Casino Lingo Guide

A Definitive Guide to Online Casino Terminology

Staff Writer Editorials 172

Novices often think that getting immersed in the world of online gambling takes a couple of days at most. However, reality paints a different picture. One of the best ways to get into the groove and advance in your gambling career is not learning the game rules – although it certainly helps – but rather the casino lingo.

BestCasinos.com compiled a comprehensive glossary of casino terms and expressions you will require once you step into the casino.

Gambling Glossary 101

A

ACTION: Action refers to the main activity of the casino game. Everything that happens during one round is labelled as the ‘action’ part of the game.

ADVANTAGE PLAYAdvantage play is using legal tricks and methods to gain an advantage over the casino. The player’s main goal is to lower the house edge and increase winning chances on the side of the player. Some activities include edge sorting, card counting, shuffle tracking, bonus hunting, comp hustling, and playing with betting strategies.

ADVANTAGE PLAYER: Often styled as AP, an advantage player is a punter who uses advantage play strategies to beat the house and boost winning odds.

AGCC: An acronym for Alderney Gambling Control Comission.

AGGREGATE LIMIT: Aggregate limit represents the casino’s payout accountability for any game inside the lobby.

AGGREGATE WINNINGS: Refers to total winnings.

ALL OR NOTHING: A standard expression typically heard and seen in keno. The phrase describes a keno ticket whose all or none spots have been drawn. In other words, a complete ticket or a completely missed one.

ANTE: Some gambling games such as poker entail rules according to which players must place a starting bet before starting the game. It is a forced wager, meaning players have to set it to participate in the round. It is common in many variants of gambling games as ante bets are used to seed the pot (allowing more players to stay in the game).

B

BANKER: Banker is the synonym for the dealer/croupier. It is also the name of one of the three potential bets in baccarat (besides Player and Tie).

BANKROLL: Bankroll is the money balance a player has when he enters a gambling game. It is the amount of money the player has at his disposal during the game.

BARRED: A player that is banned from visiting and playing at an online casino due to illicit activity.

BEEF: A beef between a casino and a player is a dispute.

BET: A wager placed on a casino game.

BETTING LIMIT: The minimum and maximum cap for wagering funds. Casinos often implement betting limits for games to prevent players from spending too much and/or abusing bonus offers.

BLIND BET: A wager placed before the cards are revealed, meaning the players does not know what he is betting on.

BREAK THE BANK: Slang for a large win. 

BURN CARD: The top card that the dealer removes from the deck before the start of the round. This is done to curb card counting attempts by the players.

BUST: Getting a hand total that exceeds 21 in blackjack games means to go bust.

BUY-IN: A common practice at card games where players must pay a certain amount of money to buy their way into the game. The money is exchanged for chips later used within the game.

C

CARD COUNTING: An act of monitoring and tracking cards within the round to predict the upcoming outcome. Proficient advantage players typically count cards to increase winning odds. Card counting is controversial and often frowned upon by casinos, but it is generally not considered illegal.

CARD-SHARP: A highly proficient gambling player.

CARD WASHING: A special method of shuffling cards. It was invented to prevent card counting and various forms of cheating.

CASH OUT: A synonym for withdrawal. The act of taking winnings from the casino (or online casino account) and transferring them to banks.

CASHIER: In online casinos, it is the section of the casino website where players can deposit and withdraw funds, pick payment methods/currencies, and check their account balance.

CASINO ADVANTAGE: The casino’s mathematical advantage (the house) over the players in every gambling game.

CHASE: Chasing is often referred to as the act of playing during a losing streak to recuperate lost money. Gambling sites often discourage players from chasing their losses as it often leads to more losses.

COAT-TAIL: The act of copying a strategy used by a winning player because you hope you will score as well.

COLD STREAK: A losing streak, i.e., a sequence of losing rounds.

COLOUR UP: An exchange of low-pay chips for high-pay chips.

CROUPIER: A croupier is a French term used as a synonym for the dealer/banker.

CUT CARD: A plastic card used to split the deck into half that dealers use to prevent cheating at the table.

D

DEALER: See BANKER and CROUPIER.

