Horse Racing Types Explained

Horse Racing Types Explained

In many countries, such as the UK, Australia, and the US, horse racing is hugely popular.

There are many horse races around the world each week with a huge variety of horses, and jockeys to bet on. The flat race is by far the most popular race where horses sprint against each other to the finish. The jump race is another popular form of racing that requires horses to jump over ditches and fences.

Below are the types of horse races we will focus on in this article:

• Flat Racing
• Stakes Racing
• Jump Racing (National Hunt)
• Harness Racing
• Quarter Horse Racing
• Allowance and Claiming Racing
• Maiden Racing

Flat Racing

The most popular form of horse racing is Flat Racing and is practiced worldwide. The Thoroughbred, known for its endurance is bred and used for this type of racing. The most well-known Flat Races in the world include the Kentucky Derby, Japan Cup, Epson Derby, Dubai World Cup, and the Melbourne Cup, which are televised worldwide.

The track always has a flat-level surface made of turf in Europe and dirt in North America and Asia. Synthetic materials such as Polytrack are also becoming popular.

The most common distance for the Flat Race is between five and twelve furlongs but can be up to two and a half miles (4 km), depending upon the race.

flat horse racing


Stakes Racing

Stake Races are the highest level horse races one can be a part of with very high payouts. The Saudi Cup paid out $30.5 million in 2022, while the Kentucky Derby Triple Crown paid out $3 million in May 2022.

These races are reserved for the most well-known horses, and jockeys in the industry, that have greatly proven themselves over the years. The Thoroughbred is bred for this type of racing, while the Flat Race type is used.

Stakes Horse Racing


Jump Racing – The National Hunt

The National Hunt is a race popular in the United Kingdom, France and Ireland. The horses bred for this type of racing are usually The Thoroughbred mixed with Dutch Warm Blood, French-bred jumpers, and or a combination of different breeds and Origen can be used.

The horses have to jump over many hurdles and or fences with the distance being 2 miles and upwards. The 2 types of Jump Racing include Hurdle racing with many obstacles and Steeplechase racing, which includes fences, open water, and or ditches.

The two most well-known National Hunt races include The Grand National held at the Aintree and the Cheltenham Festival held at the Cheltenham Racecourse. Many of the world’s best-known horses are seen at these events and millions of Pounds are gambled each year.

Jump Horse Racing


Harness Racing

Harness Races are a very unique sport in which the horse must stay at a trot or pace, without ever breaking stride. If they break into a canter or gallop they must be pulled back to the trot which can make them lose ground to their competitors. The horse pulls a 2-wheeled cart called a sulky or chariot which is occupied by the driver.

The horse breed for this type of racing varies between countries, but one distinct feature in each breed is a shorter leg and longer body. In North America, it is always the Standardbred but in Europe, the French Trotters or Russian Trotters are used. In Russia, the Orlov Trotters are preferred, while in Norway, Sweden, and France you will find the Coldblood trotters and Finnhorses.

The richest Standardbred known to date retired in 2019 called ‘Foiled Again’, winning an estimated $7,635,588 USD throughout his career.

Harness Horse Racing


Quarter Horse Racing

The Quarter Horse race is a quarter of a mile long, lasting approx 22 seconds. It runs on a straight dirt track, without any turns. The horse bred for this type of race is the American Quarter Horse. The Quarter Horse can outrun even the Thoroughbred at short distances because of their muscular hind limbs but aren’t well suited as endurance horses.

The All-American Futurity Race is held every Labor Day weekend at Ruidoso Downs with a 3 million dollars purse. The fastest 2-year-old Quarter Horse colt in history to date is ‘Eyesa Special’ with a record speed of 21.097 seconds, winning a 1 Million Dollars prize from the purse.

Quarter Horse Racing


Allowance and Claiming Racing

A claiming race is a race where all the horses are for sale at their specified entered price until the race begins. Before the start of the race, the title is transferred to the new owner if sold, but the purse goes to the former owner if they win. Anyone licensed to own racehorses may claim a horse. Most of the racetracks in the USA hold claiming races.

Most claimed horses don’t normally go on to win anything substantial but one claimed horse ‘Stymie’ did and went on to win 900,000 USD throughout his career. Another horse ‘Maximum Security’ wasn’t claimed but went on to run in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, but was disqualified for interference with other horses, after he was initially thought to be the winner.

An Allowance race is a race where the horse is given weights attached to its saddle to even out the odds of winning. These races are also called conditioned races. If the horse is at a disadvantage it will likely carry less weight. An example of a horse given less weight is if they are younger, has an inexperienced jockey, or is female(Filly). An example of a horse getting more weight would be if they have proven itself, they have an experienced jockey, or is male(Stallion).

Both the Oaks and the Epsom Derby are handicap races and examples of races where the horses carry weights. The Thoroughbred horse is used in both the Allowance and Claiming races.

Each race will have conditions attached such as the Grand National week in Aintree, UK. This race is called The Liverpool Hurdle race and is 4,964 meters long, contains 13 hurdles, and is for horses 4 years and older. The mares and Fillies get a 7 pounds allowance, while the 4-year-olds get 13 pounds and 10 stones of weight and the 5 years olds will carry an additional 8 pounds on top of that.

Race Waiver Claiming 6 Furlongs


Maiden Racing

Horses are referred to as Maidens if they haven’t won a race. These races are considered entry-level races and can consist of set weights, weight for age, and or handicaps. In the USA Maiden races rank above the Claiming race but in some races, the Maiden horse can be claimed.

A horse will be considered a Maiden if they haven’t won a race for example in Flat racing, but their status would change if they entered a Jump race, in which they have had a prior win. Some Maiden horses have become famous and have done well for themselves even without any wins. An example is ‘Zippy Chippy’ who had 100 starts with zero wins but still managed to place several times with $30,000 in prize money won throughout his career. Another is ‘Vote For Lust’ who had placed 10 times throughout his 86-time start career, winning $20,000 in prize money.

Race Maiden Special Weight


Horse Racing Strategy

Horse Racing differs from many other sports when it comes to betting such as soccer due to a large number of competitors in each race.

In soccer markets, for instance, most bets involve no more than 3 outcomes – the home side to win, the away side to win or draw for instance, or over/under 2.5 goals in the game.

In horse racing, there are often 10 or more horses racing who could potentially win meaning very different strategies are needed.

Every day you are likely to find a number of races to bet on –and we outline the most popular types of horse racing bets here.

Research your horse/jockey

Most newspapers and many websites that promote a race meeting will give information on the form of each horse in their previous few races. Taking this into account, as well as the expected weather. Some horses do better on dry ground when there is no rain than on wet ground when rain is expected for example. Also, the length of the course – like human runners, stamina comes into effect as not every race is over the same length – and the jockey for each horse (if the jockey and horse have worked together before they may have an advantage over a combination that haven’t.

You should also check if there are any known injuries the horse may have that could hamper the outcome. Or falls the jockey has had that could affect their confidence and the experience the horse has had in recent times.

