If you’re new to the world of gambling and online casinos, you may be confused by some of the words and phrases used by players and casinos. This detailed lingo guide will help you get familiar with basic terms, like the definition of gambling and some of the most popular casino games.
Common Gambling Terms
Add-On. A poker term. If you want to buy more chips to use during the game, these are called add-ons.
Aggregate Limit. The aggregate limit is the casino’s payout liability in any one game.
All-In. A poker term for betting all of your chips. If you’re playing a No Limit game and another player’s bet is more than what you have, you can go “all-in,” and the other player will reduce their bet to match yours.
Ante. Another word for bet. Players make an ante before the cards are dealt.
Bankroll. A bankroll is the amount of money a player sets aside strictly for gambling purposes. They’re most commonly used by professional gamblers to ensure they only play with money they designate for gambling.
Bet. In betting terminology, bet means to stake money on a game or event. Depending on the situation, several bets may be made.
Bonus. Online casinos offer bonuses, or incentives, to new players that sign up and make their first deposit. Bonuses can vary from one online casino to the next.
Buy In. The “buy in” is the money used to buy chips before playing a table game.
Casino. What is a casino? The official casino definition is: “a public space where gambling games are played.”
Casino Advantage. The casino advantage refers to the “edge” the casino has over players, or the likelihood that the casino will win. This is also known as the house edge. It’s the ratio of the player’s expected loss to the bet amount. The higher the house edge, the greater the chance of the player losing.
Chips. When gambling at a casino, chips are tokens that represent real money and are used to make bets.
Comps. Physical casinos use comps in the same way online casinos use bonuses. They are incentives to lure players into their casinos. Incentives can be free food, hotel room stays or drinks.
Dealer. The dealer is the person in charge of dealing cards to players and leading the flow of the game. Many card and table games have dealers, including Baccarat, Blackjack and Poker.
Double Down. To “double down” is to place a bet that’s of equal size to the initial bet. Both bets will generally either win or lose together.
eCOGRA. An organisation based in London that monitors online casinos to ensure their games are fair. Casinos that meet their standards receive the eCOGRA seal of approval.
Face Card. A face card may also be referred to as “paint.” These are cards with a “face” on them – kings, queens, jacks, etc.
Fixed Odds. When games have fixed odds, this means that the chances of payouts and winning are fixed. Games with fixed odds include slots, scratch-offs and other similar games.
Flat Betting. A player is “flat betting” if they continually bet the same amount of money.
Gambler. A gambler is someone who gambles. “Better” is a gambler synonym.
Gambling. What does gambling mean? The official gambling definition is to bet on an event or game without knowing the outcome.
Hand. A hand is the cards a player is dealt and will use to make the best possible combination.
Hit. A Blackjack term used by players that want to take an additional card.
High Roller. A casino term for players who spent a lot of money.
Jackpot. The jackpot is the largest payout on a slot machine or other casino game. The term generally refers to a special prize.
Jacks or Better. A popular form of video poker where hands with pairs of Jacks or higher win.
Junket. A group of high rollers flown in by the casino to play.
Limit. A gambling term that refers to games with fixed limits on bet sizes each round.
Maximum Bet. The maximum bet is the largest amount a casino will allow a player to wager in a game.
Minimum Bet. The minimum amount a casino will allow you to wager.
No Limit. A game that has no bet size limit each round.
No-Deposit Bonus. An online casino term. These are bonuses that give free money with no initial cash deposit requirements.
Odds. A common gambling term that refers to the player’s chance of winning. The odds determine how much a player will receive if they win.
Payline. A slots term. The payline is the winning line of symbols on a slot reel. Online slots can have hundreds of paylines.
Payout Percentage. Refers to the percentage of the bet that will be returned to players. The payout percentage is always lower than 100%. The lower the percentage, the more the casino profits.
Pay Table. The pay table is the casino’s list of payouts for results in games. Odds can be altered to change payouts to players.
Pit Boss. A casino employee in charge of overseeing multiple tables on the casino floor.
Pony. In the UK, pony money meaning refers to £25.
Press a Bet. To press a bet is to add the winnings from your previous bet to your current bet.
Progressive Prize. A progressive prize increases with every coin that’s played.
Randon Number Generator (RNG). A random number generator uses algorithms to produce random and unpredictable numbers. An RNG helps ensure that games are fair, and numbers really are random.
Reload Bonus. A reload bonus is an incentive that a casinos give for making subsequent deposits.
Slot Machine. A slot machine is a gambling machine or online casino game. These machines have reels with symbols. When a button is pressed or a lever is pulled, the reels spin. The goal is to land a winning combination of symbols.
Tapping Out. A player that loses their entire bankroll.
The Cage. The cage is where the casino holds its money.
Ticket. A sports betting term for a wager.
Tilt. A tilt is when a player falls into a losing streak.
