You’re a new gambler, and like any new hobby, many terms and slang words are unique to the hobby. Gambling and casinos are no different.
I will give you a comprehensive list of all the terms/ slang you need to know when gambling in a land-based or online casino.
I have broken them down into sections to make it easier for referencing as you’re getting to know your way around gambling in casinos.
Action: play on the casino floor, including table games and slots.
Aggregate Limit: the casinos’ total payout liability for any casino game.
Aggregate Winnings: total winnings.
All or Nothing: a winning keno ticket that only has the exact numbers drawn or none of the numbers drawn.
Bankroll: the total amount of money a gambler has for betting.
Barber Pole: multi-color and/or denomination stack of chips.
Bet: any wager.
Betting Limits: usually determined by the casino, the maximum and minimum a gambler can wager on a specific game.
Black Book: slang for a list of gamblers that have been banned in Nevada casinos.
Buck: slang for a $100 bet.
Bug: slang for the joker card.
Buy-in: money a gambler converts to casino chips for a game.
Cage: location of the casino cashiers.
Card Sharp/Shark: an expert casino card gambler.
Card Washing: a type of dealer card shuffling where the cards are placed face down on the table by the dealer and ‘swishes’ like a washing machine before dealing with a new game.
Carpet Joints: slang for high-end, luxury casinos.
Case Bet: a gambler’s bet that includes all remaining chips on the table or all in.
Cashier’s Cage: the same as the cage, see above.
Casino Advantage: a percentage advantage that the casino has in any casino game over the gambler.
Casino Floor: the actual gambling area of the casino.
Chase: slang for when a gambler loses and tries to win back their money.
Cheques: original name for casino chips.
Chips: round discs that come in multiple denominations and colors used in place of money on the casino gambling tables.
Chip Tray: the tray that holds the dealer’s chips for play.
Coat-tail: slang for copying a winning gambler’s strategy and expecting the same results in betting.
Cold: slang for a card deck, craps table, or slot machine that is no longer on a winning streak.
Coloring Up: slang for exchanging smaller value chips for higher denominations
Comp: a gift from the casino, usually, in the form of food, drinks, or lodging.
Cracking the Nut: slang for the net profit of a gambler after all their losses are deducted.
Credits: 1 credit is the same as the dollar amount of the play. 1 credit on a penny slot would be 1 penny.
Crossfire: slang for when the dealer talks too much about other things besides the game at the table.
Croupier: French for a roulette dealer.
D’Alembert System: a bankroll strategy of adding one monetary amount after a losing bet while the monetary amount is deducted after a winning bet.
Deposit: when a gambler places money for gambling in their casino account.
Dime: slang for wagering $1,000.00.
Dirty Money: slang for the money lost in bets that are collected by the dealer.
Discard Tray: the tray or stack of cards to the dealer’s right that is out of play
Dollar Bet: slang for betting $100.00.
Double or Nothing: a bet that pays the original bet or even-money.
Down to the Felt: slang for being broke.
Drop: the amount of money lost by a gambler.
Drop Box: a box at the gaming table that holds all cash, chips, and markers
Casino Terms and Slang Words: E-J
Edge: the advantage a gambler or the casino has over another gambler.
Eighty-Six or 86: slang for being banned from a casino.
Eye in the Sky: slang for the security surveillance system at a casino.
Face Cards: the jack, king, or queen.
Firing: slang for placing large bets.
Fish: slang for a losing gambler.
Flat Betting: a betting strategy for placing the same wager amount every bet.
Flea: slang for a casino gambler who expects unearned comps.
Foreign: chips from another casino.
Front Money: the original money put down for a bankroll.
George: slang for a copious tipper in a casino.
Grind: a steady betting strategy that is based on knowledge and takes time.
Handicapper: slang for a gambler who is betting with no skill or knowledge of the game.
Closeup of a Craps Table and Dice
Handle: the sum of the money put in a game.
High Roller: a high dollar amount bettor.
Hold: the percentage of money the casino makes on each game played.
Holding Your Own: a gambler who is neither winning nor losing money on their bets.
Honeymoon Period: slang for new gamblers that wins on their first time playing the casino. Also known as beginner’s luck.
Hot: describes a gambler on a winning streak.
House: slang for the casino, online or land-based.
House Edge: the same as the casino edge or advantage.
Jackpot: a massive payout on a slot machine.
Juice: slang for the amount the house earns per game. See “vigorish.”