Don’t always go for the favorite

Yes, there will be a reason that a horse starts at lower odds than others, but that shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all when you come to choosing which to bet on. Very rarely will you see a meeting of 5/6 races where the favorite wins every race. The larger the field, the less likely it is the favorite will win as all it takes is for them to get blocked off by another horse at a crucial time. Or a horse to land near to them in a jump race, and the dangers involved in such a race and the ability of a jockey to navigate out of such a situation.

Large fields can be more profitable

Like any betting event, the more participants the better the odds for some. Even when you are betting on a horse to be placed, for example, having 4 or 5 more horses can make a big difference to starting odds when compared to a smaller field.

Shop around when you decide where to place your bets

There are a large number of betting sites that focus more on horse racing than others. These can often pay out more horses in specific races than other sites or offer enhanced odds on some horses. Horse Racing is the sport more than any other where it really does pay to shop around before placing a bet, especially as some will offer boosts on specific races as well.

The History of Horse Betting

Horse Racing itself dates back to around 4,500 BC as a popular sport amongst Central Asian tribesmen who are believed to have had the first documented domestic horses.

Since then, it has become one of the most bet-on sports in the world, especially around some of the most popular meetings such as Cheltenham. The biggest races like the Grand National and The Derby attract horses from all over the world and mega prize money for the winning owners and jockeys.

Bet within your means

This applies to any sport you bet on, if the enjoyment stops then it may be time to stop betting. If your horse gets beaten right at the end of a race by a nose and the difference between winning and losing the bet has an adverse effect on your health, there are numerous organizations from where you can get help depending on where you live.

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Types of Horse Racing Bets

Horse Racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on but can be one of the hardest to master.

Due to the different sizes of the fields, from 3 or 4 horses all the way up to the likes of the Grand National which normally has 40 horses starting, the number of winners for each race varies enormously and also depends on the bookmaker you bet with.

Below are the types of horse racing bets we will focus on in this article:

• Win Only Bet
• Place Bet
• Accumulators
• Exotic Bets
• Horizontal Bets
• Vertical Bets
• Straight Exactas
• Straight Trifectas
• Straight Superfectas
• Boxing Bets

Win Only Bet

This is a simple one to understand, you are betting on which horse will win a race. If your choice wins, you win, if they finish 2nd or after, the bet is a loser.

Place Bet

This is where things start to get a bit more complicated. The number of horses that place depends on the number that starts the race. It can also vary from bookmaker to bookmaker depending on how important horse racing is to their players.

As an example, in a race of 10 horses, a bookmaker may pay out the top 3 places. When you place a bet, half the stake will normally go on your horse to win – if they win, this half pays out at the odds the horse started the race at and the other half will pay out at 1/3 of that.

If your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd, then half your stake will lose and the other half will pay out at 1/3 of the horse’s starting odds.

A larger field can see up to 5 or 6 horses being paid out at the respective odds – if 5 horses are paid, you will receive 1/5 of their starting odds or 1/6 if there are 6 paid out.

It is also worth mentioning that some bookmakers will offer the best odds for certain races or more horses paid out than their competitors. If you are betting on horse racing, always keep an eye out for special offers.


This is betting on more than one race and the winner or horse to place in each. If all these bets come in, the bet is a winner, otherwise, if 1 or more loses then the entire bet has settled a loser.

Exotic Bets

Exotic bets come in 2 main forms, vertical and horizontal, and can offer huge odds if you correctly predict them.

Horizontal Bets

These are bets where you need to choose the winner or a set number of races in order to win. A daily double for example is 2 races where you need to choose the winner of both to win the bet. The pick of 6 offers a much larger prize but you will need to choose the winner of 6 consecutive races. With 15-20 horses running, this is a very hard bet to win but can include life-changing amounts if you manage to predict each winner.

Vertical Bets

Whilst Horizontal Bets take in a certain number of races, a Vertical Bet is based on one specific race but involves correctly guessing the first few horses in that race, not just the race winner.

Straight Exactas

Correctly predict the horse that finishes 1st and the horse that finishes 2nd to win the bet.

Straight Trifectas

Predict the winner, 2nd place horse and 3rd place horse, in that specific order, to win the bet.

Straight Superfectas

To win the Straight Trifectas you need to guess the order of the first 4 horses as opposed to the first 3.

Boxing Bets

If the above bets sound very hard to win, it is because they are. It is hard enough to guess the winner of a race containing 10 horses, let alone the first 3 in the exact finishing order.

An alternative is a Boxing Bet

This type of bet lets you choose a set number of horses and then place every combination of those horses to finish in the top x of the race.

For example, if you choose 3 horses then you will place a Straight Trifecta for every combination of those 3 horses finishing in the top 3. Each bet costs the same amount so it is more expensive than a standard trifecta, however even if you bet a small amount on each option you can win a lot if you choose the 3 horses that finish in the top 3.

If you choose 4 horses, it will cost more as you will cover each combination of Straight Superfectas but again, it will pay a lot if the four horses you choose make up the top 4.

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Soccer Strategy & Tactics

Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide when it comes to fans and betting.

Therefore, the opportunities to bet on soccer have increased more than in other sports over the years with a whole host of markets available. These include both pre-event – bets placed before a match starts, and in-play – betting on a soccer match when it is in play.

We have done a separate article on the types of Soccer markets you can bet on here.

Before starting out, however, it is important to consider what betting strategy will work best for you.

Soccer Betting Strategies

The first thing to remember is that the bookmakers who decide on the lines/odds of each event will have a large number of years of experience within soccer and are there to make sure the bookies they work with don’t lose money.

Therefore, at least a small amount of research is recommended before you start betting on soccer such as knowing your cities from your units and your ACs from your Inters.

There are so many markets to bet on that unless you have some experience of watching Soccer you can feel lost with all the options available.

Most bookmakers will have a stats section that can show information such as the form of each team, their position in the relevant league, which player/s are expected to miss out through injury or suspension and much more. This is a solid place to begin when thinking about your bets.


Many bettors will only look at the basic markets such as which teams will win, how many goals there will be, who will score first etc.

One of the lesser-used markets is over or under total corners in the match which can depend on how attacking each team is likely to be.

Checking previous corners for both teams can be a good marker for how a team will play, some will look to win corners of the defender when in an advanced position if they do well from set-pieces and these teams can be expected to win an above-average number, especially when at home playing against a team they are expected to beat.

Double Chance

Whilst not that good as a pre-event market due to the reduced odds you will get betting on 2 of the 3 possible outcomes (home win, away win or draw) rather than just the 1, this market can be good when the team you are backing falls behind.

For example, if the home team is a firm favorite before the match but concedes an early goal, the odds of them winning or drawing will be a good bet when they are behind. After all, if they were firm favorites to win and have plenty of time to turn things around, if they score the 2nd goal the odds you will have got when they were behind will be very different.

Betting on Favourites

The odds of an accumulator (betting on the outcome of more than one game) can be considerably better than betting on one match at a time.

If you place a bet on 5 teams to win in one bet, you will be getting much better odds than betting on one team and then using winnings on one more team each time for 5 separate bets. This also has the added advantage of some sites offering boosted odds for each bet (5 boosted odds are much better than 1) and also offer Acca insurance which gives you your money back as a free bet if one game lets you down.

Yes, you need all events to win in order for the bet to be settled as a winner, but the advantages of this bet far outweigh the negatives, especially as you can normally cash out your bets at any time if you prefer.

