Gambling Dictionary

In our gambling dictionary below, you will find the very basic terms that apply to online casinos and all online gambling. Keep in mind that reading and learning these terms will not make you an automatic expert but they will put a little knowledge in your mind so that when you go into a poker room, or an online casino you can be comfortable knowing that you know what you are talking about and that you won’t feel out of place while chatting with online poker friends. Most of the terms explained below are useful in both online and offline gambling, so new players to any game can come to this page and find practically anything they are looking for; after reading up on the terminology of the game at hand you can go into it with a feeling of confidence knowing that you are just as informed as the veteran players around you at the table or machines.


Action – the amount of money wagered by a player during a playing session. In poker, the placing of money into the pot.
Active – one who is still in the pot.
Anchor – the player sitting in the last position on a blackjack table before the dealer. This is the person who makes the final decision, thereby anchoring the game.
Ante – a term usually used in poker to refer to the first money wagered on a hand, or the minimum amount that each player is required to put into the pot before a new hand can begin.
Any Craps – a one-roll dice bet covering the 2, 3, or 12.
Any Seven – a one-roll dice bet covering any 7.
Baccarat – a card game where the winning hand totals closest to 9 discounting all units of 10.
Banker – in Pai Gow, the player who books the action of the other bettors at the table.
Bankroll – the total amount of money a player has for a gaming session.
Bar the 12 – in craps, makes the 12 a push on the Don’t Pass Bar.
Base – area on the dice table where the majority of bets are made and paid.
Base Dealer – dice dealer in charge of one of the bases.
Basic Strategy – the mathematically correct way to play blackjack in order to maximize your advantage.
Bet – wager or gamble
Betting Limits – the minimum and maximum that can be wagered on one bet.
Betting Right – betting on the Pass Line or with the shooter.
Betting Wrong – betting on the Don’t Pass Line or against the shooter.
Blackjack – a card game where the players try to beat the dealer by getting closest to 21 without going over. Also known as 21.
Blackjack Hand – a hand whose first two cards total 21.
Blind Bet – a bet that certain poker players are required to make as a result of their betting position.
Bluff – in poker, players bluff when raising a weak hand in the hope of driving out players with a stronger hand.
Box – in craps, the area of the dice table controlled by the boxman, where the center bets are placed.
Boxcars – in craps, when you roll two sixes.
Boxman – the casino dealer in charge of the craps table .
Bring-in – in seven-card stud poker, this is the mandatory bet made by the player with the lowest upcard in the first round of betting.
Bump – to raise
Burn Card – any card placed in the discard rack without being entered into play. After the deck is shuffled and cut, one card is burned.
Bust – to exceed 21 in blackjack, making it a losing hand. Also known as break.
Card Counting – a system to keep track of the percentage of high to low cards since the last time the deck was shuffled. The system can be used in blackjack to reduce the house advantage.
Caribbean Stud Poker – a five-card poker game where all players play against the house.
Change Color – to exchange one-color denomination casino chip for another. All denomination casino chips are different colors.
Chips – tokens used at gaming tables in lieu of cash.
Cold – a player on a losing streak or a slot machine that does not pay out.
Color Up/Out – exchange smaller denomination chips for larger denomination ones.
Come Bet – a wager placed on the Come Line in craps. Same rules as the wager on the Pass Line except it is placed after the point has been established.
Come Line – the area on a craps table where the Come Bets are placed.
Come Out Roll – the first roll of the dice or the first roll after a point has been made in craps. This roll establishes the point.
Complete Hand – a poker hand that is defined by all five cards. That is a straight, flush, straight flush, or a full house.
Craps Out – rolling a Crap (2, 3, or 12) on the come-out roll.
Craps – dice term for 2, 3, or 12.
Credit Button – a button in video poker that allows the player to bank coins won as credits and to use the credits to play without depositing more money.
Crew – Dice/craps dealers assigned to the game.
Croupier – The French word for casino dealers, mainly referring to roulette and baccarat dealers.
Cycle – in video poker it’s the statistically predicted average number of hands dealt per top jackpot, usually a royal flush.
