5 Strange Slang Words You Can Hear at the Blackjack Table

Every culture has its own distinct slang, and the gambling world is no different. From Roulette to Craps, the terminology can seem opaque and unfamiliar – especially if you’re new to the casino floor. Blackjack often feels like a futuristic alien language — but with a few sharp ears and some shared intelligence, you can navigate through any game easily.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the more popular lingo used at Blackjack tables across the globe. You’ll find out what certain words mean, why they’re popular and how they connect to other facets of card games — this way you can start speaking like a pro in no time. Read on to learn some new language and impress your friends when playing your next hand!

The Origins

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Blackjack has a long and colorful history, originating in European casinos in the 1800s. As the game spread across the United States, certain colloquial expressions emerged among players who often spoke in code to protect their winnings. Here we take a look at some of these strange words and phrases you might hear at the blackjack table, as well as their original meanings and how they’re used today.

Money-maker: Money-maker typically refers to someone who wins money playing blackjack or other card games, but the term can also be used to refer to someone with an impressive knack for winning.

Bangtail: A slang word that originated in bowlegged horse races in American West saloons, referring to any horse involved. Its later use was among gamblers referring to cards whose value has been increased by manipulation or cheating means. It’s also used more generally when referring to cards that have been tampered with or those which are particularly fortunate during a game of blackjack.

The hunch: Another gambling term describing speculation based on instinct rather than evidence. In blackjack specifically, this refers to players anticipating positive outcomes such as hitting 21 or doubling down successfully without any facts available on which to act upon such beliefs accurately – it’s purely gambling instinct at work!

If you’re looking to play blackjack in online casinos in the United States, there are a few things you need to know. For starters, online blackjack is a lot different than playing in a physical casino. There are a lot of different strategies and tactics that you’ll need to learn in order to be successful. Additionally, the stakes are often higher in online casinos in the United States than they are in regular casinos. This means that you need to be prepared to risk more money when you’re playing blackjack online.

Common Blackjack Slang Terms

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It has its own terminology, and understanding the meaning of these words and phrases can help you navigate this popular card game. Many of these terms are used in all casino games and some are specific to blackjack. Here are some of the most common slang terms for playing blackjack that you may hear during a game.

  • Bankroll: Your total funds put toward gambling, typically made up of cash and chips that are used as bets.
  • Card Counting: Tracking cards are already seen to gain an advantage over the casino. This practice is illegal in many casinos; be sure to check with the casino beforehand if you plan on attempting card counting at the blackjack table.
  • Hard Hand: A hand without an ace or a hand in which the ace must be counted as 1 point instead of 11 points due to risk of going over 21 points.
  • Hit: Taking an additional card off the top of the deck after your initial two cards have been dealt; a player can continue taking additional hits until either they have 21 points or over 21 points (called busting).
  • Soft Hand: A hand consisting of an ace where it can be changed between an 11 or a 1, depending on which provides higher value and less risk of going over 21 points.
  • Split: If a player’s first two cards match each other, they have the option to split them into two separate hands by doubling their initial bet; no more than three hands per individual can be split off one original deal.
  • Stand: Choosing not to take any more cards from the dealer on your current hand when you’ve hit your desired number or close to it so as not to go over 21 points (‘bust’).

Unusual Slang Terms

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If you know these words, you can better understand the game and be part of the conversation among the seasoned players. Here are some unusual blackjack slang terms to help take your knowledge of the game a step further.

  • Cold deck: A deck (or several decks) previously shuffled together but kept unchanged for subsequent hands. This ‘cold’ deck keeps particular combinations already sorted inside it, either to facilitate card counting or as a means to cheat by trying to get favorable hands from a specific player in the table.
  • Parrot: A player who copies another player’s style and decisions at the blackjack table. This type of behavior is highly discouraged as it derails from true card-counting strategies employed by seasoned players.
  • Coping out: This refers to when a player refuses to immediately draw their card when the dealer offers them one and doesn’t play until much later in the round; this could mean they are copying other’s strategy or attempting card counting tricks instead of following standard gameplay patterns.
  • Homerun: When a gambler receives an ace-ten combination in their first two cards dealt off the top of a shuffled deck; also known as natural twenty-one or blackjack (in reference to its most common payout).
  • Nacho Man: When all players standing at a crowded table have placed chips (often nachos) on exactly 21 each time; normally initiated by one player so that everyone else follows suit and does the same, resulting in all people at the table winning their respective hands on that particular round!


In conclusion, there is a vast range of slang words used in casinos and it can be hard to keep up with them. This article has introduced you to some of the more well-known phrases which are used around the blackjack table, and although they may seem strange now, with a bit of practice, you could start using them yourself before long.

When playing blackjack, it is important to be mindful of the language being used around you so that you don’t miss out on any important advice or strategy from experienced players. Before long, these strange-sounding words will become part of your regular vocabulary and make your time at the table even more enjoyable.