Casino Glossary

Listed Below are some terms and definitions which are associated from the gambling world. Although you do not necessarily need to know these to a games of gambling but it is a good idea to read over then so when you visit casino you’ll know what’s everybody is talking about.

A

A-J Bonus : A popular variant rule where a bonus payout for the ace and jack of spades is offered.

Ace adjustment : Changing the size of one’s bet based on how many aces are left in the deck.

Ace five count : A simple card counting strategy that only counts aces and fives.

Ace side count : A count of how many aces have been played. This count is a “side count” because it’s kept separately from the main count.

Ace neutral count : Any card counting system that doesn’t track aces. i.e. Aces count as 0 or null in the count.

Ace poor : A situation where the deck has fewer aces left in it than is statistically likely. A deck that’s poor in aces.

Ace rich : A situation where the deck has more aces left in it than is statistically likely. A deck that’s rich in aces.

Action : The amount of money that’s been bet. Can refer to an aggregate of the total amounts of bets made over a certain period of time, or it can refer to the amount in play on a particular wager.

Admission : The fee charged by traditional bingo halls before you are allowed in. Admission to online bingo sites is free – you only pay to play!

Advantage : The statistically theoretical edge one side has over the other, usually expressed as a percentage of the wager. Usually the casino has the advantage, but card counting can give the player the advantage.

Advantage player : A gambler who uses strategy to gain a mathematical advantage over the casino.

All In : Putting all your money in.

Alligator Blood : (U.S) A tough player is good under pressure.

Ante : A small bet that everyone at the table is required to pay before each hand (in games with an ante). e.g. Casino Stud Poker, 7-card stud.

Apple, the : (U.S) The biggest game in the house.

Auto : Short for automatic. For example, an Auto Purchase option in some online bingo rooms will automatically buy you bingo cards for the next game.

B

Back counting : Counting cards from behind the table as a spectator. Counting cards in blackjack when you’re not playing in the game.

Back Door : A hand-made ‘back door’ is one made using both of the last two cards. A back door flush in Texas hold ’em is about 20-1.

Balanced count : A card counting system that has an equal number of cards valued at + and -. The sum of a count of all cards in a deck in a balanced count is always 0.

Backroll : Also known as ‘roll’ or ‘wad’ (colloq.) This is gambling money or risk money, as opposed to the money you live on.

Balls : Another word for “numbers”, stemming from the traditional offline bingo practice of randomly drawing numbers painted on balls.

Bar : To ban a player from playing at a casino. This term is almost always used to refer to blackjack card counters.

Basic strategy : The optimum playing strategy for blackjack when not counting.

Base Deal : Cheating by dealing from the bottom of the deck. o the tot.

Blackout : The terms blackout, coverall and house all mean the same thing – to mark every number on any given bingo card.

Belly buster : An inside straight draw.

Berry Patch : (U.S) An extremely easy game.

Bet spread : The amount of the maximum and minimum bets a player is making during a blackjack playing session. A 1-5 bet spread means that the player is betting a minimum of 1 unit per hand and a maximum of 5 units per hand.

Betting efficiency : How well a card counting system can take advantage of the theoretical advantage offered by that system.

Big Blind : In flop games, two bets are usually posted before any cards are dealt. The small blind by the player to the left of the dealer and the big blind (double the small blind) by the player to the left of the small blind.

Big player : A member of a card counting team who makes a big bet when the count is favorable.

Black chip : A casino chip worth $100.

Blackjack : Refers to the game of 21, but also refers to a natural total of 21 on the first two cards. A blackjack always consists of an ace and a face card or a ten. Blackjack usually pays better than even odds. The most common payoff on a blackjack is 3 to 2, but some single deck blackjack games have a 6 to 5 payout. And sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a casino offering 2 to 1 payouts on blackjacks. A blackjack is also called a “natural”.

Blind Bet : A pre-deal bet, or blind. In flop games it initiates the betting round.

Blinds : A forced bet in flop games like Hold ‘Em, Omaha.

