Double After Splitting, the opposite of DAS. If you want to split but don’t have a strong enough pair or the dealer doesn’t have a weak hand, you should avoid doubling down. 
RSA and NRSARSA stands for Resplitting Aces, and NRSA denotes No Resplitting Aces. As their name suggests, these rules determine whether or not you can split Aces. 
21+3Many people wonder, “What does 21 3 mean in blackjack?” when looking up blackjack terms. It’s a game variant where you get to make a side play based on the standard 3-card poker hand. You’ll win if the dealer’s up card and your original two cards form a flush, a straight, three-of-a-kind, straight flush, or a suited three-of-a-kind.
Double ExposureThis is another blackjack variant. The main difference from standard blackjack is that both dealer’s cards are face-up. Moreover, it does not allow players to surrender or get insurance.
Multi-Deck BlackjackA multi-deck blackjack game uses two or more decks. It’s prevalent in land-based casinos, so players can’t rely on card counting to win. Many online live dealer blackjack games also use multiple decks for the same purpose. 
AceThe Ace in Black Jack is extremely valuable because it can be equal to 1 or 11, depending on what suits you best at the given moment.
Hole CardThe hole card is the face-down card only the dealer can have. In other words, it’s the opposite of the face-up card. 
Box The box is the area on the blackjack table where you and the other players get to place your chips and cards. There’s typically always a box for cards, regardless if it’s an online or live blackjack game.
CutThe cut happens when the dealer splits the card deck in half, usually when shuffling the cards. 
Natural BlackjackThis is a blackjack value (21 points) consisting of an Ace and a 10-value card. Many blackjack variants will give players a bigger win if they get a natural blackjack. 
Hit 17Hit on 17 is a rule in some blackjack games, where the dealer must hit if the value of their hand is 17. 
Stand 17This rule is effectively the opposite of Hit 17, meaning the dealer has to stand if their hand’s value is 17.
Burn CardThe burn card comes from the top of the deck and is always discarded by the dealer after shuffling cards or when another dealer comes to replace them. This only happens in live online blackjack and in-person blackjack. 
Five-Card CharlieA five-card Charlie is a player’s hand that contains five cards whose value is less than 21. Despite the low value, this is often considered a win, as it’s the maximum number of cards in the player’s hand.
Hard HandA hard hand is a hand without an Ace. This means you can only have a hard total where the total value doesn’t have 11 points from an Ace. 
Soft HandThis is the opposite of a hard hand—it can have an Ace value of either 1 or 11, whichever suits the current situation. 
Pat HandA pat hand is a player’s hand where the total value is 17–21, meaning it doesn’t require a hit.
Standing HandA hand’s value is 19 or 20 points, and you should never hit in that case. 

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Blackjack doesn’t always have to be played in an offline casino. You can play it online for free across most of the U.S. and Canada. You can join a social casino with sweepstakes elements like Fortune Coins, a site featuring top-notch blackjack casino games you can experience from home. Fortune Coins also offers a hefty no deposit bonus with both Gold and Fortune Coins. Signing up for an account will give you access to many more features. So what are you waiting for? 

FAQ

What is DAS in blackjack?

A DAS blackjack stands for Double After Split, meaning you’re choosing to double down after splitting a pair. 

What’s an Ace in blackjack?

The blackjack Ace card counts as 1 or 11, whichever suits the player at the given moment. 

What is 2 Aces in blackjack?

A pair of Aces is a soft 12 or a 2, which is a problematic hand. You can also split it, but this is also troublesome as the chances of winning are low. 

What does stand mean in blackjack?

In blackjack, standing is the opposite of hitting, meaning you keep your original cards without the dealer handing you another one. 

What does surrender in blackjack mean?

Surrendering is an option in blackjack instead of hitting or staying. It lets you get 50% of your chips, so you can save yourself from a complete loss. 

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