Casino Gambling Slang and Jargon Defined

Black Notebook With Slang Written on It With a Casino Background

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.

Casino Gambling Terms and Slangs Words A-E

  • 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.
  • Casino Cashier's Cage

  • 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.

Casino Terms and Slang Words: I-R

  • 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)
  • Casino Player's Club Desk

  • 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

Conclusion

Now you have the basics of casino terms and slang words. This should help give you some confidence at your next casino visit.

There’s nothing like speaking and understanding the language of the locals.