Casino Terminology, Phrases, & Slang

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Whether planning a trip to a retail casino or exploring an online casino, knowing the terms and phrases can save you from confusion – and help you discover something new and exciting. We also cover the terminology you’ll come across in the community chats and online forums and some of the slang in the multiplayer poker chats.

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Most Searched Casino Terminology

Gambling Terms A-Z

A

An Ace is a playing card marked with an A. In games that rely on certain cards being more valuable than others, it’s often considered the strongest. For example, Ace is the most important card in blackjack and counts as either 1 or 11. 

Action is a term used to signify a play in the casino. It can also indicate the amount of money you’re using in a play. Moreover, dealers rely on it to tell players it’s their turn to make a move.

The aggregate limit is the amount of money the casino can pay in one round, and it’s determined individually. If the players surpass the aggregate limit, they must accept reduced winnings to stay within the set limit. 

All-in is an action taken during various casino games, where the player bets all their remaining playing funds or chips. It’s most common in poker, as players sometimes need to go all-in to avoid folding when they don’t have enough funds to meet an opponent’s action. 

American roulette features a wheel that has two green numbers — 0 and 0, instead of a single 0. Consequently, there are 38 pockets in total (as opposed to 37 in European and French roulette), which leads to a slightly higher house edge. 

Auto-play is an online slots feature that allows players to set the number of spins the game automatically plays, the denominations of each spin, and when an auto-play should stop, such as if a bonus is hit or a certain amount is won.

B

Baccarat is one of the most popular table games at the casino. Real money baccarat allows players to bet on whether the “banker” or the “player” will reach nine points first, as well as bet on a tie.

A bad beat is poker lingo used when a player appears to have strong cards but ends up losing. It’s a subjective term, as it can describe any situation in which a favorite loses.

“Banker” is a universal gambling term for the casino entity against whom all players are betting, that is, anyone or anything responsible for overseeing transactions in a game. However, it’s sometimes used to refer to a dealer, indicating that a player can also be a banker. Lastly, in baccarat, it’s one of the three main bets you can make, which often leads to confusion about the exact meaning of the term.

A bankroll is the money you use when playing in a casino. Players should ensure they only invest the funds they’re willing to lose.

bb is an abbreviated term used in online chats to signify either a bad beat or a big blind in poker. You’ll likely understand which one it is based on the context, as the two signify very different things.

A bet is a universal gambling term that signifies the amount you’re staking in a single instance within a casino game. It’s used in most forms of gambling, including casino games, poker, and sports betting. In casinos, the best example of a bet would be the stake you’ve made for a single spin of a slot game.

Bingo is a popular parlor game where you must match numbers on your card with the numbers randomly selected by the bingo host to win. The term also signifies you’ve accurately predicted these numbers and won a game of bingo.

Blackjack is a card game popular at both land-based and online casinos. Players should get as close to 21 points as possible without going over to beat the dealer. You’ve still won the round if you don’t reach it and the dealer’s total is lower than yours. Getting exactly 21 points is an instant win. Here’s how to play blackjack.

A blackjack chart, or blackjack table, lays out the basic blackjack strategy to ensure the lowest possible house edge. Blackjack charts offer rows and columns showing you the best course of action in specific blackjack game situations, telling a player when to hit, stand, double down, split, and so on.

Online casino bonuses are special offers for new signups and existing users. Bonuses come in a wide range of types and usually require you to take some action to receive them. They are typically used to encourage people to sign up with the platform, reward existing players’ loyalty, and motivate members to refer others to join.

A bonus bet is an online sportsbook promotion used to entice bettors to play. They are usually awarded as a fixed amount for placing a wager. A winning bonus bet pays winnings only and does not include the stake.

The term refers to an additional feature in a slot game that players can randomly trigger during the base game. A typical slot bonus feature is the bonus spin round activated after landing a specific number of scatter symbols.

The phrase signifies taking advantage of a bonus an online casino offers. Bonus hunting is often about searching for advantageous welcome packages and signing up just to be able to use them. The overall goal is to rack up a large bankroll quickly and cash out as soon as possible.

A bonus round is the name for a special mode of play in video slots. It’s typically activated when a player lands a specific number or combination of special symbols. Bonus rounds are separate from the base game and, once triggered, rarely require additional bets. They are largely automatic and often lead to bigger rewards. Typical bonus rounds include bonus spins, picking bonuses, respins, pathway mini-games, and simple instant wins.

A bonus store is an online casino feature where you can exchange your loyalty points for specific prizes. The points are accumulated through the casino’s loyalty program. BetRivers Casino offers an iRush Rewards program that gives members access to a Bonus Store.

Bonus symbols are special symbols in an online video slot that activate the bonus round. These symbols appear randomly, like all other symbols, but less frequently. You typically need to land three or more to start the bonus round.

