50 Most Frequently Used Casino Jargon Phrases
Over the years, casino regulars have developed their way to refer to anything casino-related. Most of these terms make perfect sense once you get the hang of it. However, to the uninitiated, the terminology is guaranteed to leave you stumped. If you wish to learn the most frequently used casino jargon and blend in with the crowd, you’ve come to the right place. We will show you the most commonly used phrases and terms casino players use on the regular.
Five Quick Facts About Casino Jargon
- If someone gets “86’d”, it means they are not allowed in the casino anymore, usually permanently.
- Beef is a dispute between two players or a casino and a player.
- Some terms are common, others funny, but a few of them are derogatory, so be careful which ones you use and when.
- You may often encounter new slang that only local casino players use.
- A bust in blackjack means the player’s hand is worth more than 21.
Gambling Terms for Beginners
Before we get started, an important thing to know is that we won’t be able to cover every casino slang there is. Players often come up with new ways to refer to stuff, and it would take ages to cover everything.
However, whether you play in a land-based casino or prefer playing in some of the new online casinos in the US, we are certain that our list will help you expand your casino vocabulary.
Action is a term used for multiple casino games. If the action is on you, it means that it is your turn to act.
All-in is an action in poker where players bet all their chips on the table.
Ante is a casino term for a mandatory bet in some casino games that you have to place if you wish to be dealt cards in a hand.
Bankroll or bankroll management refers to money players set aside specifically for gambling. Your bankroll may include the money you plan to spend per session, the amount you set aside for an entire month, and even your travelling expenses if you plan to visit a casino in another town.
When it comes to gambling terms and slang, a beard is a person who places bets on behalf of another person.
Blinds are forced bets in poker. There are small blinds and big blinds, and they ensure that there is always some action going on rather than having players wait for the best cards to play the hand.
In casino terminology, a bluff or bluffing is an action when a player tries to represent that they have a strong hand when, in reality, the strength of their hand is the total opposite. The goal of bluffing is to win the pot by tricking other players and making them fold.
One of the gambling phrases you might hear often is “burning a card.” Namely, dealers will often discard a card rather than deal it, which is known as burning the card. This is done to discourage cheating and card counting.
When it comes to casino terms and phrases, card counting is something you may hear often. It refers to a technique that players use to track the dealt cards and try and estimate which cards are most likely to be dealt next.
Even though card counting is not technically illegal, it is generally frowned upon. For that reason, most casinos will ask you to leave if they notice you are counting cards. Or, as players like to say in casino language, you would get 86’d.
Cashback is a small amount credited to players’ accounts each time they make a losing bet at a bookmaker or a casino.
Chips are small discs casinos use to replace the money at casino tables. They are usually made of clay composite, and each chip has its value based on its colour.
When it comes to gambling terms, colouring up is an action of exchanging your chips for chips with larger denominations. At the same time, you can colour down, which is the opposite of colouring up.
Comps is a casino term both players and casinos use to refer to complementary gifts casinos give to reward loyal players or encourage them to stay and play at their establishment.
These gifts usually include free beverages or hotel rooms and are reserved for VIPs, regulars, or players who generally spend a lot at the casino.
A croupier is a gambling synonym for a dealer, and it refers to a person in charge of dealing the cards or throwing the ball into the roulette wheel.
Deuce refers to number two. It can be used in dice or card games like poker.
Dime is a casino jargon for a $1,000 bet.
An even-money bet is the type of bet where players are expected to win the same amount they are betting. For example, Red/Black, Odd/Even, and High/Low bets in roulette offer a payout of 1:1, and they are even-money bets.
If you bet $100 on an even-money bet, you will receive a total payout of $200 and make a profit of $100.
Face cards in casino language refers to specific cards. A jack, queen, and king are face cards.
A ficheur is a device often used in American Roulette that splits differently coloured chips.
Fish is a funny gambling term used in poker to refer to a player who frequently loses and bets on nearly every hand, regardless of the strength of their hand.
Flat betting is a strategy where you place an identical amount with each bet.
Flea is a derogatory gambling term for players who expect comps for placing smell bets. In other words, a player who wishes things they did not deserve or earn.
George is every dealer’s favourite person. It refers to a big tipper.
Grease is used even outside casinos, and it refers to a bribe.