Over/Under Goals

Finally, a good market to look at is total goals in a game, if you have 2 sides that like to attack and who tend to score a lot whilst conceding, this can provide you with good returns. Unlike betting on a team to win, you can win this bet after a few minutes if there are early goals. If you bet on over 2.5 goals in the match, should 3 goals be scored in the first 30 minutes, your bet will be declared a winner without the need for the match to finish.

Soccer Betting Tips


Like any form of gambling, a bankroll is important. If you have a set amount you are prepared to lose, try and ensure each bet only uses a % of this bankroll as opposed to the full amount as this will increase your enjoyment. There is nothing worse than losing all your funds in the first game and the temptation to then deposit and bet again is likely to be higher.

Only bet what you can afford

At the end of the day, betting should be enjoyable, and if you get to the stage where it isn’t then it is time to walk away. If you feel you are betting too much, there are organizations that can help you depending on where you live.

Look at futures

If you want to get more excited for your money, look at long-term bets which last a number of months as opposed to just one game. An example would be team A winning their league come to the end of the season or getting promoted to a higher league. In this type of bet, you cannot lose in just one game but you can cheer your team/s on each time they are playing in the hope of getting closer to the winning line.

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Soccer Bet Types – Here’s What Wagers You Can Make

Most popular leagues

Whilst there are many different teams you can bet on in soccer, some of the biggest European leagues tend to be the most popular.
These are:

•Premier League in England
•La Liga in Spain
•Serie A in Italy
•Bundesliga in Germany
•Ligue 1 in France

Every 4 years, there is a World Cup that sees some of the biggest countries in the world come together to battle it out for the title of World Champion.

Each continent also has its own tournament such as the European Championships and Africa Cup of Nations.

All of these offer great opportunities for betting on a range of different markets.

Soccer Markets

There is a huge range of markets to bet on when betting on soccer, some of which are outlined below.


Who will win a league or cup? These tournaments can last up to 9 months so are normally considered a long-term bet but can lead to very good odds. When Leicester City won the Premier League in England in the 2016 season, for example, you could have backed them at 5,000 to 1 at the start of the season – a $10 bet would have won you $50,000!

3-way Moneyline

Who will win a specific match – The home team, the away team, or the match ending in a draw.

Double Chance

Most popular in play when one team leads, this bet gives you 2 of the 3 options of a Moneyline – so home team or draw, away team or draw, or home team or away team.

Draw No Bet

This essentially makes the 3-way Moneyline into a 2 way market, voiding the bet if it ends in a draw in return for much lower odds.

Over/Under Goals Market

The normal amount is over or under 2.5 goals in a game. If you bet over, 3 or more goals after 90 minutes mean you win. 2 or fewer goals give you a win if you bet the under. You can also bet over/under 1.5 goals, 3.5 goals, etc depending on how brave you are feeling.

Correct Score

This is a simple bet on the final score of a match, such as 1 – 1 or 2 – 0 to the home side. Remember there are a lot of potential scores before a match begins so you are less likely to win this bet than if you simply predict the outcome on a 3-way Moneyline, but the odds you get reflect this.

First Goalscorer

The player that will score the first goal of the game. You can also bet on the last goalscorer – who will score the final goal. Or there is the anytime scorer, which is a player that will score a goal at any time during the match.

Half Time/ Full Time

Correctly guessing the outcome at both half time and full time. An example would be a draw at half time with the home side winning at full time.

Over/Under Corners Market

The same as the Over/Under Goals Market but with corners.

Player to be Carded

The player you choose will need to be shown a yellow or red card during the match for this bet type to be a winner.

Asian Handicap

Guess the outcome of a match when a specific team has a number of goals added or removed. An example would be a home favorite winning with a handicap of -1.5. They would need to win the match by 2 goals for this bet to be a winner.

You can also bet on the away side with a handicap of +1.5. This bet would win if the home side wins by one goal, and the match ends in a draw, or the away side wins.

Both Teams to Score

A bet that wins if both teams score at least one goal irrespective of the final result. You can also bet that both teams won’t score which wins if either side keeps a clean sheet.

Match Result and Over 2.5 Goals

This is a combination bet on who will win the match and that there will be at least 3 goals scored by both teams combined. You can also bet on the match result and both teams’ scores.

Total Team Goals

This relates to a specific team within a match rather than both teams combined. An example would be the home team to score 3 or more goals which will win if they score 3 goals or more on their own but not if they only score 2 and the away side scores 1.


This is a bet on 2 or more matches where the outcome of the bet needs all legs to win in order to be settled as a winner. The more matches you bet on, the higher the odds. It is worth keeping an eye out for sites that offer boosts that increase the odds on each game or Acca insurance which sees you getting your money back as a free bet if one bet lets you down.

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How to Choose An Online Casino

How to choose an online casino

With the online gambling market so saturated right now, everyone’s looking for the best ways to choose a reputable online Casino. Finding them is easier said than done. Any casino can call itself the best, but there’s a methodology that actually allows us to rightfully determine the most reputable gambling sites in the industry.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to rate and choose the right casino site for you. Players will also learn how to recognize top-notch gaming sites where they can enjoy an A+ experience.

How We Rate the Top Online Gambling Sites

There are plenty of factors to check in depth before you decide to deposit in the correct online casino. The best gambling sites have a great game variety, rewarding bonuses, and a few unique features too. They need to be above average and pass the test in the following categories:

  • Reputable Licensing Jurisdictions
  • SSL Encryption Certificate
  • Third-Party Testing Audit Reports
  • Fair Terms and Conditions
  • Easy Deposit and Withdrawal Process
  • Security of Funds
  • Fast Withdrawals
  • Decent Payout Rates
  • Top-Notch Support
  • Generous Bonuses With Fair Bonus T&C
  • Great Mobile Experience & Apps
  • Generous VIP Program


Best Bonuses & Promotions

Online casinos have bonuses and promos players can get excited about. These include mouthwatering welcome packages, deposit, and no-deposit bonuses, free spins, and more.

  • No Deposit Bonuses: a no-deposit bonus will give you extra money without making a deposit after signing up. These bonuses will typically come with maximum cashouts and higher wagering requirements.
  • Deposit Bonus: a deposit bonus with or without free spins is the most common welcome offer you’ll find at online casinos.
  • No Wagering Bonuses: a no-wagering bonus is as rare as a unicorn. Many players consider it the best casino bonus since you don’t need to wager it to claim your winnings.
  • High Roller Bonuses: if you’re not a stranger to spending big on online slots or roulette tables, you’ll find high roller bonuses appealing. These bonuses can be found at most online casinos within their VIP programs and are bigger and bolder than any other option.


Evaluating The Games on Offer

The game selection is one of the most important evaluations we make when determining if a casino site is worthy to add to our recommended lists. We make sure they are powered by the most reputable software providers and have multiple versions of your favorite games. Popular games such as slots, video poker, poker, craps, blackjack, roulette, keno and scratch cards have to make the list. Those who like spinning slots will have hundreds of options to choose from. If you prefer to play table games such as online blackjack or poker, you will find many versions of each and or live dealer versions.

