Essential Gambling Terms

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

When you don’t know the language, gambling can seem scary. You’ll hear a lot of different gambling terms on the floor of an Oklahoma casino, or any other casino, for that matter. And it can be hard to keep up when you’re in the middle of a game. Knowing a few key words and phrases ahead of time can make your play better and help you understand what goes into each play.

With our simple guide, you can learn the most important terms in gambling.

Our complete casino terms and glossary will teach you how to use and understand all of the most important gambling terms.

Action: The act of putting money on a bet. Also, the sum of all bets in any given situation.

Aggregate Limit: The total amount of money the casino has to pay out in any one game.

Winnings: Winnings are the total amount of bets that a player has won and had paid into their account.

All-in: All-in means that a poker player bets all of his or her chips at once.

Ante: Ante is a small bet that all players make before getting a hand of cards, especially in poker tournaments.

Baccarat: Baccarat is a game of chance that is played at a casino table between a player and a “banker.” Each side gets two cards, and depending on their total, they might get a third card as well. Up to nine points, the hand that has the most points wins.

Banker: This is usually the dealer, whose job it is to pay out winnings and collect bets that lost.

Bankroll: Bankroll is the amount of money a player decides to bet in a single session or the total amount of money they have to bet with.

Bet: Any amount that was used during bet.

Betting Limit: The most a player can bet is called the “betting limit.”

Black Chip: A “black chip” is a $100 bet token.

Bonus: Cash that a casino gives you as a reward or to get you to play.

Blind Bet: A blind bet is a bet that a poker player makes before they see their cards. All of the players take turns making blind bets for set amounts, which forces the other players to bet or fold.

Blackjack: Blackjack is a game played at a table in a casino against a dealer. Each player starts out with two cards, and the goal is to get as close as possible to a total of 21. If you go over 21, you will automatically lose.

Bluff: Bluffing in poker means to bet with a hand that has little or no value.

Board: The cards that are out in the open or the cards that everyone uses.

Brick: Brick is a poker term for a card that doesn’t help a player’s hand.

Burn card: A card that is taken from the top of the deck before the dealer shows one or more board cards.

Call: In poker, this means to match a bet that has already been made.

Cannon: A person who always makes big bets, especially in poker.

Card Shark: A skilled player. Also called a “card shark” or “sharp.”

Card Wash: Card wash is when a player asks for an extra shuffle of the cards before they are dealt.

Check: Check is a poker action that means you want to stay in the hand but don’t want to bet. Chips are also sometimes called checks.

Cooler: A bad run of cards or a player who has a lot of bad luck.

Commission: Commission is a set amount or percentage that the casino keeps from some table games.

Cowboy: Cowboy is slang for a king card in poker or table games.

Craps: Craps is a dice game played at a table in a casino. Players place bets based on what they think the next roll will be.

Croupier: A roulette dealer (or online simulation).

Dealer: A person in a casino (or an online simulation) who gives out cards, pays out winnings, and collects money from losing bets.

Down card: A face-down card.

Drop: The money a dealer collects for the house. This is the casino’s take or profit.

Deuce: A card worth 2 points.

Edge: The casino’s edge, which is usually given as a percentage. Also means how good a player is compared to others.

Even Money: Even money is a payout of $1 for every $1 bet.

Expected win rate: The amount of money a player is likely to win or lose out of the total amount bet.

Face Cards: Face cards are the king, queen, or jack.

Face-down: When a card is dealt face-down, its value is hidden.

Face-up: When a card is dealt, its value is shown.

Fish: A player who makes bad bets is called a “fish.” He or she is also new to gambling.

Flat bet: When you always bet the same amount.

Flop: In hold ’em poker, the flop is the first three cards that are shared by all players.

Fold: Fold means to give up a hand and not play any more.

Green chip: A token for betting that is worth $25.

Grinder: A skilled, patient player who rarely bets unless they think they have an advantage.

Gross Winnings: Gross winnings are the total amount a player gets back when he or she wins a bet.

Hand: The group of cards a player gets.

High-roller: A huge bettor.

Hit: In blackjack, this means to draw another card.

Hole card: A card that is hidden and held face down by a player.

Hot Table: A “hot table” is a game where most people are winning.

House: A casino is also called a “house.”

House Edge: House edge is the edge that all games give to the casino.

House Rules: House rules are the rules that the casino sets for how to play.

Inside Bets: Inside bets are placed on a single number or a group of numbers in roulette (as opposed to betting on the winning colour, or whether the number will be odd or even).

Insurance: Insurance is a side bet in blackjack that’s offered when the dealer shows an ace.

Jack Five: Two cards, a jack and a five, make up a “jack five.”

Jackpot: A big prize pool or a big win by one person.