Bluff : A bet with a weak hand, usually intended to get other players to fold.

Boat : Nickname for a full house.

Bonus Feature : Some of the newer slot machines have an added special feature that once activated will automatically give you free spins or a bonus round where you will win additional coins.

Bracelet : Winning a championship event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) earns the player a Gold

Brass Brazilians : The best hand, also known as ‘the nuts.’

Broadway : (U.S) An Ace high straight.

Bullets : A pair of aces in the hole.

Bump : To raise.

Burn card : The first card of a new deck after the shuffle and cut. The card is discarded and placed on the bottom of the deck.

Bust : To run out of money. ‘Busted out’ in competitions where its final.

Button : Big white marker in the shape of an ice-hockey puck the denotes the position of dealer in house dealt games.

Buy : To buy a pot is to make a bet large enough that other players would be unlikely to call.

C

Cage : Where the casino cashier is located.

Call : To call a bet is to equal it but not raise it.

Caller : A person who announces the numbers selected randomly during a game of bingo.

Camouflage : Any strategy meant to cover up card counting.

Card counting : A strategy for getting the edge at blackjack by tracking the ratio of high cards to low cards that have already been played. A card counter raises his bet when the deck offers favorable odds to the player, and lowers his bet when the deck offers less-than-favorable odds to the player. There are multiple card counting systems with varying degrees of efficiency. Card A bingo card (also referred to as a “bingo ticket”) is a grid containing a unique set of random numbers. The player who is first to mark the numbers on their own card according the rules of the game is the winner.

Carpet joint : A big card room with comforts. The opposite of a ceedy joint.

Case money : Emergency money.

Catch : When the cards are treating you well, you are said to be catching cards.

Chat Room : A virtual “room” in which online bingo players can “chat” to each other by typing messages using the computer keyboard and viewing replies on their screen. Many online bingo sites have several chat rooms to cater for different interests.

Check : If no one has bet and it is your turn, you may ‘check’ to signify passing the initiate to the next player without risking money. (exception=7 card stud) Checks : (U.S) Poker chips.

Chip : Poker chips are small round discs used instead of money at the poker table.

Coffeehouse : Talking about a game you are in to misleadiother players, is coffeehousing.

Coins Size : This is the amount of each bet; on most machines you can play more than one coin. Common coin sizes range from one cent to five dollars.

Color up : To exchange lower denomination chips for higher denomination chips.

Comp : Free food, room, beverage, and travel offered by casinos to encourage big players to gamble more.

Cowboys : (U.S) Kings.

Cut : Remove a number of cards from the bottom of the deck and place them on the top.

Cut card : A plastic card used to cut the deck after shuffling. The dealer reshuffles the deck after reaching the cut card when dealing hands.

D

Dauber : A special bingo marker used to mark called numbers which, in the real world, is a large flat-tipped felt pen. Most online bingo sites offer an “auto daub” feature which marks your card automatically for you as the numbers are called.

Dealing seconds : A dealer cheating method. The dealer deals the 2nd card from the top if the top card would help the player.

Deck penetration : The percentage of cards played out of a deck or a shoe before reshuffling.

Discards : The cards that have already been played and thrown away.

Door card : The first up-card in seven card stud.

Double deck : Blackjack played out of two decks which are shuffled together. (As opposed to single deck, four deck, six deck, eight deck, etc.).

Double down : To double the initial bet and take one and exactly one more card. Usually doubling down is only allowed after the first two cards are dealt. Some casinos allow doubling after splitting and some don’t. Some casinos only allowing doubling down when the first two cards total 10 or 11.

Double exposure : A blackjack variant where both of the dealer’s cards are played face up. Usually players lose all pushes and blackjack pays even money in this variant.

Downtown Vegas : The older area of Vegas. The casinos in Downtown Vegas generally offer better rules for the player, and the phrase is used to refer to blackjack games with those beneficial rules.

Draw : Same as to hit. Taking additional cards in an attempt to get closer to a total of 21.

Drop : Money lost.

Down to the felt : Totally out of money, broke.