Licensing, Auditing & Safety

Making sure a casino is licensed is vital and by a reputable jurisdiction such as Malta, the UK, or Gibraltar. An SSL Encryption Certificate makes sure all your confidential banking details and personal information are kept safe and secure. When it comes to Third-Party Testing this will ensure fairness, randomness, and regulatory compliance by agencies such as eCOGRA, iTech Labs, Technical Systems Testing (TST), Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), etc.

How To Rank Fairness and Reputation

Always read gambling sites’ player reviews online to get a real picture of their reputation. If many players believe the casino is unfair, that may very well be the case. We scour through hundreds of player complaints and comments so you don’t have to and rank our casinos accordingly.

Fast & Secure Banking Options

From bank transfers to PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and possibly pay-by-phone options, all gambling sites should offer a variety of deposit and withdrawal options.

Countries Accepted

Many casinos are region-locked, so ideally, players should look for a real money casino that operates around the world and is licensed in the country they live in.

Unique Features

While not a dealbreaker, online gambling sites will have a unique feature like a tiered VIP club. Also, a reputable site will have an easy sign-up process, easy navigation, and be visually appealing.

Mobile Compatibility

Mobile casinos will allow you to play on the go via a dedicated app or a mobile website. It’s 2022, and there should be no casino without mobile optimization.

Transparency and Longevity

It’s very important that a reputable online casino be transparent in everything they do. This can include player-friendly terms, and bonus terms & conditions visibly present without having to read through pages to find them. When it comes to longevity this is also important as we can evaluate player complaints to see how the casino handles these and whether they resolve the issue in a timely matter.

Customer Support

We test each casino by emailing them to see how long it takes for them to respond and if they are efficient in helping to solve the query. This is vital for casinos with email-only support. Casinos with knowledgeable phone and live chat support are always the easiest and quickest way to get a problem solved and are ideal when it comes to customer support.

Popular Software Providers

There are hundreds of software providers in the gaming industry powering the best classic, jackpot and themed slots as well as the most exciting table games. The list is endless and includes Play’N Go, Betsoft, NetEnt, IGT, Evolution Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming…

Microgaming: known for its range of progressive jackpots, Microgaming has established itself as the leader in iGaming. Featured at the best slot sites, it has a massive portfolio that stretches over 500 slots and casino games. The only thing missing in its catalog is live dealer games.

Real Time Gaming: a professional game studio that’s featured at top online casinos, RTG develops high-paying slots typically with a classic narrative. It has also developed several popular jackpots and a range of table and card games including blackjack, roulette, and poker.

Playtech: Playtech is one of the top providers in the industry, known for the variety of slots in its lobby. Its Age of the Gods and Kingdoms Rise local jackpot slot series feature dozens of entries and have millions of fans. The studio also develops RNG and live dealer variants of roulette, blackjack, and poker.

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Casino & Gambling Glossary

Casino and Gambling Glossary

Our Gambling Glossary is here to help you with online chat abbreviations, phrases, definitions, casino terms, and gambling meanings. You will soon feel like a seasoned gambler when using our slang terms while playing.

ABC Poker – ABC Poker is a typical, predictable, and classic style of Poker, which is played most commonly.

Aces – In Craps, Aces is a term that refers to making a bet that the next roll will be a two.

Action – Action may have multiple meanings, though when used as a casino term it most notably means the total amount of money put into play.

Admission Packet – In Bingo, an admission packet is the minimum amount of cards required to purchase before playing the game.

Against the Spread (ATS) – In sports betting, ATS refers to the result when taking the point spread into account.

Aggregate Limit – The total amount of money that a casino is liable to payout in a single game.

Aggregate Winning – The culminated amount of money won in a single game.

All In – An action taken by the player to wager all remaining chips into the pot.

American Roulette – A variant of roulette originating in America. The wheel has 38 pockets, one of which is a double zero.

Ante – In Poker, it is a forced bet required by all players into the pot before the deal can begin.

Annuity – In Lottery, an annuity is a jackpot payout, paid in installments over a long period of time.

Arm – In Craps, an Arm refers to a player for whom it is believed they have a special skill when throwing the dice.

Baccarat – A popular casino game, especially among high rollers, where players choose the hand they want to play.

Back Door – In Poker it is a hand made using the final two cards dealt.

Back Hand – In poker this is The first hand of five cards and is required to be the strongest of the player’s three hands.

Backed – A team or player in which many bets have been placed.

Balance – The amount of money at the player’s account, used for betting and gambling.

Banco – In Roulette, this is when a player places all of their money on one bet.

Bankroll – In gambling, a bankroll refers to the money a player has set aside specifically for gambling.

Beard – In poker, when a bettor wants to conceal their true identity, a friend or acquaintance will place the bets for them.

Beef – In gambling and sports betting, a beef refers to a dispute which might occur between a gambler/bettor and the casino/sportsbook.

Beginner’s Luck – In gambling and sports betting, beginner’s luck refers to a winning streak that a new player/punter might be on.

Betting Limit – In Casinos and Sportsbooks, a Betting Limit is a limit placed on the players as to how much they are allowed to bet on a game.

Black Book – In Casinos, a black book refers to a list of people who are either undesirable or outright banned, from the casino.

Blackjack – One of the most popular card games, in which a number of players bet against the house.

Bluff – In poker a player will raise in order to trick their opponent into believing they have a strong hand, which in fact is weak and offers no chance of winning.

Bluff Catcher – In poker, this is a hand that can win by calling a player who has bluffed.

Bump – In poker, this means to raise a bet.

Buy’In – This is the amount needed to enter a poker tournament or game.


Call – To match a raise or bet in Poker.

Cap – In gambling this is the maximum number of raises in a round of betting.

Card Counting – A popular trick pulled at casinos, where the player counts the cards in an attempt to predict what card they would get in the future.

Carpet Joint – In the United States, a slang term used to describe luxurious and high-end casinos.

Cashback – It’s a percentage of the player’s losses credited back to their account. This amount can be cashed out or used as bonus funds with wagering requirements attached, depending upon the casino.

Casino Advantage – The advantage that the casino has over the players.

Chase – Chase, in gambling terms, refers to a player attempting to get back the money he lost gambling.

Check Raise – Either you check-raise as a bluff to make your opponent throw away a better hand or to get more money into the pot when you have a strong hand.

Chips – These are round casino tokens that are equivalent to money. They are available for purchase in many various denominations.

Cold – Used to describe slot machines that aren’t paying out a player who has had a losing streak.

Color Up – To exchange your lower denomination chips for a higher denomination chip.

Copy – In poker this means that the banker and the player have the same hand; the banker will always win that round.

Community Cards – Cards that are dealt face up and can be used by any player in a poker hand.

Craps – Popular casino table game, in which players shoot dice in an attempt to get a certain number.

Dead Heat – In racing terms, Dead Heat refers to two contestants who are closely competing for the number one spot.

Dealer – In casino terms, it is an employee of the casino who controls the flow of the game and deals the cards to the players.

Deposit – In online gambling, a deposit is an amount of money that the user pays the casino in order to be able to play the games.

Deposit Bonus – In online gambling, a deposit bonus is some sort of perk that a user gets for putting down a deposit at an online casino.

Deuce – Gambling slang referring to two (either two cards, or the two in dice).