This blackjack term signifies the player has passed 21 before the dealer receives a third card. In other words, it means they’ve lost. Bust is another phrase often used to signify the same thing.

Bust is a term interchangeable with break. Therefore, it denotes a situation when a player has gone over 21 and lost the game before the dealer receives a third card.

The button may refer to blackjack or craps. For blackjack, the button refers to the player who got dealt a card the last, so it’s their turn to carry out the action of the round. For craps, the button is another word for the puck, which is flipped to “off” before the shooter’s points are established, and “on” if the shooter’s points are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.

C

A cage is the metallic hourglass traditionally used to keep the dice in a game of craps. The dealer uses this box to shake the dice before rolling them on the table.

The term also signifies an area a brick-and-mortar casino has designated as the cashier (also known as the cashier cage). In other words, it acts as the casino’s bank.

Cap is a term used to denote the maximum betting amount allowed in a single round of a casino game.

The phrase is used to signify an action when a blackjack player secretly adds more chips to their bet without others noticing, even though the cards have already been dealt. Capping a bet constitutes cheating, and the player can be removed from the game when caught.

Cascading reels are a video slot feature that activates during a winning combination. In most cases, it leads to symbols on specific reels disappearing and getting replaced by new ones, giving the player a chance to make another win.

A cash bonus is an online casino incentive awarded to players after depositing. These offers are standard in the industry and usually come in the form of matched amounts of 100%, 150%, 200%, or more. Once acquired, you typically need to complete wagering requirements and adhere to the casino’s terms and conditions before getting the chance to withdraw your winnings.

A cashback is a type of online casino offer that’s credited to the player’s balance after a loss. Essentially, it’s a form of a refund and is usually calculated as a percentage of the lost amount. In most cases, a cashback offer is immediately available for withdrawal with no playthrough requirements.

A casino is a brick-and-mortar building or a website that offers gambling services to players of legal age. Interestingly, it was used to refer to public dance and music venues.

The casino advantage, or the house edge, is the percentage-based likelihood that the casino will win money instead of the player. It’s calculated based on the expected loss of a player’s bet. For example, if the casino advantage is 3%, the player is expected to lose $3 from a $100 bet. Consequently, the lower the house edge, the better the game is for the player. Blackjack (when using basic strategy), craps (certain bets), baccarat, and certain video poker variations typically have the lowest casino advantage.

Chips are the currency casinos use on the floor or within online games. Chips typically come in different colors and numbers that signify their value. They are not real currency and can only be used in the casino, meaning you must exchange them for cash. The conversion process is automatic in online casinos.

A cold slot machine or online slot game typically has a higher house edge and isn’t paying enough or regularly. Consequently, it’s a slot that isn’t attractive to players.

The term is used in poker and casino table games to describe a situation where players are losing their wagers frequently or receiving bad cards. At a cold table, players keep losing more often than usual, even though they’re making smart moves.

Color up is a term you use when you want the house to exchange your chips of smaller value for bigger ones.

Come bet in craps refers to a wager where the player is betting on the next roll to be 7, 11, or when the Come Point repeats before a 7. You can make this wager only after the Point on a Come Out roll. You’ll lose if the roll is 2, 3, 12, or a 7 before the repeat of the Come Point.

The commission stands for the fixed rate a casino charges for every bet players make. This is used for games that don’t have an inherit house edge, such as player vs. player poker.

Players gain comp points through a casino rewards loyalty program. What you get to do with them depends on the casino. In most cases, you can exchange them for bonuses or prizes.

D

The term is used to describe the action of handing out cards to the players in most card casino games. In live games and games within land-based casinos, the dealer performs the action.

A dealer is a casino employee dealing cards during a table or card game. They can work in land-based and online casinos. In the latter, you’ll find them in live dealer games.

Deposits are funds that a player transfers to the casino for gambling purposes. Deposit methods include PayPal, online bank transfer, PlayPlus Card, debit card, and more.

A deposit bonus is a type of online casino bonus where the player must fund their account in exchange for the bonus. The promotion typically matches a certain percentage of your deposit, up to a maximum amount. For example, a 100% deposit bonus will match your deposit exactly, so if you deposit $100, you’ll get an additional $100 for $200 total. However, the bonus money is tied to playthrough requirements, meaning it needs to be played through a minimum number of times before it’s converted to real money available for withdrawal.

Dime slots are slot games that allow you to make small, $0.10 bets. They are similar to penny slots, as they are ideal for budget players with low bankrolls who are looking to play for a long time.

Don’t Pass bet is a popular craps wager where you bet against the shooter and must get a 2, 3, or 12 to win. It’s also called betting wrong, as the winning outcome for this bet is the losing one for the Pass Line wager.

