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GAMBLING DICTIONARY

Welcome to Casino Maze’s comprehensive dictionary of the most commonly used gambling words, terms and expressions at online casino Web sites and traditional land-based casinos. Wondering what a certain term means? You’ll find the answer right here. So whether you’re playing to win, or just have a good time playing your favorite games, we’ll help you learn the lingo.

A

Action – The money wagered by a player during a complete gambling session.
Active Player – A poker term describing a player who still remains in the game.
Add-on – A poker term meaning the option to buy additional chips during a tournament.
Aggregate Limit – A casino’s entire payout limit over the course of a single game.
Aggregate Winnings – Same as total winnings.
All or Nothing – In Keno, a ticket that will only pay when either all or none of the numbers picked are drawn.
Anchor Man – A blackjack term, the player betting on the last box on the table is said to be ‘anchoring’ the game.
Ante – In card games, a wager necessary to begin a hand. Also, the initial required bet before receiving your cards in Caribbean Stud Poker.
Any Craps – One-roll dice wager covering two, three and 12.
Any Seven – One-roll dice wager covering any seven.
Arm – In craps, a player with such dice-throwing skill that he/she can alter the game’s regular odds. A player such as this is also called “an arm” and is generally not appreciated by dealers.
Audition – A test a dealer must pass prior to a casino hiring him/her.

B

Baccarat – A table game using six or eight card decks which requires no skill. Also known as Punto Banco.
Back Line – In craps, same as Don’t Pass Line.
Bag – British casino expression for ‘thousand.’ Three bag, for example, equals three thousand.
Banker – Same as dealer in a card game.
Bank Roll – Also known as “Roll.” Refers to the total cash a player has in order to support their bets.
Bar the 12 – A craps term, this converts the 12 into a Push on the Don’t Pass Line.
Banned – Same as barred. A player who is longer allowed into a casino.
Base – The area on a craps table where most of the bets are placed.
Base Dealer – Craps dealer overseeing one of the Bases.
Basic Strategy – Common reference to the proper way to play blackjack according to statistics.
Bet – Same as wager.
Betting Limits – The minimum or maximum amounts of money that a player may wager. Different games and casinos typically have dissimilar wagering limits.
Betting Right – A craps term meaning “betting along with the shooter.”
Betting Wrong – A craps term meaning “betting against the shooter.”
Bingo – A game in which players purchase cards with numbers on them in a 5 x 5 grid corresponding to the letters in the word BINGO. Numbers are selected at random and the first contestant to complete the word BINGO in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line is declared the winner.
Black Book – A list of players barred from entering a (Nevada) casino.
Blackjack – A card game whereby contestants bet against the dealer and attempt to get as close to 21 as possible, but without exceeding 21. Also, blackjack refers to a hand whereby the first two cards add up to precisely 21.
Blind Bet – A poker term meaning a bet placed without the player actually seeing any of his or her cards.
Blinds – A forced wager in Texas Hold’em Poker.
Boxing – A horse racing term meaning a single ticket including more than one parlay.
Book – The acceptance of a bet.
Box – In craps, the area on the craps table that the Boxman controls.
Boxman – In craps, the casino employee overseeing play at a craps table.
Break – A blackjack term meaning going over 21.
Break Even Point – Theoretical gambling term meaning the point at which one’s bets & payoffs would equal each other if a player played indefinitely.
Buck – A one hundred dollar wager.
Bug – Also known as a joker.
Bump – Same as “to raise.”
Burn Cards – Undealt cards placed in the discard tray once the dealer has shuffled and cut the deck.
Bust – Blackjack term meaning going over twenty-one. The same as Break.
Buy In – To buy chips. Also, the amount of cash used to buy chips at table games.