DEPOSIT: The amount of money the player transfers to his casino account to use as bankroll for the games.

DIME BET: A colloquial way of saying you have wagered €1,000.

DOUBLE OR NOTHING: A wager through which you either win 100% of the wagered amount – so you double your funds – or lose the entire wager if you lose.

DOLLAR BET: An informal way of saying you have wagered €100.

DOWNLOAD CASINO: An online casino that allows you to download the lobby to your PC instead of playing online instantly.

DOWN TO THE FELT: Losing everything; going broke.

E

EDGE: Another name for casino advantage.

EN PLEIN: A roulette wager present is various roulette variants. The bet includes wagering on single numbers.

EN PRISON: A rare pro-player rule in roulette allowing players to win back lost money when the ball lands on zero. According to the En Prison rule, the players get their money back when hitting a zero if they have previously wagered on an even money bet.

EVEN MONEY BET: A wager that pays 1:1 in gambling games. It is common in roulette.

E-WALLET: An e-wallet is an electronic wallet, i.e., a digital application allowing you to transfer and store money online just like a regular wallet does. The most famous e-wallets used at online casinos are Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal.

F

FACE CARD: A high-value card with characters – J, Q, and K.

FISH: Slang for an inexperienced player who is not using any strategy while playing.

FLASH CASINO: Synonymous with instant play casinos, flash casinos allow players to access and play the games in the lobby without the need to download them. They only need a stable internet connection to visit the site and enjoy the fun.

FLOP: Card games that include the dealing of five initial cards include flop cards. Flop cards are the first three cards that are dealt face-up.

FLUSH: A poker winning hand. Flush hands consist of same-suit cards.

FOLD: The act of giving up and returning the cards to the dealer during a poker round. Folding is usually done if the player has a bad hand – cards that will not bring him the win.

FREEPLAY GAMES: Online casino games that you can play with fake money instead of real money. In other words, freeplay games are games available online for fun.

FREEROLL TOURNAMENT: A freeroll tournament is a type of casino tournament which does not request a buy-in of any kind. Punters are free to join the tournament anytime they want and participate with fellow gamblers.

FLAT BETTING: Flat betting is a betting strategy which follows identical bets for every round. A player who is flat betting places the same amount on each betting opportunity.

G

GAMBLER’S FALLACY: An erroneous assumption about potential outcomes based on previous outcomes. One example would be a player believing he is bound to win in the next round because he lost in previous rounds.

GEORGE: A player who gives great tips to dealers.

GRIND: The act of wagering smaller bets in hopes of gathering higher wins.

H

HANDLE: The handle refers to the total sum of money wagered within one gaming session.

HARD HAND: A blackjack hand without an Ace is a hard hand.

HARD 17 RULE: A rule in blackjack whereby the dealer stands on both soft and hard 17. The H17 rule applies only to the dealer, so the player can hit/stand with any 17 hands.

HIGH ROLLER: A deep-pocketed player who bets large amounts of money during games and makes massive deposits.

HOLE CARD: The card hidden from view, resting on the table. It is usually turned face-down.

HOT STREAK: Slang for a winning streak or a sequence of winning rounds.

HOUSE: The casino.

HOUSE RULES: A specific set of rules implemented by the casino. Each gambling joint has its special set of rules that apply on its premises (both land-based and online).

I

INSIDE BETS: Roulette wager types allowing punters to gamble on any single number on the wheel.

INSTANT CASINO: A synonym for a flash casino. A common name variation is instant play casino.

INSURANCE: A blackjack wager that is supposed to be helpful to the players in case they encounter a losing round. Insurance typically pays 2:1, which means the player gets money back even if the croupier lands a blackjack.

J

JACKPOT: The maximum payout prize in a game. Jackpots are either fixed or progressive.

JUICE: The commission taken by the gambling website. Synonymous with vigorish (or vig).

L

LAYING THE ODDS: Winning less than you have wagered on the round is called laying the odds. It is considered a win, but you haven’t won anything substantial.

LAYOUT: The pattern of betting positions and available wagering options, along with payouts, displayed on the casino game table.

