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How to Play Blackjack: Terminology

Once you have made your way through the basic rules of Blackjack in How to Play Blackjack – A Simple Guide for the Beginner, it’s time to learn the nitty-gritty of the game. Don’t be afraid! It is quite simple to learn.

Learn blackjack terminology

The player can bet any stake they desire, but it has to be within the set table limits.

The player is dealt two cards by the dealer (faced upwards) and the dealer also gets two cards.

This is to request another card. To signal this, scrape the cards in your hand against the felt.

Stand or Stay
You stand or stay when you decline another card. To signal this: Slide the cards under your bet and move your hand horizontally.

Doubling Down
Take a single extra card and add these to the opening cards - this move is made by the player when he or she believes that a third card will provide him or her with a position to beat the dealer’s hand. To signal these: Place your extra chips next to your original bet and show one finger if you are doubling and show two fingers if you are splitting.

When two cards have the same value and can be split into two separate hands. It’s important to note here that if the player splits two aces, most casinos will consent to the player receiving only one additional card for each hand. A hand totaling 21 after splitting aces is called 21 and not Blackjack (this affects the payout), but the rules may vary according to each individual table. Signal: Same as the signal for doubling, but make a two finger signal instead.

A Blackjack is achieved when the first two cards dealt to you equal 21 and can also be called a natural.

A push occurs when the value of the dealer’s cards (17 to 21) and the player’s cards are equal, resulting in neither winning the round.

A bust is when a hand’s value exceeds 21. This is a losing hand.

By now you’re most probably well aware that the key to beating the dealer’s hand is to get as close to 21 as possible. Let’s face it, Blackjack is very much a game of chance, but strategy can give you better luck and still need to be well calculated, else you may come over as a bit of a ding bat and you don’t want that. If you want to learn key strategies you can use to up your game, read our comprehensive PDF on How to Play Blackjack.