Gambling Terminology Dictionary

Written by: Ashley Grasse , Specialist in Casino, Games, and Trends
Casino Gambling Terms

When you’re new to gambling, there’s a whole world of casino terminology to learn, and some of it can sound a little bizarre to a newcomer.

Knowing a bit about casino jargon can help you become a better gambler. Instead of getting distracted by unfamiliar phrases, you can focus on having fun.

In this glossary, we will define some of the most commonly used gambling terms so you can play with confidence and sound like a pro.

Casino Dictionary

Common Gambling Terminology Explained

List Of Casino Gambling Terms & Definitions

Casino terminology can be extensive and even intimidating, but don’t worry. We’ve put together a dictionary of the basics.

Below is our list of key gambling terms you’re likely to hear in online and land-based casinos.

Gambling Terms A – Z

Jump to the Casino Definitions in Alphabetical Order

Action

A term primarily used in table games to signify a move. The dealer might say “action” when it’s your turn to play, or you can sit at the table and “get in on the action.” You can also interpret it as the total amount of money you’ve wagered during a gambling session.

ADT

The Average Daily Theoretical is how a casino calculates the value they gain from a gambler in a day. They use this number to determine what sort of comps and VIP reward level they deserve.

All In

When a player wagers all of the chips they have left. This term is most common in No-Limit Texas Holdem but may apply to other forms of poker.

Back Off

To be backed off a game means the casino refuses to allow a player to continue. It usually happens if they suspect someone is up to something they disapprove of, like counting cards or cheating.

Bankroll

The amount of money a player has to spend during a gambling session.

Beginner’s Luck

It’s the theory that new gamblers somehow have better luck hitting wins even though they may make uneducated decisions when playing.

Betting Limit

It is the minimum or maximum dollar amount a player can wager on a single round.

Cashier

The person or place that handles the money in a casino. It is where people go to collect their winnings or refill their player cards in a land-based casino. In an online casino, it’s the page where you make a deposit or withdrawal.

Chips

Casino chips are small, color-coded, round tokens used as currency for some games. Different colors are worth various denominations. You must cash them out at the same casino from where you bought them.

Comps

Incentives a casino gives gamblers for free to encourage them to continue gambling and promote their loyalty to their establishment. Typically the more a player spends, the more generous the comps will be. They start with free drinks and can go up to comped meals and free nights in hotel suites.

Dealer

The casino employee who passes out the cards during a game.

Deposit

The deposit is the amount of money a player puts into their account to play at an online casino. Also, the action of putting money into an account or a gambling machine.

Double or Nothing

When a player wagers twice their previous stake for another shot to win, usually in an attempt to get back a loss. However, if they lose, they get nothing.

Eighty-Sixed

If a casino eighty-sixes someone, it means they are banned for a serious offense such as cheating. Depending on the violation, they may never be able to return.

Eye in the Sky

The eye in the sky is the cameras, and facial recognition technology casinos use to watch players and keep everyone safe. They typically survey every corner of the casino 24/7.

Face Card

The Jack, King, and Queen of any suit are the cards in the deck that traditionally have faces.

Free Spins

Free turns at a slot machine. They can occur as perks for hitting a bonus feature during gameplay or as part of an online casino bonus.

Full House

It is a poker hand made up of three of a kind and a pair of another value.

Gambler’s Fallacy

The Gambler’s Fallacy is the false belief that a win must be right around the corner after a string of losses.

High Roller

A higher roller is someone who spends far more money at a casino than the average player, and because of this, they often receive the most lavish comps.

House Edge

It is a percentage used to signify the casino’s mathematical advantage over the player.

Jackpot

A casino jackpot is a large cash prize in a game.

Live Dealer

It’s a type of online casino game that you can play in real time with a human dealer over a live video stream. These live dealer casino games use actual cards, and felted tables for an authentic casino feel through your mobile phone or computer.

Lobby

The home base at an online casino where you can find all the links to games, customer support, the cashier, and promotions. In a brick-and-mortar casino, it’s the waiting area outside of the casino floor.

Martingale

A betting strategy where a player will continue to double their bet during a losing streak in hopes of winning all losses back, plus profiting when they hit a win. After winning, they will return their wager to their original amount. It’s not a recommended betting system as it takes a large bankroll to attempt.

Multiplier

A feature commonly found in slot games that multiplies a win by a certain amount.

No Limit

If a game has no limit, it doesn’t have a cap on the amount players can bet.