LIVE CASINO: Live casino games are games played in real-time live-action mode. The players join the table and watch a real dealer control the game, while the banker in question takes cues from cameras to know what the players have decided to do or wager.

LOAD UP: Wagering the maximum bet on a slot game.

LOBBY: The floor or page on the website where are the titles in the game catalogue are displayed.

LOOSE: An online slot game that plays generously and often.

LOW ROLLER: A punter with opposite tendencies to high rollers. Low rollers deposit smaller amounts and pick games with low betting limits.

M

MAXIMUM BET: The highest possible wager in a game.

MATCH BONUS: A bonus that players claim that match their deposits by a certain percentage. The most common examples include a 100% match for welcome bonuses, and 25% reload offers. The match percentage depends on the casino and the offer.

MECHANIC: A skilled player.

MGA: A acronym for Malta Gaming Authority.

MULTIPLAYER GAMES: Casino tables that allow multiple players to play the same round at the same time.

MULTIPLAYER: A type of feature often included in online casino games, especially online slots. Multipliers increase the winnings by augmenting the win payout by 2x, 3x, or even 1,000x.

MULTI-HAND GAMES: Casino tables, often RNG tables, allowing players to play with more than one hand at the same time.

N

NATURAL: A craps player who scores 7 on the come-out roll. In blackjack, a natural is a hand of 21 consisting of 10 and a face card.

NET WINNINGS: Winning total excluding wagers.

NO-DEPOSIT BONUS: A casino bonus offer that does not require a cash deposit.

NICKEL BET: An informal way of saying you have wagered €500.

NON-STICKY BONUS: Winnings acquired through bonus funds can be cashed out as soon as the player meets casino requirements.

O

ODDS: Winning chances.

OPTIMAL STRATEGY: The basic strategy used in blackjack games. It is designed to provide extra winning chances and tip the edge scales in favour of the punter.

OUTSIDE BETS: Roulette betting options allowing punters to gamble on the numbers outside the layout, usually in groups rather than single numbers.

OVERLAY: Player-friendly winning odds.

 P

PAT: A blackjack hand valued 17 and higher but has not gone bust (gone over 21).

PAYLINE: Paylines represent how you can win in a slot. Simply put, a payline represents a possible combination of icons on the grid, which could result in a win. If the icons land in the required order, the player will receive a payout.

PAYOUT: The prize won in a single round of any casino game.

PAYTABLE: A panel that contains information about technical details, payouts, symbols used in the game, and features.

PIGEON: See FISH.

PIPS: The dots on the dice.

PLAYTHROUGH: Rollover or wagering requirements.

POKIES: Australian slang for online slots.

PROGRESSION BETTING: A betting system that includes altering or adding new bets during the game.

PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT: Unlike fixed jackpots with a pre-determined cap, progressive jackpots have no maximum limits and grow. A progressive jackpot has a seed, i.e., a starting amount. A part of each bet wagered on the game with a progressive jackpot goes toward the pot. Seeding the pot with wagers allows the players to increase the jackpot. When a player hits the progressive jackpot, the pot resets to the seed and starts building again.

PUSH: A tie between the player and the banker/dealer.

R

REEL: Columns in online slot games which rotate in a spin and display slot symbols.

RIVER: The last community card in one round.

RNG: Acronym for Random Number Generator. RNG is an algorithm that produces utterly random number sequences, thus creating unpredictable combinations of icons on the screen (or outcomes, depends on the type of game in question). It is crucial for establishing the fairness of online gambling games. Essentially, it is the primary tool that guarantees that the games are not rigged.

ROLLOVER: Playthrough or wagering requirements.

ROYAL FLUSH: The highest possible hand in poker. It consists of a straight flush of top five cards of any suit.

RTP: RTP stands for Return to Player. A theoretical mathematical model which shows how much players can expect to win back while playing a game during the session. Every casino game in the virtual realm has an RTP rate typically expressed in percentages.

S

SCATTER: A special symbol that opens free spins in online slots.

SHARK: Slang term for a competent player who is winning a lot.

SHOE: Shoe contains all decks of cards in the game.

