Blackjack contains a lot of special terms so we made a quick list for newer players. Read below!

From “Action” to “Color Up,” we’re going to go over a bunch of Blackjack and casino terms in part one of our Blackjack terms series today. I’ve spent some time coming up with a listing of fun terms I think you’ll want to know. They’re listed in alphabetical order, so scroll around if you want.

  1. Action – It means almost what you think. When a bet is “live” it has action. This term is commonly used when someone puts actual cash in the betting area.
  2. Back Counting – A back counter is someone who isn’t sitting at the table and who is counting the cards. An example would be two friends that walk up to play. One sits down and the other stands around the table.
  3. Bankroll – Ah, this one is a classic. A bankroll is the amount of money you have to gamble with. It’s the key ingredient in money management and the better you are at managing a bankroll, the better off you are. A bankroll can be for a session of gambling, a calendar month, a season in sports or whatever other time term you want.
  4. Bar – No, not the kind that serves you drinks. If you get barred, you’re out of luck. A barred player is one who gets removed from the casino for good. It’s also called “being 86ed.”
  5. Basic Strategy – In Blackjack, this is your garden-variety strategy that’s designed to help you have a good time and stay in the game.
  6. Blackjack – This is the game we’re talking about. If you don’t know how to play, check out the quick start Blackjack guide on this site.
  7. Burn Card – After the deck is shuffled and cut, the first card is “burned,” which means it is discarded. This is an old anti-cheat mechanism and it’s still used today in brick and mortar casinos.
  8. Bust – When your card count in Blackjack goes over 21, you’ve busted. When you bust, you lose. Ideally, you hope this happens to the dealer often and not you.
  9. Card Counting – It’s a strategy to try and figure out what type of cards are left in the deck. Players who employ this strategy will bet bigger when the remaining cards in the deck are larger and bet less when the remaining cards in the deck are smaller. There are many card counting techniques and we talk about card counting in Blackjack more on this site.
  10. Cold Deck – Cold deck is the same thing as a cold table in Craps. It just means that the deck sucks for players. If you’re counting, you know when the deck is cold, because it’s overloaded with smaller cards.
  11. Color Up – When you’re ready to leave the table, you can color up. Let’s say that you have 20 red chips ($100), you could color up for one black chip. Casinos try to color up players, because it keeps them from having to constantly fill tables with extra chips. As a player, it’s easier to walk around with fewer chips.

We’ll be back in part two of our Blackjack terms series starting with “Comp.”