Video Poker. A digital version of poker using a slot-like machine.
Vigorish. A sports betting term that refers to the bookie’s commission on losing bets.
Wager. A wager is another word for bet. It’s the money you stake on a game or bet.
Wagering Requirement. Used by online casinos. The wagering requirement is the amount of money you have to bet before you can claim your bonus money. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent players from claiming the bonus and cashing out.
Bookie Slang and Betting Slang
Action. An action is a bet.
Bad Beat. A bad beat is losing a bet when the odds are overwhelmingly in your favour. A game-changing play or an unexpected turn of events can lead to a bad beat.
Beard. A beard is a person who does the betting for someone else.
Beef. When a player has a complaint against the bookie, this is called a beef.
Bookmaker. The person taking sport bets.
Bottom Line. The amount of money the player owes to the bookmaker.
Bust. A bust is when the player runs out of money.
Chalk. The chalk is the “favourite” to win in a sporting event based on odds.
Clerk. The clerk, also known as the ticket writer, is the person who deals lines for bookmakers and answers phones.
Even Money. A 50-50 bet. Neither side has an advantage.
Edge. Having an edge means having an advantage.
Figure. The figure is the amount of money owed either by or to a bookie.
Getting Down. Placing a bet.
Handicapper. A handicapper is a person that studies sports and wagers. They are professional punters.
Handle. The handle is the total amount of bet money.
Hook. A hook is another word for half a point on a betting spread.
Linemaker. A linemaker is a pricemaker or an oddsmaker.
Live Betting. With live betting, players wager on sporting events that are already in progress. Odds are shown in real-time.
Longshot. Improbable odds of winning.
Off the Board. A bookie’s term for refusing an action on a game. Bets may no longer be accepted if there’s an injury, a controversial event or some other unforeseen event.
Overlay. An overlay means that the odds are in the punter’s favour and not the house’s favour.
Parlay. A parlay is when a punter bets on more than two teams. The money won in the first game is added to the second, and so on. The player can only collect if all games are won.
Press. A press is when a player places an unusually large bet.
Push. With a push, no one wins or loses. It’s a tie.
Spread. The spread is the betting odds or line to determine which is the underdog and which is the favourite.
Spot Player. A spot player is someone that waits until a situation is favourable before placing a bet.
Stake. The stake is the amount of money wagered on a sporting event’s outcome.
Underdog. The underdog is the individual or team expected to lose in a sporting event.
Horse Racing Phrases
Across the Board. A horse betting term that dates back to 1903. “Across the board” refers to all categories and things. In a horse race, this means that your horse will come in either first, second or third.
All Out. The official all out meaning is a horse that’s giving it his all. He’s performing to the best of his ability, or going “all out.”
Any to Come Bet. A portion or all of a person’s winnings is immediately placed on another bet.
Apprentice. An apprentice is a jockey who is new or still in training and has yet to win races. Apprentices generally only ride flat races.
Beeswax. UK slang for betting tax. It’s sometimes called Ajax or Bees.
Dark Horse. In horse racing, a dark horse is a horse that comes from out of nowhere to unexpectedly win a race.
Give-and-Take. The phrase give-and-take refers to races in which heavier horses carry more, and lighter horses carry less.
Hands Down. Winning “hands down” in horse racing means to win easily. The phrase comes from the practice of jockeys loosening their reins when it seems certain they’ll win.
Home Stretch. A horse racing term that dates back to 1841. It refers to the final stretch or length of the racing track leading to the finish line.
In the Running. Horses that are “in the running” are in the lead.
Casino Card Game Names
Blackjack. A popular casino table game in which players play against the dealer. To win, players have to achieve a score of 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over.
Blackjack can also refer to the winning hand in the game, which is an ace and a 10-point card.
Baccarat. A table game that’s especially popular with high rollers. Players and bankers receive two cards each. Whoever is closest to 9 points wins. Tens and face cards have no value.
Let it Ride. Based on Five Card Stud. With Let it Ride, players control two of three bets made on the game. After placing three equal bets, players receive three cards. Two community cards are dealt as the game progresses.
Pai Gaw Poker. A card game that combines elements of U.S. poker and the Chinese Pao Gow game. The object of the game is to get the two best poker hands. The game is played with 52 cards and one joker, which is a wild card used to make a flush or straight.
Three Card Poker. With this variation of poker, players have four ways to win and three ways to bet. It starts with an ante. Next, three cards are dealt. Players can then make additional wagers or fold.
Casino War. A simple, classic game. The dealer and the player are each dealt one card. Whoever has the higher card wins.
Craps. A fast-paced dice casino game. Players place their bets, and the shooter tosses the dice. The dice gets passed around when the shooter “7 outs.”
Roulette. An exciting game where players place bets using coloured roulette chips. Chip values are determined during the buy-in.