C

Call – Poker term meaning to match the current bet.
Call Bet – Any wager expressed verbally.
Camouflage – Anything a gambler may do to conceal his/her actions from the casino.
Capping – Placing additional chips on a wager after dealing has begun. Considered not legal plus a serious form of cheating.
Card Shark – A term referring to an expert card player.
Caribbean Stud Poker – A variation of 5-card poker whereby players compete against the house.
Carousel – A series of slot machines arranged in a circle with a change person positioned in the middle to exchange players’ cash into coins.
Carpet Joint – Slang term for a luxury casino.
Case Money – Emergency funds.
Cashier’s Cage – The cash desk in a casino where the cashier exchanges players’ chips for cash when a playing session is completed.
Casino Advantage – The edge, statistical or otherwise, that a casino maintains over gamblers.
Casino Rate – A discounted hotel room charge provided to players by a casino.
Catch – In Keno, when the number you’ve chosen has been drawn.
Change Color – The exchanging of a single-color denomination chip for another color chip.
Chase – To place an additional bet with the hope of reclaiming money previously lost.
Check – In a casino, same as Chip. In poker, to remain in a game without placing another wager.
Chemin De Fer – A table game using six or eight decks of cards. Similar to baccarat but requires skill.
Chips – Plastic round discs representing different cash denominations.
Chip Tray – The tray next to the dealer that holds the table’s chips.
Coat Tail – To bet on the identical numbers as someone who’s currently winning.
Cold – To be “cold” is to be on a losing streak.
Color Up – To trade lower-denomination chips for larger denomination chips. Also known as “to color out.”
Combination Way Ticket – A keno expression for a ticket which bets groups of numbers in various ways in order to provide a player with a greater range of winning combinations.
Comps – Complimentary gifts casinos provide players in order to encourage them to gamble more. In traditional land casinos this often comprised food and beverages. Internet casinos grant cash-valued points.
Come Bet – In craps, a bet a player places on the Come Line.
Come Line – Area on the craps table where a Come Bet is placed.
Come Out Roll – In craps, a shooter’s initial roll in any given round. Establishes the point.
Copy – A push in Pai Gow poker in which the player and banker have the same two or five-card hand. Different from a push, however, the dealer wins in the event of a copy.
Counting Cards – Memorizing cards already played in a blackjack game in order to gain an advantage against the dealer on the cards not yet played.
Cracking the Nut – Winning enough money on a gambling journey to cover all the expenses as well as take home a slight profit.
Craps – A popular casino game played by tossing dice.
Craps Out – A craps term meaning a roll of 2, 3, or 12 on the Come Out Roll.
Credit – In slot & video machines, the button allowing players to play coins in the form of credits.
Crew – In craps, the dealers overseeing a game/table.
Crossroader – Slang for a person that cheats.
Croupier – Another word for dealer at baccarat and roulette tables
Cut – To divide a deck of cards into two parts.
Cut Card – A faceless plastic card utilized for cutting a card deck.

D

D’Alenbert System – A scoring plan where one unit is added for a losing wager and one subtracted for a winning wager.
Deal – The distribution of cards in a card game.
Dealer – A casino employee who deals cards. Also known as the banker.
Deuce – A two rolled in dice.
Dice – Two identically numbered cubes.
Die – Singular term for dice.
Dime – A chip worth 10 dollars.
Dime Bet – A $1000 wager.
Discard Tray – A tray placed by the dealer for cards played and/or discarded.
Dollar Bet – A $100 wager.
Don’t Come Bet – In craps, equal to a Don’t Pass Bet, but placed following the initial Come Out Roll.
Don’t Come Line – In craps, the position on the table where a Don’t Come Bet is placed.
Don’t Pass Bet – In craps, a bet placed before the opening Come Out Roll, betting that a seven shall be rolled prior to the Point being repeated.
Don’t Pass Line – In craps, the place on the table where a Don’t Pass Bet is placed.
Double Down – A blackjack wagering option allowing a player to receive one card only in order to attempt to beat the dealer. When the player’s hand beats the dealer’s, the player’s winnings equal double his/her original wager.
Double Up – Gambling strategy by which the player doubles his/her bet after a loss in order to regain his/her lost money. Also known as the Martingale System.
Down Card – A face-down card.
Down to the Felt – Expression meaning out of cash, broke. etc
Draw – To draw a card to complete a hand. Commonly used in poker games.
Drop – Money lost while gambling.
Drop Box – A box on a playing table used as a safe for money, chips & markers.