Johnnies: Johnnies are a pair of cards that are both jacks.

Juice: Juice is the cut or fee that the casino takes from any game. The vig is also known as the vigorish or just the vig.

Keno: Keno is a casino game that is like a lottery.

Ladies: Two cards that are both queens.

Limit: A cap on how much a bet can be worth.

Lobby: The lobby is a page on a casino’s website where all the games can be found.

Long shot: A bet that doesn’t hit off very often, but when it does, it pays off big.

Low-roller: A player who makes small bets is called a “low-roller.”

Maximum bet: The most bet that can be wagered.

Me and Betty: Betty and I have two cards, a 6 and a 9.

Minimum bet: The smallest amount a player can bet.

Monster: A hugely valuable hand of cards.

Natural: In blackjack and baccarat, these are cards that always win.

No-limit: A poker term that means a player can bet all of their chips at any time.

Nuts: In poker, blackjack, or baccarat, nuts is the best possible hand.

Odds: Odds are the amount paid for a bet or the statistical chance that a bet will be won or lost.

Optimal Strategy: The best way to play that will lead to a win is called the “optimal strategy.”

Omaha: Omaha is a type of poker that is similar to hold ’em, but each player gets four cards instead of two.

Orange: A $1,000 “orange chip” is a betting token.

Out: A card that makes a player’s hand stronger.

Paint: Another word for face cards like kings, queens, and jacks.

Parlay: Take the winnings from one bet and use them to make another bet.

Payout Table: A chart that shows how much some table games will pay out for certain bets.

Pigeon: A bad player, Pigeon.

Pineapple: Pineapple is a type of hold ’em poker in which each player gets three cards.

Pocket Cards: Pocket cards, also called hole cards, are the cards that poker players are given face down.

Pot Limit: Pot limit is a type of betting in poker where players can bet or raise by the same amount that is already in the pot.

Pot Odds: Pot odds are the return on a winning bet, based on how big it was.

Progressive Jackpot: A progressive jackpot is a prize pool that keeps getting bigger over time.

Punto Banco: Baccarat is also known by the name “punto banco.”

Purple chip: A betting token worth $500. Also called a “Barney.”

Quads: Four cards that all have the same value.

Quick Pick: Quick pick is a term used in keno when a computer picks numbers at random.

Rag: A card that doesn’t help a player’s hand in any way.

Random number/ card generator: A computer software used by online casinos to generate winning numbers or cards at random.

Red Chip: A “red chip” is a $5 bet token.

Reload bonus: An online casino will give you extra money when you add money to your account.

River: The fifth and last common or community card dealt in hold ’em poker or similar games.

Roulette: Roulette is a table game in a casino where you spin a wheel with numbers from 1 to 36 on it.

Royal flush: The top five cards of the same suit (10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace).

San Francisco Busboy: Two cards, a queen and a three, said the San Francisco busboy.

Semi-bluff: Semi-bluff is the act of wagering with a poker hand that may not be the greatest at the moment, but has a decent possibility of improving.

Shark: A player with a lot of skill.

Short-stacked: Short-stacked means that you only have a few chips.

Shuffle: To mix the cards on the table while they are face down, making the next deal more random.

Side bet: A bet you can make on the side of the main bet in some table games.

Sign-up bonus: Online casinos offer extra money to new players when they sign up.

Smooth call: Calling a bet when your poker hand is strong enough to raise.

Split: In blackjack, to split means to separate two cards of the same value into two separate hands.

Stake: Stake is the amount of money that is put on the table during a single session. The size of a bet as well.

Stand: To stop drawing cards.

Same Suit: Five cards in a row that all have the same suit.

Trapped Out: To lose all your money; to be “tapped out.”

Tell: Tell is a poker term for small clues or hints that a player gives away unintentionally about how strong or weak their hand is.

Texas hold ‘em: The most popular type of poker is Texas hold ’em. Each player gets two face-down cards that can be used with the shared face-up cards to make the best hand possible.

Trey: A card worth three points.

Turn: The fourth shared or community card in hold ’em poker that all players can use.

Underdog: A hand that doesn’t have the best odds of winning.

Underwater: A bad day at the casino.

Unit: The usual amount a player bets. The value of a unit depends on how much money a player is willing to put into the game.

Up-card: A face-up card is an up card.

VIP: V.I.P. means a very important person who bets a lot of money and is seen as a valuable player by a casino.

Wager: Bet is another word for “wager.”

Wash: This is another word for a push, which is when neither the player nor the casino wins. Also used to describe how cards are mixed before being shuffled in a table game.

Whale: Whale is another name for a high-value player, who usually loses more than they win.

White Chip: A “white chip” is a $1 bet token.

Withdrawals: Withdrawing is the process of getting money out of an online casino account.

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