Double or nothing is a bet that pays you double the amount of your original wager. This type of bet applies to almost all table games (such as black or red on roulette and all standard hands of blackjack), and it’s common in sports betting as well.

Down to the felt is a common casino term used to describe a player who has lost their gambling funds or gone broke.

In poker, a draw refers to a hand that’s just a card or two away from being something big. For example, if you’re one card shy of a flush, you’re on a flush draw. In blackjack, a “draw” is synonymous with a “hit,” meaning a player is asking the dealer for another card, hoping it’ll get them closer to 21 without going over. In keno, a draw relates to the selection of 20 balls that show the winning numbers for that particular round.

In land-based casinos, when patrons exchange their cash for chips, not every dollar is returned as winnings. The portion the casino keeps is known as the drop percentage. It provides a snapshot of a game’s profitability. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with “handle,” though, technically, “handle” refers to the total amount wagered, while the drop is the portion the casino keeps.

E

Every casino game has a built-in advantage known as the “edge.” This edge always leans in favor of the house, ensuring the casino stays profitable. The term “house edge” is this built-in margin that tilts the odds slightly in favor of the gambling venue.

To be “eighty-sixed” from a casino (or anywhere for that matter( means you’ve been asked to leave and possibly barred from returning. Reasons for this vary, from cheating and disruptive behavior to other rule violations. Once 86’d, you’re not welcome back, at least for a while.

In gambling, expectation is a forecast of a bet or play’s likely outcome. It’s deduced from weighing all possible outcomes, their chances, and payouts. Though individual results can vary, results generally align with this forecast in the long run.

Casinos prioritize safety and fair play. “Eye-in-the-sky” describes the ceiling-mounted surveillance cameras peppered across casino ceilings. These cameras discreetly monitor all activities, ensuring fair play and detecting suspicious behavior. Eye-in-the-sky is also a slang term for all casino oversight.

F

Face cards are the King, Queen, and Jack in a deck of cards. Each of the four suits has these three cards, totaling 12 total face cards in a standard deck. They’re staple cards in many games and easily identifiable.

Fixed odds are odds on a casino game that don’t change based on external factors or the total amount wagered. Once the bet is placed, the win potential does not change. This straightforward system differs from parimutuel betting, where odds (and therefore win potential) change based on collective betting patterns.

A strategy many gamblers use, flat betting is simply wagering the same amount every time, win or lose. It’s a go-to for those looking for a straightforward approach without the hassle of adjusting bets after each play.

Unlike progressive jackpot slots, where jackpots can soar with each play, a flat top slot has a set jackpot amount. No matter how many times it’s won or how long it’s been since the last win, the top prize doesn’t change. It offers players a consistent target to aim for.

Four-of-a-kind is one of the powerhouse hands in poker. Having a four-of-a-kind means holding four cards of identical rank, such as four 6s or four Kings. It’s a rare occurrence and typically involves high victory odds, as the only hand that can beat a four-of-a-kind is a straight flush.

Free spins in slot games are bonus rounds often activated by lining up scatter symbols. When these are triggered, players get to spin without dipping into their own funds. The value of each free spin usually matches the bet made on the triggering spin. Say, if a player bet a dollar when the free spins were activated, they would continue spinning at that dollar value during the bonus round while their game balance remains intact.

Casinos dish out free spins bonuses to entice new signups and reward existing users. Free spins bonuses might pop up in a signup package for newcomers or be handed to regular players through ongoing promotions or loyalty perks. No matter how they’re earned, these deals grant players a predetermined number of spins on designated slot games, and it doesn’t cost them a dime.

Often seen in British casino terminology, a fruit machine, or “fruities,” is a traditional slot machine with fruit symbols, usually having three reels reminiscent of old-school, one-armed bandits. They come with special features like “nudges,” where players can slightly adjust the position of the reels, and “holds,” which let players keep specific reels in place for the next spin. You’ll often spot fruit machines in British pubs.

In poker, a full house is a hand that combines a three-of-a-kind with a pair. For example, holding three 8s and two kings means you have a full house.

Futures bets aren’t about today or tomorrow. They’re long-term wagers on events down the road, sometimes way down the road. Think about predicting who’ll win the next Super Bowl before the season even starts or choosing the next World Series winner months in advance. Futures are a way to lock in odds on long-term predictions.

G

To gamble is to play with chance. It’s the decision to put money on the line for an unpredictable outcome, whether through casino games or other forms of betting. Every wager brings the possibility of winning or losing, and it’s this suspense that draws many to the activity.

“Getting down” is betting lingo for finalizing a wager. It’s that pivotal moment when contemplation turns into action and a bettor locks in their prediction. When someone says they’re “getting down,” they’re confidently setting their stakes on an outcome.

In online gaming and betting communities, “gg” is a courteous shorthand for “good game.” Players use it to express respect for their opponents, usually at the end of a game or match.