A grinder is a gambling slang term that generally refers to a knowledgeable player who prefers playing small stakes. Grinders are usually low rollers, and they grind their way to the top by playing long poker sessions and end up making a profit.
Hit is a gambling term for winning that is often used by slot players whenever they hit a winning line. However, hit also has another meaning. If you hear a blackjack player say “hit me”, it means they are requesting another card from a dealer.
A high roller in casino jargon is a player who enjoys high stake games and wagers large amounts.
A hold card refers to a face-down card dealt exclusively to a player in blackjack and poker variants like Texas Hold ‘em.
The house edge refers to the advantage a casino has over a player. Virtually every bet and every game has a specific house edge. If a game has a house edge of 4%, you are expected to win back $96 for wagering $100.
An inside bet is a casino jargon used by roulette players to refer to the type of bet you can place in roulette. As the name suggests, they are located on the inside of the layout. Inside bets involve bets like the street bet, split bet, straight-up bet, corner bet, line bet, and five bet.
The juice is a term that refers to a commission a bookmaker or a casino charges. Players also refer to it as vig or vigorish.
When it comes to casino terminology, a kicker is a card that is not a part of the winning combination but a part of the player’s hand. A kicker is used to break ties between players who have the same hand.
Nickel refers to a $500 bet.
Nuts is the best possible hand you can get. For example, in Texas Hold ‘em, this well-known gambling term and slang refers to pocket aces pre-flop. It can also refer to another best possible outcome based on the combination of community cards and the hole cards a player has been dealt.
You can muck your hand in poker without revealing it. It means that you are conceding the pot. Mucking is used during the showdown stage in poker, and players muck their hand to conceal that they are bluffing or have a weaker hand than other players.
When it comes to casino terms and phrases, you might often hear that a player got tilted or they are on tilt. Usually, players “tilt” after a bad beat.
If a player is tilted, it means they are not thinking straight and are playing poorly and recklessly because of the hand they previously lost, or they are annoyed with something or someone.
A paytable should be in everyone’s casino vocabulary. It refers to a list of payouts for the winning combinations.
A pit boss is the casino employee that supervises tables and other casino employees in a specific section of the casino.
A push refers to a draw between a player and a casino or a bookmaker. If a bet is a push, it means that the player receives the bet/stake back.
Quads is a casino jargon that refers to four cards of the same rank.
A rake is a percentage or a flat fee a casino charges from the total pot at the end of each poker hand.
The river is a gambling term used in poker that refers to the fifth and final community card in Texas Hold ‘em. There are several betting stages in Texas Hold ‘em, such as pre-flop, flop, turn, and river.
A shark is an expert card player who usually tries to conceal their skills, and much like the actual shark, they prey on inexperienced players known as fish.
The shoe is an old school casino term that refers to the box from which croupiers deal cards in a casino.
Sitting all alone at a casino table sort of defeats the purpose of playing in a brick-and-mortar casino in the first place. For that reason, casinos often employ shills who get paid to simply sit at a table and liven things up a little.
Snake eyes is one of the best-known gambling phrases used by dice players. It refers to a player rolling two 1s.
True odds are actual mathematical odds of something happening, as opposed to the odds that a bookmaker or the casino proposes.
Vigorish is a popular gambling synonym for juice, and it refers to a fee for placing a specific bet. Some bets in casino games like craps offer true odds, so the casino charges vig when placing those types of bets to ensure that the house makes a profit.
A wagering requirement is a gambling term tied to welcome bonuses or bookmakers and casino promotions. Wagering requirements are the number of times you have to play through a bonus before you can start withdrawing money.
A whale is a loaded player. It refers to someone who often plays large stakes and can afford to lose huge amounts without making a dent in their wallet.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be careful not to throw your casino jargon around liberally. Some players disapprove of specific terms and may take offence after being called something unflattering, like a whale, a flear, or something similar.
In other words, use your best judgement and carefully decide whether it’s appropriate to use a specific term.
Even though we didn’t include every single term you might encounter in a casino, we explained the most frequently used casino jargon to help you get started. Now that you know most of the words you will need, you are ready to join some of the best casinos in the US and begin your journey.
If you encounter any unknown terms, you can almost always ask another player or a croupier to explain them to you. However, if you play poker, you might want to try and figure out the meaning of unknown gambling phrases on your own. After all, you don’t want to give away that you are new to poker and become a potential target.