No Deposit Bonus

Money a casino gives to you for gameplay without requiring a deposit. However, these no deposit bonuses often have terms and conditions attached, like high rollover requirements that make it virtually impossible to cash out winnings.

Odds

The probability that something will happen, such as winning a game. Usually, you find odds presented as a percentage or ratio.

Outside Bet

A type of roulette wager is made outside the table’s central betting area. It carries a higher probability of winning than the inside bet.

Payout Percentage

Also called return to player percentage or RTP, this is the average amount a game pays out over time. For example, if a slot machine’s payout percentage is 98%, you would get back $98 out of every $100 you spun in the long run.

Pay Table

The list of winning combinations that give you a payout in a game. Slots, video poker, and many table poker games have pay tables.

Pit Boss

The manager that walks around the casino floor and ensures everything is running orderly. He can decide to back people off games, kick them out, or 86 them all together.

Playthrough Requirement

A condition attached to an online casino bonus. It requires you to wager your deposit plus the bonus amount given to you a certain number of times before you can cash out any winnings.

Progressive Jackpot

A money prize that accumulates and grows larger as more people play a game is a progressive jackpot. With each non-jackpot-winning spin, a small amount of money goes into a prize pool. It will continue to grow until someone hits it, and then it will reset back to a preset minimum.

Push

A term in blackjack that signifies a tie. It’s commonly used when weighing the dealer’s hand against the player’s.

Random Number Generator (RNG)

A software device that continuously generates a string of numbers that do not follow any pattern. Online casinos use this technology to ensure the outcomes of games are truly random. When you spin a slot, for example, the game’s random number at that time corresponds to the way the symbols show up on the reels.

Reels

The columns in a slot game where the symbols fall. Traditionally these were round drums of spinning symbols.

Reload Bonus

A reload bonus is a type of online casino promo that rewards a player for depositing more money.

Scratch Cards

A lottery-style game where players scratch off a thin layer on a card to reveal symbols beneath. To win at Scratch Cards, you must find a winning combination.

Shark

A term used to describe an extremely skilled player.

Sign-Up Bonus

A sign-up or welcome bonus is a reward an online casino gives you for making your first deposit.

Split Hand

A move in blackjack where you split a pair of cards into two separate hands and play each out individually as new hands.

Tapping Out

When a player has spent all their bankroll and has nothing left.

Toke

To toke is to tip the dealer.

Up Card

Any card that is dealt face-up and is visible to everyone at the table.

Video Poker

A type of poker played against the house rather than other players. Video poker games resemble slot machines and are usually played with five cards. These games can be computerized land-based consoles or online software machines.

Wager

The amount of money you stake on a single event happening. Also called a bet or stake.

Whale

A term used to describe a high-roller.

Wild Card

A card that can substitute for any other. It’s most commonly employed in poker and can be any card in theory, but it is often the joker.

Bonus: Funny Gambling Slang

Funny Gambling Terms

With any language comes slang, and as we all know, it can often sound silly. Check out a few funny terms that you might come across in the casino.

You may have even heard them outside of the gambling world.

Bug

A slang term for the joker card.

Cracking the Nut

Cracking the nut means a player has won enough on their gambling excursion to cover the expenses and take home some extra. In other words, it’s the net profit.

Crapshoot

Stems from the game craps. It’s used to describe something of an unpredictable nature.

Poker Face

To have a poker face means you aren’t making any expressions that would give away what you’re feeling. It’s used in poker to keep opponents from being able to read a player’s reaction to their hand.

Sawbuck

A sawbuck is a $10 bill.

Put Your Gambling Lingo to Practice at The Best Casinos

Now that you’ve studied some popular gambling terms, are you ready to put your lingo to the test? You must sign up at a legitimate real money online casinos.

Our team of experts has tested them for safety, security, and top-notch quality.

Bookmark This Page & Keep All Gambling Terms at Hand!

There’s a lot to learn about all the facets of gambling, including understanding the terminology. Keep this page bookmarked so you can use it as a reference for those tricky phrases.

As with picking up any new lingo, practice makes perfect. Sign up at one of our suggested online casinos today to test your gambling vocabulary!

Ashley Grasse

Ashley Grasse Specialist in Casino, Games, and Trends

Ashley Grasse is a research writer and online casino expert who dissects sites and games in detail to provide accurate, unbiased reviews. She's a gambling theory enthusiast, an expert on information accuracy that makes difficult concepts easy to understand, and a lover of the outdoors.

Learn More About Ashley