Popular in online gaming and chat rooms, “gla” is a quick way to wish everyone involved good fortune. It’s a friendly gesture showing hope that everyone has an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

In the gambling world, to “grind” means to consistently play small stakes games or place smaller bets with the aim of making a steady, albeit modest, profit over time. Grinders prioritize minimizing risk over large payouts.

H

In betting, a “handicap” is a method used to level the playing field between two unevenly matched competitors. This is achieved by giving the underdog a head start or putting a deficit on the favorite, ensuring more balanced betting odds.

In sports betting, the “handle” refers to the total amount of money wagered on a particular game or event. It’s a gauge of betting activity and doesn’t reflect the profit or loss for the bookmaker.

In blackjack, a hard hand is one that does not contain an Ace. For instance, holding a 10 and a 7 gives you a hard 17. The opposite of this is a “soft hand,” where the Ace can be either a 1 or an 11, providing options.

In online chat rooms or text messages, poker players may abbreviate Hold’em poker as “he.” Specifically, they’re usually pointing to Texas Hold’em, a game where each player is dealt two face-down cards, and five community cards are placed face-up on the board.

The casino vocabulary has a special name for those who bet big: high rollers. These players are often found at high-stakes tables, and because of their hefty bets, high roller casinos offer them additional perks to keep them coming back.

“Hi-Lo” can refer to multiple casino games. In craps, it’s a one-roll bet on the numbers 12 (high) and 2 (low). Aside from that, Hi-Lo is a casino card game where players bet on whether the next card drawn will be higher or lower than the one shown.

If you’re playing blackjack and tell the dealer to “hit,” you’re asking them for another card. But if you’re engaged in a slot game and you “hit,” that means you’ve landed a winning combo on the reels.

In casino terms, “hot” typically refers to a player, game, or number that has been consistently winning or hitting. When a player is “hot,” the cards, dice, or slots always seem to land their way.

A “hot table” in a casino refers to a game table where players are experiencing a collective winning streak. It’s a spot where luck seems to be favoring most, if not all, participants at a given moment.

In gambling, the “house” refers to the casino or establishment hosting the game. It’s the entity against which individual players are betting. The saying “the house always wins” expresses the idea that casinos have an overall advantage over the player.

The “house edge” is a measure of the mathematical advantage a casino has over the players. Expressed as a percentage, it indicates how much of the wagered money a casino is expected to retain in the long run. A game with a lower house edge offers better odds for the player, but the house still holds a small advantage.

I-J

An “inside bet” is a term primarily associated with roulette. It refers to wagers placed on specific numbers or groups of numbers on the inner section of the roulette table. These bets generally have higher payouts but are riskier than outside bets.

Instant win refers to games or game features where the outcome is revealed immediately, providing a fast-paced experience. Scratch-off tickets or their online equivalents are prime examples. Players get immediate feedback on whether they’ve struck gold, so no waiting or suspense is involved.

An instant withdrawal is an online casino payment option that allows users to send money from their casino account to their bank account in just a few minutes.

In blackjack, when faced with a dealer’s ace card showing, players have the option to take “insurance.” This is a side bet worth up to half the initial wager that pays 2:1 if the dealer reveals a blackjack. It’s a protective move against a potential big loss.

The jackpot is the largest prize in a casino game. While slots are famous for jackpots, any game can theoretically have one. Jackpots can be fixed, won through specific combinations, or progressive, accumulating over numerous games.

A specific icon in slot games. When lined up in a particular way, a jackpot symbol triggers the game’s top prize, turning small bets into massive rewards.

Jacks or Better is a popular video poker variation requiring players to have at least a pair of jacks to win. Essentially, this means any poker hand with jacks or a higher-ranking combination secures a payout. It is the best video poker game in terms of odds, and it offers some of the best odds at the casino, period.

The Joker card is a wild card or (substitute card) in casino games. This means it can stand in for any other card and help players create winning combinations. Its specific role and value varies depending on the game.

K-M

Keno is a lottery-style game, where players pick from a set of numbers, usually ranging from 1 to 80. After making their picks, a random draw determines the winning numbers. The more matches, the bigger the win. Keno drawings are frequent in many casinos.

The term “limit” refers to the maximum or minimum amount players can bet on a particular game. It’s a casino’s way of ensuring fair play, managing risk, and maintaining game appeal to both high-rollers and casual players alike.

In betting jargon, a “lock” is a seemingly guaranteed win. It’s a bet so certain in the bettor’s eyes that it feels like a sure thing. However, no outcome is ever truly certain, no matter how promising the odds.

The opposite of a lock, a longshot is a bet with slim chances of winning. The risk is high, but the potential returns can be significant, making them tempting for some gamblers.

