H is for Hole-card



H. 1) See hit. 2) See hole-card.

H-17. (Or H17) Acronym for dealer hits soft 17.

HA. See house advantage.Geoff Hall

Hall, Geoff. Inventor of Blackjack Switch and other table games.  Interviewed on the Gambling with an Edge podcast in 2012.
[ PODCAST: May 25, 2012 ] [ BlackjackInfo.com Interview ]

21 NewsHall, Michael R. (aka Abdul Jalib and Abdul Jalib M’Hall)  An elected co-moderator and long-time contributor to rec.gambling.*.  According to Hall, he is (was?) a professional gambler (mostly blackjack and poker) and has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.  In addition to being one of the two elected moderators, Michael Hall was the rec.gambling.blackjack.moderated robomoderator system administrator.  Editor of the short-lived newsletter 21 News in 1990/1991.  See Michael Solinas.
[ rgbm-request@posev.com ]
[ BJRNET ARTICLES: Michael Hall ] [ lowlimitholdem.com ] [ 888casino.com ]

Hall of FameSee Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Halloween Blackjack BallHalloween Blackjack Ball.  (HBB) On October 29, 2005, Viktor Nacht and Max Rubin hosted the first annual HBB.  This was meant to allow fellow Internet community members to meet in a safe environment, mingle with established and rising gaming celebrities and authors and see and be seen by the producers of the then-new Ultimate Blackjack Tour.   The HBB event occurred once more, on October 28, 2006.
[ Web Archive 2007 ]


According to the HBB disclaimer, Viktor Nacht’s Halloween Blackjack Ball was not affiliated with, but was an utter and blatant rip-off of, Max Rubin’s illustrious but private Blackjack Ball. :-)

Halves Count. See Wong Halves.

Hammer. (aka “The Hammer”) An intricate team-betting shuffle tracking and sequencing technique dubbed by Rob Reitzen.
[ bjinsider.com ] [ classic.esquire.com ]

hand. The cards dealt to or held by the players. Also called the deal.  There are 55 different player hands that are possible.  There are also 10 different dealer up-cards that are possible.  Thus, there are a total of 550 different hands possible.  An estimate of the typical number of hands per hour that a player can receive in blackjack is:


Hands per Hour

[ FROM Casino Operations Management by Kilby, Jim, Fox, Jim, Lucas, Anthony F. ]

hand-held. A reference to a hand held single- or double-deck game.

hand-held multi-deck games. The casinos are always trying to find ways to fool you.  This is really a 5 to 8-deck game that is shuffled every deck or less.  Al Rogers (from BJ21.com) writes, “There usually is a sign on the table that reads ‘Hand-Held Multi-Deck Game,’ though the casino will frequently try to hide the sign behind ashtrays or other objects on the table.
[ BJ21.com ]

handle. The total amount of money exchanging hands between a player and the house.  Sometimes referred to as a player’s action.

Handy Man. Winner of the Munchkin Award at the 26th (2023) annual Blackjack Ball.

hanger. Paper money that hasn’t dropped completely into the drop box and usually due to a bent corner. See earring.
[ 80 Solkey Dummy Up and Deal 112 ]

hard. As in hard hand. A hand without an ace that can be counted as 11. A hard count would be the value of a hard hand.

Harris, BrettAccording to his bio, “Brett Harris received his Ph.D. in physics (in the area of Quantum Gravity). He developed an interest in blackjack in the late 1990s. Along with Karel Janecek and others, he was instrumental in the development of what has become known as ‘Optimal Betting Theory’, and the discovery that it was possible to calculate a true count for unbalanced counting systems. He is famous for his UNBALO unbalanced count system to beat the OVER/UNDER 13 side bet at blackjack…” See BRH count.  See Ubalo.  See Pete Moss. MORE INFO
[ bjinsider.com ]

Hascik, George. Team leader for the famous Czech Team, who reportedly took millions off the tables of casinos worldwide in the late 1970s. Hascik was born in communist Czechoslovakia but escaped in the early 1970s to Austria.  In a refugee camp in Austria, Hascik met John Vogel and Walter Spengler who would later become members of the Czech Team.
[ ARCHIVE: kasino.cz ] [ Legends of Blackjack ]

HC. 1) Acronym for high card as in a ten, jack, queen, king, or ace. 2) Acronym for hole-card or hole-carding.

