S … is for Shuffle

Previous PageNext PageTHE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CASINO TWENTY-ONE
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ

$. Typically used in the literature to mean high stakes are available (e.g., > $100).

S. See stand. See P.

S7. See Super 7s.

S-17. (Or S17) See soft 17.

S21. See Spanish 21.

SafeChipThe player chips used at a SafeJack table.

SafeJack Table DescriptionSafeJack(c1997) The SafeJack system uses sensors and computer technology to quantify player wages. Special casino chips are used that incorporate microchips and a low frequency radio antenna to identify wagers.  (Sample Computer Display ImageThis image came from SafeJack advertising. It displays a player rating report captured in real time that shows player’s name, account number, handle, average bet, number of decisions and win/loss data. In this example, this player played 107 hands, had a handle of $12,350, an average bet of $115.42 and lost exactly $837.50 in 78 minutes.) Mikohn gaming discontinued this product in favor of its TableLink system.  See SafeChip.
[ Chips | Keypad | Computer | Shoe | Sign ]
[ http://www.mikohn.com/ ] [ 6 Blackjack Confidential Feb 1997 ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikohn_Gaming ]

sandwich Term used for placing a lower denomination chip between 2 larger denomination chips, with the hope that the dealer will not notice and pay off as 3 large chips.  Usually only possible if the lower domination chip is similar in color to the larger one.

Saunders, DanielOne of the many aliases Ken Uston used during his blackjack career.   See Dr. John Wasserman.
[79 Uston One Third of a Shoe]
[4/16/79 Sports Illustrated]

SBA. Acronym for the blackjack simulation software Statistical Blackjack Analyzer by Karel Janecek.

Scan Techniques. {CS} (John Julian) (1992) Techniques that non-counters can use to gain a slight advantage in single-deck games.
[92 Julian No-Nonsense Guide to Winning Blackjack]

Scarne, John. aka Orlando Carmelo Scarnecchia (March 4, 1903 – July 7, 1985)  By the mid-1950s, John Scarne had authored a half-dozen books on gambling and games.  By the time he published his New Complete Guide to Gambling, in 1961, he was considered one of the ‘World’s Foremost Gambling Authorities’.  In 1962, Ed Thorp’s book Beat the Dealer came out and changed everything.  Scarne did everything to discredit Thorp and eventually Scarne’s credibility was tarnished.
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Scarne ]
[ http://www.blackjackreview.com/wp/encyclopedia/books-with-bj/#JohnScarne ]

Schlesinger, Donald (Born 1946) Author, researcher, columnist, gaming mathematician and editor of numerous blackjack books including this book. Author of the book Blackjack Attack and a regular contributor to Blackjack Forum and the online discussions on bj21.com.  A 2014 member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.  See SCORE.  See Illustrious 18.  See Fab 4.
[ Don Schlesinger’s Basic Strategy Cards ]
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Schlesinger ]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackjack_Hall_of_Fame ]
[ http://www.blackjackbomb.com/don-schlesinger/ ]
[ https://www.gamblingsites.org/biographies/don-schlesinger/ ]

Schipani, FrankSee Al Francesco.

Schwartz, Howard. Since 1979, Howard Schwartz has been marketing director for the Gambler’s Book Club / Shop.   Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., he earned graduate degrees from Kansas State University and the University of Northern Colorado (Greely) in Technical Journalism and Secondary Education (Reading Specialist).  He worked for newspapers in New York, Montana, Nevada, California and Missouri, plus The Associated Press. He considers himself, in reality, a “librarian for gamblers,” and has helped edit more than 40 books published by the GBC. Schwartz has written book reviews for five gaming publications, weekly and monthly and, according to sources, has read more than 100 books a year related to the gaming industry. See Gambler’s Book Club.
[ PHOTO: Howard Schwartz ]

Scobe, King See Frank Scoblete.

Scoblete, Frank (Born 1947) aka King Scobe. Author of several books on blackjack and gambling including Best Blackjack and the Armada Strategies for Spanish 21.  Developer of the Speed Count.
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Scoblete ]

SCORE. (1999) Term coined by Don Schlesinger that stands for Standardized Comparison Of Risk and Expectation – a methodology for evaluating different games based on the number of decks, rules, penetration, and bet spread. Initial computer simulation work was performed by John Auston.
[ Sum 99 Schlesinger Blackjack Forum 07 ] [ 97 Schlesinger Blackjack Attack ] [ 2010 Wattenberger Modern Blackjack 99 ]

scratch. A player’s motion to the dealer to indicate a hit. This is done by scraping the edge of the cards, in face down games, or the finger, in face up games, on the layout.