E

Early Bird : The name sometimes given to the first bingo game of a session.

Eight ball : $800.00

Eyes Down : The traditional prompt for players to get ready for the first number to be called, as in : “Eyes down for your first number…” The term can now be used to refer to the start of a game, as in : “Three minutes to go until eyes down.”

F

Face cards : The jack, queen, and king. They’re each worth 10 points.

False shuffle : A dealer cheating method which doesn’t really randomize the deck of cards.

Fast : Aggressive.

Fast company : Tough players.

First base : The position of the player at the blackjack table who gets his cards first. If you’re standing behind the table, the player at the far right is in first base.

First to Speak : In a stud game, either the high or the low card must make a bet.

Fish : A poor player. A sucker. A ‘pidgeon’.

Fishhooks : (U.S) Jacks.

Fill : When hoppers run out of coins, a fill is called for, which simply means an attendant gets a bag of coins from the cashier and refills the empty hopper.

Flat betting : To bet the same amount on every hand.

Fluctuation : The deviations from expectation in a player’s bankroll.

Flop : The first three communual cards in Hold ‘Em, Omaha. (Flop games).

Fold : Pass your hand.

Four Corner : A particular pattern which requires you to mark all four corner numbers on a card.

Four Flush : A hand with four cards of the same suit.

Four of a kind : Four cards of the same rank.

Fourth Street : The fourth card dealt in a hand of poker.

Freezeout : A poker tournament in which only the initial entry is permitted, i.e. no re-entry once all your chips are lost .

Full House : A five card hand consisting of ‘trips’ and a ‘pair’.

G

Game Board : A display board used to provide a visual record of all the numbers called during a bingo game. A virtual board is displayed in most online bingo rooms. The board may also show the pattern required to win in a game of pattern bingo.

Game Room : Some online bingo sites offer a number of different game rooms so that players can chat in smaller groups or choose to play a particular type of bingo game.

George : (U.S) A poor player.

Give the office : (U.S) To give a warning regarding cheating.

Glimmer : Money.

Going South : Taking money of the table, against the rules, in a cash game.

Goulash joint : A restaurant or bar that runs a regular card game hidden in a back room.

Greek dealer : A cheating dealer. A mechanic.

Griffin Book : A book of suspected card counters and casino cheaters provided to casinos by Griffin Investigations.

Griffin Investigations : A private investigator corporation which specializes in casino cheating and card counters.

Grinder : An un-ambitious player who only hopes to win a little money each day. Also known as a ‘leather ass.

Gutshot : One card that will complete an inside straight draw.

H

Hanger : A card that juts out conspicuously when a cheater is dealing.

Hard hand : Any hand without an ace. Also any hand with an ace where the ace must be counted as a 1 to avoid busting.

Hard total : The total of a hard hand.

Heads Up : A game or a hand between two players.

Heat : Pressure and intimidation used by a casino to discourage card counters.

Hi-lo count : A card counting system. 2 through 6 counts +1 and faces and aces count as -1.

Hi-opt I : A card counting system promoted in The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book. 3-6 count as +1, and tens (including faces) count as -1.

High Hand : Top traditionally rated hand. (As opposed to Low Ball hands)

High Society : The highest denomination of chips in a card room.

Hit : To take another card.

Hit Frequency : Refers the frequency at which winning spins occur. A larger hit frequency is better than one that’s lower, although you have to take the machines pay cycle into account, which can make measuring this difficult.

Hole card : The dealer’s face down card.

Hold This is the percentage of coins played that are held by the machine, the house profit. In most cases this number is roughly 3% to 15% and up.

Hold ‘Em : Poker where the players have only two cards, both face down. A flop of five communual cards gives the player a choice of five from seven to make the best possible hand.

Hold and Re-Spin : A version of slots that allows the player to hold one or more reels and spin a second time with the goal of improving the result.

Hopper : This term is associated with land-based slot machines. It is the place where the coins you put in are stored. Often hoppers are filled to overflowing by its players, so hoppers don’t only run empty, they sometimes overflow. When this happens the excess coins drop into a bucket underneath the hopper. This is the profit the casino takes. The buckets are usually emptied in the early morning hours when the traffic is light.

