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Guide to Casino Lingo & Slang | Gambling Terms and Phrases

The Ultimate Guide to Essential Gambling Terms and Casino Lingo Everyone Should Know

Online gambling is fun, right? But boy can it get tricky sometimes! Gambling terms and casino terms can be hard to understand even for the most advanced of players and this is why we’ve put together this complete gambling glossary. We’re going to talk you through some of the most common gambling phrases right down to the wild and wacky gambling lingo.

You can use this as your very own gambling dictionary and can refer back to it whenever you see those gambling terms that you just don't understand. By the end of the blog you should have a better grasp of gambling terminology.

A - Z of Gambling Terms and Phrases

We will list all the gambling phrases and casino slang in alphabetical order which makes it easier for you to read but also easy for you to refer back to, whenever you need it:

A

  • ABC Player - This is a player that has a very predictable manner, usually in poker. When a player has a strong hand they will play aggressively and don’t usually get involved with weaker hands.
  • Action - This can mean one of two things. It can be the total amount of money that has been put into play or a dealer expression to let a player know that it is their turn to act.  
  • Accumulator - When winnings have been added from the previous roll to the players current stake. It is to bet on two games or more with the intent of investing the winnings from the first win onto the next stake. Also referred to as Parlay.
  • Advance-deposit Wagering - Gambling on the outcome of horse racing where bettors must find their account before being allowed to place a bet.
  • Affiliate - A person or organization that can earn commission by promoting other people's products
  • Add-on - This casino jargon term is used to describe the extra number of chips that players can purchase during a tournament which is done at a specified point in time. 
  • Against the Spread - This is a sporting term which refers to the result of an event that takes the point spread into account. This also refers to the act of taking points rather than betting with the spread or “laying” points. 
  • Aggregate Limit - A casino is only liable to pay out a certain amount in a single round and this is called the aggregate limit. When this limit is reached, players may need to accept a reduced amount. 
  • Aggregate Winnings - The total amount or cumulative amount of winnings in a game. 
  • All in - When players wager all of their remaining chips. 
  • All or Nothing - A bingo term which refers to a ticket that pays out if all selected numbers are drawn or if none of the picked numbers are drawn. 
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission - An independent and non political organisation that regulates eGambling on behalf of the States of Alderney. The Commission ensures that its regulatory and supervisory approach meets the very highest of international standards.
  • Ante - The initial bet that is staked by a player, usually in a poker game. This ensures a smooth game of poker as it means every player has placed their ante (mandatory stake)
  • Arbitrage - Allows a bettor to back both sides when there is a variation in odds which results in a guaranteed win. 