SD. 1) Acronym for standard deviation. 2) Acronym for South Dakota.

seconds. {CHS}. A cheating technique where the top card of the deck is not dealt. Seconds generally refers to the dealing of the second card from the top of the deck, however, expert cheats, magicians, and dealers can also deal thirds and bottoms. See peeking.
[66 Thorp Beat the Dealer 150]
[12/81,3/82 Case The Second Deal BJF]
[9/90 Collier The Second Deal BJF]

2nd Chance Blackjack. A blackjack variation offered for about 2 months at the Western Hotel in downtown Las Vegas (c1984?). In this game, after your first hand is decided, you have the option of playing a second hand, at a bet of up to the amount you wagered on your first hand, against the same dealer hand.
[1/84 Wong Nevada Blackjack 15]

SECT. {STS} (Michael Dalton) This stands for Shuffle Enhancement and Cutting Technique and is a methodology for creating a basic strategy for shuffle tracking multi-deck shoe games. The player is not required to actually track the shoe but must be able to identify the type of shuffle a casino generally uses (e.g., 2 stack simple shuffle?, zone shuffle?, single plugging?, double plugging?) In other words, if you only know the shuffle and the end-count (or other section count) then you know where to best cut the cards.
[90 Dalton The Florida Cruise Ship Report]

See-Thru 21. See Double Exposure.

self control. See discipline.

sequence. As in a rising or falling sequence.  A rising sequence is a reference to a rising of card suits and denomination (e.g., 2§ , 3§ , 4§ , 5§ ).   A falling sequence is a  reference to a falling of card suits and denomination (e.g., 5§ , 4§ , 3§ , 2§ ).  See sequencing.

sequencing or sequence trackingSee location play.  See ace tracking.

Seri 1 Count. {PCS/L3}

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

BC = .98 PE = .56

[88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 124]

Seri 2 Count. {PCS/L3} See Wong’s Halves.

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

BC = .99 PE = .57

[88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 124]

Seri 3 Count. {PCS/L3}

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

BC = .97 PE = .63

[88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 124]

Seri 5 Count. {PCS/L5}

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

BC = 1.00 PE = .57

[88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 124]

session. As in a one hour session.  A time period usually used for recording the results of play.  According to the editor of this book recording the results of your blackjack sessions is a key element to success in this game.   See session bankroll.

session bankroll. See bankroll.

seven card Charlie. See Charlie.

seventeen-card cut. {STS}. This is a card location tactic which requires that the player see the bottom card before the cut. If the table is full (7 players) the known card is 17 cards from the bottom of the deck or stack. If one card is burned the bottom card will become the dealer’s hole-card. See location betting.
[90 Zender Card Counting for the Casino Executive]
[92 Wong Basic Blackjack]

Seven to 1 Blackjack. (c2014) TCS John Huxley. A blackjack side bet that pays 7 to 1 if the player’s first two cards AND the dealer’s card are all the same color AND the player wins the bet.  IMAGE1 IMAGE2

SFL Acronym for Split For Less.
[ https://www.888casino.com/blog/blackjack-tips/splitting-for-less-in-blackjack/ ]

Shackleford, Michael … is the Wizard of OddsA mathematician and actuary and best known for his analysis of casino games. Shackleford won the 2011 “Grosjean Cup” at Max Rubin’s annual Blackjack Ball.
[ http://www.maxrubin.com/ball_past_winners.html ]
[ http://wizardofodds.com/ ]
[ http://wizardofvegas.com/ ]

Shelly II. A card counting system. 

shift. The 8 hours a day a typical dealer works. Three shifts (graveyard, day, and swing) make up a full day.
[80 Solkey Dummy Up and Deal 117]

shift boss. The casino employee who controls the casino on his shift and reports to the casino manager. See pit boss.

shill. An employee of the casino who acts like a player and bets casino money in order to attract players and stimulate interest in the game. Shills generally follow what are referred to as shill rules: They never double down, split, or insure and often stand on stiff hands. Shills are legal in Nevada but regulations [NGC §23.065] state that no more than four shills may play in any card game at the same time. According to regulations issued by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission it is unlawful for Atlantic City casinos to use shills.
[1/89 Morningstar Blackjack Confidential 28]

Shills can be used by mechanically inclined dealers to cheat players. This is done by having the shill take good cards destined for another player or forcing bad cards on another player.

Shoeshoe. The container from which multiple-deck games are dealt from. These boxes are usually made of plastic and come in different sizes to accommodate 4, 6, or 8 decks.  Before Ed Thorp’s book Beat the Dealer (c1962), all blackjack was dealt from a single deck.   Shoes were introduced to make it more difficult to count and had the added benefit of increasing the casino advantage. 
[80 Braun How to Play Winning Blackjack 93]
[9/86 Schlesinger Attacking the Shoe BJF 5]
[2/90 Marshall Automatic Shoe WIN 30]

The player should be aware that a shoe can be rigged so that the dealer can peek at the top card before dealing and deal seconds if wanted.

short deck. To remove cards from a deck (or shoe) to improve the odds of winning. A cheating dealer would want to remove tens whereas a cheating player would want to remove low cards (i.e., 4’s, 5’s and 6’s). A short deck can also refer to a deck (or shoe) in which cards have been added.
[88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 65]

short-run. As opposed to long-run. A short period of time usually measured in days, a weekend, or a small number of bets.