HCS. Acronym used in this book to refer to a hole-card strategy.

head-on. See head-up.

head to head. See head-up.

head-up. (or heads up) As in a head-up game. Also called head-on. To play alone with the dealer. Card counters generally find it significantly more advantageous to play head-up in single-deck games. The game is faster and you tend to get deeper penetration than when several players are being dealt to.

healing. To stand a stack of checks on the end of another check.

Ace of Heartsheart. The red figure  heart marking one of the four suits of playing cards. See suit.
[ Wiki: Suit (cards) ]

heat. The actions or comments by casino personnel that lead a player to believe that he is suspected of cheating or card counting. The intent, from the casino’s point of view, is to try to make the player nervous. Heat is a form of harassment and a countermeasure from casino personnel.  Floormen and pit staff may talk to the counter and attempt to distract him/her to break them off the count. See game control.  See camouflage.

Heath, David Clay. Co-developer of the Fristedt-Heath System, an ultimate point count system.
[ David Heath reports ]

Hecher System. {TCS}. (Hecher ?).  See Goldberg Computer System.  See Archer System.

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 -2

BC = .72 PE = .61 IC = 1.0

[ 70 Noir Casino Holiday ] [ 88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 124 ]

Heller, StevenDeveloper of Clump Card Blackjack.

hen pecking. See high-low pickup.

hidden blackjack computers. See computers (concealed).

Highest Hand Bet. (c2016) An online blackjack side-bet option available in the Jackpot blackjack game by Dragonfish.  Requires the player to play 2 or 3 hands.  If he bets on at least 2 hands, then he can bet on which one will have the higher total after two cards. (HA ~ 1.36% to 2.6%)
[ wizardofodds.com ]

HighHand BlackjackHighHand Blackjack. (HHBJ) A blackjack variation invented by Burton Winslow where players make a side bet into a progressive jackpot. Players are betting that they alone will have the highest hand at the table.  All dealer wins and player ties cause the jackpot to roll over.
[ gamesmarketing.com ] [ prostarzgaming.com ] [ YOUTUBE ]

*Hi-Lo. (1) {PCS/L1}. Also called the High-Low or Plus-Minus count. Originally proposed by Harvey Dubner in 1963 and later refined by Julian Braun and Stanford Wong.  One of the most popular balanced card counting systems ever used. See Dubner High-Low, Braun High-Low, Wong High-Low, and Thorp Complete Point-Count.  (2) See Hi-Lo (side bet) listing below.

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
-1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 -1

BC = .97 PE = .51 IC = .76

[ 9/91 Wong Professional Blackjack ] [ 9/91 Snyder The High-Low Lite BJF 6 ] [ 01/23 Schlesinger/Brolley The Hi-Lo Card Counting System: A Complete Guide to Index Play ] [ Qfit.com: Card counting Hi-Lo ] [ Cacarulo: Want to improve your Hi-Lo count? ] [ Wizard: Introduction to Hi-Lo Count ]

Hi-Lo Count H17 DAS

Hi-Lo H17 DAS Back

Example of a custom made Hi-Lo count strategy card

Andy Bloch Teaches the Hi-Lo Count

Hi-Lo. (2) A side bet that pays off if the player’s first card will be higher or lower than the dealer’s up card. See link below for more information.
[ wizardofodds.com ]

high-low pickup. {CHS} (aka Hen Pecking) Picking up high cards and low cards separately for the purpose of cheating.  A dealer may pick up all the high cards and then all the low cards and then attempt to control these cards through the shuffle.  Since the dealer knows where the different slugs of high and low cards are he can control who gets them.

High Tie Blackjack.  (HT) (c2004) A blackjack side bet from Gaming Entertainment, IncPlayers have a choice of betting that their first card ties the dealer.  The exact denomination must tie so, for example, Jacks don’t tie other 10-value cards.  Or the player’s and dealer’s first cards combine to make a blackjack.  Winning blackjack and tie bets each pay 5-1, with house edges in a six-deck game of 4.7 percent on blackjack and 8.8 percent on ties. Matches pay 16-1 with a house edge of 1.6 percent in a six-deck game.
[ 888casino.com ] [ grochowski.casinocitytimes.com ]

Hinton, Joe.  See Richard Canfield

Hi-Opt.  See below.

*Hi-Opt I. {PCS/L1}. (Charles Einstein / Lance Humble). A balanced card counting system originally devised by Charles Einstein in 1968 and refined and further developed by Lance Humble (1974) and Julian Braun. The Hi-Opt strategies were very popular during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Multi-parameters were added in 1976. See Einstein Count.