B

  • Baccarat - A popular card game which is also referred to a Punto Banco. This game can come in many variants and consists of betting on whether the player, or the dealer, has a winning hand from a two-card or three-card hand. Players cumulate points and the winner is the one closest to nine. 10’s and face cards do not carry any point value. 
  • Bad Beat - A lost hand that was in favour of winning
  • Balance - The amount of money a player has (in their balance) This can be the total amount of money which can either be a deposit, bonus or both. 
  • Banker - This is the person who players bet against at the table. The banker usually changes on every turn or every other. 
  • Bankroll - Another word for Balance (see above). The money that is available for players to spend.
  • B.B. (Big Blind) - A forced bet from a player that is sitting two to the left of the dealer.
  • Blackjack - A classic card game found in most casinos where players take on the dealer. The aim of the game is to have a better hand than a dealer with a score of 21 or as close off. A score over that amount will cause the player or dealer to go bust. A perfect Blackjack consists of a 10-point card and an Ace.
  • Beginner’s Luck - A novice player who is on a winning streak. 
  • Beef - The outcome of a bet may cause a dispute between a player and a dealer. This is referred to as ‘Beef’. 
  • Bet - A wager made on any game. This can be a single wager or can refer to a group of wagers.Betting is more commonly used in table games and live casinos. 
  • Bet Max - The maximum amount a player can bet in a single wager, a term more commonly used with high rollers. 
  • Betting Limits - The minimum and maximum bets that are permitted in any game. 
  • Black Book - A list of players that are not allowed into casinos. 
  • Blinds - A bet that a player is forced to make in Hold’em Poker. 
  • Bonus - A reward or incentive that players can claim. Bonuses are given when players open a new account which can be rewarded free or as a result of a deposit. The amount of bonus will depend on the percentage offered by each casino. Most bonuses will have terms and conditions attached which include wagering (see below). We have a casino bonus guide that can help you with more information on this. 
  • Bonus Abuse - A person who claims multiple bonuses for their own financial benefit. A bonus abuser risks being banned from the casino or from claiming any future bonuses. Abusing bonuses can also forfeit any winnings the player has earned (see below). 
  • Bonus Ban - A player who receives a bonus ban will no longer be eligible to receive any bonuses at that casino. This could also extend to a group of the same casinos. 
  • Bonus Round - Typically found in video slots and is a bonus game won by the player to give them a better chance of winning. Special symbols will trigger a bonus game and sometimes they can also be triggered randomly. 
  • Box Cars - When a player rolls two 6 on a dice. 
  • Book - An establishment which accepts bets on the outcomes of sporting events.
  • Bookmaker (Bookie) - An establishment where players can place bets on all forms of sporting events.
  • Breaking the Bank - A player who wins a critical sum of money which can be more than the casino has on the hand or for winning more chips than are at the table.
  • Brick and Mortar Casino - This is another word for a land based casino. 
  • Burn Card - This is when a card that was meant to be dealt has been discarded instead. 
  • Bust - Typically a blackjack term when a hand exceeds the score of 21. This results in the player or the dealer going bust. 
  • Bluff - A player who tries to represent that they have a sting hand to their opponents but may have a much weaker hand instead. 
  • Bluff Catcher - This hand can only beat a bluff.

C

  • Carousel - Referred to as a group of slot machines
  • Card Counting - Vegas terminology for outdoing a dealer in the game of blackjack as a form of cheating. It consists of the player remembering the cards that have been dealt in order to make an informed decision on the remaining cards and cheat the game in their favour. 
  • Carpet Joint - More Vegas terms for a high end or luxury casino. 
  • Casino Advantage - Also known as House Edge this is the mathematical edge that casinos have over players. 
  • Cashable - Can refer to a bonus that once wagered can be withdrawn as it becomes ‘cashable’. May also refer to a balance that can be withdrawn once all the wagering has been completed. 
  • Cash Bonus - Money that is offered to a player as a result of a deposit, like a deposit match. These will come with terms and conditions attached. 
  • Cashback - This is money a player can earn which is usually based on their losses but can also be based on winnings too or even wagers. 
  • Chargeback - A charge that is returned to the original payment card.
  • Chalk - A favoured team, athlete or horse in a sporting event.
  • Chase - A player who continues to gamble after a losing streak. Can also be referred to as chasing their losses. 
  • Chips - A term often used in a land based casino for coloured discs that are equivalent to money. They are commonly used at casino tables. Online casinos also refer to chips when asking players to wager their stakes. 
  • Churn - The effect of betting and then rebetting money.
  • Classic Slot - A slot machine that usually has fewer paylines and features than the average video slot. They can often imitate a land based slot machine and are known for their minimalism. Our blog will teach you more about the different types of slot machines.
  • Croupier - A French word for dealer, commonly found in a live casino.
  • Casino Edge - See: Casino Advantage. 
  • Casino Marker - This is like a casino loan, like an interest-free credit that needs to be paid back to the casino. Read our blog on casino markers for a more detailed description of the term.
  • Comp Points - These are points players can earn when they play at a casino. These can often be collected and exchanged for rewards such as cash, gifts, bonuses or merchandise. Our blog post explains how casino comps work and how to earn them.
  • Cold Table - When the players who are betting right are losing frequently.
  • Contribution - This is an action where the player who was originally the raiser pre flop bets out of the flop.
  • Crapshoot - Something that is risky or uncertain.
  • Crimp - A bend that has been made intentionally on a corner of a card to facilitate identi­fic­ati­on. ­
  • Craps - A popular table game with dice. It offers many bets to choose from as the player attempts to roll a certain number. 