short-run strategy. A strategy used to optimize a player’s chances of winning a particular bet or series of bets. Also called a hedge strategy. Progressive betting systems would fit in this category. Most short run strategies have the characteristic of winning most of the time for the player. However, the wins generated by using these types of strategies are generally small in relation to the money put at risk and the player usually has a high probability of eventually being wiped out if play continues. See long-run strategy.

short shoe. See short deck.

shot. Dealer’s slang for an illegal move by a player.

shuffle. To mix the cards in a random manner prior to play. The process a dealer goes through after all cards are dealt to the players. Although the basic definition of shuffle is to randomly mix the cards it is rare to find games that truly have a random distribution. It can be proven that randomness does not occur in a single-deck of cards until that deck is shuffled at least 7 times. See amateur shuffle, perfect shuffle, random shuffle, zone shuffle, stutter shuffle, strip shuffle. See riffle.
[9/85 Player Card Behavior & Shuffling GT 82]
[86 Patterson Break the Dealer 71]
[6/87 Snyder The Human Shuffle BJF 16]
[3/90 Chuman The Science of Shuffling WIN 56]
[3/90 Snyder Ruffled by the Shuffle BJF 5]

shuffle card. See cut card.

shuffle check. Some casinos require a floorman to check a dealer’s shuffle before inserting the final product into the shoe or before beginning the second shuffle of the cards. After riffling each deck portion a dealer would create a stack of cards but not press the two halves together. This would allow the floorman to verify a good mix had been accomplished. See tail checking.

shuffle machine. A mechanical or electronic device that shuffles the cards.  The are several varieties of these machines which include continuous shuffling machines (CSM) which continuously mix used cards back into the pack and automatic shuffling machines (ASM) which shuffle an entire pack of cards from one to eight decks all at once.  See Shuffle Master.
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuffling_machine ]

Shuffle Master. (SM) (NASDAQ:SHFL) An automatic shuffling machine designed and built by Shuffle Master, Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn. At time of writing many of these machines were being used at blackjack tables throughout the world.  This company develops, manufactures and markets automatic card shuffling equipment, table games and video/slot machine game software for the gaming industry.  Shuffle Master, Inc was incorporated in 1983.  Bally Technologies acquired them in 2013.
[ http://biz.yahoo.com./n/s/shfl.html ] [ http://gaming.unlv.edu/abstract/fin_shfl.html ] [ https://www.sggaming.com/Shuffle-Master ]
[ http://www.casinocenter.com/strictlyslots/archive/april99/html/behindthescenes.html ]

shuffle point. Also referred to as penetration point. A reference to the number of cards or decks a dealer deals before shuffling the cards. See penetration.

shuffle tracking. {STS}. As in to track the shuffle. Also called tracking the cutoffs. To track specific areas of a deck or decks through the shuffle process. As cards are dealt a player might mentally (or by use of chips or other devices) note the count value of specific areas of the deck(s). Using this knowledge the player, if given the cut card, can either cut these cards into or out of play. See location betting
[ 97 Goren Response to Arnold Snyder ]
[ XX Snyder Blackjack Forum Shuffle Tracking Series ]
[ 97 Goren Blackjack Review Shuffle Tracking Series ]
[ 92 Mesa Verde Shuffle Trak Software IBM ]
[ 91 Hall Shuffle Tracking Treatise ]
[ 90 Patterson Blackjack: A Winner’s Handbook 51 ]
[ 90 Zender Card Counting for the Casino Exec 79 ]
[ 10,11,12/89, 1/90 Olsen Blackjack Confidential ]
[ 9/88 Smallwood S.T. Can Cost You Money BJF 13 ]
[ 86 Patterson Break the Dealer 83 ]
[ 83 Snyder Blackbelt in Blackjack 87 ] [ http://myupperhand.com/Course.aspx ]

shuffle up. Also called preferential shuffle or breaking the deck.  A casino countermeasure where the dealer shuffles the cards before reaching the cut card or before the usual place for shuffling. Casinos often shuffle up on large bet players who enter games during the middle of a deck or shoe. This is done to discourage card counters. See game control.

side bet. A separate bet that can be placed before or during a regular blackjack game. Examples of blackjack side bets include insurance, Royal Match 21, and over/under. Excellent resources for understanding side bets can be found in Eliot Jacobson’s book Advanced Advantage Play and on apheat.net.
[ Jacobson Advanced Advantage Play ]
[ https://apheat.net/ ]

side count. As in to keep a side count of aces. A separate count of cards not normally counted as part of your card counting system.
[9/84 Snyder Can Side-Counting Make You a Super Counter? BJF 10]

side loading. The dealing practice of loading the hole-card from the side of the up-card. See front loading.

signals. As in signaling another team member. As a member of a blackjack team players are usually required to learn a method of secretly signaling other team members. This can be done by use of hand and body signals, verbal comments, or by use of a player’s chips or items used at a table.
[81 Uston Million Dollar Blackjack 174]
[81 Casino & Sports Vol.17, 10]

signature cards. {STS} Cards used to predict what the following cards are likely to be.   See steering. See ace tracking.  See location play.
[1997 Morse Blackjack Reality 98]

silver. 1) Silver dollars. 2) $1 chips or gaming tokens. Although silver is not typically used in casino gaming this term is still widely used to designate the metallic tokens used in $1 slot machines.