Cut – the dealer divides the deck of cards into two parts and then inverts them after they have been shuffled.
Cut Card – a hard plastic card used to cut the deck or a card of a different color.
Dealer – a casino employee who deals the various games.
Dice – two or more identical numbered cubes
Die – singular for dice, a cube with numbers 1-6 on each side.
Discard Rack – area of the table where the used cards are placed.
Don’t Come Bet – a bet placed on the Don’t Come Bar. Same rules as the Don’t Pass Line except it is placed after the Come-Out Roll.
Don’t Pass Bet – a bet placed prior to the Come-Out Roll that a seven will be rolled before a point is repeated.
Don’t Pass Line – area of the table where the Don’t Pass bets are placed. Also known as the Back Line.
Double Down – to increase a wager after the first two cards are drawn, in exchange for receiving only one more card, by placing an amount equal to the original bet on the layout. Also known as Double Up.
Dozen Bet – a bet on twelve numbers in roulette, i.e. 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36.
Draw – in draw poker, the second round of cards that are dealt.
Draw Button – allows video poker player to draw up to five new cards.
Drop Box – on a gaming table, the box that serves as a repository for cash, markers, and chips.
Edge – the casino’s advantage over the player in any game. Also known as house edge.
Even Money – a bet that pays you back the same amount you wagered, plus your original wager – a pay-off of 1-1.
Expected Return – in video poker it’s the average amount paid back on a particular play for a particular bet.
Expected Win Rate – a percentage of the total amount of money wagered that you can expect to win or lose over time.
Face Cards – the king, queen or jack of each suite.
First Base – the first seat nearest the shoe in blackjack. This position is dealt with first.
Five Number Bet – a bet only possible on the double zero roulette games which includes 00,0,1,2,3 and has the highest house edge of 7.89%.
Flat Top – a slot machine whose jackpot is always a fixed amount, as opposed to a progressive jackpot.
Float – the table bank.
Flush In poker – a hand consisting of five cards of one suit.
Fold – in poker, when a player declines a bet and drops out of the hand.
Four Of A Kind – four cards of the same rank. Also known as quads.
Full House – in poker, a hand consisting of a three of a kind and a pair.
Full Pay – in video poker it’s usually the best payoff schedule offered for a particular game.
Hand – refers to the cards that you hold, or to everything that happens in a card game between shuffles of the deck.
Hit – to take another card. The card received is also called a hit.
Hole Card – the dealer’s facedown card. This card is unseen.
Horn Bet – a one-roll bet that combines the 2, 3, 11 and 12.
Inside Bet – a bet in roulette on a single number including 0 or 00, or any combination of numbers.
Insurance – a side bet in blackjack that’s offered when the dealer’s upcard is an ace. If the dealer has a blackjack, the bet is paid 2-1. If the dealer does not, the insurance bet loses.
Let It Ride – a poker game.
Loose/Tight Slots – a loose slot indicates a machine with a higher payout over a period of time. Conversely, tight slots have a lower payout over a period of time and thus have a higher advantage over the player.
Mini-Baccarat – a scaled-down version of baccarat, played with fewer players, dealers, and formality but following the same rules as baccarat.
Monkey – colloquial term for a card with the face value of ten.
Natural in blackjack – an ace and a ten-value card in the original hand. In Baccarat – an eight or nine dealt in the first two hands. A natural may also be referred to as a blackjack.
Non-negotiable – a promotional chip that can’t be exchanged for cash.
Nut – a fixed amount that a gambler sets out to win.
Odds – ratio of probabilities or the amount a bet pays. For example 2-1, 3 -2.
Off – bets that are not working.
One-Roll Bets – wagers that win or lose depending on the next roll of the dice.
Outside Bets – roulette bets located on the outside part of the layout. They involve betting 12 to 18 numbers at one time and result in a lower payout.
Pair – any two cards that have the same rank. Generally, pairs can be split and played as two hands.
Palette – the flat paddle used on the baccarat table to scoop the cards.
Pass – to not bet, to fold.