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 -1

BC = .88 PE = .61 IC = .85

[ 80 Revere Playing Blackjack as a Business 173 ] [ 87 Humble World’s Greatest Blackjack Book ] [ 77 C&S Vol.1, 47 ] [ qfit.com ]

*Hi-Opt II. {PCS/L2}. (Lance Humble) (c1976).  This balanced count, introduced a few years after Hi-Opt I, was considered by many to be the most powerful card counting system on the market at the time. In addition to the regular count, players were advised to keep a side count of 8’s and 9’s in addition to aces. Also referred to as the Steppine Count.

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0 1 1 2 2 1 1 0 0 -2

BC = .91 PE = .67 IC = .91

[ 80 Revere Playing Blackjack as a Business 177 ] [ 3/81 Snyder Blackjack Forum 15 ] [ 87 Humble World’s Greatest Blackjack Book ] [ 77 C&S Vol.1, 47 ] [ qfit.com ]

Hi-Opt Multi-Parameter. {PCS/U}. (Lance Humble) TBD
[ 87 Humble World’s Greatest Blackjack Book ]

high card. Typically a reference to a ten-valued card, however, occasionally a 9 is considered a high card. An ace can be considered a high card for betting purposes and a low card for playing purposes. See low card. See neutral card.

high-card clumping. When high cards clump together. See clumping.

high roller. A player who wagers large amounts of money. See big player.
[ 87 Casino Ratings For High Rollers BJF ] [ 87 A High Roller Gets Rolled BJF ] [ 12/89 Hound Tips for High Rollers BJF ]

Hirschtick, Jon. An original 1980s MIT Blackjack Team member for 10 years.

Click Me!history. The Blackjack Review Network began a blackjack historical event database in 2016.  You can help improve the database by submitting historical items using this form. We are looking for exact dates preferably (or month and year) that are primarily blackjack or card counting related.  Other historical events may also be appropriate.  Examples of items include births, deaths, casino opening/closing, Blackjack Ball, Blackjack Hall of Fame, book and article publishing, legal events, big wins or losses, barrings, entertainment, team events, systems, movies, awards, web sites, etc.
[ blackjackhistory.com ] [ blackjackforumonline.com ] [ blackjackapprenticeship.com ] [ 888casino.com ] [ parlettgames.uk ]

Blackjack History

hit. To draw additional cards beyond the original two cards in an attempt to improve the hand. Hit cards are typically dealt to the player face up and on the layout such that both digits and the center spot are exposed.  To signal for a hit, scratch the felt with your finger or fingers toward you (face up game) or similarly with your cards (in a face down game).  See stand.

Hit me easy! Circa 1950 - Las Vegas ?
Las Vegas Postcard – Circa 1950

hit and run. {CS}. To enter a game, play a hand or two, and leave. A strategy of playing only those games where the count indicates a player advantage. See Wonging. See back counting.

Hit and Run. (c2011) A progressive blackjack side bet that pays if the dealer gets a blackjack or at least 5 cards.
[ wizardofodds.com ]

hit-card. See hit.

Hit-Me BJ. {BS}. (c1980?). Warcy Cards, Vista, CA. A $10 plastic coated deck of playing cards on which the basic strategy is printed in as many as 8 colors for 10 different situations.
[ 80 C&S Vol.10,30 ]

hit soft 17. (H-17). A rule requiring the dealer to hit all soft 17’s. This rule was prevalent in Reno and downtown Las Vegas in the 1990s. H-17 card counting variations (versus S-17) affect the indices to the greatest extent when the dealer shows a 6 or an Ace. See soft 17.  PA = -.2%

HNF Count. {PCS/L3}. (????).  HNF stands for “High Normal Form“.

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 1 1 2 2 1 1 0 0 -2

BC = .83 PE = .67 IC = .93

An unbalanced count with an IRC (Initial Running Count) of -4 x Number of Decks.  For betting accuracy, the Ace should be side counted as -3.
[ blackjacktheforum.com ]

HP. Acronym for Huntington Press. Publisher Anthony Curtis is the author of the excellent publication Las Vegas Advisor.

The Hobbit An alias of course.  Winner of the 1998 and 2005 “Blackjack Cup” at Max Rubin’s annual Blackjack Ball.  According to Rubin, The Hobbit is “… one of blackjack’s most dangerous players, he’s scary smart and has successfully plied his trade against the casinos for two decades.
[ maxrubin.com ]

hold. A casino term for the percentage of the drop which is retained by the casino. The hold or the drop should not be confused with the theoretical percentage edge (house advantage) that a casino has on an individual play.