Silver Fox. See Ralph Stricker.

star.gif (5411 bytes)Silver Fox Count. (PCS/L1). (Ralph Stricker)  See Green Fountain Count.

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

BC = .96 PE = .54

[97 Stricker Silver Fox Blackjack System]
[ http://www.BJRnet.com/member/openfree_archive6/index.cgi?read=4472 ]

Silverthorne Blackjack Strategy {RWC ???} Silverthorne Publications, Inc.,  Albuquerque, NM.   According to the advertising, “The Silverthorne Blackjack Strategy is not a theoretical strategy or system developed by only using computer simulations — like most of the card counting systems. It is a practical set of rules developed playing real blackjack.”  Not recommended.
[ http://www.casinogamblersbookcase.com/blackjack.htm ]

Simmons, Wally According to Max Rubin, “Simmons is one of the smartest and most creative minds in the professional gambling world.  He is a long-term associate of the Tommy Hyland blackjack team, a computer whiz and a guy no one in their right mind ever takes a bet from.”  Simmons won the 1997 “Blackjack Cup” at Max Rubin’s annual Blackjack Ball.
[ http://www.maxrubin.com/ball_past_winners.html ]
[ http://www.bjinsider.com/newsletter_194_bjball.shtml ]

SIMSIMP. See listing under software.

SIN. Acronym for Surveillance Information Network.  See SSIN.

Singer, Bobby. Blackjack instructor.  Author of the blackjack course entitled The Bobby Singer Method – Winning At Blackjack.   See Mastering the Flow.  Author of the video Winning at Blackjack with Bobby Singer.
[ http://www.changetheodds.com/ ] [ http://www.gamblingtimes.com/writers/bsinger/ ]

Silver City Casino - Las Vegas 1999

single-deck. A game played with one 52 card deck and almost always hand held by the dealer. See double-deck. See shoe.   PA = +.02%  Assuming Las Vegas Strip rules.  See basic strategy section.
[ Photo by Michael Dalton: Silver City Casino – Las Vegas 1999 ]

[80 Wong Single-deck Penetration… C&S Vol.13, 18]
[1/81 Wong Single-deck Penetration… CBN]
[82 Math Analysis of Single-Deck Games BJF]
[82 Gwynn Single-Deck Computer Simulations BJF]
[87 Snyder Beat the Single-deck Game]
[88 Griffin Theory of Blackjack]
[12/89 William Judging Single-deck Games BJF]

Frequently Asked Question
Are single-deck games better than multi-deck games?

Situations and Sequence System. {BS}. (SSS) (Doug Grant).  ???

six card 21. A favorable rule option that gives the player with a 6-card hand of 21 or less an automatic win or possibly a 2 to 1 payoff instead of the normal even money. Available at the Las Vegas Tropicana and Four Queens casinos during 1991. The Las Vegas Club casino has also offered this rule option for many years. See Five Card 21.
[2/92 Olsen Blackjack Variations BJC 11]

six card Charlie. See Charlie.

six deck. A game played with six decks and dealt from a shoe.  PA = -.56%
[81 Atlantic City’s 6-Deck Games Analyzed BJF]
[87 Snyder Beat the Six Deck Game]

Sklansky, DavidAuthor and co-author of several excellent gambling and poker books.   Author of the book Sklansky Talks Blackjack.

Sklansky Key Card Concept. {PCS/U}. (David Sklansky) (c1977) An idea and concept for single-deck games. Based on the principle that there are times when the proportions of one or two denominations of cards have far more importance on your playing decisions than the count has. See DHM Ultimate.
[8/77 Gambling Times]
[82,89 Sklansky Getting the Best of It]

Skovand Single-Column. {PCS/L1}. (D. Skovand).

A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 +100

BC = -.59 PE = .13

[80 Revere Playing Blackjack as a Business 159]

sky. See eye-in-the-sky.

slot machines. Where all the noise is coming from when you play blackjack. Don’t be alarmed when you hear, every now and then, a little old lady screaming.

Sludikoff, Stanley RSee Stanley Roberts.

slugging. See plugging.

Smallwood, Jake. See Quick Count.

SmartShoe 21. According to the advertising, this is a “Powerful Counter Detection Tool” by Advanced Casino Technologies.  According to the patent abstract: “An integrated blackjack game control system having multiple sensors and output devices, electronic signal processing equipment, passive and active operator control devices, and a computer system. The system components are capable of being installed on or near existing blackjack tables and support equipment, and to operate with standard playing cards. The system performs several simultaneous functions to accelerate the play of a game of blackjack, enhance the shuffling process, and perform continuous monitoring of key dealer and table performance attributes.
[ Sum 2000 Blackjack Forum 19 ]
[ https://www.google.com/patents/US6126166 ]

Ken SmithSmith, Ken Creator of the excellent site BlackjackInfo.com.  According to his own biography, Ken is an “avid blackjack player for many years, I began playing seriously in the early 1990s when casino gambling arrived in my home state of Mississippi. In 1994, I participated in a blackjack tournament for the first time; I have been on the tournament trail ever since, tallying numerous big wins over the years. I have competed in literally thousands of tournament events and I continue to play regularly. Fans of blackjack tournaments should also visit my tournament-specific website BlackjackTournaments.com, where upcoming events are discussed, along with tournament strategy.
[ https://www.blackjackinfo.com/ken-smith/ ]

Solinas, Michael. An elected co-moderator and long-time contributor to rec.gambling.*.  He has published many articles on blackjack and has an A.B. in Statistics from U.C. Berkeley.

snapper. A blackjack or natural. The term snapper supposedly came from the early days of face down games when players would snap down their cards when they had a blackjack.