Hot deck : A deck where the player has an edge or favorable situation.

House : The terms house, blackout and coverall all mean the same thing – to mark every number on any given bingo card. The word house can also be used to refer to the bingo establishment itself.

House edge : The percentage advantage the casino has over the player on a particular bet.

I

Index number : The total count that warrants a deviation from basic strategy.

Instant Win : A type of mini-game found at some online bingo sites (for example, a virtual scratch card) which gives the player the chance to win a cash prize instantly.

Insurance : A side bet that the dealer has a blackjack. The maximum insurance bet is half of your original wager. Insurance is almost always a negative expectation bet.

J

Jackpot : The main prize on offer in a particular game. All games have a standard jackpot, and some have a progressive jackpot, which is defined under the term Progressive.

Junket : A casino subsidized travel package for a group of gamblers.

Juice : (U.S) See ‘Vig’. Money taken as the rake in a game.

K

Kansas City : Kansas City lowball is Low Ball with the ace as high. Best hand is 23457.

Kelly betting : Betting a percentage of your bankroll equal to your percentage advantage. This is the optimal bet size.

Knock out count : An unbalanced card counting system promoted by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs. 2-7 count as +1 and aces and tens count as -1. The count does not start at 0 but starts at a number determined by the number of decks in play. Also known as the “KO count”.

L

Ladies : Queens.

Las Vegas strip rules : The rules most commonly used on the Las Vegas strip, as opposed to Downtown Las Vegas. These rules are generally less favorable to the player and use more decks.

Late surrender : An optional rule where the player can surrender after seeing the dealer’s hole card.

Level : The number of values used in a card counting system. A level one counting system only uses +1 and -1, but a level two system would use +1, +2, -1 and -2, and so on. The higher the level, the harder the system is to use in practice.

Line : A line of numbers on a bingo card.

Lingo : A common term for bingo jargon, as in “bingo lingo”.

Live card : A card that has not been seen.

Live game : A game with lots of betting action. A ‘loose’ game.

Lock : A hand that is guaranteed to win at least part of the pot.

Loose/Tight Slots : Loose slots will have better payoffs, as high as a ‘certified’ 100%, on average over a period time. Tight slots are the opposite.

Mechanic : A cheating player, often by marking cards or using false deals.

Mechanic’s grip : The way a cheater holds a deck to make it easy to deal ‘seconds’.

Mitt joint : (U.S) A club where the house cheats the players, or one that turns a blind eye to cheating in general.

Money management : A system a player uses to decide how to handle his bankroll. Kelly betting is one money management system that works. Stop loss limits is a money management system that doesn’t work.

Money plays : A casino rule which allows players to wager actual cash instead of chips.

Multiple deck : Using more than one deck in a game of blackjack. As opposed to a single deck game.

N

Natural : A blackjack.

No-limit : A game that allows a player to bet all his chips at any betting round.

Nuts, the : The best hand.

Nut straight : The highest possible straight.

O

Omaha : Omaha is a flop game dealt as Hold ‘ em but with four down-cards each. A hand is made using five from a possible nine, but two and only two must be used from the players hand.

On the finger : (U.S) Money given on credit.

On tilt : Going ‘on tilt’ is a bad reaction to an unlucky hand. The result is wild play.

Outs : Ways of improving your hand to win the pot.

P

Paint : A Jack, Queen or King. Picture card. Face card .

Pair : Two cards of the same rank.

Pasadena : Fold.

Past post : A method of cheating where a player posts additional money to his wager after seeing the results of the hand.

Pat hand : A total of 17 or more. Don’t hit pat hands.

Pattern : Pattern bingo requires you to daub the numbers on your ticket which cover a certain shape. This could be a simple Line or Four Corners, or something more complicated, such as a latter of the alphabet.

Pay Cycle : It is a widely held belief that slots go through pay cycles, which means that, after taking in a number of coins they must pay out in order to meet the percentage payout that has been programmed into the software.