[ 82 Griffin Diff. Ways to Desc. Win Rate… Vol.20,57 ] [ 90 Chambliss Fundamentals of Blackjack 203 ] [ 90 Zender Card Counting for the Casino Executive 15 ]

From Dustin D. Mark's CAB 2000

hole-card. The face down card that the dealer deals to himself. In most casinos the dealer will peek at his hole-card if his up-card is an ace. In Nevada some casinos will also peek under their tens but this practice is becoming rarer due to casino awareness of tell play strategies. In Atlantic City and on some cruise ships the dealer will wait until all the players have finished their hands before revealing it. In Europe, no hole-card is drawn until all the players have finished with their hands.  See Rules of the Game.  See exposed hole-card.
[ Photo Credit: Dealer Peeking at Hole-Card (Courtesy Dustin D. Mark’s CAB 2000) ]

hole-card play. {HCS} aka hole-carding or holecarding. A play that is based on the knowledge of the dealer’s hole-card.  Perfect play can get the player an advantage of up to 13%. Techniques to acquire this knowledge include front loading and spooking. Although hole-card play opportunities may exist from time to time due to dealer error they usually are created by the AP.  Areas to investigate include flawed layouts, obstacles and novice / inexperienced dealers.  In 1984, hole-card play was determined to be a legal advantage play technique for players by the Nevada Supreme Court. See exposed hole-card. See exposed hole-card basic strategy.  See next-carding.
[ 81 Uston Million Dollar Blackjack ] [ 9/85 Snyder Hole Card Play Now Legal BJF 28 ] [ 90 Zender Card Counting for the Casino Executive 90 ] [ Tips For Beginners ] [ qfit.com ] [ 888casino.com ] [ 888casino.com ] [ blackjackforumonline.com ] [ 21 Snyder Radical Blackjack 189 ] [ CVHoleCard ] [ holecardtrainer.com

Hole Carding

Holiday Count.  See One-Two Count and J. Noir Count by Jacques Noir.

home run table. A hot table. A table that has just previously been very favorable for the players.
[ 85 Patterson TARGET Manual ]

Honcho. Won the 2009 “Grosjean Cup” at Max Rubin’s annual Blackjack Ball.

Hondi, Charles. An advantage player that has been interviewed on the Gambling with an Edge podcast.
[ PODCASTS: Jun 15, 2017]

Honey Bonus. (c2019) A blackjack side bet by BetConstruct.  According to their online about page, BetConstruct is a “global award-winning technology and services provider for online and land-based gaming industry“.  Wins are based on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card.  HA ~  13% – 15% .
[ BetConstruct.com ] [ wizardofodds.com ]

Hopper T. Developer of the T-H and Bushido card counting systems.  T. Hopper created a counter’s oriented basic strategy that optimizes the winnings for card counters without changing strategy with the count.
[ bjrnet.com/thop/ ]

hopping the deck.   {CHS} The dealer action of nullifying a player’s cut of the cards and thus returning them to their original pre-cut order.
[ 99 The Blackjack Glossary BJ21.com ]

hot. As in a hot deck. 1) A deck or shoe that has just previously been very favorable. 2) A deck or shoe that is favorable to the player, that is, with a high plus count. See cold.

house. The casino or bank. The establishment running the blackjack game.

house advantage. (HA). Also called the house edge, house odds, cut, take, or PC. The theoretical advantage that the casino has on a bet. Usually represented as a positive (+) percentage value. The HA can also be defined as the ratio of the gambler’s expected net loss to his expected amount of action. See advantage.   See hold.  See expectation.
[ 81 Ethier The House Advantage ] [ 87 Clark The Dictionary of Gambling & Gaming 105 ] [ wizardofodds.com ]

house edge. See house advantage.

house dealer. A dealer who wants to win every hand for the casino.

house money. The urban definition of playing in a gambling game and in the black (i.e., winning)  and feeling good. The attitude is that if you lose it is not your money but the house’s money.  Of course this is silly… once the money has been won by you it is entirely yours.