Arnold SnyderSnyder, Arnold aka Thomas Hoover.  A professional player and author of several excellent blackjack books including Blackbelt in Blackjack, Blackjack Wisdom, and The Big Book of Blackjack.  Known to many as the “Bish” or the “Bishop of Blackjack“.  Editor and publisher of Blackjack Forum magazine.  A 2002 member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.  See Zen Count. See Red Seven Count. See Bishop.  See Reports.
[ http://www.rge21.com ] [ http://www.blackjackforumonline.com ] [ http://www.livedealer.org/liveblackjack/blackjack21-tutorial/arnold-snyder.htm ]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackjack_Hall_of_Fame ] [ http://www.blackjackbomb.com/arnold-snyder/ ]

soft. A hand value in which an ace is counted as 11. Proper hitting of soft hands gives the player a .3% gain over a mimic the dealer strategy. See hard.

soft 17. (S-17). An advantageous rule for the player requiring the dealer to stand on all 17’s including those hands with an ace counting as 11. This rule was prevalent along the strip in Las Vegas and in Atlantic City in the 1990s. PA = +.2%. See hit soft 17.

soft double down If the casino rules allow it, you can also double your bet on the soft hands (e.g., A2, A3, A4, etc).  Here is the rhyme I used to remember the basic strategy decisions for multi-deck:
[ http://www.blackjackreview.com/wp/encyclopedia/basic-strategy/ ]

http://i0.wp.com/www.blackjackreview.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SoftDoubleDownRhyme.jpg?resize=274%2C246© Michael Dalton’s Soft Double Down Rhyme

SOMP. Acronym for Spur of the Moment Publishing which is owned and operated by Michael DaltonSOMP is the publisher of the Blackjack Review Network and this book.
[ https://www.BJRnet.com ] [ https://www.BlackjackReview.com ] [ https://www.BlackjackBooks.com ]

sorts or sorting. See Edge Sorting.

South Carolina. (SC)  In 2016, the state of South Carolina had 2 casinos with 15 blackjack tables.
[ https://www.qfit.com/maps.shtml ]

South Dakota. (SD) See Dakota.

S1.gif (1558 bytes)spade. The black figure marking one of the four suits of playing cards.

 

Spanish 21 Layout

Spanish 21. (S21) (c1995) This blackjack variation is played with a short pack and was introduced in the mid-1990s by Masque Publishing.   All 10s are removed from each deck, leaving only Aces through 9s and face cards.   According to an analysis by Stanford Wong this is equivalent to starting a shoe with a count per deck of -4, and costs you 2.3% compared to the use of full decks.   Casino advantages for several different game types are as follows:

  • H-17, 6 decks = .83%
  • H-17, 8 decks = .85%
  • S-17, 6 decks = .42%
  • S-17, 8 decks = .44%

Spanish21_bonuses.jpg (39316 bytes)On the positive side, this game has very liberal rules and are typically as follows:

  • Player blackjack always beats dealer’s blackjack and pays 3 to 2.
  • Player total of 21 always beats dealer’s total of 21 and are paid immediately.
  • Player may split cards of equal value including Aces up to 4 times.
  • Hitting and doubling after splitting cards, including Aces, is allowed.
  • Doubling down on any total and on any number of cards is allowed.
  • After doubling, if you are dissatisfied with your non-busted hand,  you may surrender.  This is called double-down rescue.
  • 5-card 21 pays 3 to 2.
  • 6-card 21 pays 2 to 1.
  • 7-card 21 pays 3 to 1.
  • 6-7-8 mixed pays 3 to 2.
  • 6-7-8 suited pays 2 to 1.
  • 6-7-8 spaded pays 3 to 1.
  • 7-7-7 mixed pays 3 to 2.
  • 7-7-7 suited pays 2 to 1.
  • 7-7-7 spaded pays 3 to 1.
  • Other bonuses may be available from time to time.

[ https://wizardofodds.com/games/spanish-21/ ]
[ 08 Walker Pros Guide to Spanish 21… ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_21 ]

Spanos, VasA blackjack instructor in Minnesota.  Vas Spanos Blackjack Experts, Inc.,  According to his bio, Vas Spanos is originally from Greece where he earned a B.S. in Mathematics.  In 1969, he moved to Canada and earned his M.S. degree.  In 1972, he moved to the United States and earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota where he taught mathematics until 1980.  His course advertising claims he can teach you a strategy that can give you an approximate 2% advantage over the house.  He also talks about the ability to take advantage of hot and cold streaks and patterns.  He calls this “stability theory”. Not recommended.
[ http://www.blackjackmaster.com/ ]

Sparks. City and region near Reno, Nevada with rules typical of Reno.

