Being a highly popular game, blackjack and its rules are very much known to the regular casino goer. But to the uninitiated, the turn of the cards from hand to hand may be a bit confusing and may leave him scratching his head.

It is thus best to know the basic terms that one can expect to hear in a blackjack game. While these terms are must know for the blackjack player, the ordinary spectator may want to know these basic terms to be able to follow the action more.

Bet-the money that is placed by the player as a wager. While real money can be used, it is more often conveniently represented by chips in casino play, each chip color coded for the amount it denotes. In the case of online blackjack, the chip icon is where the player makes his bets, typing in the amount he wants.

Blackjack-the goal of the game, a player gets a blackjack when his initial hand scores exactly 21. this automatically beats all the other hands. Note that in the case of split aces, a 21 can still be beaten by the blackjack, even if both have only two cards.

Bust-when a hand exceeds 21. a player automatically loses his wager when he busts. In case of a dealer bust, the player wins the wager.

Double-by placing an additional equal bet, the player can double down. He then receives an additional card and the hand stands. Doubles are useful if the player is pretty sure that he can get a good hand.

Hit-the act of asking for another card. Hits are usually called when players need and additional card to increase the value of a weak hand. As a sort of strategic rule, blackjack players are advised not to make a hit if they already have at least a 16 in their hand. Obviously, the player must definitely hit with a hand lower than ten, though this is still up to the player.

Insurance-in case that the dealer’s first card is an ace and the player thinks that the dealer has a blackjack, he can safety himself by place a bet half of the initial amount for insurance. In case the dealer does have a blackjack, the player is paid twice the insurance. In the instance that the dealer does not have a blackjack, however, the insurance is forfeited in favor of the house.

Push-in case the player ties with the dealer, the player’s wager is returned back to him.

Split-the option of making two hands out of an initial hand of pairs. The two new hands are then treated independent of each other. To split, one needs to place an additional bet equal to the one placed on the initial hand. In case of a pair of aces, each card is dealt with only one additional card.

Surrender-if the player finds his initial hand not that good, he can issue a surrender. He will then get half of his bet back and the other half will then be turned to the house.

Stand-a player doesn’t take any more cards. Players automatically stand when they get 21 initially. Players getting a middle score of 12 to 15 have a choice of either standing or hitting, depending on strategy and perceived advantage.

By Morris Walker
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