If you’re interested in playing tournament poker, or just cleaning up at your next private game, learning this jargon will help.
All-In –wagering all your money on a single outcome.
Ante – small wager required of every player to start a hand.
Back Raise – slang for a re-raise.
Bad Beat – losing with a normally-strong hand.
Big Blind – an early wager required of a certain player. Companion to small blind.
Call – add the minimum wager to the pot to allow further play.
Community Cards – the cards available to every player.
Door Card – in stud games, the first card dealt face-up.
Flat Limit – a variant of fixed-limit where all bets are an identical amount.
Freeroll – a cash prize tournament with no entry fee.
Heads-Up – playing against a single opponent.
High-Low – poker variant in which the pot is split between the best and worst hand.
Limit Poker – games in which the bet amount is fixed within specific limits.
Loose – playing more hands than average.
No-Limit Poker – games in which the maximum betting amounts are not fixed.
Pat Hand – a hand that is complete at the time of the deal.
Pocket – a player’s starting hole cards.
Pot – the total amount of money bet in a hand.
Pot Limit – games in which the bets allowed are determined by the size of the pot.
Raise – to bet more than the minimum required to play.
River – the final card dealt in a hand of stud or Hold’em.
Rock – a tight player.
Showdown – the end of the hand when all active players reveal their cards.
Small Blind – the smaller of two wagers required at the start of each game to build a pot. Companion to the big blind.
Suited – two or more cards of the same suit.
Tight – playing fewer hands than average.
Blackjack is one of the most popular games in the casino. It’s also one of the safest bets you can place, provided you understand basic game strategy. The terms below are important for any student of the game to know.
Blackjack – a total of 21 points with an initial two-card hand.
Bust – to exceed a total of 21.
Cut – to split the deck of cards before they are dealt.
Discard Tray – the space to the right of the dealer that holds all played or discarded cards.
Double Down – to double a bet after seeing your first hand; requires you take exactly one additional card.
Draw – to add a new card to your current hand.
Early Surrender – A surrender allowed before the dealer checks for blackjack.
Hard Hand – a hand without an ace. Opposite of a soft hand.
Hole Card – the face-down card in the dealer’s hand.
Insurance – a side wager against the prospect of a dealer’s natural total of 21.
Late Surrender – a surrender allowed only if the dealer does not have blackjack.
Natural – a two-card hand worth 21 points.
Push – a tie between player and dealer.
Shoe – the device that holds and dispenses cards.
Soft Hand – a hand containing an ace. Opposite of a hard hand.
Stiff Hand – a hand that can bust from a single hit.
Surrender – to give up your hand, losing only half your bet.
Upcard – the dealer’s first-dealt card, which is placed face-up.
Craps is one of the most recognizable casino games, thanks to its unique dice prop. Learning how to play craps means learning some specific jargon. Read below for all the craps lingo you need to become an expert player.
Any Craps – a single-roll single-unit bet on 2, 3, or 12 showing on the next roll. Pays 7 to 1.
Any Seven – a single-roll bet on 7 showing on the next roll. Pays 4 to 1.
Big 6 or Big 8 – a self-service bets on 6 or 8. Pays 1 to 1.
Boxman – the mployee in control of the craps game.
Box Numbers – 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10, also called Point Numbers.
Come Bet – a bet that wins on 7 or 11 and loses on rolls of 2, 3, or 12.
Come Out Roll – the first roll in a new craps game.
Crap – slang for the numbers 2, 3, and 12.
Don’t Come Bet – the opposite of the Come bet, which wins on a show of 2 or 3, and loses on shows of 7 or 11.
Don’t Pass Bet – a bet during the come out roll that wins on a show of 2 or 3, and loses on shows of 7 or 11.
Hardway Bet – a bet that pairs will roll before a non-pair combination. Pays out differently depending on the number involved.
Inside – slang for the numbers 5, 6, 8, and 9.
Line Bet – a wager on the pass line.
Little Joe – slang for the number 4.
Outside – slang for the numbers 4, 5, 9, and 10.
Pass Line – a common wager that wins when a 7 or 11 shows on the come out roll, and loses when the 2, 3, or 12 shows on the come out roll. Pays 1 to 1.
Point – the box number established by the come out roll.
Snake Eyes – slang for a roll of 2.
Stickman – the employee that calls the number and controls the dice.
Slot Machine Glossary
Slot machines are easily the most popular game in any casino, and now the slot machine has seen a resurgence in interest because of their prevalence at online casinos. If you’re a total newcomer to slots, check out these terms before you step up to the old one-armed bandit.
Bonus Game – a secondary event in a slot game; usually results in special prizes.
Buy-A-Pay – any machine that has different prizes available for multi-coin wagers.
