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Understanding Monkey in Blackjack: A Guide

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Ever wondered why players at the blackjack table burst into smiles when someone shouts “Monkey!”? This term, while amusing, plays a significant role in the world of blackjack, signaling hopes for a favorable turn of the card. This guide will dive into the intriguing world of “Monkey” in blackjack, ensuring you’re well-prepared to join the fun and strategy at the casino tables.

What Does “Monkey” Mean in Blackjack?

In blackjack, “Monkey” refers to any face card (King, Queen, Jack) or a ten. The call for a “Monkey” is essentially a wish from the players or the dealer for a card that’s worth 10 points. This term gained popularity in Asian casinos and has since become part of the global blackjack vernacular. Understanding this slang is not just about blending in; it’s about grasping the strategic cries of players aiming to hit the perfect hand of 21.

The Strategic Importance of the Monkey

Why do players yearn for a Monkey? The answer lies in blackjack’s core objective: beating the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21 points. A 10-value card can be the difference between winning and busting, making it a highly coveted draw during the game.

  • Hitting 21: Pairing an Ace with a Monkey results in blackjack, the most coveted hand.
  • Improving Hands: A Monkey can elevate a weak hand closer to 21, increasing a player’s chances of winning.
  • Beating the Dealer: Securing a Monkey can help players outscore the dealer’s total without going over 21.

How to Use the Term “Monkey” Effectively

While knowing blackjack jargon like “Monkey” is cool, using it effectively can enhance your gaming experience. Here are some tips:

  1. Use the term to communicate with the dealer or other players, showing your familiarity with blackjack culture.
  2. Call for a “Monkey” when you’re hoping for a 10-value card to complete your hand.
  3. Observe the table’s mood; using the term at the right moment can add to the excitement and camaraderie among players.

Understanding the Odds of Getting a Monkey

Blackjack is a game of strategy and luck, with the odds playing a crucial role. Here’s a quick look at the chances of drawing a Monkey:

Card Type Number in a Deck Odds
Face Cards (K, Q, J) 12 30.77%
Ten 4 7.69%
Total Monkey Cards 16 38.46%

This table shows that nearly 4 in 10 cards in a single deck can be a “Monkey.” Knowledge of these odds can inform your gameplay strategy and betting decisions.


Grasping the term “Monkey” in blackjack adds an extra layer of excitement and strategy to an already thrilling game. Whether you’re cheering for a Monkey to secure a win or calculating the odds of drawing one, this slang enriches your understanding and enjoyment of blackjack. So, the next time you’re at a blackjack table, don’t hesitate to join in on the call for a “Monkey.” Who knows? It might just turn the game in your favor!

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