Discard Tray – a discard pile of used cards, usually situated to the right of the dealer.

Dime – in sports betting, a dime is a term that refers to a bet of one thousand dollars.

Dog – in sports betting, a dog is a shorthand for “underdog”.

Dog Player – in sports betting, a dog player is a bettor who always bets on the underdog.

Dolly – In casino terms, Dolly is the doll-shaped marker placed on the table in the square of the winning number used to help players identify the winning number.

Double Down – In gambling, a double down is a bet of equal size to an initial bet. In most cases, both bets will now either win or lose together.

Drop Box – The box in the middle of the game table where the chips used for betting are placed.

eCOGRA – In casino terms, eCOGRA stands for e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. eCOGRA is an independent agency that determines whether the casino standards are fair to players.

Edge – In gambling, an edge is the advantage that one player might have over the opposing players.

Eighty-Sixed/86’d – In casino terminology, “Getting 86’d” refers to being banned by a casino for foul play.

En Prison – In Roulette, En Prison is a rule that gives players a second chance after making an even-money bet that lost to a 0 or a 00. The bet is left on the table for the next spin.

Encryption – In Casino terminology, Encryption refers to a specific way of securing casino software and online transactions. Using complex codes that are extremely difficult to decipher.

European Roulette – In roulette, European Roulette is a variant of the game of roulette originating in Europe, where the wheel has 37 pockets and no double zero (00).

Even-Money Bet – In gambling terms, an even-money bet refers to a bet that pays back the same amount that a player wagers.

Exotic – In horse racing, an exotic bet is a bet that doesn’t fall under the straight or parlay categories. Often called a prop or proposition.

Expectation – the amount of money a player is expecting to win when taking probability, chance, and luck into account.

Eye-in-the-Sky – A slang term referring to the cameras placed in casinos that keep an eye on the players and any misbehavior that might occur.

Face – In Bingo, a face is used to refer to a single card of bingo.

Face Card – In Poker this means any card with a face including King, Queen or Jack of any suite.

Favorite – In Sports betting, a favorite is the contender/team most likely to win the game.

Fifty Cents – In gambling, fifty cents is a slang term that refers to a bet worth fifty dollars.

Figure – In gambling and betting terms, a figure is used to refer to an amount of money owed to or owed by the bookmaker.

Final – This is a bet made in roulette that ends in the same digit. An example would be ‘final 7’ which means betting on 7, 17 and 27 if you have 3 chips, etc.

Final Four – In Basketball betting, the Final Four is a term used to refer to the last four teams playing in the NCAA tournament.

Five Card Charlie – In blackjack this means a five-card hand that doesn’t bust is a winner.

Fixed Odds – In Gambling and betting, fixed odds is a term that refers to odds that are predetermined. The term is often used in sports result betting.

Flat Betting – In Casino and Gambling terminology, a Flat Bet refers to a player betting the same for each hand with no variation in the denomination.

Flop – In poker, the term means the first three community cards dealt, face up.

Flush – In poker it’s a hand where all cards are from the same suit.

Fold – In poker it means a player that gives up on a hand when they suspect their opponent has a better one or theirs is too weak.

Forecast – In sports betting, a forecast refers to a bet that predicts the 1st and 2nd places for a given event.

FTW – In Casino/Gambling/Betting terminology, ftw is jargon (an abbreviation of “For the Win”) used to express joy at the bettor/player’s choice.

Full House – This is a hand in poker with two cards of one rank and three cards of a second rank.

Garbage Hand – In card games, most notably poker, a garbage hand refers to a player having very bad cards in hand.

GG – In Casino/Gambling terminology, GG is jargon (an abbreviation of “good game”) used as an end-of-game courtesy among players.

GLA – In Casino/Gambling/Betting terminology, GLA is jargon (an abbreviation of “good luck all”) used as a courtesy at the start of the game.

Grand Salami – In hockey betting, a Grand Salami refers to the combined score of goals in all the hockey games scheduled for the day.

Grid – In sports betting, a grid is a matrix that shows the different bets that are possible. Online, players click on the grid in order to place, withdraw or confirm a bet.

Grind – In poker, a Grind means to play a large amount of smaller staked poker games, over a large number of hours, on a regular basis to make a steady profit.

Grinder – In poker, a person who plays a large amount of smaller staked poker games, over a large number of hours, on a regular basis in order to make a steady profit.

Half-time Bet – In sports betting, a half-time bet refers to a bet that is made at the halftime of the game, as opposed to a live bet, or a pre-game bet.

Half-a-dollar – in gambling, a half-a-dollar wager refers to a bet of fifty dollars.

Hard Hand – In poker, a hard hand refers to a hand either without any aces or a hand with a high enough value so that aces can only be worth one point.

Heads Up – A blackjack table with only one player playing.

High Bet – In Roulette, a high bet is used to refer to a wager placed on all the numbers between 19 and 36.

High Roller – In casino terminology, a high roller is a player who makes large, high stake bets in any game.

Hit – To request an additional card in blackjack.

Hole Cards – Both The dealer and player are dealt facedown cards from the deck.

Home Field Advantage – In Sports it means the home team has the edge in winning.

Hot – In casino terminology, a Hot player is a player who is on a winning streak, whereas a hot table is a table where the players are winning frequently.

Hot (Slots) – When referring to slot machines, a hot slot machine is a machine at which a player frequently wins.

Idiot End – In poker, an idiot end refers to the low end of a straight, and can also be called a stupid end or sucker end.

Inside Bet – In roulette, an inside bet refers to a wager placed on a specific number.

Instant Win – In the lottery, an instant win is a type of lottery ticket that immediately indicates on the card if a prize has been won.

Insurance – In blackjack, the term insurance refers to a side bet that the dealer will have a natural and becomes available when the dealer’s upcard is an ace.

Jackpot – In gambling terms, a jackpot refers to a large monetary prize.

Jacks or Better – A variation on the game of video poker where the only viable winning hand is a hand with Jacks or higher.

Juice – In sports betting, the ‘juice’ is a term that refers to the commission that is paid out to the bookies.

Junket – In casino terms, a junket is a group of high rolling players that have been specially flown in by a casino.

Keno – Keno Is a lottery-style game where players place bets on numbers from 1 – 80. The game is especially popular in Canada.

King Ticket – In keno, a King Ticket is a ticket on which a player selects a single spot (the king) and then combines the king with other groups of spots to form multiple tickets within one ticket.

Lay Odds – In sports betting, a Lay Odds refers to placing a bet on terms favorable to the other party (they would win more than they bet).

Let it Ride – In gambling, most commonly in poker, letting it ride refers to adding the winnings from the previous bet to the current bet.

Limit – In gambling and casino terms, a limit is a game where the bet size per round is fixed and can’t be exceeded.

Live Dealer Games (LDG) – In online casino terms, live dealer games are games run by real human dealers. The players can see the dealer and game on their device using a live-stream video.

Lock – In gambling, a lock refers to an easy winner.

Maniac – In gambling, a maniac refers to a player whose playstyle is extremely aggressive and loose. Most often referring to poker players, though it can be used for any game.

Money Line – In sports betting, a money line is the most popular and simplest type of bet which involves wagering on the winner of an event with no point spread odds.

