Casino Slang & Terminology

Demystifying the Universal Language of Casinos

To get the best returns and enjoyment from playing online casinos, or visiting your local venue, you need to understand the 'lingo'. Far from being a 'secret language' designed to exclude the uninitiated, these terms are universally known to make it easier to communicate with other passionate players online anywhere in the world. A lot of the unique terms used are simply slang that resulted from groups of players chatting.

So, let’s demystify some of the jargon so you can feel even more comfortable in a casino.

Let’s look at the word 'casino' itself first, just out of interest. It originated in Italy, where a house is a “casa”. Does “mi casa es su casa” (my house is your house) sound familiar?

Casino meant a small house or social club. Casino started to be used to refer to any size of building providing dancing, gambling, music and sports. So, you could go to a casino to get your groove on without an opportunity to place a bet! Now, of course, it's synonymous with gambling – online or at venues. As for the origins of the word gambling, that’s a lot more complicated and debatable to explain.

The names of the games are covered elsewhere, but here are some of the key terms and phrases online casino players may come across.

Action

This term sums up the services of a casino and the actual process of getting involved. So if you are looking for “action” online, you are looking for a casino that offers the types of games you enjoy.

Aggregate Limit

Casinos may have a limit to how much they are prepared to pay out, over a period of time. This is the aggregate limit.

Aggregate Winnings

Are the total amount you walk away with.

All In

Means games with no limits, or when a player bets with their whole pot.

Ante

Is a compulsory bet you sometimes need to make to receive your hand in a card game, particularly poker. So upping the ante means raising the stakes, putting more in before you even see your cards. This is a term that’s widely used outside casinos now too, for increasing the risks and potential benefits of an activity.

Banker

In card games this is the person who deals. In some games this role is passed around.

Bankroll

The amount of money you use to support your casino involvement.

Barber's Pole

This one, like some other casino terms, has its roots way back in history. It refers to chips of different colours stacked on a bet, but it gets its nickname from the old fashioned red and white stripped poles that used to tell you where a barber’s shop was located.

Betting Limits

These tell you the highest, and lowest amounts of money you can use within that game. These are added with online casinos to make it a smoother process and make sure everyone has a chance to gain from the activity.

Brick

This is a card that doesn’t appear to help you in a card game, particularly poker.

Bump

This means to raise the level of the bet.

Burn Cards

Is when cards are taken off the top of the deck and discarded after shuffling and cutting. This is just a tradition, and part of the game process. It happens in texas hold'em, one of the most popular card games in the world; which incidentally has a lot special terms in its rules.

Call

Means you are matching the current bet.

Card Sharp

Refers to someone who is particularly good at card
games.

Card Washing

Not to be taken literally, this is actually a process of shuffling cards to make sure they are not sequential (in order), particularly in a new pack. It usually involves spreading them on a table and shuffling them thoroughly.

Case Money

Players use this to mean cash they set aside for
emergencies.

Cash Check

A handy system offered by online casinos to help you look at your transaction history and keep to your personal limits.

Chase

If you lose money on a bet, some games offer the chance to add more money to try to win it back.

check

Can mean different things, including being another word for gambling chips, or the role you take when you stay in a hand of poker without making a bet.

cut card

Is the card used to cut the deck when it’s being shuffled.

Deposit

Online casinos ask you to put money in to an account when you are ready to play, to provide a starting point for your chosen games.

Deuce

Is sometimes used instead of the number two.

Dirty Money

The money collected off the table by the dealer that players have lost.

double or nothing

Is an even pay-out bet, you get the same amount in winnings that you put in.

Doubling Up

Means the option to double your previous bet when you lose, to have a chance of winning your money back.

Draw

Is another one you will find used in different ways, but mainly as taking another card, or a second hand of cards in “draw poker”. If you stay in a game in the hope of being able to discard and improve your hand, you are “on a draw”.

eCOGRA

Is important as it stands from e-commerce online gaming regulation and assurance. If you see this then you know the online casino is accredited to provide an honest and professional service, committed to protecting players.

EncryptiOn

Means the casino software uses security code to keep your online transactions protected from hackers.

Even Bet

Pays out the same amount you wagered.

fifth street

Varies according to the game but in seven-card stud it’s the round you have five cards in your hand, and in texas hold’em it’s the fifth card on board (which is the final round for betting).

Finales

Is when you choose to make bets on a group of numbers ending in the same digit; so, 5, 15, 25 and 35 for example.

Firing

Means betting large sums.

Fish

Often refers to someone who is new to gambling.

Flash

Is casino software you don’t have to download to use.

Flat Betting

Can be used to play the same amount on every round of the game.

Flop

In poker games this refers to the three face up cards in the community cards. Games using this system are sometimes called flop games.

grinding

When a player continues playing the same game for an extended period of time because they believe it will pay out at a certain point.

Hand

Means betting large sums.

High Roller

Someone who places large bets.

House

Refers to the casino venue you are in, or the makers of your online casino software.

House Edge

Often refers to someone who is new to gambling.

Kicker

In poker, it is the card (usually an ace or king) which is not needed for a straight or a flush.

Load Up

Is to play the maximum coins the video game or slots machine will allow.

Match Play

Is a tournament of games, rather than a single one.

Multi Play

The added benefit of online casinos is to give you
chance to compete with other players.

Net Winnings

Is your total pay-out, minus your original stake.

Number Pool

Indicates the range of numbers you can choose from to play certain games.

Odds

The figure by which the casino will multiply your stake if your bet is successful. It shows you the mathematical probability of winning. Pay off odds break down for you how much the casino would pay out measured against your stake.

Open

Is the player who starts the hand of cards.

Paint

Refers to a picture card (jack, queen and king).

Pokies

Is sometimes used to refer to online poker, fruit and slot machine games particularly in Australia and New Zealand.

Pot

In poker it is the money that mounts up in the middle of the table and is paid out to the winner.

Press a Bet or Pressing

Means letting your winnings ride on the original bet.

Push

Is a game that is tied, and neither the player or the casino wins.

Quads

Four of a kind in poker.

Rake

Means the fee a casino charges for each hand of poker.

Riffling

Is a commonly used method to shuffle cards, which involves interweaving them together.

Snake Eyes

Are used to refer to getting a two in the game of craps, which is considered to be unlucky.

Streak Betting

Covers both changing your wager up or down, depending on how the previous rounds have gone. It’s also sometimes called ‘progressive betting'.

Stripping

Is another card shuffling technique, which places cards away from each other (one-by-one or in clumps) to make sure they are not sequential.

Suit

Not what you wear, but the name given to groups of cards (hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades).

TRIPS

Is when you hold three cards of the same rank.

Wager

The bet you are placing.

Web Wallet

This is something you can use when playing online to manage your transactions.

Whale

Refers to someone making large bets. Whales are usually very rich individuals who can easily afford to lose large sums of money.

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