Pay line : In general the pay line refers to the line in the middle of the slot window but also it can be three or even five lines. Only winning symbols on a pay line will drop coins in the tray.

Payout : The amount of money that is paid out by a bingo site.

Pineapple : A variation on Hold’em where players receive three cards each and are forced to discard one of them after the flop is dealt. Thus reverting to Hold’em.

Pit : The area in the casino which is surrounded by the table games.

Pit boss : A casino employee in the pit who oversees the table games and the dealers.

Play on your belly : (U.S) Playing honestly.

Playing conditions : The rules variations in effect at a casino. Playing conditions include whether or not a player can double down after a split, how many decks are in use, etc.

Plus/minus : Another name for the Hi lo counting system.

Point count : The total value of the count, positive or negative, at any given time.

Poker Hand : A collection of exactly five cards that constitute a hand according to the accepted list of hands.

Pre-Purchase : To buy bingo cards in advance.

Progressive Jackpot : This is a top prize that grows as people play. Often these machines are linked up at several casinos so the jackpots can grow very large. As always “reading” the machine before you play is a must.

Push : Refers to the player and the dealer having the same total. Usually the player’s bet is returned when there is a push.

Pushka : (U.S) An arrangement between two or more of the players to share part of the pots win, or more precisely, the container into which the shared chips are played.

Q

Quads : Four of a kind.

R

Rabbits : Weak players.

Rack : Plastic, wooden or metal tray to place rows of poker chips.

Rag : A card, usually a low card, that, when it appears, has no apparent impact on the hand.

Random Number Generator (RNG) : A computer chip placed inside the slot by the manufacturer that randomly selects hundreds of numbers and symbols every second at a rate faster than you can push the spin button and even when it is idle. Each number corresponds to a certain symbol combination that is randomly chosen after the spin button is activated. The fewest programmed combos are for the top jackpot. This program computer chip is also designed to determine that particular slot’s average payout percentage. No slot will pay back its preset payoff percentage rate every time because the final outcome of every spin is randomly selected.

Railbirds : Spectators. Kibitzers.

Railroad bible : Deck of cards.

Rainbow : Three or four cards of different suits. Applied to flops.

Raise : Increase the previous bet.

Rake : The percentage of a pot that the house keeps.

Rat holing : Putting chips in your pocket or purse so the casino doesn’t see how much you’re winning.

Rated : Describes a player who’s a professional. Card counters prefer NOT to be rated. Can also refer to a rating given by casino hosts based on the amount lost, in which case the rating determines what comps are awarded to the player.

Red chip : $5 chip.

Reels : The reels upon which the symbols are displayed, usually three reels but sometimes you will find a two reel, four or even higher. The more reels the machine has the harder it will be to hit the jackpot.

Resplit : Splitting a second pair after receiving another pair after the initial deal. (Re-splitting is often not allowed.).

Rider bet : A bet made by another player on someone’s hand. This bet is placed behind the original bet.

Risk of ruin : The mathematical chance of losing one’s entire bankroll.

River : The final (seventh) card dealt in a poker hand. (the fifth flop card in flop games).

Road gang : Team of cheats.

Rock Garden : A game of tight players.

Rolled Up : In Seven Card Stud, three of a kind with the first three cards is known as being ‘rolled up’.

Round : A round can refer either to a round of betting or a round of hands.

Rounder : (U.S) A player who knows all the angles and earns his living at the poker table.

Royal Straight flush : An ace high straight flush.

S

Scatter : These are symbols that produce a win regardless of if they are in order or even on a pay-line. A combination of two or more of these symbols scattered throughout the visible symbols generally on a 5 line slot machine will yield a win.

Seconds : Cheating by dealing the second card instead of the top card.

Semi-bluff : A bluff where there is a chance that your hand can make a winning hand.

Session : The term used to describe a series of bingo games. For example, the “evening session” or “afternoon session” in a bingo club.

Seven Card Stud : Popular variant of stud. Seven cards each, dealt two down, four up, one down.