E

Edge – An advantage. Generally indicates the advantage a casino has over players.
En Prison – In roulette, the money remaining on a table after a 1 to 1 wager when a zero or double zero emerges. A type of bonus.
Even Money Bet – A wager offering 1 to 1 odds. The payoff amount matches the bet.
Expected Win Rate – In slots, the percentage of all money bet that a player can reasonably expect to win back over time.
Eyes in the Sky – Casinos’ overhead surveillance video camera.

F

Face Cards – The king, queen & jack of any card suit.
Fifth Street – In 7-card stud poker, the third round of betting. Called 5th Street because players have 5 cards.
Fill – In poker, to draw a card that results in a 5-card hand.
Fill Up – In poker, to achieve a Full House.
Firing – Betting a big amount of cash.
First Base – In blackjack, the seat closest to the shoe which is also dealt to first.
Flat Betting – A wagering system/strategy in which the same amount is always wagered, without raising or lowering the amount.
Flat Top – A fixed-jackpot slot machine. Opposite of a progressive.
Float – The bank situated at a table.
Floor man – The casino manager.
Flop – In certain forms of poker, including Texas Hold’em Poker, the first 3 cards that are dealt all at once, facing up.
Foul – In Pai Gow poker, when a two-card hand is greater than the five-card hand, or when the hands contain the wrong number of cards. The result is an automatic loss.
Fourth Street – In 7-card stud poker, the second round of betting. Termed Fourth Street because players hold 4 cards.
Front Line – In craps, the same meaning as a Pass Line.
Front Money – Deposit made to a casino to establish a player’s credit.

G

George – A gambler who tips well.
Grease – Slang meaning to bribe.
Gross Winnings – Total payout, including the original wager. Opposite of Net Winnings.

H

Hand – The cards a player is holding.
Hard Count – Counting real cash, as opposed to chips.
Hard Hand – In blackjack, any hand that does not contain an ace worth 11.
Hard Way Bet – In craps, a bet which attempts to predict the total of both dice on doubles.
High Poker – Standard poker. where high hands win. Opposite of Low Poker.
High Roller – A player wagering large amounts of cash.
Hit – To request another card.
Hold Your Own – To break even. Neither winning nor losing.
Hole Card – In blackjack, the card the dealer receives face down. Any cards dealt face down.
Horn Bet – In craps, a single-roll bet combining 2, 3, 11, and 12.
Hot – To be hot is to be experiencing a winning streak.
House – Same as casino, dealer or banker.
House Edge – A casino’s inherent advantage over gamblers.

I

Inside Bet – In roulette, a bet placed on the inside of the table: on a single number or combo of numbers.
Insurance – A blackjack term meaning a side bet that the dealer has a Natural (two-card hand totaling 21.) Available only when a dealer’s face up card is an ace.

J

Jackpot – In slot machines, a big win.
Jacks or Better – In poker, a winning hand comprising a pair of jacks or higher.
Joker – A wild card, or the 53rd card deck.
Juice – The casino’s commission earned. Also known as Vigorish.

K

Kicker – In draw poker, an odd high card which does not contribute to a Straight or Flush.

L

Laying the Odds – Placing a bet on a likely winner in spite of a payoff less than the amount bet. Common in sports betting where a clear favorite is apparent. Opposite of Taking the Odds.
Layout – The surface on a gambling table including the areas where gamblers place their wagers.
Let It Ride – To raise a bet by two. To Press.
Load Up – To play the maximum number of coins/chips in slot machines or video poker.
Long Run – Theoretical term describing the ultimate equaling-out of wins & losses over a long period of time.
Loose – Slang for slot machines with high payoffs.
Low Poker – A type of poker in which the lowest hand wins. Also called Lowball. Opposite of High Poker.
Lumpy – A dealer whose dealing style is not smooth.