Junket: a VIP casino trip hosted by the casino for high rollers. All expenses are usually covered, High rollers are required to make a minimum bankroll deposit in advance of the junket.
Laying or Taking Odds: laying the odds is winning less than bet, and taking the odds is winning more than bet.
Layout: a list of all the betting types usually printed on the table felt.
Load up: betting the max amount on a slot machine or video poker machine.
Loyalty Club: a casino members club that accumulates points for the gambler as they spend money in the casino. Points can be used towards casino goods and services.
Marker: a casino sanctioned IOU for gamblers to use for betting.
Martingale: a betting strategy where the gambler doubles up after every losing bet.
Maximum Bet: the highest amount allowed to be bet at a table game or the highest amount played on a single spin of a slot machine.
Mechanic: slang for a casino cheater at a dice or card game via sleight of hand.
Net Winnings: the amount of total casino winnings less the bets placed.
Nickel: slang for betting $500.00.
Odds: the percentage chance a gambler has of winning.
On Tilt: slang for a gambler reacting to a losing bet with a wildly outlandish bet to follow.
Overlay: a bet that gives the gambler an advantage over the casino.
Payoff: the physical money received by a gambler after winning. (cash or chips)
Payout or Payback %: based on a slot or video poker machine, the programmed result is determined by deducting the casino advantage.
Pigeon: slang for a gambler who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Pips: any spade, club, heart or diamond card or the dots on a dice.
Pit: where the casino floor managers are stationed on the gambling floor.
Pit boss: the managers of the casino floor.
Ploppy: slang for a new gambler who is not playing well but has no problem giving below par advice to more advanced players.
Press a Bet: increasing your bet amount after winning the previous bet.
Progression Betting: adding or changing bets as play continues.
Rack: the device used to count a high dollar amount of chips.
Racinos: when a casino and a racetrack are on the same property.
Railbird: slang for someone who observes gamblers. A railbird may be planning to steal gambler’s chips.
Rated: a casino’s system for valuing a gambler’s action when gambling. This system is used for allocating comps based on skills.
Rathole: a gambler who slowly put their winning stash of ships so other players don’t notice that they are winning.
RFB: the prized comp- includes room, food and drinks (beverages).
Casino Terms and Slang Words: S-U
Sawbuck: slang for $10.00 wager.
Sawdust Joint: a lower end casino that offers cheaper minimum buy-ins and slots.
Scamdicapper: a gambler who exaggerates their winnings and skill set.
Session: time spent playing casino games.
Shark or Sharp: a gambler who doesn’t let on at the beginning of the game that they are quite skilled.
Shill: slang for a casino employee that plays other casino’s game tables to drum up business for their employer.
Single or Straight-Up Bet: a bet on one game.
Skin or Skoon: slang for a 1 dollar.
Sleeper: a bet that the gambler wasn’t expecting to win.
Soft Count: the counting of the money played on a slot machine by the casino.
Soft Count Room: the location within the casino’s backhouse where soft counts are performed.
Casino Security Surveillance Room
Slot Club Card Member: similar to loyalty club but specifically for slot machine players.
Spinner: a winning streak.
Streak Betting: a betting system where the gambler increases or decreases their next bet depending on the previous win or loss. Also known as progressive betting.
Stripping or Card Stripping: a type of shuffling that reverses the cards’ order in a deck.
Table Hold: the amount of money won at a table for a dealer’s shift, usually 8 hours.
Tapping Out: slang for losing all your money at a table or not spending any more money on the current game.
Toke: slang for a tip left for a dealer by a player.
Tom: a gambler that doesn’t tip.
Tournament: a casino or gambling industry association hosted tournament. Tournaments can be online or in-person events. Gamblers usually have to qualify for the tournament or be invited by the host. Tournaments are mostly for card games.
Underlay: slang for a lousy bet.
US Casino Megaclubs: a loyalty club that includes multiple casinos. This is possible because the same parent company owns casinos.
Casino Terms and Slang Words: V-Z
Vigorish: a casino’s fee or house take on a designated bet in baccarat, craps, and sportsbooks.
VIP: a Very Important Player that is recognized by the casino and its staff as deserving of special treatment and attention, usually a high roller.
VLT: acronym for Video Lottery Terminal
Wager: another word for a bet.
Whale: a VIP gambler who places enormous bets.
White Meat: slang for a casino’s profits.
Withdrawal: when a gambler removes money from their casino account