SHUFFLE: The act of rearranging cards in the deck (or entire shoe) before the round starts. The dealer shuffles cards.

SIDE BET: A special addition to the wagering options besides main bets. They are popular in card and table games as they allow players to spice up the experience. You cannot wager on a side bet if you haven’t wagered on the main bet.

SNAKE EYES: In craps, the roll of 2 with both dice showing the result 1 is called snake eyes.

SOFT HAND: A blackjack hand containing an Ace as Ace can be valued both 1 and 11.

SOFT 17 RULE: A rule in blackjack whereby the dealer stands on hard 17 hands, and hits on soft 17. It is styled as S17. In general, it is not considered a pro-player rule, as it allows the dealer a chance to hit 21 with the soft hand.

STAKE: Synonym for WAGER.

STRAIGHT UP BET: A type of roulette wagering option whereby you bet on a single number.

STREET BET: One of the INSIDE BETS in roulette includes wagering on a group of three numbers.

STREAK BETTING: A betting system which dictates an increase or decrease of bet amount based on the outcome. Variations may include increasing bets after every loss, decreasing after every win, and so forth.

SURRENDER: A rare wagering option offered in roulette and blackjack. This option lets you fold before drawing new cards. Half of the original stake is returned to the player in case of a surrender, and the other half is forfeited.

T

TAKING THE ODDS: Winning more than you wagered is taking the odds. It is the opposite of LAYING THE ODDS.

TAP OUT: Jargon for folding and leaving the game due to a heavy loss of funds.

THREE OF A KIND: A poker hand that consists of three identical cards in terms of rank. It is often found as a side bet in blackjack as well.

TILT: A state of emotional distress which causes the player to use an ineffective strategy which could potentially lead to losses. The distress leads to frustration or even aggression. Tilt is a term in poker.

TOKE: A tip for the dealer left by the punter.

TOM: A punter who does not tip.

TRONC: A place for putting tips for the dealers in live casinos.

TURN: Turn (turn card/fourth street) is the fourth card dealt to the community card board. The first three constitute the flop, while the fourth – turn card – comes before the river.  The dealer deals turn cards face-up. Moreover, punters can use them for the creation of the final hand.

TWENTY-ONE: Slang for blackjack.

U

UKGC: An acronym for the UK Gambling Commission.

UNDERLAY: A jargon for a terrible bet.

UP CARD: Cards that are facing up are up cards.

V

VARIANCE: Also known as VOLATILITY, variance is an indicator of the risk level each game has. There are three levels of variance – low, medium, and high variance. High volatility means the game is precarious, meaning you might have to invest a lot of money to get to a win, wins happen extremely rare, but the payouts are colossal.

VIGORISH: See JUICE.

W

WAGER: An amount of money punters gamble per round. Also synonymous with BET.

WAGERING REQUIREMENTS: Wagering requirements, or rollover/playthrough, are a set of conditions players must fulfil to claim bonus funds or get a chance to cash out winnings. The most common rollover examples are bet limitations and a required number of times the deposit sum must be wagered. For instance, a 30x wagering requirement for a €20 deposit with €5 max bet limit means the punter must wager €20 thirty times (= €600 in total) on games in the lobby, but the bets cannot exceed €5.

WAGERING CONTRIBUTION: A list of game types that can be played to meet the wagering requirement. Slots typically contribute 100% (a €1 bet in slots will count as €1 towards the rollover), while other games’ contribution may vary.

WHALE: A proficient punter who likes to wager large amounts in games.

WILD: A special symbol in online slots which acts as a Joker. It replaces other icons and often triggers additional winning combinations. It has many variations.

WITHDRAWAL: The act of cashing out money from the casino.

A Few More Words About Casino Lingo

Phew, we reached the end of this casino glossary! Dozens of words, expressions, and slang terms may be a bit confusing, but trust us – once you start playing, you will quickly get the hang of it. However, bear in mind that the online casino world is growing, and so the casino lingo is evolving as we speak.

Nevertheless, we hope this glossary can be of help for your gambling adventure. Finally, if you have something to add or wish to share thoughts with us, drop us a line in the comment section below.

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