  • D’Alembert System - Names after a French mathematician it is a strategy that is based on the idea that players double their bet when they lose to try and make up for some losses. 
  • Dealer - Also known as a Croupier, is a casino employee who is responsible for hosting a table game and distributing the cards. 
  • Deposit - When a player makes a payment into their casino account in order to play games. 
  • Deuce - Gambling slang terms for two (like in the game Deuces Wild). 
  • Deposit Methods - The range of payment options players have in order to fund their casino accounts. This will vary from casino to casino and will also change depending on the country of play. 
  • Discard Tray - This catches any used cards that have been played or discarded by a dealer. 
  • Double Down - Can refer to a bet of equal size to an initial bet, commonly used in Blackjack. This also means that both of these bets can either win or lose together. 
  • Double or Nothing - Players can double their bets and if they win, they’ll win double the amount. But, if they lose they will lose it all. 
  • Drop Percentage - This can be a portion of a players cash that the casino has won as a result of the house edge. 

  • Expected Value - Players can expect this to be the average return they get back over a long period of time. This value will entirely depend on how profitable or not the bet is.
  • Exposure - This is the maximum amount of money that a sportsbook stand can expect to lose in a single game. 
  • Extension - This is the amount of money that the house will risk losing either on a game or a race.
  • En Prison - A stake that will remain on the Roulette table for another spin. This follows an Even Money Bet where the outcome was either zero or even a double zero. 
  • End-of-the-day Betting Effect - Players who take higher risks at the end of the day to try and make up for previous losses. 
  • Even Money - When a player wins back the same amount of money that they originally staked.
  • eCOGRA - An independent agency which audits online casinos in order to determine that their operating standards are fair. Ther full name is e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. 

F

  • Fish - A poker term for when a player loses frequently and bets on each hand regardless of theirstrength of their cards. 
  • Figure - The total sum that is owed by or to the bookmaker. 
  • Firing - When a player places a large bet. 
  • Fixed Odds - Often used in sporting events and it means that the amount players can win is already set ahead of time so are predetermined. As opposed to video slots which are determined by a random number generator. 
  • Full House - A poker term which comprises two cards of one rank and three cards of a second rank. 
  • Flush - Again this is another term you’ll hear in a game of poker when a player has a hand that consists of all the same suit. 
  • Flat Betting - When a player bets the same for each hand and does not vary their denomination. 
  • Freeroll - This can be a tournament in poker or video slots that will not require the player to pay an entrance fee. Cash prizes and incentives can still be won. It can also mean a hand that will win or split the pot at least. 
  • Fruit Machine - Often found in land based casinos and is an old school slot machine. Will usually consist of basic graphics with fruit symbols and features will also be limited in comparison to video slots. Check out our blog to learn more about different types of casino games

Casino Withdrawal Limit

G

  • Gambling - Someone who places a bet on a game which will have an unknown outcome at the time of betting. 
  • GAMSTOP - A self exclusion scheme that allows players to put themselves in control of their gambling habits. Players can put controls in place to restrict their online gambling activities and they will be prevented from using gambling websites and apps. 
  • Gambler's Conceit -When a gambler believes they will be able to stop a risky behaviour while still engaging in it. 
  • Gambler's Fallacy - An event that is less likely to happen in the future that has already happened in the past. 
  • Gambler's Ruin - A player who will eventually lose all their money, regardless of their strategy, 
  • George - A player who offers a generous tip. 
  • Getting Down - Another term for making a bet. 
  • GOY - Game of the Year
  • Gg - Abbreviation for ‘Good Game’. 
  • Grease - Another term for bribe. 
  • Gross Win - The total win before expenses.