The Martingale strategy involves doubling one’s bet after a loss. The goal is to recover the lost amount when a win eventually happens. However, continuous losses can escalate stakes quickly, making this a highly risky strategy. For example, it only takes six losing hands to turn a $5 bet into a $320 bet.

This is one of the biggest multistate lotteries in the U.S., where players try to match six numbers to win jackpots that can reach hundreds of millions.

N

Chat slang used in online gaming, “n1” means “nice one.” It’s a quick way for players to commend others for a good play or congratulate them on a win.

A casino slang shorthand, nh is often used in online poker chats and means “nice hand.”

Nickel slots are video slot machines that accept $0.05 wagers. Other denomination-based types of slots include penny slots, dime slots, quarter slots, and dollar slots.

A no deposit bonus is an online casino promotion that doesn’t require an initial payment from a new customer. Once the customer signs up, they are instantly given a small incentive like 20 free spins or $10 in bonus funds.

Used to indicate a type of Texas Hold’em poker game, the term “no limit” implies that the game’s bets and raises are unlimited. Players can raise and bet any amount they want, including going all in. This is in contrast to pot limit and fixed limit Texas Hold’em poker.

A casino promotion with no wagering requirement means the player can withdraw their money immediately after winning. For example, a no wagering casino bonus might be a $10 no deposit bonus with 1x playthrough, which means if you play a dollar and win a dollar, that dollar is instantly available for cashout.

Nosebleeds are poker games with the highest stakes. The term implies that the tension caused by such rigorous stakes is enough to give players actual nosebleeds.

O

Odds indicate the mathematical probability of a particular outcome in a casino game (e.g., the odds to win a straight-up bet are 37 to 1). Aside from reflecting the perceived probability of an event occurring, odds in sports betting determine potential winnings (e.g., -110 odds imply that a player needs to bet $110 to win $100).

Off-suit is a hand of poker with mismatched suits. For example, an off-suit Texas hold’em poker hand would be an Ace of clubs and a Jack of diamonds, which would be called an Ace-Jack off-suit.

Offshore casinos refer to online casinos operating outside of the United States. These illegal online casinos fall outside of the strict oversight of US regulators and have bad reputations for ripping off players.

Omaha, or Omaha Hold’em, is a community poker game where the goal is to create the best possible five-card hand using two of your four hole cards and three of the five community cards. Some of the most popular Omaha poker variations include pot-limit Omaha (PLO) and Omaha Hi-Lo 8.

A one-armed bandit is a traditional, three-reel slot machine with a pull lever. The “one-arm” comes from the pull lever, and the “bandit” comes from the fact that it’s more likely to take your money than to give any back, although some of these slots offer payback as high as 98%. Many stepper slots are considered one-armed bandits.

An online casino is a website or app offering real-money gambling through a variety of games such as slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, scratchcards, and more, and may feature live dealers as well.

The over/under is a classic sports bet that asks bettors to guess whether a numbered stat in an event falls above or below a given number. For example, bettors can predict whether the total number of points in an NFL game will be over or under 42.5 total points.

P

Two cards of the same rank, like two 7s, two 10s, two Aces, etc.

Parlay is a sports bet consisting of two or more selections (legs). For a parlay bet to win, a bettor must correctly predict all the selections on their betting slip. In Britain, a parlay is called an accumulator bet or acca.

A Pass Line is a starting bet in craps. It is placed before the Come Out roll. The player wins the Pass Line bet if the shooter rolls 7 or 11, and loses if the shooter roll 2, 3, or 12. If any other number comes up, it becomes the point. From there, the Pass Line bet wins if the shooter rolls the point number before rolling a 7.

A pat is a blackjack hand with a total of 17 or higher. If a player gets a pat, they shouldn’t be hitting, as they’re likely to bust.

The payoff refers to the sum of money a player receives after a winning bet.

A payout indicates how much a player stands to win on a successful wager. For example, the payout for winning a street bet in roulette is 11 to 1.

Penny slots are video slot machines with the lowest possible denomination, where the minimum wager is just a single cent per spin.

A percentage in gambling usually indicates the probability of winning a bet or the current chance of winning a poker hand. For example, in a pre-flop percentages matchup, an AA hand has 81% equity over a KK hand, which has only 19%.

The perfect pair is a side bet available on some blackjack tables, allowing players to wager on the possibility of their first two cards forming a pair.

Pineapple is a poker variation very similar to Texas Hold’em. The only significant difference is that players receive three cards at the start instead of two and discard one before the first betting round. In Crazy Pineapple, you get to keep all three cards until the turn, while Lazy Pineapple allows you to keep all three cards until the very last betting round.

Playthrough requirements, also known as wagering requirements and rollover requirements, indicate the number of times a player needs to play through a bonus sum before that sum becomes available for withdrawal. For example, if there’s a 30x playthrough requirement on a $100 bonus, the player must wager at least $3,000 before being allowed to cash out what remains of the bonus.