House MoneyHouse Money (aka House Money 21) (c2012) A blackjack side bet from Bally Technologies and Roger Snow of Shuffle Master.  According to their literature:  House Money is an exciting blackjack side bet. The object is to get one of the following two-card starting hands: Ace-King Suited, Straight Flush, Pair, or Straight. If players start with one of these hands, they may take down their winnings or they may add them to their standard blackjack wager, letting them play with … House Money!  Players must make a standard blackjack wager. They may also make the House Money wager for any amount within the posted limits. Players will then get their first two cards.  The House Money bet wins if a player’s first two cards are:

  • Ace-King
  • Suited Straight
  • Flush Pair
  • Straight

If the House Money bet wins, players may collect the proceeds (winnings and original bet), or they may add them to their standard blackjack wager.  If the dealer has blackjack then players must collect their proceeds. 
[ ARCHIVE: sggaming.com ] [ wizardofodds.com ] [ discountgambling.net ]

house shuffle. The shuffle designated by casino policy. Often, house shuffles are predictable and can be exploited by individuals knowledgeable in the intricacies of shuffle tracking.

Howie’s Angels. (c1980s) A reference to the attractive women hired by counter catcher Howard Grossman to flirt with suspected big players who were suspected of having team affiliations.
[ Blackjack Forum Online ] [ ARCHIVE: Howie’s Angels ] [ 00 May Get the Edge in Blackjack 77 ]

HPH. Acronym for Hands Per Hour.

Cat HulbertHSA. Acronym for hit after splitting aces.

BJHFHulbert, Cathy.  (aka Cat) (1950 – Sept 20, 2022) Former professional gambler, poker player and card counter.  Part of Ken Uston’s 1979 team in Atlantic City and a former member of the Czech team.  Cat was one of the world’s first professional female card counters.  Card Player magazine named her one of the top 7-card stud players in the world in 1996. According to Max Rubin, “Cat was selected as one of BBC’s 100 Women of 2016 – an honor given to ‘high profile women from the spheres of entertainment, sport, business and politics.’ Chosen for being the first woman to break through the glass ceiling of professional blackjack in 1978, she played on the Czechoslovakian blackjack team in over 300 casinos world-wide. Cat’s aggressive play and fearlessness changed many opinions on the mathematical and emotional capabilities of women to bet-it-up under pressure.Author of Outplaying the Boys: Poker Tips for Competitive Women.  A 2022 member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
[ WIKIPEDIA ] [ bbc.com ] [ YOUTUBE ] [ 03 Gambling Wizards 191 ] [ PODCAST: Apr 12, 2013 ]

Blair HullBJHFHull, Blair. (Born Sept 3, 1942) Hull applied his mathematics skills to the Las Vegas blackjack tables in the 1970s.  He devised intricate mathematical formulas that called for a skilled team of blackjack players to help determine when and how to bet. Reportedly, the team consistently turned a profit. Their story is outlined in the book The Big Player by Ken Uston. Hull founded the Hull Trading Co. in 1995, and sold it to Goldman Sachs in 1999, for $531 million.  According to Wikipedia, Blair Hull is an American businessman, investor, Democratic politician and philanthropist.  In 2022, Hull received the first ever Ed Thorp Lifetime Achievement Award at the Blackjack Ball and was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
[ WIKIPEDIA ] [ Blackjack Hall of Fame ] [ PODCAST: May 24, 2016 ]

Humble, Lance HumbleLance(aka Igor Kusyszyn) (April 17, 1939 – Nov 11, 2015) Originally from Pidhaitsi, Ukraine, Humble co-authored the book The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book with Carl Cooper and developed the Hi-Opt I and Hi-Opt II card counting systems.  Humble was president of International Gaming, Inc. and a former psychology professor at York University in Toronto, Canada.  A nominee for the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
[ ARCHIVE: blackjackbomb.com ] [ OBITUARY ] [ Interview ]



hustling. See toke hustling.

HWR. An NBJ acronym for hands won ratio.

Hyland Team TBD – See below.

Tommy Hyland ... Well maybe :-)BJHFHyland, Tommy.  (Born c1956) Manager of one of the longest running and successful blackjack teams in history.  A 2003 member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Mentioned in the books Gambling Wizards by Richard Munchkin and Legends of Blackjack by Kevin Blackwood.
[ Blackjack Hall of Fame ] [ Dec 95 Tommy Hyland Team Trial in Windsor BJF ]
[ WIKIPEDIA ] [ ARCHIVE: blackjackbomb.com ] [ blackjackforumonline.com ] [ YOUTUBE ] [ blackjackapprenticeship.com ] [ PODCAST: Dec 13, 2013 ]


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