Carousel – a group of slot machines.
Credit – a betting unit, also known as a coin.
Hit – slang for a win or for a winning combo of symbols.
Jackpot – the biggest payout on a machine’s pay table.
Max Bet – the maximum amount of credits that can be bet per spin.
Multi-line Game – a slot with more than one pay line.
Multiplier – a feature that increases the size of a payout.
Pay Line – an imaginary line on which symbols must appear in specific combinations to win prizes.
Pay Table – the posted payouts for each winning combination.
Progressive Jackpot – a jackpot that increases in size as people play the game.
Reels – originally rotating barrels of symbols, now electronic areas where game symbols “rotate.”
Scatter Symbol – symbol that pays a prize or activates a bonus without appearing on a specific pay line.
Volatility – ratio of size to frequency of a game’s jackpots.
Wild Symbol – any symbol that fills in for any other symbol to form winning combinations.
Video Poker Glossary
Video poker is a popular modern game. It offers the immediate gratification of a slot machine (and some of those game’s features) but with a skill element that gives it high replay value. Here is a quick glossary of video poker jargon that should help you become familiar with the game before you give it a try.
Bonus Poker – variant with bonuses for certain high-value cards.
Deuces Wild Poker – video poker variant in which all twos are wild cards.
Double Bonus Poker – a popular video poker variant in which certain bonus payments are available on high-value hands.
Double Double Bonus Poker – popular video poker variant that increases returns by use of a kicker.
Flush – a hand consisting of suited cards.
Full House – a hand consisting of a three of a kind with a pair.
Joker Poker – variant of video poker that includes a single wild card.
Natural Royal – royal flush hands without wild cards.
Royal Flush – a straight flush made up of the highest-ranked cards; 10, J, Q, K, and A of any suit.
Straight – a hand made up of cards in rank order; example is 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Straight Flush – a straight made up of suited cards.
Wild Royal – royal flushes that include wild cards; less valuable than natural royals.
Roulette may not be as popular today as it was 50 or 100 years ago, but the game still has a loyal following. The fact that online game designers are producing roulette variants is enough to prove that table classics are still a big deal to casino gamblers. Learn the jargon for the game of roulette and you’ll be less frustrated when it’s time to play for real.
American Wheel – a game wheel with 38 slots, numbered 1 to 36, plus two zeros: 0 and 00.
Column Bet – a bet on one of three columns of twelve numbers. Pays 2 to 1.
Corner Bet – a bet placed at the intersection of any four numbers. Pays 8 to 1.
Dozens Bet – a bet on any of three twelve-number groupings. Pays 2 to 1
En Prison – an optional rule that applies to even-money bets, almost exclusively found in Europe.
European Wheel – a game wheel with 37 slots, numbered 1 to 36, plus just one zero symbol.
Five-Number Bet – a bet available on American wheel games that covers the 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. Pays 6 to 1.
Inside Bet – any bet placed on numbers inside the layout.
Outside Bet – any even-money bet (red/black, odd/even, high/low) or 2 to 1 odds bet (dozens or columns).
Street Bet – a bet on one of a specific set of three numbers. Pays 11 to 1.
Sports Betting Glossary
Sports betting is big business, both in legal sportsbooks and bookmaker websites and in private office or home pools. As legal sports betting options in the United States and other former restricted markets increase, expect to see sports betting’s popularity grow. If you want to get in on the excitement of wagering on your favorite team, learn these terms.
Across the Board – a bet that a horse will win, place, or show.
Against the Spread – the result of an event that takes the point spread into account.
Buy – paying extra to get half a point in your favor (on a point spread game).
Canadian Line – combo point spread and moneyline used mostly in hockey.
Chalk – the favored team, athlete, or horse.
Cover – to beat the point spread by the required number of points.
Dog – slang for “underdog.”
Exposure – the amount of money a bettor or sportsbook stands to lose on a game or series of games.
Favorite – the team expected to win.
Future – any bet placed on an event or outcome that won’t take place for a while. Example – Super Bowl bets placed before the season starts.
Grand Salami – a special Over/Under bet available only in hockey.
Half Time Bet – bets placed on the outcome of the second half of a game.
Hedging – betting on both sides of a proposition to cut losses or guarantee a profit.
Hook – slang for a half-point.
Juice – commission earned by the book.
Lines – slang for odds.
Moneyline – bets that don’t involve a point spread.
Over/Under – bets on the combined total of points scored by both teams.
Point spread – a statistical head start given to the underdog for betting purposes.
Push – a tie. Occurs when a contest ends with no clear winner.
Run-line – used in baseball instead of the money-line.
Straight Bet – bets on just one team, athlete or horse.
Underdog – the team perceived as likely to lose.