Pocket cards are the face-down cards each player receives at the start of a poker round. They are also called hole cards.

This term is primarily used in Australia and New Zealand to describe video slot machines.

A pot is the collective sum of money wagered throughout a poker round, including all antes, raises, and calls. The term “pot” likely derives from “jackpot.”

A prize pool is the total sum of money divided among the winners of a game or contest. Casinos may split the prize pool equally among all winners or distribute it based on rankings (e.g., a $500 prize pool where first place gets $200, second place gets $100, etc.).

Powerball is a popular multi-state lottery game played across the United States. The participants select five numbers between 1 and 69 and a single Powerball number between 1 and 26. A person who guesses all the numbers correctly can win a multi-million dollar prize, with some jackpots totaling over a billion dollars.

A progressive jackpot is a jackpot prize that keeps rising until someone wins it. A portion of every bet goes into a collective pot that can be won at any time. Some progressive jackpots grow to millions of dollars. The opposite of a progressive jackpot is a fixed jackpot.

A video slot that features a progressive jackpot is commonly referred to as a progressive slot.

The puck in craps is flipped to “off” when the shooter needs to establish their points. If the shooter scores a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the “intermediate roll” begins and the puck is flipped to the “on” side. The craps puck is also known as a craps button.

A push is an outcome of a bet where neither party wins. In this case, the stake is returned to the player, or the money is split equally between the participants.

Q

Quads, or four-of-a-kind, are four cards of the same rank in poker. In most variants, quads are among the strongest hands, only outranked by a straight flush.

Video slot machines played with $0.25 denominations are called quarter slots. Other slot machines categorized by denomination include penny, dime, nickel, dollar, and high-roller slots.

R

A rail is a physical barrier separating the viewers of a casino game from the table and its betting area.

A rainbow is a term used when all the shown community cards are of a different suit. For example, if the first three cards are an Ace of clubs, 10 of diamonds, and 2 of hearts, that’s called a “rainbow flop.”

A raise is when a poker player bets an increased amount in response to another player’s bet.

A rake is a commission taken by the casino that organizes a poker game. A typical poker rake ranges between 2% and 10% on the total pot of each hand. Casinos also do a rake minimum, such as $5 or $10 per pot.

 

In casino gaming, a Random Number Generator (RNG) refers to the mechanism that ensures that the outcome of a given round is entirely random and unpredictable. It is casino software used in all digital casino games.

Certain online casino games have a re-bet button that allows players to repeat a wager from the previous round without manually selecting the chips or typing in the bet amount.

A slots reel array represents the structure of a reel layout in a video slot game. The most typical reel arrays are 3×1 (three reels and three rows of nine symbols total) and 5×3 (five reels and three rows of 15 symbols total). Reel arrays can be any combination of reels, symbols, and columns. Some slots even have arrays of 3x4x5x4x3, which indicates five reels and 15 symbols, with each reel from left to right displaying three symbols, four symbols, five symbols, four symbols, and three symbols.

Reels in video slots are individual horizontal rows of symbols that spin around when you hit the spin button. Many types of reel structures are available today, but a typical video slot contains three to five reels with one to four rows of symbols.

An online casino or sports betting reload bonus is a deposit-match bonus offered to existing users to “reload” their account with funds.

Return, or return to player (RTP), is a percentage indicating how much money a player is statistically likely to win back from a given game. If the RTP of a video slot is 97%, a player is theoretically expected to get 97 cents on every dollar wagered over an infinite number of spins.

A ring game is an individual cash poker game, not part of a tournament, with no set duration. Players can join and leave at any time.

Risk-free at a gambling site means the player is not risking their own money. Some gambling sites use “risk-free” in association to second-chance bets or deposit-match bonuses. But a true risk-free offer does not involve the player using any of their own money. Risk-free includes no deposit bonuses, free casino games, free bets from a sportsbook, and mini-games for bonuses that some online casinos offer.

Also known as the wagering requirement or playthrough requirement, the rollover requirement is the number of times you have to use (roll over) bonus money to turn it into withdrawable cash. For example, a 5x rollover requirement on a $100 bonus means the player would need to wager $500 total. Whatever remains is available to cash out.

S

A scatter symbol is a special video slot symbol that pays regardless of whether it’s on a winning payline. Scatters also often pay out based on the total wager, not just the bet per line, and serve to unlock a slot’s bonus features and free spins rounds.

Scratch cards exist in both physical and virtual forms. Online scratch offs operate on the same basic principle as their real-life counterpart – the goal is to reveal specific symbols to get a reward. In contrast to physical scratch cards that cost a fixed amount and offer fixed prizes, online scratch cards let you bet different amounts of money and “scratch off” multipliers that apply to your wager.