Speed Count A counting system promoted by Frank Scoblete.  According to The Wizard of Odds, the power is only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the Hi-Lo count. 

Spengler, Walter. Former member of the Czech Team.  See George Hascik.

Spin To Win. (c1999) A blackjack side-bet game.  Details TBD. Photo link available.

splitting. See pair splitting.

Always splits Aces!Always splits Aces!split aces. In most casinos, when you split a pair of aces you are allowed only one card. If the player is allowed to take additional cards he would have a gain of +0.1%.

spook. A player who can read the dealer’s hole-card.  See spooking.

spooking. {CHS}. This is the play where the player has an agent or spook positioned behind the dealer who views the dealer’s hole-card when he checks for a blackjack. The spook then signals the player at the table what the hole-card is. A spook is often seated at another blackjack table on the other side of the pit. Another form of spooking employs an agent in front of the dealer who uses typical front loading techniques to view the hole-card. See first basing. See pips.
[81 Uston Million Dollar Blackjack 223]
[83 How Casinos Detect Cheaters C&S Vol.23,71]
[6/87 Snyder Is Spooking Legal BJF 7]
[92 Wong Basic Blackjack]

spot. The area on a blackjack table layout designating where the bets are to be placed. Six or seven spots are typical arrangements in today’s casinos.

spotter. Someone who identifies opportunities for another player or team.  The term back-spotter is often used to refer to someone who can count cards but is not seated at the table.  The spotter or back-spotter will signal for a gorilla or big player — when the count is high enough to gain a statistical advantage.
[ https://www.blackjackinfo.com/knowledge-base/blackjack-advanced-strategies/big-player-vs-gorilla/ ]

spread. 1) As in to spread to 2 hands. To bet more than one hand at a time. 2) As in bet spread. The difference between a player’s minimum and maximum bets during a game. (e.g., A 1-to-4 spread would indicate that a player’s minimum bet is 1 unit and his maximum bet is 4 units.) 3) When the floorman spreads the cards on the layout when new cards are introduced or when the dealer spreads the cards when he is relieved by another dealer.

Sprint Strategies. {PBS} (1992) (Julian St. John) A progressive betting scheme. Not recommended.
[92 Julian No-Nonsense Guide to Winning Blackjack 79]

square. As in squaring the deck. What the dealer does with his two index fingers after a single-deck shuffle to properly align the deck.

SS Count. See Uston SS Count.

SSIN. Acronym for Security and Surveillance Information NetworkThe SSIN is a fully encrypted, peer-to-peer private information system, which allows for the notification of people, events, alerts or warnings. SSIN is managed out of Biometrica’s Fusion Center in Las Vegas.
[ http://biometrica.com/casinos/ ]

SSS. Acronym for the Situations and Sequence System.

stability. As in the stability of a game. Described in some sources as a measure of how long players have been at a table. See TARGET.
[85 Patterson TARGET Manual 6]

stack. A pile of chips.

stacked deck. {CHS}. A cheating technique where the deck used by the dealer is in a pre-arranged sequence. See cooler.
[66 Thorp Beat the Dealer 152]
[3/83 Case Stacking a Deck BJF 13]

stake. The wager or bet.

stand. Finished. A player’s decision not to draw any more cards.  Waving your hand over your cards left and right is the proper signal to the dealer to “stand” on your hand.  In a face down game, you would place your cards under (or near) your bet to stand. See hit. See wave.

stand off. A push or tie.

stand on soft-17. See soft 17.

standard deviation. (SD). Also called fluctuation or luck. The standard deviation (SD) for a single hand in blackjack is about 1.151)A standard deviation of 1.15 is based on a blackjack game with liberal rules.  If the rules are not so generous the SD can be as low as 1.10 or so.

This statistical index is often used in technical blackjack texts as a measure of how much individual wins and losses can differ from the average. In statistics, the SD is the square root of its variance and is used as a measure of dispersion in a distribution. In an even game, the SD is often approximated as the square root of the total number of hands or bets divided by 2 as shown below:

SD = (Square Root of N) / 2

where N = number of hands.

For all practical purposes (99.7% of the time), you will be within 3 SDs of your expectation. 95.4% of the time you will be within 2 SDs and 68.3% of the time you will be within 1 SD.