N1 – In casino terms, N1 is jargon (an abbreviation of “Nice one”). It is used to compliment a player on pulling a good move.

Natural – In blackjack, a natural is a two-card hand that is worth 21 points and is automatically a winning hand.

NH – In casino terms, NH is jargon (an abbreviation of “nice hand”).

Nickel – In gambling terms, nickel is a slang term for a bet of five hundred dollars.

NL – In casino terms, NL is jargon (an abbreviation of “No Limit”) which refers to a game without a bet size limit per round.

No Limit – in casino and gambling terms, a No-Limit game is a game without a bet size limit per round.

No-Deposit Bonus – In online casino terms, a no-deposit bonus refers to free money that doesn’t require an initial cash deposit from the player. This bonus will come with wagering requirements, maximum cashouts and other terms.

Nosebleed – In gambling, a nosebleed refers to a game where the stakes are extremely high.

Odds – In gambling, the odds refer to the set chance of a competitor to win the game.

Online Casino – An online casino is an online version of the traditional, land-based casinos. Online casinos can be browser-based, or downloadable software.

Parlay – In gambling, a parlay refers to adding the winnings from a previous roll to the current bet.

Payoff – In gambling or sports betting, a payoff refers to the money received from a win.

Punto Banco – An alternative name for the game Baccarat.

Rail – In casinos, rail refers to a person who is observing a game, however, is not participating.

Re-Bet – In casinos, a Re-Bet is a bet that equals the amount that was wagered in a previous game.

Return – In gambling, a return refers to a player’s total winnings on a bet.

Scared Money – In gambling, scared money refers to a bankroll that the player cannot afford to lose. It can also refer to a stake limit that is too high for a player’s current bankroll.

SH – In casino terms, SH is jargon, an abbreviation of the term short-handed.

Short Handed – In casino terms, short-handed refers to a game (usually of Poker) played with less than the typical amount of players.

SS – In casino terms, SS is jargon and an abbreviation of the term short-stacked.

Sticky Bonus – In casino terms, a sticky bonus is a special type of cash bonus that cannot be cashed out. It’s used by casinos online to pad players’ bankrolls so that they can play for higher stakes.

Tank – In gambling, tank refers to taking the time out to think through a decision before taking any action.

Tapped Out – In gambling, being tapped out refers to having no more money to spend. A player who is tapped out has lost all of their money.

The Cage – In casino terms, the Cage is slang for the place/safe where the casino keeps all of their money.

Tilt – In gambling, a tilt is a term that refers to a player who is on a bad losing streak.

Underdog – In sports betting and gambling, the underdog refers to the team or player who is least likely to win.

UTG– UTG, in casino terms, is jargon and shorthand for “Under the Gun”.

Virtual Casino Games – Virtual casino games are casino games that are played online at casino websites.

Wad – In gambling terminology, a wad is an alternative term for bankroll.

YHS – In casino terminology, YHS is jargon, and shorthand for “your hand sucks”.

Yo – in casino terminology, Yo is jargon that describes the number 11.

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Blackjack Rules Strategies & Tips!

A Crash Course In Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game that, along with Roulette and Slots, is one of the most popular games in casinos, both online and offline.

The game is played against a Dealer with the aim of getting a higher score than them and as close to 21 as possible without ‘Busting’ – going over. It is normally played with either 6 or 8 decks of cards and can involve several other Players, all of whom are playing directly against the Dealer.

How to Play Blackjack

Goal of the game

The aim of the game is to beat the Dealer’s hand. You do this by getting your hand as close to 21 as possible without going over this amount and ‘Busting’.

Card values

1. All numbered cards from 2 to 10 are counted at face value.

2. All picture cards (Jack, Queen, and King) count as 10.

3. An Ace can be either 1 or 11.

Setting-up the game

1. Set your budget – We recommend that you take the equivalent of 40 hands to a table before you sit down and start playing.

2. Choose your table – All will have a minimum and maximum amount you can bet, choose one where you can play a hand for around a fortieth of your budget. i.e. if you have a bankroll of £200, you should be looking at playing £5 per hand.

3. Take a seat – You can choose any empty seat at the table, more than one if you wish, and whilst the choice of the seat makes no difference to the outcome of any given hand, the Dealer starts from one end when dealing and the action starts with the first Player to be dealt with and goes around until everyone has finished.

4. Decide how much you would like to change up and play with. These funds are then changed into Chips which are used for the game, you can cash them into real money and walk away at the end of any hand.

Blackjack Rules

1. Place your bet (Remember, if there is room at the table you can play more than 1 hand if you do this you will need to place a bet for each hand you wish to play).

2. You will be dealt 2 cards face up so all other Players and the Dealer can view them.

3. The Dealer normally deals 2 cards for him/her, 1 face-up, and 1 face-down. Some versions of Blackjack see the Dealer giving themselves 1 card only at this point (in this case, the 2nd card is dealt face up after all Players have finished their actions).

4. You now need to decide your move on each of your hands. The 2 main choices are Hit or Stand. Hit means receive another card. Stand means you don’t want another card and you are satisfied with what you have. If you Stand, you take no further action in the hand, if you Hit you have the same decision to make again after receiving your next card. There are sometimes 3 other decisions you can make, Double, Split, and Insurance. These will be explained later.

5. After all, Players have completed their hands, the Dealer deals him/herself cards until they have at least 17. It is worth noting that the Dealer has no say in what they do, they have to Hit until they get at least 17, even if all Players have only 15 and the Dealer has 16.

6. Once the dealer has 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21 he will Stand. If he gets 22 or more, the dealer busts, and all Players left in the hand win.

As mentioned above, there are 3 other actions you can sometimes take:

Double Down

This Doubles your bet (you need to place a further bet for the same amount as your initial bet) and gives you 1 further card, after which your hand is finished irrespective of what card you get. If you win, you get Double your total bet.

You would normally only Double if you have a 9, 10, or 11 and the Dealer doesn’t have an Ace or a 10 – See the chart below for more details.

Split Cards

If you get 2 cards of the same value, you can Split them and play with 2 hands, each containing 1 of the cards. You will need to pay a bet equal to your initial bet and you will get dealt another card for each hand. You then decide for each hand whether to Hit or Stand. If you get 21 after Splitting, these only count as 21 and not Blackjack. If you Split Aces, you will only get dealt 1 more card and will then need to Stand. At most casinos, if your 2nd card is the same as the first, you will be allowed to Split again if you wish.

Blackjack Insurance

If the Dealer shows an Ace as their face-up card, all Players have the option of Insurance. If you choose to take Insurance, you will place a bet equal to half your initial bet. If the Dealer then gets Blackjack, so the 2nd card has a value of 10, you will get Double your bet, if not you lose the Insurance bet.

The game ends

1. The hand ends for a Player when either your hand goes over 21 meaning you Bust and lose your bet, or when the Dealer completes their actions.

2. Once the Dealer has completed their action, the payouts take place for all remaining Players still in the hand.

3. If you have a higher total than the Dealer and both totals are 21 or below, you win the hand and get Double your bet. If you and the Dealer have the same total, you Push the hand and get your stake back (Unless one of you has 21 with their first cards, known as Blackjack and the other has 21 with 3 cards or more, in which case whoever has Blackjack will win the Hand). If the Dealer has a higher total than you and both are 21 or less, the Dealer wins and you lose your stake.