Pass Line – the area where a Pass-Line Bet is placed. Also known as the Front Line.
Pass Line Bet – a wager made prior to the Come-Out roll that a point will repeat.
Pay Cycle – a theoretical expression that reflects the number of plays required for the machine to cycle through all possible winning and non-winning combinations.
Pay Line – the line on a slot machine window on which the symbols from each reel must line up. Slot machines can have as many as eight pay lines, although most have only one.
Payoff Schedule – A posting somewhere on the front of a slot or video poker machine, that tells you what each winning hand will pay for the number of coins or credits played. Also known as the Payout Table.
Pit – the area inside a cluster of gaming tables, where the center is restricted to dealers and other casino personnel.
Player – a person gambling at a casino.
Point – in craps, dice term for the number rolled on the Come-Out Roll if a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 are rolled. The point has to be repeated before a seven rolls for the Pass Line bets to win.
Pot – in a poker game, the amount of money that accumulates in the middle of the table as each player antes, bets, and raises. The pot goes to the winner of the hand.
Press – increasing a bet by double.
Progressive Slots – slots that allow you to increase the potential jackpot each time a new coin is inserted for play. When the progressive jackpot finally hits, the amount resets to the starting number.
Proposition Bet – dice bets on number combinations.
Punter – a casino player.
Push – a tie or standoff when the dealer and the player have the same total. No one wins and no money changes hands.
Qualifier – in poker, the minimum standard a hand must meet in order for it to be eligible for part of the pot.
Raise – in poker, a player raises by matching the previous bet and then betting more, to increase the stake for remaining players.
Rake – the money that the casino charges for each hand of poker. It is usually a percentage (5-10%) or flat fee that is taken from the pot after each round of betting.
Rank – the worth of a set of cards.
Reels – A wheel inside a slot machine window on which the slot machine symbols are printed. There are usually three or five per machine.
Right Bettor – a person betting on the Pass Line.
Ring Game – a regular poker game rather than a tournament. Can be referred to as a live game because actual money is used rather than chips.
RNG – the random number generator, which is a computer chip inside a slot machine. It is constantly generating thousands of numbers every second.
Royal Flush – in poker, an ace-high straight flush; the best possible hand.
Seven-Out – rolling a seven after the point has been established, thus losing the bet.
Shoe – the box in which the dealer places the shuffled cards from two or more decks. Cards are then dealt from the shoe.
Shooter – the person rolling the dice.
Singleton – in poker, a card that is the only one of its rank.
Slot Schedule – the details usually at the top of a slot machine detailing the type of machine, denomination, and payout details.
SnakeEyes – in craps, when you roll a two.
Soft Hand – a hand in blackjack that contains an ace counted as eleven.
Split Bet – a combination bet across two numbers on the inside of the roulette table.
Spot – any number from 1 to 80 that a player selects on a keno ticket. It also refers to the number of numbers that are marked on a ticket.
Stand – to refrain from taking another card.
Steal – in poker, to win the pot by bluffing.
Stickman – the dice dealer who calls the numbers rolled and controls the stick.
Straight – in poker, a hand consisting of five cards of consecutive ranks.
Straight Flush – in poker, a hand consisting of five cards of consecutive ranks of the same suit.
Stud Poker – a poker game with no draw.
Surrender – in blackjack, to give up half your wager before the hand is complete, for the privilege of not playing out a hand, thus saving half the wager. In roulette, you effectively lose only half on an even-money bet when the ball lands on 0.
Three Of A Kind – three cards of the same rank.
Token – the casino coins used to play slot machines.
Trips – in poker, three of a kind.
Two Pair – in poker, a hand consisting of two sets of pairs and a singleton.
Upcard – the dealer´s exposed card that is face-up for all the players to see before they play their hands.
Wild Card – a joker or other card that can be used as any other card to complete your hand.
Whale – a high roller.
Working – dice term meaning that the bets are in place.
World Bet – a one-roll dice bet on the horn including the seven.
Wrong Bettor – a dice player who bets on the Don’t Pass Line.