Shape : Another way to refer to the pattern required by pattern bingo.

Shill : A casino employee who pretends to be a player. Shills often play at empty tables in order to attract action.

Shoe game : A blackjack game dealt from a shoe. Multiple deck games are almost always shoe games, while single deck games are often dealt by hand.

Shuffle Master : A company which manufactures automatic shuffling machines which constantly shuffle the blackjack decks. Shuffle Master machines generally prevent card counting, since the deck is shuffled after every hand.

Shuffle tracking : An advantage play technique in blackjack where a player keeps track of where the high cards are in the deck, then cuts into the deck so that the concentration of high cards is played by the dealer.

Side count : An additional count of a particular set of cards, kept in addition to the point count. Aces are often tracked in a side count.

Slow rolling : An annoying habit that means you slowly reveal that you have the winning hand.

Small Blind : See Big Blind

Soft : Easy.

Soft double : To double down on a soft hand.

Soft hand : A hand in which an ace can be counted as an 11 or as a 1 without the hand being considered a bust.

South : (U.S) Fold.

Spikes : (U.S) A pair of aces.

Splash the pot : Loosely put chips into a pot to obscure the actual amount. Not good.

Split Pot : If two or more players win a single bingo game on the same number, the prize money is split between them equally. In this situation the prize money pot is referred to as a “split pot”.

Stack : All your chips.

Stand : To decline additional cards and keep your existing total.

Standard deviation : The amount of deviation from the statistical expectation.

Stiff hand : Hard hands that total between 12 and 16. Stiff hand are likely to bust when drawn to.

Straighten Out : (U.S) To introduce an acquaintance to an underground poker club.

Straight Flush : Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Stop loss limit : An amount of money that a gambler is willing to lose in a situation. Once the stop loss limit is reached, the gambler stops playing that session.

Surrender : Deciding not to play the hand you’ve been dealt. You get to keep half your bet if you surrender. Not all casinos offer surrender as an option.

Symbols : The icons or symbols that appear on the reels are of an infinite variety and can be practically anything that the manufacturers and the casinos can dream up.

T

Take Cycle : This is the opposite of the pay cycle. If you subscribe to the pay/take philosophy then you believe that a pay cycle is followed by a take cycle, whereby you may get the odd small hit but essentially it’s feeding time for the slot.

Tap : Tap the table means to check. Also (U.S) betting all your opponents money, forcing him to go ‘all in’ if he calls the bet.

Tapioca : (U.S) Out of money.

Tell : An unconscious gesture that reveals information about your hand.

Texas Hold’em : See Hold’em. (The usual term)

Third base : The person who receives cards last in a blackjack game. If you’re standing behind the players, the person in third base is the farthest to the left.

Tickets : Another word for bingo cards.

Tight : Conservative.

Toke : Any tip to a dealer or other casino employee.

Trips : Three cards of the same rank.

True count : The running count divided by the number of decks in he shoe.

Turn : The second to last, (sixth), card dealt in Hold ‘Em. Fourth communal card, also known as “4th street”.

U

Underdog : When two hands face off, the underdog is the one that’s less likely to win than the other.

Unit : An amount of a bet.

Unbalanced count : A card counting system where the number of positive cards and negative cards is not equal.

Up card : The dealer’s card that is played face up. This is the first card the dealer plays to himself.

V

Variance : The amount of deviation from the expectation you can expect.

Vig : The house edge on a bet.

Virtual Reels : Found on most bonus slots allowing computerized selection of reel results. Reel combos are given a series of different numbers that are then selected by the RNG.

W

Whale : See high roller.

White meat : Profit.

Wild Symbol : A symbol is considered a wild symbol if it can be substituted for other symbols in order to form a winning combination.

Win rate : How much a player wins per hour.

Wonging : To back count and only bet when you have the edge. Named for Stanford Wong.

Wrap : A word sometimes used to refer to the final game of a bingo session.

Z

Zen count : A card counting system made popular by Arnold Snyder. The zen count is a level two counting system