M

Marker – A check written at a table by a player with established credit at the casino. see ‘Front Money.’
Martingale System – Betting strategy in which a player doubles up following a loss.
Match Play – Gambling system used in competitive playing (typically tournaments) where gamblers compete against each other until one player achieves a fixed number of points.
Mechanic – A dishonest dealer.
Mini-Baccarat – A smaller type of baccarat requiring fewer players and dealers.
Money – A term sometimes meaning $500.
Money Put in Action – Expression for all money wagered during a playing session, including winnings following each game or round. Not used to indicate just the money initially wagered.
Monkey – Term sometimes describing a card having a value of 10.

N

Natural – In blackjack, a two-card hand adding up to 21.
Negative Expectation – Theoretical term describing a predicted gambling loss over a long period of time. see also House Edge.
Net Winnings – Total winnings less a gambler’s original bet. Opposite of Gross Winnings.
Nickel – A five-dollar chip.
Non-Negotiable Chip – A promotional chip which cannot be exchanged for cash.
Non-Value Chip – A chip whose value is determined by the Buy In amount. Opposite of a fixed-value chip.
Number Pool – The whole range of numbers offered in a game such as keno.
Nut – The amount of cash a player plans to win before quitting.

O

Odds – The amount a bet will pay off. For example, 100 to 1, 30 to 1, 2 to 1, etc.
Off – Term describing losing bets.
Off-Track Betting – Betting by gamblers not actually present at a race track.
On Tilt – Negative response to a losing poker hand.
One-Roll Bet – In craps, a wager that shall win or lose depending on a single roll of the dice.
Open – In poker, the first player to bet.
Outside Bet – In roulette, a wager placed on the outside of the table where 12 or 18 numbers are bet on simultaneously. Opposite of an Inside Bet.
Overlay – A bet whereby the player enjoys an advantage over the casino.

P

Paint – Same as a face card. A king, queen, or jack of any suit.
Palette – Tool commonly used baccarat dealers to manipulate cards on the table.
Pass – To pass is to not place a bet. To fold.
Pass Line – In craps, the location on a table where a Pass Line Bet is placed.
Pass Line Bet – In craps, a bet placed before the Come Out Roll which the Point will repeat.
Pat – In draw poker, a hand not requiring any more cards. In blackjack, a hand worth a minimum of 17 points but not more than 21.
Payline – The line(s) on slot machines where symbols must line up.
Payoff – The return paid on a winning bet.
Payoff Odds – The odds accorded to different bets in casinos with varying payoff values.
Payout Percentage – The percent of each dollar played in a slot machine or video poker which is programmed to be returned to the gambler.
Payout Table – A posting that indicates to the gambler what a winning hand shall pay.
Pigeon – Slang for a naive gambler.
Pit – The area in a casino where table games are organized around a central area which is reserved for dealers and other casino employees.
Pit Boss – A casino staff member overseeing the pit.
Pit Manager – Slightly different from a Pit Boss. A Pit Manager manages all problems and enforces casino rules.
Player – A person who gambles in a casino.
Playing the Rush – A expression for a poker player who has won a lot of money in a short amount of time.
Plug – A card-shuffling technique commonly used in blackjack.
Pocket Cards – A poker term meaning cards dealt face down.
Poker
– A card game with many variations in which players try to arrange a winning hand according to each different game’s rules.
Point – In craps, a dice term for a number rolled in the Come-Out Roll if a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 are rolled. For a Pass Line Bet to win, the point must be repeated prior to the shooter rolling a seven.
Pot – In poker, the amount of money which accumulates in the middle of the table. The pot is awarded to whoever wins the hand.
Press – To raise a bet by two. To Let It Ride.
Probability – A mathematical calculation establishing the chances of an event happening.
Progression Betting – A form of wagering in which the size of the bet is changed according to a preset formula.
Progressive – A slot machine featuring an increasing jackpot. Opposite of a Flat Top.
Proposition Bet – In craps, a dice bet placed on a number of combinations.
Punch Board – Lottery-type game whereby players punch out a slot for a chance to win cash or a prize.
Punter – Another word for gambler.
Punto Banco – Same as baccarat.
Push – A tie between the player and the dealer. Money is generally returned in the event of a push.

