Blackjack Terminology

Blackjack TerminologyIn this comprehensive guide for fans of the great game of Online Blackjack. This section is constructed for all type of players, from the immediate beginner to the more advanced player. The areas covered will be in depth strategy for the advanced players who wants a close to even edge over the casino as well as for the players who needs guidelines in basic strategy like when and what cards to draw on and stay on, depending what the dealer has.

Online Blackjack is a casino game where the player is competing against the casino. Like all casino games the casino is always having an edge over the players. But in Blackjack there is a possibility to even out the odds for the players favour to come close to 50/50. We will hopefully guide the player to apply a certain strategy to come close to the 50/50 odds.

Online Blackjack Variations

There is no question among gaming analysts that Blackjack holds a unique attraction for novice gamblers. Folks who are not quite ready to step up to the pai gow or craps table generally feel comfortable placing some bets on good old 21 assuming the minimums are not too pricey. You could say that Blackjack is the most democratic of casino games, in that it appeals to the common man and woman as well as the pros and specialists.

However, most players who are only beginning their careers with online Blackjack are not aware of the tremendous amount of variations this seemingly simple game offers. In general, I advise newer gamblers to stick to the most basic form of the game until a reasonable level of confidence and skill has been established.

Life, however, is too short not to experiment with some of the more popular alternative Blackjack variations. Trying to list all of them in one article would be an exercise in futility, so let’s just review a handful of the most popular ones.

Spanish 21
This Online Blackjack variation uses either six or eight decks. A player 21 always wins, player Blackjack always wins, players can hit and double split Aces, may surrender after doubling and/or double any number of cards. However, all 10s are removed from the deck. This can be extremely tricky.

Blackjack Switch
The player plays 2 hands and places 2 identical bets. The main element of the game is that the player is allowed to “switch” the second cards around, if desired. Watch out, because the dealer will “push” your hand on a dealer’s total of 22! Blackjack will still win but only pay even money.

Double Exposure
Definitely not for amateurs, this game begins with both dealer cards dealt face up. Obviously, this gives the player a big advantage. To counteract this advantage, the “No Blackjack bonus” and “Dealer wins ties” rules apply. Also, there is no Insurance in Double Exposure, which can make a huge difference.

Over/Under 13
This variation adds a side bet to the game. You can bet that your first 2 cards will total 14 or you may bet that the first 2 cards are under 13. The house wins all totals of 13. Aces count as 1 for this side bet only. The bets are resolved immediately after the dealer up card is shown and pay 1:1.

Red/Black
Another side bet similar to Over/Under 13 except that you bet on whether the dealer upcard is red or black by placing a bet in the “R”; or “B”; circle. The dealer wins on all 2s. Play is the same as with Over/Under 13 described above.

Super 7s
In this nutty variation, you can make a side bet of only $1 that you will be dealt consecutive 7s. If you are dealt two 7s, you will be dealt a third card, even if the dealer has a Blackjack. If you split 7s, you will be paid for only the first two 7s. Told you it was freakin’ nuts.

Blackjack Glossary

blackjack – 21 points in the opening two cards, i.e. an ace with any ten-point card (also called a natural 21)

burn – the top card of the shoe, normally discarded before the deal

bust – a hand with over 21 points

card counting – technique used to estimate the value of the cards remaining in a deck

doubling down – player’s opting to double his wager against the dealer

hard – a hand not containing an ace being counted for eleven points

hit – to take another card from the deck

hold – see stand

hole card – the one of the dealer’s two opening cards that remains hidden from the player until the end of the round

insurance – a bet by the player that the dealer has a blackjack

natural 21 – see blackjack

pat hand – a hard hand of 17 points or more

pat up cards – 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, A

push – when both player and dealer have an equal number of points

shoe – four or more decks of cards shuffled together and used as one, a technique often used by dealers to discourage card counting soft – a hand containing an ace being counted for eleven points

split – creating two separate hands out of two opening cards of equal point value

stand – to opt not to take another card from the deck (also called hold)

stiff up cards – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

surrender – player’s option to forfeit their hand and regain half their bet