Glossary of Casino Terms

There are lots of casino related terms and phrases that you may not be familiar with if you are not an experienced casino player. It's fairly obvious what some of them mean, but some of them can cause a bit of confusion. Although we wouldn't say it's essential that you understand all of them in order to enjoy playing casino games, it certainly doesn't hurt.

If you're something of a beginner and planning to visit a casino, or looking to start playing online, it really wouldn't be a bad idea to have a look through this page. We've listed a number of the most commonly used words and phrases used in the casino, and explained exactly what they mean.

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
A
ACS:

An acronym for Automatic Card Shuffler.

Advantage Player:

A casino player who is able to legally gain some kind of advantage over the house. The term is typically used for players who can successfully count cards in blackjack, but can also apply to craps players who use dice control or players who know how to gain maximum value from bonuses and comps.

Ante:

An initial bet required (usually in card games) before a hand can start.

Automatic Card Shuffler:

A machine used in some land based venues to automatically shuffle one or more decks of cards.

B
Banker:

A position that is responsible for taking lost bets and paying out winnings. This position is typically held by the dealer.

Bankroll:

A fixed sum of money used specifically for the purposes of gambling.

Bet:

An amount of money put at risk for the chance of winning.

Betting Layout:

The area of a gaming table where players can place their chips to make their chosen bet(s).

Betting Limits:

The minimum and maximum stakes allowed at a gaming table.

Bonus:

Extra funds that an online casino account may add to a player's account as an incentive for signing up and depositing, or as a reward for wagering a certain amount on games.

Burn Card:

A card that is taken from the top of the deck and discarded after a shuffle or before a new round of cards is dealt.

C
Cage:

The area of a casino where the chips are stored. Usually includes the cashier's desk too.

Card Counting:

Keeping track of which cards have been dealt in blackjack to have a better idea of which cards are likely to be dealt next. When done successfully, card counting can give a player an edge over the casino.

Card Shark:

An expert card game player.

Card Sharp:

An alternative phrase for card shark.

Card Washing

A card shuffling technique where a dealer will spread all the cards on the table and mix them around.

Cash Bonus:

A specific type of online casino bonus. A cash bonus is one that can be withdrawn once the wagering requirements have been met.

Cash Out:

To have funds from your online account sent back to you via the payment option of your choice.

Cashier's Desk:

The area of a casino where players can exchange their chips for cash.

Chasing:

Trying to recover previous losses by increasing stakes. A very bad idea.

Chip Tray:

Usually found in front of a dealer at a gaming table, this holds the chip inventory for that table.

Chips

Typically plastic discs, these are tokens used to represent real money at the gaming tables.

Coat Tail:

To follow someone else's betting patterns.

Cold Streak:

An extended run of bad luck.

Cold Table:

A gaming table where all or most players are losing.

Color Up

To exchange smaller denomination chips for ones of a larger denomination.

Comp:

To give players free drinks/food/accommodation in exchange for their playing activity.

Comp Hustling:

The act of playing specific games, or playing in a specific way, so as to maximize the value of comps relative to the amount lost at the tables or slot machines.

Comp Points:

Players earns comp points based on their playing activity. These points can be exchanged for free food/drink/accommodation/credits in a land based casino, or for extra credits in an online casino.

Continuous Shuffling Machine:

A machine used in some land based venues to automatically and continuously shuffle the cards during game play. They are typically used in blackjack to combat card counters.

Croupier:

A casino employee in charge of running a gaming table. Also referred to as a dealer.

CSM

An acronym for Continuous Shuffling Machine.

Cut Card:

A blank plastic card that is used to cut a deck of cards.

D
Dealer:

A casino employee in charge of running a gaming table. Also referred to as a croupier.

Deck Penetration:

The term used to describe the (approximate) percentage of a deck, or decks, of cards before they are shuffled.

Deposit:

Sending funds to your online casino account using the payment method of your choice.

Deposit Bonus:

A specific type of casino bonus. A deposit bonus is one that is given for making a deposit to your online casino account.

Deposit Method:

The payment method used to deposit funds to your online casino account. Popular deposit methods include credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfer.

Dice Control:

A method of throwing dice that gives a player an increased likelihood of throwing, or not throwing, certain numbers. There is some debate about whether this is actually possible.

Dirty Money:

The losing bets that are collected by the dealer at the end of a game.

Discard Tray:

Usually found to the right of a dealer at a gaming table, this is where played or discarded cards are placed.

Down Card:

A card dealt unexposed – i.e. facing the table. Also known as a face down card.

Download Casino:

A type of online casino where you have to download software in order to play the games.

E
ECOGRA:

An acronym for E-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. An independent authority which approves online casinos that have proved they operate responsibly and provide a fair gaming experience.

Edge:

See House Edge.

Encryption:

A method used by online casinos to ensure that financial transactions and private information are encoded and protected from hackers.

Even Money Bet:

A bet with payout odds of 1:1, meaning the potential amount won is equal to the initial stake (the initial stake is also returned). A winning $10 even money bet would return a total of $20.

Expected Win Rate:

The percentage of the total amount wagered at a game that you can expect to win back. For example, in a game with a 95% expected win rate you would expect to win roughly $95 for every $100 wagered in the long run (net losses would be $5).

Eye In The Sky:

A term used to describe the security cameras in the ceiling at most land based casinos.

F
Face Card:

Any jack, queen or king in a deck of cards.

Face Down Card:

A card dealt unexposed – i.e. facing the table. Also known as a down card.

Face Up Card:

A card dealt exposed – i.e. facing upwards. Also known as an up card.