In blackjack, where one side enjoys an advantage, it is more appropriate to express SD as a percentage. The percentage of the SD can be expressed as:

% SD = (1.1 / (Square Root of N)) x 100

See Kelly Criterion.
[ 80 Snyder The Blackjack Formula ]
[ 87 Snyder Beat the X-Deck Game 11 ]
[ 90 Chambliss Fundamentals of Blackjack 207 ]
[ 90 Malmuth Gambling Theory 27 ]
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_deviation ]
[ https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/4/ ]

standard error. (SE) A term related to the standard deviation but generally used as a measure of how close a simulation is to what probably is the exact answer. A name often given to the standard deviation of a sampling distribution.
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_error ]

Stateline. City and region near Lake Tahoe, California that borders the state of Nevada. Several large casino resorts are in Stateline. Blackjack rules are similar to Reno.

steaming. {CS}. A player who has lost control and is betting progressively higher, usually after a series of losing hands. Occasionally, used as part of an expert player’s act in camouflaging the fact that he is a card counter but more often used as part of a bad player’s tactic to financial ruin.
[Fall 92 Dalton The art of 21: Steaming BJR]

steering. Cutting a group of cards into play.  See location play.
[ 1997 Morse Blackjack Reality 98 ]

Steppine count. {PCS/L2} See Hi-Opt II count.

Stevens, George. See Casey.

stiff. A reference to a stiff hand or stiff card.

16 is an example of a stiff hand!16 is an example of a stiff hand!stiff hand. 1) A breaking hand. A hard two-card total of 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16. Stiff hands must always be hit by the dealer but the player has the option of hitting or standing. Proper standing with a stiff versus a stiff gives the player a 3.2% gain over a mimic the dealer strategy. 2) Dealers often refer to players who are winning but not tipping as stiffs. See 2-6.

stiff card. A dealer up-card of 2 through 6 which suggests that the dealer potentially has a stiff hand.

stop loss. A money management term and self discipline tactic that requires that the player establish a fixed loss at which he will quit playing. This loss could be per table, per day or per trip. See stop win.

stop win. A money management term and self discipline tactic that requires that the player establish a fixed win at which he will quit playing. This will prevent the player from giving back winnings at a particular table, in a particular casino or during a particular trip.

straight_jackStraight Jack. A blackjack side bet from Bally Technologies.  According to their literature: The Longer the straight, the more you win. A side bet that wins if a player’s first two cards make a Straight–but it doesn’t end there. When a player hits his or her hand, the longer the straight the bigger the win! Players make the Straight Jack bet by placing a wager in the marked area in addition to their regular blackjack wager.  Players win if their first two cards are of consecutive rank, (i.e. a Straight). The order of the cards does not matter–a 3 followed by a 4 or a 4 followed by a 3, both are winners. Every time a player hits his or her hand, if it makes the Straight longer, the player’s payout increases.
https://www.ballytech.com/Table-Products/Table-Games/Blackjack-Side-Bets/Straight-Jack ]

Strategic Investments Name of a limited partnership during 1992-1993, by Bill Kaplan of the MIT Blackjack Team.  During this time period the team had grown to nearly 80 players.
[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_Blackjack_Team#Strategic_Investments_1992-1993 ]

strategy. A method or theoretical outline of play intended to give optimum results. Epstein defines a strategy as “A system of divisions that selects each move from the totality of possible moves at prescribed instances….” See basic strategy. See system.
[ 77 Epstein Theory of Gambling & Stat. Logic 34 ]

strategy number. See index.

strategy variation. To deviate from basic strategy. Counters will vary from basic strategy when the true count indicates. (e.g., Standing on hard 16 versus a dealer 10 when the count is > 0 would be an example of a correct strategy variation.)

streak. A run of wins or losses.

Streak. A blackjack side bet (circa 2000). Streak is a bet on winning a specified number of consecutive bets. 
[ http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/8/ ]

Ralph Stricker

SThe Silver Foxtricker, Ralph.  Also known as the Silver Fox.  Blackjack instructor and developer of the excellent Silver Fox Blackjack System.  Former moderator for the Blackjack Review Network Team Forum. Ralph Stricker passed away in 2012.  See Silver Fox Count.
[ Photo credit: Ralph Stricker Interview Courtesy: The Hot Shoe ]

[ http://www.silverfoxbj.com/index.html ] [ http://www.blackjackreview.com/wp/encyclopedia/reports/#RalphStricker ]
https://www.blackjackreview.com/wp/archives/ralph-stricker-skill-means-winning/ ]
[ Spring 96 Blackjack Review 5.2:Interview With Ralph Stricker  ]

[ http://www.BJRnet.com/catalog/SilverFox.htm ]

strike number. In a card counting system, the plus or minus true count at which the size of the bet or the play of the hand is varied. See index. See strategy variation.
[81 Uston Million Dollar Blackjack 322]

Strip. See Las Vegas Strip.

strip. 1)  As in to strip the deck. See strip shuffle. 2) See Las Vegas Strip.

strip shuffle. A type of shuffle. In some casinos, a part of a regular shuffling procedure. Stripping is performed by the dealer by holding about one deck’s worth of cards in the hand. Small clumps of one or more cards are then removed (stripped) from the top, middle, or bottom of the deck and placed on the table as a stack. Stripping tends to reverse the order of the cards and is often used as a game control measure when players begin to win.

strong arm tell. Term coined by Steve Forte to refer to tells that take place when the dealer wants to see you win.
[86 Forte Read the Dealer 40]

STS. Acronym used in this book to mean a location or Shuffle Tracking System.

stutter shuffle. A type of shuffle. When cards that have already been shuffled are reshuffled into another area of the deck. See merge.

suit. Any of the four sets of thirteen playing cards each (spades spade.gif (995 bytes) , clubs club.gif (981 bytes) , hearts heart.gif (981 bytes) , diamonds diamond.gif (942 bytes) ) that together make up a deck of cards. The particular suit of a card plays no role in playing the game of blackjack, however, suits can play a role in some advanced sequence and location betting strategy methods. See rank.