H

  • Handicapping - When a player attempts to predict what the outcome would be of a sporting event. This will usually involve some kind of research by the player. 
  • Hand - This is the cards a player holds and intends to use to make a good combination . It can also be used to describe the play between each souffle of the cards. 
  • Handle - The collective amount of money that has been bet on a single event or a group of events. 
  • Hedge - A player who places wagers on the opposite side with an aim of cutting their losses or to guarantee a minimum amount of winnings. 
  • Hook - A half-point. 
  • Home Field Advantage - Refers to the edge that the home team is expected to have. 
  • Hit - In Blackjack this can mean for a player to request an additional card and in slots it is gambling terms for winning. 
  • House Edge - The probability that the casino will win money and is usually expressed as a percentage. For example, if a casino has a 5% house edge it means a player will lose 50 cents for every $10 bet. Players will have a better chance of winning with a lower house edge. 
  • Hold - This is expressed as a percentage of money that has been bet and that the casino expects to keep at the end of the day. 
  • Hot Table - When players are winning frequently. 
  • High roller - Another word for gambling with high bets or someone who always stakes high. If you’re interested in becoming a high roller, take a look at our blog. 

  • Irregular Playing Patterns - Often associated with bonus abuse where players will do as little as possible to try and claim their prizes. Players found to be betting with irregular betting patterns risk having their winnings forfeited as it is usually classed as a breach of the casino's terms and conditions. 

  • Jackpot - A large amount of money that a player can win and is usually the largest amount of money that can be won in a single game. Our blog has detailed some of the biggest slots machine wins of all time! 
  • Junket - Offered to VIP players it is a form of trip where the casino may offer to cover the costs of flights and hotel and in exchange players will put down a deposit of $5000 and agree to play a certain number of hours. 
  • Keno - A game that holds similarities to the lottery. You can pick numbers which you think will be drawn and they match what you pick, you win. 

  • Live chat - A service provided by a casino whereby players can speak to a customer service agent in real time. Some casinos will provide this support around the clock 24/7 whilst other casinos will have it open during business hours only. 
  • Layoff Bet - When a player bets that a 7 will be rolled before the point. 
  • Lock - A player who wins easily. 
  • Loose - Some who will play multiple hands which includes those that are of a low quality. 
  • Longshot - Someone who is unlikely to win. 

  • Martingale - This is a strategy, banned in some online casinos. It says that you should increase your bet after each loss by doubling and then adding one unit. 
  • Maximum Bet - The maximum amount that can be staked in a single round. This can also refer to the maximum stake that is allowed when playing with bonus funds. 
  • Minimum Bet - The minimum amount that can be staked in a single round. 
  • Muck - Used in poker it means to fold a hand face down into a discard pile.
  • Match bonus - This is when a casino matches a players deposit with a certain percentage which is then added as bonus funds into their account. 
  • Mobile slot - A slot machine that has been optimized to use through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The game will be identical to the web version game in regards to how it plays. 

N

  • N1 - Slang for ‘Nice One’. 
  • Non-negotiable Chips - These are chips that have been handed out by the casino to play but cannot be exchanged for cash at any point. 
  • Non-value Chip - This is a gaming chip that holds no value written on it. Instead, this is worked out by the amount of the buy-in and then divided by the number of chips. 
  • Nh - Slang for ‘Nice Hand’. 
  • Nickel - Slang for gambling to the value of $500. 
  • Nl - Slang for ‘No Limit’. 
  • Nosebleed - A gambling term for someone that is staking with extremely high bets. See also High Roller. 
  • Number Pool - In a game where numbers are going to be drawn this is the poor, or range of numbers. These pools can vary from game to game. Like in Bingo it can range from 1-75 and 1-90 whereas in Keno the number pool can range from 1-80. 

O

  • Odds - This is the player's chance of winning as set by the casino. Should they win, the odds will then determine how much the player is set to receive. 
  • Optimal Strategy - If a person is playing a game that involves them making strategic decisions, optimal strategy is the range of possible results which can be calculated mathem­ati­cal­ly. ­
  • Online Casino - An establishment where players can gamble and place bets online as opposed to a land based casino. Most casinos these days are now available to use instantly through a compatible web browser. 
  • Oscar’s Grind - This is a betting strategy that is used by gamblers on wagers where the outcome is evenly distributed between two results of the same value. 
  • On Tilt - Someone who starts to play recklessly or aggressively as a result of a loss in a previous game. 
  • Outside Bets - These are even money bets such as red/black, odd/even and high/low. 
  • Overlay - In poker terms it is when a room ads money into the prize pot that has exceeded the total amount of buy-ins. It can also be used in sports betting when the odds are higher than they should be and favour the player. 