Q

Quads – In poker, another term for four-of-a-kind.
Qualifier – In poker, a minimum rank of a hand in order to win.
Quarter – A chip worth 25 dollars.

R

Rack – A container for transporting chips and/or tokens in a casino.
Rake – A fee charged by a casino for every round of poker, usually calculated by percentage.
Rank – In poker, the value of a card hand.
Rated – Term applied to highly skilled gamblers.
RFB – Room, Food & Beverages. See also Comps.
Riffling – A common shuffling process where the dealer intermixes two halves of a single card deck.
Right Bettor – In craps, a person betting on the Pass Line.
River – In poker, refers to the last card dealt in a hand.
Round – One cycle of a game and all the wagers placed during that cycle. A round varies depending on the type of game. In roulette, a round is represented by a single spin of the wheel. In poker, a round includes everything from the time original bets are placed to when a winner has been determined.
RVP – Recreational Vehicle Parking.

S

Sawdust Joint – Slang for a non-luxurious gambling atmosphere. Opposite of a Carpet Joint..
Sawbuck – Ten dollars.
Scared Money – Slang for money a player can’t afford to lose.
Session – A gambling period.
Set – In Pai Gow poker, the separating of a seven-card hand into two hands of five and two.
Seven-Out – In craps, rolling a seven when the Point has been set.
Seventh Street – In seven-card stud poker, the 5th (and final) betting round. Referred to as Seventh Street because gamblers have seven cards.
Shark – A player who cheats, or a very skilled card player.
Shill – A casino staff member whose purpose is to start a game or fill empty seats at a table.
Shiner – A mirror or similar reflecting object for (illegally) viewing hidden cards.
Shoe – A wooden box used for holding and dispensing cards at a table.
Shooter – In craps, the gambler who rolls the dice.
Short Run – A short series of bets or events in any game.
Showdown – In poker, the term for the end of a game when gamblers reveal their cards to determine a winner.
Shuffle Tracking – An illegal form of observation used mainly in blackjack. See also Counting Cards.
Shuffle Up – Expression for shuffling prematurely.
Shuffling – Mixing cards for ensuring fairness. The term includes numerous shuffling techniques.
Shutter – In bingo, the name of the flap on a bingo card used to mark each number as it is called out.
Silver Mining – The act of searching for coins remaining in slot machines.
Single – A simple bet placed on a single event or selection. Also called a Straight Bet.
Singleton – In poker, a card being the only one of its rank.
Sixth Street – In seven-card stud, the fourth round of betting. Known as Sixth Street because each player has six cards.
Skin – One dollar.
Skin Game – In poker, a game involving more than one cheater.
Skinning the Hand – Technique used by a poker cheater for unloading extra cards.
Skoon – One dollar.
Slot Club Member – A frequent gambler who is granted a card for use on slot machines.
Snake Eyes – In craps, a roll of the dice with a result valued at two.
Soft Count – Counting the contents of a Drop Box.
Soft Count Room – The room where a Soft Count is conducted.
Soft Hand – A blackjack term for any hand with an ace counted as 11.
Spinner – A winning streak.
Spooking – Type of cheating in which two players work in concert to cheat a casino. Generally used in blackjack, one player attempts to view the dealer’s Hole Card & then secretly passes this info to his/her partner seated at the table.
Spot – A number ranging from 1-80 that a player selects on a keno ticket. Also refers to the amount of numbers indicated on a ticket.
Stack – A roulette term referring to a column of chips (generally 20)
Stand – To reject any additional cards. Also ‘to stay.’
Standing Hand – In blackjack, a hand totaling 17 or more, but will likely bust should the player takeanother card. See also Pat.
Stay
– To refuse any more cards. Also known as ‘To Stand.’
Steaming – A blackjack word for On Tilt. A period of poor judgment by a gambler following a series of losses.
Stick Man – In craps, the casino staff member who calls the rolled numbers & controls the stick.
Stiff Hand – In blackjack, a hand which is not Pat or Standing. A hand amounting to between 12 & 16,which could bust.
Straight Keno
– Traditional keno played by marking numbers on a keno ticket.
Streak Betting – Betting on a recent trend or streak. In streak betting, gamblers increase their bets according to the results of what’s happening in a game. Also known as Progressive Betting.
Stripping – A card shuffling technique which reverses the order of a deck, from the first to the last card.
Stud Poker – Form of poker played with a combination of exposed and face down cards. Opposite of draw poker.
Suit – Any of the four kinds of cards in a deck: Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds.
Surrender – To give up a bet before a hand has been played out.
System – A wagering method based on mathematics employed in the hopes of gaining an advantage.

