The Ultimate Casino Glossary

The casino is a place filled with lights, sounds, entertainment, games and jargon. It’s not always easy to know what to say and how to say it. Each game practically has its own terminology, which can be daunting to use and understand as a beginner.

Some games are older than most would think, and certain terminology dates back decades and even centuries. Knowing the jargon is not just about impressing your friends — it’s about understanding the games in their entirety. Taking a closer look at gambling jargon will help you to know what to say, and why you say it.

Gambling jargon is also not just for land-based establishments. The jargon is tied to the games themselves, and those who play online will know that understanding terminology is a starting point to creating a strategy. Knowing what you can do in a game, and what that move is called, is essential to a successful game plan. 

In live games, you will need to communicate your bets with the croupier. Having confidence in what you’re saying will ensure that you’re not embarrassed in front of other players. You could even help others to understand the jargon and, in doing so, create a healthy rhythm and speed in the game.

The following glossary is a comprehensive list of words and terms, and their definitions, most used in online and live casinos, sports betting providers and online betting sites. 

Casino Glossary

The glossary arranged in alphabetical order within each of the following sections:

  • General 
  • Table games
  • Electronic or machine games 
  • Sports betting 

General terms

Ante: A minimum bet required to play.

Black: Ponies or £25 chip.

Bones: Dice.

Cashdesk: The cashier area where you purchase or cash in chips.

Colour in or colour up: To exchange smaller chips for larger denominations.

Croupier: A dealer or employee who assists at the gaming tables or collects and pays bets.

Fish: A novice or poor player, also known as a Pigeon.

Front money: Money that is deposited to establish credit for playing.

High roller: A person who makes large bets.

House: A reference to the establishment.

House edge: The advantage the house has over players thanks to the rules of the game.

Pink:  A £100 chip.

Pit: Area where the table games are located.

Rack: A container for chips.

Red: A £5 chip

Session: Period of gaming without interruption or prolonged break.

Streak: A run of winning or losing hands.

Tilt: To gamble recklessly.

Whale: Someone who makes extremely large bets.

Win rate: Average amount a player wins per hour.

Table games

Roulette table with a dealer in the background

Banker: The person at the table accepting wagers and distributing payouts.

Chemmy Shuffle: When a dealer shuffles the cards by placing them face down on the table and moves them around like a washing machine before dealing again.

Croupier: The person at the table accepting wagers and distributing payouts.

Cut: Splitting a deck into two groups of cards.

Dealer: An employee who manages a table game and distributes cards.

Discard tray: A receptacle on the dealer’s right for discards or played cards.

Down Card: A card dealt face down.

Draw: The act of taking an additional card (same as Hit). 

Egalite: French term for a tie.

Face cards: The Jack, Queen, and King of any suit. Also called Paint or Pictures.

Fold: To drop out of play and surrender your bet.

Hand: A player’s cards.

Heads up, heads on or head-to-head: A player seated alone with the dealer.

Hit: To add a card to a hand (same as Draw).

Hole card: An unexposed card.

House rules: The set of regulations and rules governing a particular game.

 House rules concept with a red house and rules spelt out with wooden blocks

Insurance: A side bet in case the dealer has a blackjack.

Limits: The minimum and maximum amounts that can be wagered in one bet.

Multiple deck or multi-deck: When two or more decks are used in a game.

Odds: The amount for which a Pass Line bet may be backed in table games.

Pot: The total amount of bets made by all players at any given time in poker.

Push: A game ends with no winner or loser and the player’s wager is returned.

Rail: The edge around the table for the players’ chips.

Rake: A commission on a game, charged by the House in poker.

Shoe: A container that holds up to eight shuffled decks.

Shooter: The player who is currently throwing the dice in Craps.

Single deck: A card game played with just one deck of playing cards.

Stake: The total amount of wagered by a player on a single round, hand, spin or deal.

Stand: The act of drawing no card, accepting the value of the hand and refusing an additional card. Most common in Blackjack, Baccarat or Poker. 

Stand-off: A game which ends with no winner or loser and the player’s wager is returned.

Stay: The act of drawing no card, accepting the value of the hand and refusing an additional card. Most common in Blackjack, Baccarat or Poker. 

Suit: One of the four groups of thirteen cards in a deck, i.e Spades, Hearts, Diamonds or Clubs.

Table game: A game for multiple players seated or standing around a table, controlled by a dealer or croupier.

Table limits: Minimum and maximum wagers allowed at the table.

Table stakes: Betting is limited to the amount on the table at any particular time. 

Up card: A card dealt face up.

Vigorish or vig: A commission that the House takes in poker.

Electronic or machine games

Woman enjoying playing a slot machine with her hand on the lever

Check out this article for an in-depth list of slots glossary.

Autoplay: An option to allow bets to be placed automatically for a fixed number of turns.

Bonus round: A feature in slot games offering the opportunity to win that is separate from the basic game.

Jackpot: A large bonus or large payout for winning, often used in slot games.

Loose: A slots game that pays out at a higher percentage than average.

Payline: Any line on the slots machine window where the symbols from each reel line up to form a winning combination.

Payout table or paytable: A list of the different amounts paid out for winning combinations on slots or video poker games.

Progressive: A type of jackpot based upon a prize pool that continually increases until it is won.

Wild card or wild: A Video Poker card or Slots symbol that can be used in place of other cards or symbols and their value.

Sports betting

3 friends celebrating winning a sports bet looking at a phone

Accumulator: A series of bets in one wager. Each of the bets must win for the wager to win. 

Alternate Lines: Different sports betting odds on the same game from two different online sports betting sites.

Bet Calculator: A tool used to help you discover the variety of different outcomes for your bets.

Betting Exchange: People wager against one another instead of against a sportsbook. 

Chalk: The favourite in an event. 

Closing Line: Where the point spread is when a game begins.

Dead Heat: The result is a tie.

Double Pop: Betting twice the normal amount.

Early Cash Out: When a bettor settles their wager before the end of the event.

Fixed Odds: The odds are set once the bet is made.

Handle: The amount of money a sports betting site takes from bets. 

Live Betting: Placing a wager on a game that is currently taking place. 

Margin: Betting on the points difference and not the amount of points each team will score.

Player Props: A wager on an individual player to do something particular during a game.

Steam: When odds change because of the amount of money being wagered on a game.

Walking the talk

Familiarising yourself with these words and terms will help even a rookie sound like a veteran. These terms are universal and can be used by those who play at brick-and-mortar or online casinos, and online sports betting sites.

If you’re still nervous about what to say, try out your newly learned words and terms in a live game, like live roulette. In that way, you’ll interact with other humans without being there in person to deal with any fallout afterwards. Register with Grosvenor Casinos for an excellent live platform where you can use your newly learned jargon.   

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