In a casino setting, the term “shark” refers to a highly skilled player who takes advantage of the weaknesses or inexperience of other players, commonly referred to as “donkeys” or “fish.” A shark typically applies to poker players with a highly developed strategy but pretends to be a casual player.

A shooter is a term used in craps to signify a player whose turn it is to roll the dice. Other players in the game bet on the outcome of the shooter’s roll.

In poker, a short stack refers to the quantity of chips in a stack that is lower than the stakes. A player is said to have a short stack if their chip amount is lower than 20 or 30 big blinds in a tournament and 40 big blinds in cash games. Some players use short stacks as a strategy, while others end up with them after losing chips.

Sic Bo is a traditional Chinese game of chance played with dice. The game plays out on a big table with a layout containing different types of bets. Players place their chips on the desired bet box, and the dice are rolled. If the outcome coincides with your bet, you take the prize according to the payout odds.

A sign-up bonus is a promotion players can claim after they create an account at a casino. This type of incentive is usually valid on a player’s first deposit and is expressed as a percentage of that amount (100%, 150%, 200%, etc.). Sign-up bonuses typically contain bonus money, free spins, or a combination of the two.

A slot machine is a casino game that plays out on a game grid composed of reels and rows that contain positions for specific game symbols. The goal of the game is to line up identical symbols on the grid in specific patterns called paylines. After placing their bet, a player presses the Spin button, the reels spin, and a random number generator (RNG) produces the outcome based on the odds and volatility of the game.

This phrase is used in craps to refer to a dice roll that results in two ones.

Traditionally, steppers are slot machines that feature three mechanical reels and a pull bar. Nowadays, steppers are three-reel digital slots that may or may not feature a pull bar. If a pull bar is featured, it’s just for the novelty. Pressing the button instead does not affect the odds of a win.

 

A soft hand in blackjack involves an Ace that counts as one or eleven.

In the context of blackjack, you can split your hand if you get two identical cards. When this happens, you can split your cards and play two distinct hands. If a player decides to split their hand, they must place an additional bet on their new hand equal to their original bet. After that, the dealer hands them an additional card for each hand.

The term split pot refers to a game of poker that can have two or more winners instead of just one. The pot is usually shared between the player with the best high hand and the player with the best low hand or among multiple players who have the same hand on the river. Poker variants usually featuring split pots include Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven Card Stud.

A sportsbook is a land-based venue or an online platform where players can place bets on a wide array of sporting events. Most sportsbooks let bettors wager on sports like basketball, soccer, football, ice hockey, tennis, boxing, golf, baseball, mixed martial arts, horse racing, and greyhound racing, among others.

A spread is a term used in sports betting, and it refers to a situation when a sportsbook evens out the odds between two teams in a match. Bookmakers do this by setting a line according to the margin by which the teams are expected to win or lose. When you make a spread bet, the team you bet on has to win or lose by that predetermined margin for you to gain a profit.

Steam is a term used in poker to describe a player’s strong emotional reaction to losing advantage. When a player is “steaming,” this means they have become angry and lost their focus, leading them to play more aggressively with a sub-optimal strategy.

A sticky bonus is a casino bonus you can’t cash out – you can only use it to play casino games. The winnings you accrue from playing with this bonus are withdrawable, but only after completing the playthrough requirements.

A straight is a poker hand consisting of five cards with consecutive ranks, not necessarily of the same suit. Straight hands rank fifth on the poker hand ratings, better than a three-of-a-kind and below a flush. If a straight hand contains an Ace, this card can rank as either high or low, depending on the sequence (A-2-3-4-5 or 10-J-Q-K-A).

In sports betting, a straight bet involves betting on a single outcome. It’s the opposite of teasers and parlays, which involve predicting the end result of more than one event. Common straight bets involve spread bets, moneylines, and over/under points totals.

A straight flush is a poker term referring to a hand consisting of five cards of consecutive rank and the same suit. This poker hand is the highest ranked hand in poker, and its strongest version is the Royal Flush, which is a straight flush of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10.

Strategy in a casino and sports betting context refers to a methodology used to help a player achieve a specific result, such as minimizing their losses or winning a game or bet. Players typically use strategies for blackjack, poker, sports betting, and roulette.

Stud poker is a poker game variant in which the dealer hands out a combination of face-up and face-down cards to players. In five-card stud, players get the first card face-down and the remaining four face-up. In seven-card stud, the players receive the first two and the final card face-down, whereas the remaining four are dealt face-up.

A suit is a term used in card games to signify one of the four groups of playing cards: Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, and Clubs.

A substitute symbol, or wild symbol, is a symbol on a slot machine that can replace standard symbols to create winning combinations. A substitute symbol cannot usually replace bonus or scatter symbols.