Casino Withdrawal Limit

P

  • Paroli - This is a betting system that increases your bet every time you win.. When the term is used in French Roulette it is an order that tells the dealer to use the bet to press the win. 
  • Parlay - This is when winnings from the previous roll have been added to the current bet. To bet on two games or more with the intention of reinvesting the winnings for the first round on the next wager. In order for the parlay to win all sections must be correct. 
  • Paint - Another word for a face card. 
  • Payline - Most or nearly all slot machines have these. They are a line of symbols which can form a winning combination. Matching symbols will need to fall on these lines in order to win. Paylines will vary from game to game and can come in all different shapes and sizes. Some slots may have reduced paylines, as little as 1 whilst other games will have hundreds, if not thousands. 
  • Pay Table - This is a table of information which will tell you how the game works and how much you will win. A paytable will show you how much the symbols are worth and will explain the slot symbols to know how the game and features work. Our blog also explains different slot machine symbols in greater detail. 
  • Payout Percentage - This is a statistical percentage of every bet that has been wagered that will then be returned to the player. More commonly known as RTP, see below. 
  • Payoff - Can refer to the money a player has received from a win. 
  • Progressive Jackpot - This is a jackpot game where the jackpot will get bigger as more players bet on the game. These are often linked to a network of slots who will share the jackpot. The jackpot will continue to grow until won which can be in a number of ways including randomly triggered. Once won, the progressive jackpot will reset itself and start again. We’ve explained how a progressive slot machine works in our blog.
  • Pit - This is a certain area in a casino where the tables are manned by dealers. 
  • Pit Boss - A highly ranked casino employee. 
  • Pigeon - Can refer to an inexperienced player, one that is new to the gambling world and may not possess much gambling knowledge and sophis­tic­ati­on. ­
  • Puppy - The underdog. 
  • Practical Hold Advantage - This is the amount that is won by a bookmaker and divide by the total amount booked.
  • Poker - A collective name given to a variety of table games where players use cards to try and win and outsmart each other. 
  • Pot Limit - When a game has a fixed bet size per round which is also equivalent to the size of the current pot. 
  • Press - When someone wagers a larger amount than they usually would. 
  • Progressive Slot - See ‘Progressive Jackpot’. 

Q

  • Quads - A hand that consists of four cards of the same rank. 

R

  • Railbird - Another word for a person who watches poker games rather than participating in them.
  • Rank - What a set of cards is worth in a game of poker. 
  • Rake - Referred to either as a percentage or a flat rate, it is the amount that is collected by the house for each hand of poker that is played. 
  • Random Number Generator (RNG) - Used by casinos it is a device used to produce random outcomes, known as algorithms. They ensure that players get a fair and unbiased experience and are more commonly used in video slots. Our informative blog covers how RNG works in slots
  • Rollover - When a game is not won and the prize amount rolls over.
  • Re-Bet - A player who has bet the same amount as their previous round. 
  • Return to Player (RTP) - See Payout Percentage and visit our blogs to see the best RTP slots.
  • Roulette - A table game that is played with a wheel and a ball. The wheel is filled with numbers and players bet on which number they think the ball will land on when the wheel stops. Players can predict single numbers or a group of numbers. There will be many variations of Roulette available. 
  • Royal Flush - In a game of Poker this is known as the money winning hand. Players can get a Royal Straight Flush or a Royal. It comprises an Ace, King, Queen, Jack or Ten from each suit. 
  • Reel - Used in slots it is the rotating element of the game which is filled with symbols. Different slots will have different sets of reels, one of the most common is 5 and classic slots and known for having 3 reels. 

