HENRY TAMBURIN'S: BLACKJACK TERMINOLOGY!
HENRY TAMBURIN'S: BLACKJACK TERMINOLOGY!

Penetration = This is the percentage of cards in a deck or shoe that is dealt prior to the shuffle. If a casino deals 6 decks from a shoe and has 70% penetration that means the dealer will deal about 4 decks from the shoe then shuffle all the cards. Likewise a single deck game with a 50% penetration means about 26 cards will be dealt and then the dealer will shuffle the cards. Penetration is very important to card counters. The greater the penetration, the more profitable the game becomes. For example a 6-deck game with a 50% penetration isn't worth a card counters time whereas the same game with an 80% penetration can be very profitable (assuming the playing rules haven't been altered).

No Mid-Shoe Entry = Some casinos post a sign on their blackjack tables that states No Mid-Shoe Entry. This means that once a dealer shuffles the cards and then starts to deal, a player who comes to the table will not be able to make a bet until the shoe is completed. One of the main reasons for this rule is to discourage Wongers. The latter are blackjack players who back count a game as a spectator then when the shoe turns player favorable enter the game with big bets. The term "Wongers" comes from the professional blackjack player Stanford Wong, who developed and published the technique. The casino call these players "table hoppers".

H17 = This is an abbreviation that means the rules specify that the dealer must hit soft 17 rather than stand (you'll often see the latter appear as S17)

DAS = Means players can double down after pair splitting.

RSA = Means players can resplit aces.

LS = Means late surrender is offered. This is a playing option in which a player can surrender his hand and forfeit half of his wager but only after the dealer checks his hand for a blackjack.

CSM = This is an abbreviation for the new continuous shuffle machines that automatically shuffle the cards after each round.

Rule of 6 = A good single deck game for card counters is when the number of players plus the number of rounds prior to the shuffle equals 6. For example two players can expect to be dealt 4 rounds prior to the shuffle. A card counter playing alone with the dealer (heads-up) wants to be dealt at least 6 rounds prior to the shuffle.

Betting Spread = This is the ratio of a player's minimum to maximum bet. Thus a player betting 1-6 means he is making bets from a minimum of 1 unit to a maximum of 6 units.

Black Action = What a dealer will state loudly to inform floorpeople that a player is betting black ($100) chips.

BS = It is the basic playing strategy, which is the optimum way to play your hand when the only information you know is your hand and the dealer's upcard.

Burn card = After a dealer shuffles the cards, the dealer will discard one card before play begins. The card that is discarded is known as the burn card.

Bust = When a player or the dealer's hand exceeds a point count of 21 this is known as a bust.

Card Counting = A playing technique involving adjusting the bet size and playing strategy based upon the composition of the remaining undealt cards. Players who count keep track of certain cards as they appear from one round to the next in order to have knowledge of the composition of the undealt cards.

Color Up = Exchanging smaller denomination chips for larger ones. Usually when a player is done playing blackjack, he will push his chips toward the dealer stating "color me up". The dealer will count the smaller denomination chips and exchange them for a higher denomination chip(s).

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