Understanding Online Blackjack Terminology in the UK

–News Direct–

Blackjack is one of the primary table games in any online or brick-and-mortar casino. While its relatively straightforward, like all popular games, it has a lot of unique terminology that may take a while to get your head around.

In this article, we will outline some of the most common blackjack terminology and give definitions for each.

Once you've become a blackjack expert check out our list of the best blackjack sites in the UK by clicking this link.

Basic Blackjack Terms

  • Ace: The most valuable card in the deck. An ace can be counted as a one or eleven, depending on how it fits in the hand.

  • Bankroll: The amount of money you are willing to gamble with, usually a set budget.

  • Blackjack: A two-card hand consisting of an ace and a ten or a picture card.

  • Bust: To go over 21, which means you have lost your bet.

  • Dealer: The person who deals the cards at a blackjack table in a casino or live dealer games online. In online blackjack, the dealer is a computer program. In blackjack, you always play against the dealer.

  • Double Down: When you double your bet after your cards have been dealt in return for only one hit.

  • Hit: Taking an extra card after the initial deal. This can be done multiple times until you stand or go bust.

  • Insurance: A side bet offered to the player if the dealers upcard is an ace. It pays out if the dealer has blackjack. It usually pays 2 to 1.

  • Natural: Hitting a blackjack with the first two cards.

  • Pair: A hand with two cards of the same value. If youre dealt a pair, you might choose to split your hand.

  • Push: A tie or a draw. When the dealer and the player both have the same hand. The player's bet is returned without winnings.

  • Soft Hand: A hand with an ace that can be read as a 1 or an 11. If you have an ace and an 8, it could count as 9 or 19. This hand is flexible if you decide to hit.

  • Split: An action you can choose if youre dealt a pair. This splits your hand, so you play with two hands instead of one. You usually cannot double down on an ace split.

  • Stand: To keep your hand, the opposite of hit. You could also say stick.

  • Stiff Hand: A hand between 12 and 16, the hardest hand to deal with in blackjack, as its easy to go bust.

  • Upcard: This card is the dealers first card. Always face up so players can then work out their own strategy.

More Advanced Blackjack Terms

  • Card counting: A card game strategy where you keep a running count of high and low-valued cards dealt. This allows players to better predict the best movies based on probability. While not illegal, discovered card counters may be asked to leave the premises.

  • Cut card: Cut cards are used as a warning card to signal that it's time for a shuffle, and to hide the bottom of a deck in a handheld game. You use 1 cut card on a shoe game and 2 cut cards on a handheld deck game.

  • DAS/NDAS: Stands for Double After Split, where you can double down on a hand after splitting. The opposite is NDAS, No Double After Split.

  • Five-Card Charlie: A five-card hand which totals less than 21. It is usually valued higher than another hand with the same value but fewer cards.

  • Hole card: This card is the dealers face-down or hidden card.

  • Penetration: The amount of cards the dealer cuts off relative to the cards dealt out. It's important for card counters, but not so much for casual players.

  • Single-deck game: A game of blackjack played with just one deck of cards. Outside of casual games, this is an unusual setup.

  • Shoe: A device used to house and deal shuffled cards from at a card table. In a blackjack game, a shoe usually has 6-8 decks.

  • Spread: The minimum to maximum range of bets a player can make at a table. I.e. on a min 10 table, a 1-12 spread has a max bet of 120.

  • Surrender: When a player chooses to surrender, half of the original bet is returned, and half is forfeited. This isnt always an option in blackjack, and youll need to find surrender variants of the game to use it.


Blackjack is a straightforward game and a lot of fun to play both in person and online. If youre new to gambling, its one of the first card games you should check out. And now that weve taken you through some of the most common terminology, you should be more than ready to give it a crack!

We recommend starting off simple, playing with friends and getting comfortable with the terms and flow of play. You can find a lot of free online versions of blackjack, too, if youd rather.

To play online and get the experience of an in person casino from the comfort of your own home, check out our list of the top live casinos, learn more here.

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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Smart Herald journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.