S

  • Sawdust Joint - Slang word used in America for a casino that is rough and ready. 
  • Scatter - This is a slot term to describe a symbol that can usually land anywhere on the reels and still pay. It is also common for the Scatter Symbol to trigger a feature such as Free Spins. Scatters can be independent symbols that have a value or symbols that just trigger a feature, Some games may also require the Scatter to land on a payline. 
  • Scared Money - Money that the player cannot afford to lose or a wager that is simply too high for the player. 
  • Short Stacked - Having less chips than other players in a game of poker or compared to the maximum allowed buy-in amount. This is usually less than 100 times the big blind. 
  • Scratch - An online game where something needs to be scratched off for the player to know if they have won. Usually it means players will have to have matching amounts to win that amount.
  • Self-exclusion - A player who voluntarily excludes themselves from playing at a casino, possibly for addiction purposes. Once a player self excludes themself they cannot play at the casino, or at the group of casinos. 
  • Session - The amount of time spent playing a game. 
  • Sin City - An urban area that caters for various vices which can be legal or illegal. 
  • Spread Betting - Wagering on an event there the pay off is based on the accuracy of the wager instead of a simple win/lose outcome. 
  • Shark - A smart player who can trick their opponent into pretending to be a fish when a game starts and then striking when everyone else has let their guard down. 
  • Shoe - This is a device that holds multiple card decks. Often used in the game of Blackjack. 
  • Slot Machine - A game where players spin the reels and match symbols (usually 2 or more) to get winning combinations. 
  • Slot Symbols - These are the symbols that make up a slot machine. Symbols will have to line up on a payline in order to generate a winning amount. These amounts are set out in the games paytable. The more symbols that match, the higher win they generate. 
  • Side Bet - A bet over and above the main bet.
  • Straight-up - A player who bets on one team only.

T

  • Tapping Out - Someone who has run out of money. 
  • Terms and Conditions - Found in every single casino, they are the rules that players have to follow. A casino will set out it’s terms and conditions and players must agree to follow them. Any players who breach the terms and conditions will risk being banned from the casino and having any winnings forfeited. 
  • Tilt - Someone who is on a losing streak. 
  • Tronc - A box which holds the tops for employees who work at the casino. 
  • Theoretical Hold Percentage - This is the edge the bookmaker would have only if the odds guaranteed them a constant commission regardless of the outcome.

U

  • Underlay - A bet that a player does not want to make as it costs more money than it is actually worth. A bet that is in the houses favour rather than the players. 

V

  • Video Poker - A game that simulates the action of five-card poker games. Players can discard and replace cards and id they meet the minimum hand they will win. 
  • Vigorish - The amount charged by the bookmaker for making a bet. Also known as vig, or the juice. 

W

  • Wad - The amount of money a player has in their balance. See ‘Balance’. 
  • Washing - When a player walks away from a table game making the movement as if they werewashing their hands to show they have not won anything. 
  • Whale - This is an extreme high roller that can jeopardize a casino's business if they were to win big. 
  • White Meat - Profit
  • Wagering Requirement - This is a term casino places on their bonuses. It means that players will need to play through a certain amount before their bonus reverts to withdrawable cash. The wagering requirement will be set at a certain amount, a common example being 35x. This means a player will need to wager the total amount of bonus they have 35x. For example if a player receives a $10 bonus with a 35x wagering requirement it means they have to place bets to the value of $350 before they can withdraw any winnings derived from that bonus. The term can be confusing to say the least so check out our blog wagering requirements explained for a more in depth explanation. 
  • Wide-area Progressive - Machines that offer large progressive jackpots.
  • Wild Card - A card that substitutes for any card value, commonly found in a game of Poker or Video Poker. 
  • Withdrawal Methods - The payment methods that players can use in order to withdraw their winnings. These can vary depending on the players country and the casino itself and we have a complete guide to different deposit and withdrawal methods so check it out. 

Aaaaaand Relax

That probably seems like a lot of casino lingo to remember but we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to remember it all. There are a lot of gambling terms and definitions but you’ll never need to worry because this blog will always be available for your future reference. Chances are you may never even come across some of this gambling jargon anyway,

There are so many casino phrases these days, even we find it hard to keep up! But the likelihood is that you’ll go and play your favourite games and only need to know some of this casino terminology, but if you ever were to come across gambling words you’ve never seen before then our extensive list should help you out!

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