Surrender is an option in blackjack that allows a player to give up half of their wager after they’ve seen the dealer’s up card. The best time to surrender is specified in basic blackjack strategy.

Symbols are icons and images on slot machine reels. You receive a corresponding reward when you line up two, three, or more of these icons on the same payline. The greater the number of symbols in a winning combination, the bigger the prize. Depending on the slot themes, the symbols can have different visual representations. Many slots feature playing card symbols as their lowest paying, and theme-specific symbols as their highest paying.

T

In a casino setting, a table refers to a piece of furniture used for table games. On the tops of these tables, there is usually a layer of felt that prevents cards from sliding. Moreover, it contains slots showing the different types of bets you can make. In most games, players sit or stand around one side of the table while the dealer stands opposite them.

When a casino player has tapped out, it means that they have lost their entire bankroll and are unable to continue playing the game.

Texas Hold’em is among the most popular poker variants. At the beginning of a round, each player receives two cards dealt face down. The game then goes through three betting rounds in which five more cards, also known as community cards, are dealt face-up. After the final round, the remaining players reveal their hands, and the one with the best-ranked hand wins the pot.

In a casino setting, slot themes refer to the genre of a slot. The game’s theme determines its storyline and visual elements. There are countless slot concepts, most notably mythology, adventure, East Asia, animals, ancient civilizations, candy, books, Christmas, and branded slots based on popular TV shows and movies.

Three-of-a-kind is a poker hand composed of three cards of the same value or ranking, regardless of their suits, such as three Kings.

In the context of poker, a player is on tilt when they are making bad decisions in a game due to frustration, anger, or loss of focus. Players on tilt usually play low-value hands or apply a more aggressive approach.

A tipster is a person who gives tips on horse races, sporting events, and other facets of gambling. Many online tipsters offer their services for a fee. Basically, anyone who offers you tips in exchange for money is a tipster, and these people build careers off of their reputation for winning more often than they lose. No tipster exists for casino gaming or the lottery. But we do offer free online casino tips to help players avoid common pitfalls.

In sports betting, points totals refer to a type of bet that allows you to predict the combined total score of the two sides competing in a game. This type of wager is also known as over/under.

TY is an abbreviation or chat slang for “thank you” that is commonly used in online casino chat rooms.

U-Z

An underdog in the context of sports betting is a team or player that has a worse chance of winning compared to their opponent. Because the odds aren’t stacked in their favor, if you bet on the underdog to win, you can expect a larger payout if your prediction is correct.

Variance, or volatility, is a casino slot game feature indicating how often a game is likely to produce winning combinations and the average payout size. Low-variance slots produce winning combinations frequently, but the payouts are relatively modest. High-variance slots, on the other hand, hit rarely, but their payouts are higher. Mid-variance slots, as their name suggests, are balanced in both win frequency and payout size.

Video poker is a type of poker game played online or on machines at land-based casinos. These games are based on five-card draw poker, and they have fixed odds. Some of the most popular video poker variants include Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Jokers Wild, and Bonus Poker.

Vig is short for vigorish, a term that denotes the amount of a player’s bet that the sportsbook takes as commission to ensure its profit, irrespective of the game’s outcome. Vig is also known as the cut, take, juice, and under-juice, to name just a few synonyms.

In the context of online slots, volatility, or variance, is the frequency with which these games produce winning combinations. This is tied in with average payouts, so high-volatility slots deliver higher payouts with lower frequency, and low-volatility slots yield lower payouts with higher frequency. Mid-volatility slots generate medium-amount winnings occasionally.

A wager, also known as a bet, is an amount of money risked on a given outcome. At a casino, a player can wager on slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, and other games. There are three potential outcomes: losing the wager, winning more than the wager, and getting your wager back (also known as a “push”).

A wagering requirement indicates how many times you have to bet the bonus amount to turn it into withdrawable cash. For example, $100 in bonus money with a 5x wagering requirement means a player must wager $500 for the remaining balance to become available for cashout.

A welcome bonus refers to the online casino bonus offered exclusively to new signups and is not available to existing users. Welcome bonuses include deposit-match, free spins, and no-deposit bonuses.

The wild symbol, also known as the subistitute symbol, is a special slot game symbol that can stand in place of any symbol except scatter and bonus symbols and helps create winning combinations.

Yo is a term crap dealers use to refer to the 11 bet. When you place this bet, the outcome of the issuing dice roll should be 11 for you to win. It’s a high-risk, high-reward bet with a house edge of 11.11% and a payout of 15:1.

The abbreviation yw is casino chat slang for “you’re welcome.”

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About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani

Casino Content Manager
Mike Epifani is a gambling expert and professional writer with more than a decade of industry experience. His current role is Brand Content Manager at Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media network. Mike has written hundreds of guides on online casinos, casino gaming, sports betting, sweepstakes sites, and lottery play.
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