Sum-Plus-One Strategy. {TCS} (George Watson III) A ten-count strategy.
[88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 23]

Super Bucks. Also called 21 Super Bucks. This is a progressive jackpot blackjack game introduced by Progressive Games, Inc. in 1992. This company also holds the patent/trademark for Caribbean Stud Poker which includes a progressive jackpot and bonus jackpots.

Super Fun 21. Super Fun 21 (SF21) (c1999) A blackjack variation where blackjacks pay either even money or 2 to 1 depending on the situation. Players may re-split aces, double down on split aces, double on any number of cards and surrender after doubling. This variation has its own unique basic strategy. The typical multi-deck house edge in this game is about 1.4%. See the Wizard of Odds page below for details. See Fun 21.
[ https://wizardofodds.com/games/super-fun-21/ ] [ http://www.techartinc.com/super_fun_21.shtml ] [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Fun_21 ]

Super Method. {PBS} TBD ???

Super 7s. (S7) A side bet offered at a few Las Vegas casinos in 1992. Caesars Palace offered this bet as follows:

  • $1 bet only
  • 777 on first 3 cards suited pays $5000
  • 777 on first 3 cards any suit pays $500
  • 77 on first 2 cards suited pays $100
  • 77 on first 2 cards any suit pays $50
  • 7 on first card any suit pays $3

In general, only the highest bonus is paid and in the case of a dealer blackjack, the player will still get a third card if two sevens have been dealt. If the player splits sevens, the player will receive only the “two seven” payout.  HA = 10.8%.  Similar to Crazy Sevens sidebet but with a different pay table.
[9/92 Schlesinger Lost in the Maze of New Rules 15]
[ http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/side-bets/super-sevens/ ]

super shuffle. A reference to a type of shuffling procedure usually referring to three (or more) clean, crisp shuffles with large picks (1/2 deck or more).
[85 Patterson TARGET Manual]

surrender. As in to surrender a hand. A rule option believed to have been first introduced in the casinos of the Philippines in 1958. Since then it has become a standard feature in the casinos of East Asia. At time of writing, a few casinos in Las Vegas were also offering this option. If the player has the option to surrender he may forfeit his original two card hand before drawing any other cards. The dealer takes half of the wager placed and returns the other half back to the player. In effect, the player loses only half of his wager. See the basic strategy section. See blackjack school. Two types of surrender are available as described below:

  • late surrender. (LS). Also called conventional surrender. An advantageous rule option that allows the player to give up half of his bet but only after the dealer checks to determine whether he has a natural. If the dealer has a natural the player is not allowed to surrender his hand. In the United States, if the dealer has a ten valued up-card a button is placed on top of the player’s chips and it is announced to the pit. See basic strategy section. Late surrender is considerably more important in multiple-deck play than it is in single-deck as can be seen from the player advantage figures below.

PA = +.022% (single-deck)
PA = +.065% (multi-deck)

  • early surrender. (ES). A rule option that allows the player to give up half of his bet before the dealer checks to determine whether he has a blackjack. This is a very advantageous rule for the player, which explains why it is rarely found in casinos today. See basic strategy section.

PA = +0.7% against ten and ace
PA = +0.3% against ten only

[ 92 Wong Basic Blackjack 72 ] [ https://www.blackjackinfo.com/blackjack-surrender-explained/ ] [ https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/6/ ]

Stanford Wong’s Current Blackjack News references four varieties of Late Surrender that have been offered by casinos:

  • LS:  Conventional late surrender.
  • LSN:  Late surrender on any number of cards, including after splitting.
  • LSNXA:  Late surrender on any number of cards, except no surrender against ace.
  • LSXA:  Late surrender except no surrender against ace.

sweat. As in sweating the action. As in sweating the rainbow. To play carefully but nervously. Also called bleed.
[86 Forte Read the Dealer 38]

sweat card. The joker or cut card used to cut the deck before the deal.
[77 Anness Dummy Up]

sweep. As in to sweep a casino. To enter a casino and survey all the blackjack tables before making a decision about table selection or whether or not to play at all.

swing shift. This is the evening ship in a casino.  Typical hours are 6PM to around 3AM.

SwitchSee Blackjack Switch.

system. A method or strategy that promises to increase a player’s chance of winning in a particular game of chance.

Systems Research. (PCS/L1). See Green Fountain Count.

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

BC = .96 PE = .54

[80 Revere Playing Blackjack as a Business 170]

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Footnotes   [ + ]

1.A standard deviation of 1.15 is based on a blackjack game with liberal rules.  If the rules are not so generous the SD can be as low as 1.10 or so.
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