Learn Blackjack Rules and Terminology

(Casinos Guides)

Useful Blackjack Abbreviations

Many well-known abbreviations are used in casinos when playing blackjack. Here are some of the most popular abbreviations and other useful blackjack terminology.

  • BSE - Basic strategy edge
  • H17 - Hit soft 17 (casino dealer must always hit at this score)
  • S17 - Stand on 17 (casino dealer must always stand at this score)
  • DOA - Double on any first two playing cards
  • D10 - Double permitted on 10 or 11 only at casino
  • DAS - Double after splitting is permitted at casino
  • RSA - Re-splitting aces is permitted at casino
  • ESR - Early surrender of cards / bet
  • LSR - Late surrender of cards / bet
  • O/U - Over / under 13 side bets are permitted at casino

Useful Blackjack Terminology

Learn Blackjack Rules and TerminologyBasic Strategy - a blackjack playing strategy designed to minimize the casino advantage, without using advanced techniques such as card counting.

Cut Card - where a plastic card is used to cut the cards after the casino dealer has shuffled them.

Double Down - the initial blackjack bet is doubled to receive one further card.

Early Surrender - only available in some casinos, where the player is able to surrender their hand and lose half of their actual bet.

First Base - player seated at the table able to act on their hand first.

Flat Bet - to continually bet the same stake money on each blackjack hand.

Hard Hand - any hand that is specifically not a soft hand.

Heads Up - playing at a table with no other card players.

Hit - requesting a new blackjack card from the casino dealer, sometimes known as 'twist'.

Hole Card - the casino dealer's card that is face down on the table.

Insurance - an additional side bet which totals up to half of the original bet, only offered when the casino dealer's upcard is an ace, paying two to one against a hand.

Late Surrender - surrender of player's cards and half of original stake bet, only allowed when the casino dealer does not have a natural 'blackjack' hand.

Natural - where a blackjack hand totals 21 on the first two cards that have been dealt by the casino dealer.

Over / Under - an unusual bet, where the player's first two cards total over or under 13, with aces scoring as one.

Preferential Shuffling - shuffling the deck of cards only when they become favourable to the actual players, rather than the casino.

Push - a tied result, with the original stake money bet returned to the player.

Shoe - the undealt pile of game cards, often used when playing multi-deck blackjack games.

Soft Hand - card hands including an ace scoring eleven, where it is not possible to go bust by drawing a further card.

Split Hand - hands starting with two identical cards, often of different suits, where they can be split into two separate hands with independent bets.

Spread - where more than one bet is placed before the cards have been dealt.

Stand - to stick with the blackjack hand and no longer request cards from the casino dealer.

Stiff (Hand) - a card hand with only a small chance of winning, generally scoring less than sixteen.

Surrender - an option where players are able to give up their hand to the casino dealer (when it consists of just two cards), only losing half of the original bet

Third Base - the final player at the blackjack table.

Upcard - the casino dealer's first card which is always dealt facing upwards.


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