Blackjack: Learn the Lingo

If you're serious about learning blackjack, you need to learn the lingo. You'll be using blackjack lingo at the casino to show the dealer and everyone beside you that you know what you're doing - whether or not you really do. Anyway, blackjack lingo is easy. Here's a list to get you started:

1. Blackjack - means that you got the highest possible winning value in just two cards: a 21 from a king, queen, jack or 10; plus an ace, which is equal to 11. That makes 21 - "Blackjack!!!"

2. Go Bust - is the opposite of "blackjack." "Go Bust" means you went over 21: You lose!

3. Hit Me - means you want the dealer to give you another card. You can also do this in "sign language" by tapping the table with two fingers. Actually, a plain and simple "yes" to the dealer would have the same effect - give you another card - but it doesn't sound quite as impressive, does it now?

4. No - means you don't want another card. (Who would have guessed?)

5. Surrender - if you don't like the cards you got and think there's no way you can win, you can surrender. If you do this, you'll lose only half the money you bet, instead of the whole amount. Not all casinos will allow you to do this, though.

6. I'm Out - that's what you tell the dealer if you want to surrender, you coward.

7. Double Down - on the other end of the spectrum, if you are absolutely, positively, 100% sure that you will win the game after you get this next card, you tell the dealer "double down." This means that your bet is doubled, so if you win, you get twice the amount that you would have won with your original bet. Of course, if you were wrong and you lost, you lose double the amount too. But we admire your spirit. Way to go, tiger!

8. Split Pairs - the dealer starts by giving you two cards, right? Now suppose the two cards have the same value? For example, he gave you two 8's? You can split the pair:

You place on the table a new bet equal to the first one you placed

The dealer gives you two more cards that will partner with each of the first two cards. So if he gave you two 8's and you split pair, and he gives you two more cards - like a 6 and a 9, you will now have two hands: an 8 & 6, and an 8 & 9.

If you're happy with both hands, you can say "no." If you want another card, say "hit me."

Each hand will be played against the dealer's hand. If, for example, the dealer's hand is 16, your 8 & 6 hand loses, but your 8 & 9 hand wins. If the dealer's hand is 13, both your hands win!

NOTE: Split pairs is optional. You can choose not to split pairs. If we got a pair of tens, for example, giving us a 20-value hand, we would definitely NOT split pairs. But then again, that's us.

So a quick review: "Blackjack" wins, "go bust" and "surrender" don't. The opposite of "no" is "hit me," and cowards say "I'm out," while tigers "double down." It depends on you if you want to "split pairs" or not. What's important is you know what it means. Now, go and play blackjack!


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