4. If the Dealer gets over 21, they Bust and all remaining Players win Double their stake.

5. If you get 21 with 2 cards, you have Blackjack, and if the Dealer doesn’t have 21 with their first 2 cards, you get 1.5 your bet back, as well as the bet itself – equivalent to 2.5 times your bet. If the Dealer also has Blackjack, you Push and get your stake returned.

How to Play Hard Hands

First of all, we need to define what a hard hand is. Simply put, a hard hand is when neither of the two starting cards is an ace. So, how do you play a hard hand? There are a few rules that you need to remember when playing a hard hand.

1. If you’ve been dealt an 8 or less, always hit.

2. If are holding a 9, double if the Dealer has a 3, 4, 5, or 6. If not, then hit it.

3. If you’ve been dealt a 10, double against 2 through 9. If not, you should hit.

4. If you’ve got an 11, double up to a 10. Otherwise, it is advisable that you hit.

5. With a twelve, you are going to want to hit against a 2 or 3, or stand if the dealer has a 4, 5 or 6. If none of these are the case, hit it.

6. From 13 – 16 it gets trickier. The most common advice is to stand against 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 and hit if it is anything else.

7. If your hand equals a 17, 18, 19, 20, or 21, you have no choice but to stand and hope for the best.

How to Play a Soft Hand

So, let’s talk about soft hands. If a hard hand is a hand without a single ace, then you’ve probably come to the conclusion that a soft hand is an exact opposite. A soft hand is a hand in which one of your cards contains an ace. And, just as with hard hands, long-time gamblers have come up with certain rules and tips for playing games where they’ve been dealt soft hands. In this section, we are taking a look at the tips for soft hands.

1. You should double if you have an Ace 2 or Ace 3 against a dealer who has a 5 or a 6. If not, hit.

2. If you have Ace 4 or Ace 5 double against a dealer with 4 or 6. Hit if this is not the case.

3. If you’ve been dealt an Ace 6, double against a dealer with 3, 4, 5, or 6. If not, hit it.

4. An Ace 7 calls for a stand against a dealer who has a 2, 7, or 8, a double against 3, 4, 5, and 6, or a hit against anything else.

5. Finally, an Ace 8 or 9 leaves you no choice but to stand.

How to Play Pairs

Certainly, you can gleam that pairs suggest that both of the cards you’ve been dealt with are two of a kind. This can mean two aces, two 10s, two Jacks, or any other pairs. So, how should you handle a game if you’ve been dealt a pair? Let’s take a look.

1. Common parlance dictates that you always split a pair of aces and a pair of eights. This is because it is much more difficult to score a winning hit on a pair of aces, and starting the game with a score of 16 puts you at quite a disadvantage.

2. A pair of 2s or 3s calls for a split only if the dealer has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. If not, keep the hand and hit.

3. For a pair of 4s you are going to want to split against a dealer who has a 5 or 6.

4. You should double on a pair of fives if you are playing against a dealer who has anything between 2 to 9. Hit otherwise.

5. If you have a pair of sixes, split if the dealer has a 2, 3, 4, 5, or six. Otherwise hit.

6. If you are holding a pair of sevens, we would recommend splitting against a dealer who has anywhere between 2 and 7.

7. A pair of nines is good to split against 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9. It is best to stand against 7, 10 and an Ace.

8. Lastly, when you are dealt a pair of 10s, stand no matter what. A score of 20 is hard to beat.

blackjack rules

Example of how a Blackjack table may look, including details of the Payouts.

Blackjack Definitions


Hit means to draw another card. You can request a hit as many times as you like, but if your total goes over twenty-one, you will bust and lose the hand.


Stand means the player receives no more cards. The hand as it currently stands will be judged against the dealers.


If you have two cards of the same denomination, a Split button will appear. You can split your cards into two hands and play each hand separately. Your original bet will be duplicated for the new hand. Each hand will be played out as usual except when splitting Aces, where only one additional card per hand is dealt. The split option can only be used once per hand — you cannot split part of a split hand. Any winning 21 obtained after splitting a pair is paid 1-to-1.

Double Down

If you select this option, two things will happen: you will get exactly one more card, your turn will end, and your bet will be doubled.


Where permitted (usually on a Blackjack Surrender table), a player may give up his first two cards and lose only one-half his original bet.

Blackjack Payouts

If you win the hand, you will get back your original bet plus the same amount in profit. A hand that consists of an Ace and any ten-value card is called a natural twenty-one, or a natural blackjack (except in the case of a Split hand – see details above). If you win with a natural blackjack, you will be paid off at three-to-two, which means you get your original bet back plus a 150% profit. (So if you bet £50 and win with a natural twenty-one, you get £50 (your bet) plus £75 (your bet plus half of your bet), which totals to £125).

Blackjack Odds

Knowing the blackjack odds will make you a better player and hopefully beat the odds when playing at a casino. If you want to apply any gambling strategy successfully you need to know the odds of the game you’re playing. It goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway: the odds are always in favor of the house. How else do you think they can create billion-dollar mega-casinos in Las Vegas? The Blackjack rules are carefully structured to ensure a house edge. But just how heavily are the Blackjack odds weighed in favor of the house? If you’re a smart player, you know the house edge is not as great as one might think – and certainly not insurmountable. You will be able to calculate the following:

  1. Blackjack odds variations
  2. Odds of busting
  3. Player advantage VS dealer up-card


Blackjack Odds Variations

If you want to be serious about playing blackjack you need to be able to calculate your odds for the game you’re playing. The blackjack odds depend on the different types of rule variations. Some online blackjack sites can be unclear about this so you need to pay attention. You can also adjust your blackjack strategy according to these rules. The following table shows the effect that rule variations have on the player’s expected return after taking the proper strategy adjustments. These changes are relative to the standard Atlantic City rules which result in a player’s expected return of -0.43%: 8 decks, dealer stands on soft 17, the player can double on any first 2 cards, the player may double after splitting and the player may split to 4 hands. I will explain some of the rule variations under the table.

Rule VariationsEffect
Five Card Charlie+1.46%
Player 21-points is automatic winner+0.54%
Early surrender against ace+0.39%
Early surrender against ten+0.24%
Player may double on any number of cards+0.23%
Player may draw to split aces+0.19%
Six card Charlie+0.16%
Player may resplit aces+0.08%
Late surrender against ten+0.07%
Seven card Charlie+0.01%
Late surrender against ace+0.00%
Split to only 2 hands-0.01%
No-peek: ace showing-0.01%
Player may double on 9-10-11 only-0.09%
No-peek ten showing-0.10%
Player may not resplit-0.10%
Player may not double after splitting-0.14%
Player may double on 10-11 only-0.18%
Blackjack pays 6-5-1.39%
Player loses 17 ties-1.87%
Blackjack pays 1 to 1-2.27%
Player loses 17-18 ties-3.58%
Player loses 17-19 ties-5.30%
Player loses 17-20 ties-8.38%
Player loses 17-21 ties-8.86%
Dealer bust on 22 is a push-9.53%


Five, six and seven-card Charlie:

a Charlie is an automatic winner, so in a six-card Charlie, the player wins on any six-card hand that didn’t bust.