T

TAB – Totalisator Agency Board, a regulating agency for off-track betting.
Table Hold – The total money won by a casino at a table game from all players during an 8-hour session.
Table Stakes – In poker, a limited amount of money available to players for betting and raising: the cash on the table.
Table Test – A exam a dealer must pass prior to being hired by a casino. See also Audition.
Taking the Odds – Placing a wager which is less than the eventual payoff if the bet is successful. The opposite of Laying the Odds. Together, Taking the Odds & Laying the Odds constitute the 2 major forms of gambling.
Tapping Out – Losing it all causing the gambler to stop playing.
Tell Play – Term associated with reading a player or dealer’s body language or facial expressions to guess Hole Cards.
Third Base – In blackjack, the seat played last, right before the dealer’s hand is played.
Third Street – In 7-card stud, the first betting round. Called Third Street because gamblers have 3 cards.
Three-Card Monte – Popular three-card game. Similar to Bragg.
Three of a Kind – Poker term meaning 3 cards with the same rank.
Ticket – A card.
Time Cut – Money charged for time played within a casino or poker room.
Tip – A gratuity.
Toke – Short for token. A tip given to a dealer in either money or chip form.
Token – A casino coin required for playing slot machines.
Touch Wand – A device sometimes found on Video Keno machines to choose numbers.
Tournament – A competition among players for a set time period, often with wide, varying rules.
Trips – Three cards having the same rank.
True Odds – The actual chances of an event happening, taking a casino’s edge into account.

U

Underlay – An unwise wager, or a bet whose chances of occurring does not correspond to the amount of money wagered on it.
Unit – Simplified gambling term denoting the smallest amount of money used in a wager. Utilizing units eliminates the need for calculating actual dollar amounts in their various chip denominations.
Up card – A dealer’s exposed, or face up, card. Opposite of Hole Card.

V

Vigorish – A commission received by a casino. Also called Vig or Juice.
VIP – Very Important Person. Usually a High Roller.
VLT – Video Lottery Terminal.

W

Wager – A bet.
Washing – A shuffling technique in which the dealer spreads the cards on the table and mixes them in a style similar to washing. After, the dealer shuffles the cards in a more conventional style.
Whale – Name allocated to a very high roller, someone who wagers thousands of dollars on single bets.
White Meat – Slang for profit..
Wild Card – A card (usually a joker) that can be used to complete a hand in card games.
Wired Cards – In poker, a pair, triples, or four-of-a-kind dealt back-to-back in a single hand.
Working – In craps, a term used for indicating that bets are in play.
World Bet – In craps, a one-roll wager on the Horn, including the 7.
Wrong Bettor – In craps, a gambler who bets on the Don’t Pass Line.

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