Flash Casino:

A type of online casino where you can play the games directly from your web browser. Also known as an instant casino.

Flat Betting:

A betting style where the amount you stake is the same each time.

G
Gambler's Fallacy:

The mistaken belief that the outcome of a random event is influenced by previous outcomes. Believing that the next spin of the roulette wheel must be black because the previous ten spins have all been red is an example of gambler's fallacy.

George:

A slang term used by dealers to refer to a player who tips well.

Gross Winnings:

The total amount returned from a winning bet, or a series of winning bets, including the initial stake(s).

H
High Roller:

A player that places high stakes bets.

Hot Streak:

An extended run of good luck.

Hot Table:

A gaming table where all or most players are winning.

House:

An alternative term for the casino.

House Edge:

The built-in advantage that the casino has in all games. It is usually gained by paying out at odds slightly below the true odds of winning, and is expressed as a house edge. A game with a 2% house edge, for example, should net the casino a $2 profit for every $100 wagered in the long run.

House Rules:

Games rules that are specific to a particular casino.

I
Instant Casino:

A type of online casino where you can play the games directly from your web browser. Also known as a flash casino.

J
Jackpot:

A particularly large prize, usually associated with slot games.

L
Layout:

See Betting Layout.

Live Dealer Games:

Online casino games where players can play against real dealers using real gaming tables via real time video feeds.

Lobby:

The area of an online casino where you can choose which games you are going to play.

Loyalty Program:

A method for online casinos to reward their players based on their playing activity.

M
Marker:

An amount of money that may be loaned to player for the purposes of wagering in the casino, providing that player has an established line of credit.

Maximum Bet:

The highest amount a player can stake on any one bet.

Minimum Bet:

The lowest amount a player can stake on any one bet.

Multi-Hand Game:

Any game where players can play more than one hand at once.

Multi-Player Game:

Any game where more than one player can take part at the same time.

N
Net Winnings:

The profit made by a player from a winning bet, or a series of winning bets.

O
Odds:

See True Odds and Payout Odds.

Optimal Strategy:

In certain games there is a "correct" way to play which will give players the best chance of winning (or rather minimize their chances of losing). This is way of playing is known as optimal strategy.

P
Paint:

A slang term used for any jack, queen or king in a deck of cards.

Payout:

The amount returned to a player after a winning bet.

Payout Odds:

Used to determine the amount a player will win from a winning bet, relative to the initial stake. Payout odds of 2:1, for example, mean a player will win $2 for every $1 staked.

Payout Percentage:

The total amount returned to players in the long run, expressed as a percentage of money staked. A game with a payout percentage of 98%, for example, will return an average of $98 for every $100 wagered.

Payout Table:

Displays the amount that can be won for the various winning combinations on a slot game, or for winning hands at video poker, or any winning bets at a table game.

Pit:

Land based casinos are generally divided into various separate pits, with each pit containing a number of gaming tables. The central area of each set of tables is restricted to players, and only casino employees can enter.

Pit Boss:

A casino employee responsible for overseeing a specific pit, ensuring that the correct policies are followed and dealing with any issues or disputes that may arise.

Play Bonus:

A specific type of online casino bonus. A play bonus is for wagering purposes only and cannot be withdrawn.

Play For Fun:

Most online casinos offer play for fun versions of some or all of their games, where players can try the games without having to risk any of their own real money.

Progression Betting:

A betting style. Positive progression involves increasing stakes after a win and negative progression involves increasing stakes after a loss.

Progressive Jackpot:

A type of jackpot that grows over time until it is won.

Push:

An alternative term for a tie.

R
Racino:

A casino located at a horse racing track.

Random Number Generator (RNG):

A computer program used by online casinos to automatically produce random results for the games.

Reload Bonus:

A specific type of online casino bonus. A reload bonus is offered to existing players in return for making a deposit to their account.

Rewards Scheme:

A method for online casinos to reward their players based on their playing activity.

S
Shoe:

A box of some kind used to hold and dispense cards at gaming tables.

Shuffle:

The act of randomly mixing up a deck of cards so their order is uncertain.

Side Bet:

A type of bet that can be placed in some casino games, on an outcome that is not directly related to the result of the game. For example, in some blackjack variants you can place a side bet on whether the total value of your first two cards will be higher or lower than 13.

Sign Up Bonus:

A specific type of online casino bonus. A sign up bonus is offered to new players when they first join.

Stake:

The size of a bet.

Sticky Bonus:

See Play Bonus.

Stiff:

A slang term used by dealers to refer to a player that doesn't tip.

T
Table Hold:

The total profit made by a gaming table over a specified period of time.

Toke:

A slang term for a tip given to a dealer.

True Odds:

The actual odds of a bet winning based on probability. The true odds are usually higher than the payout odds, which is how the casinos gain their edge. For example, in European roulette the payout odds for a bet on a single number are 35:1. The true odds of winning such a bet are 36:1.

U
Up Card:

A card dealt unexposed – i.e. facing upwards. Also known as a face up card.

V
VIP Player:

A player who is considered high value by a casino, usually because they play very regularly and/or for high stakes.

VIP Program:

A method for online casinos to reward their players based on their playing activity.

W
Wager:

See Bet.

Wagering Requirements:

Online casino bonuses usually come with wagering requirements, which dictate how much a player must wager on games before they can make a withdrawal of any winnings associated with a bonus.

Welcome Bonus:

See Sign Up Bonus.

Whale:

A high value player; one that loses regularly and/or plays for large stakes.

Withdrawal:

Making a withdrawal from your online casino account means requesting funds are paid back to you via the payment method of your choice.

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