No-peek rule:

The dealer doesn’t peek to see if he has a Blackjack.

How to calculate? You start with the basic Atlantic City rules (-0.43%) and take the rule variations according to the game you are playing to calculate the effect it has on the expected return. For example “Player may double on any number of cards” (+0.23%) and “Player may not resplit” (-0.10%). The expected player return would now be -0.43% +0.23% -0.10%= -0.30%. These blackjack odds (-0.30%) are better for the player than under the standard Atlantic City rules (-0.43).

Blackjack Odds of busting

This table is used to calculate the blackjack odds of the player busting if he hits. This can be useful but I think a smart person already knows that if he hits on 16 he has more chances of busting when he hits on 12.

Hand % Bust if hit
11 or less0%


Player advantage VS the dealers up-card

This table is more useful than the odds of busting because it calculates how much the dealer’s up-card has a positive effect on your odds and the odds of him/her (the dealer) busting.

Dealer Up Card Dealer bust % Player Advantage %


Blackjack Basic Strategy

For Blackjack Basic Strategy the first thing to look at is the tables below. This has details of what you should do to optimize your chances with every version of your starting hand versus the Dealer visible card.

It is useful if you can remember this as best you can to give you the best possible advantage against the House.

If your hand contains an Ace, look at the 2nd chart, if you have a pair of the same value, look at the bottom chart. For all others, the top chart is the place to look.

Blackjack Chart

Use this Blackjack strategy chart as a cheatsheet if you will. It will help you memorize what actions to take with your opening hand.
blackjack Strategy

Strategy Card

Blackjack Strategy Card

Blackjack Tips

Taking Insurance or Even Money

Blackjack is a gambling game, so hedging your bet and playing safe by taking Insurance or even money doesn’t make much sense. In around 7 out of ten instances the Dealer shows an Ace they will not have blackjack, so buying Insurance is a losing long-term strategy and should be avoided.

Splitting Tens when Dealer shows 6

It is always a good idea to maximize your bets when the Dealer shows a 6 as this gives them the biggest chance of Busting, and although you will still expect to make money if you Split (less than $18 extra per $100), you can expect to make over $70 per $100 in bets by doing nothing and Standing on 20. There is a high chance that the Dealer will Bust, so always Stand on a hard 17 or greater.

Standing on 16 when Dealer shows Ace

Standing on 16 when the Dealer has a Ten is not nearly as bad as when the Dealer has an Ace. There is a good chance you will Bust when Hitting on 16, but at least you give yourself a chance to win or push the hand, otherwise in order to win you have to count on the Dealer Busting with an Ace.

Standing on Soft 18 when Dealer shows 6

As mentioned above, the Dealer having a 6 is the best possible hand for the Player as it presents the best chance of the Dealer Busting. You need to, therefore, try and maximize your returns in this situation, so Double and try to take down a bigger win. You can’t bust by taking one more card, so go for it!

Standing on Soft 18 when Dealer shows 9

This is a common one, and although 18 isn’t a bad total in Blackjack, when the Dealer has a 9 there is a high chance they will get a Ten or an Ace (38% of the time to be exact), so give yourself a chance to win and Hit it!

Hitting 11 when Dealer shows Ten

One of the best things about Blackjack is being able to control when to put more money on the table. If you have an 11 and the Dealer doesn’t get more money down by Doubling. You can expect to make about $18 for every $100 you bet, while Hitting will only earn you about $12.

Standing on a 12 when Dealer shows 2

This one divides Players a lot as plenty won’t want to risk Busting. However, there are plenty of cards that can save a Dealer who has a 2, so instead of hoping they Bust, take another card and try and get a better total.

Doubling 11 when Dealer shows Ace

Any time the Dealer has an Ace you need to be cautious. Just Hit instead of Doubling, there is no point betting more money against the Dealers Ace.

Hitting 2/2 when Dealer shows 7

Another important one of our Blackjack tips. Twos are actually reasonable cards to start with for a Player. It is likely the Dealer has a “stiff hand” or a 17, therefore Split that 2/2 and make some money.

Hitting 4/4 when Dealer shows 6

There is a consensus that you should Double 4/4 against a 6 to try and maximize your returns as the Dealer has a high chance of Busting, but we would recommend you Split the hand against a dealer 6. When the Dealer shows a 6, you generally want to play as many hands as possible because the Dealer is likely to Bust.

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What is the Goal of Blackjack?

The goal of blackjack is quite simple. All you have to do is beat the Dealer’s hand. To do this, you need to get as close to 21, without exceeding that number. Reaching an exact 21 is an automatic victory.


How are Cards Valued in Blackjack?

In blackjack, numbered cards from 2 to 10 are also counted at face value. The Royal cards each count as a 10. This includes the Jack, Queen and King. The ace is unique, in that it can be counted as both a 1 and an 11, depending on the need.


What Does Hit Mean in Blackjack?

This is a simple one. All hit means is, is taking an additional card from the dealer. After the initial cards have been dealt, a player can decide whether they want to take a hit or stay their hand.


What Does It Mean to Stay in Blackjack?

To stay is the opposite of to hit when it comes to blackjack. If taking a hit means taking an additional card, staying refers to leaving your hand as is. The higher one’s cards are, the likelier it is that they will stay their hand.


Do I Hit on a 10 in Blackjack?

It is considered common knowledge among blackjack players that you should hit on an 8 or less. However, when playing certain games, you will have to decide whether taking a risk is worth it or not. If the dealer is sitting at a three, then hitting on a 10 comes highly recommended.


Do I Hit on a 15 in Blackjack?

Another piece of common knowledge is that, while you hit on an 8 or less, you stand on anything over 12. But, as we said, every game is different. If the dealer seems to have taken the upper hand, sometimes you might want to hit a 15 as well.


What is Splitting in Blackjack?

When it comes to blackjack, splitting refers to the practice of dividing a hand into two separate hands. This can be done when a player is dealt two of the same on the first hand. For example, if you are dealt two Aces in the hand, you can split your hand and play it as two hands instead.


Should I Always Split in Blackjack?

Gambling is not a hard science. The best way to decide when to split cards and when not to, is during the game itself. You must weigh the pros and the cons of the split and make a decision right there and then. However, generally speaking, it is not a good idea to always split your hand in blackjack. However, there are instances when it is much better to split your hand, then to keep it as one.


When Should I Split my Cards in Blackjack?

Most pros will tell you that the best time to split your cards is when you get two aces. The reason for this is because when you get two aces, one is considered an 11 and the other is valued at 1. This means that the only way to reach 21 is by getting a 9, which is highly unlikely. So it is much better to play with two different Aces, each valued at 11, because there are more cards valued at 10 than at 9. Another pair that you should always split is a pair of 8s.


Why Should I Always Split 8s in Blackjack?

It is one of the most basic strategies in blackjack to split 8s, regardless of the Dealer’s hand. So why is this? Well, according to most top tier gamblers, a 16 is a breaking hand, and puts the player in an unfavorable position. It is much better to work your way up from an 8, then to hope for the best with a 16.

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