Gambling Terms: Learn to Speak Casino

Never hurts to sound like a bad ass Baller on casino night. Especially at the Poker table where you might want to create an image. Or perhaps to impress that body of hotness sitting across from you at the Blackjack table. Whatever the reason, you should know your gambling terms before you step into a Casino. Here’s some of the most important betting terminology every gambler should be able to understand and throw around:


Gambling Terms Blackjack

‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’
was actually a song about Blackjack


Casino Gambling Terminology:

  • Action: Money at play (eg. “What kind of action you got on that bet?”)
  • Black Book: A shared database among casinos in Las Vegas containing names of banned patrons.
  • Capping: A form of cheating that involves adding on to your initial bet after the deal
  • Card Washing: When the dealer spreads all the cards on the table and mixes them up
  • Carpet Joint: Slang for a luxury casino
  • Case Money: Refers to your emergency money
  • Chasing: Trying to recoup an earlier loss by gambling more
  • Coat-tail: Someone that copies a currently winning player’s bet
  • Comps: Complimentary gifts offered by a casino to entice players
  • Crossroader: A casino cheat
  • Dime: $1,000 bet
  • Dollar: $100 bet
  • Down to the Felt: Broke
  • Eye in the Sky: Surveillance cameras
  • Flea: An annoying person (usually trying to score free stuff)
  • Grease: A bribe
  • Holding your Own: Breaking even
  • Honeymoon Period: Beginner’s luck
  • Juice: Commission taken by the casino (also known as Vig or Vigorish)
  • Mechanic: A dealer that cheats
  • MVG: Basically another term for VIP. Stands for ‘Most Valued Guest’
  • Overlay: A good bet where a player has an edge over the casino
  • Pigeon: A silly or unsophisticated gambler
  • Pressing a Bet: Adding your winnings to your current bet
  • Rated: A player that is determined by the casino to be a professional or better than usual player
  • Shill: A casino employee that pretends to be a patron to fill up tables
  • Tapping Out: Losing your entire bankroll and having to stop playing
  • Tell Play: A method of play where you make decisions based on your read of the dealer’s body language
  • Tronc: A box for collecting tips (for the dealers)
  • Whale: A class above high-rollers. Usually gamblers placing huge bets


Gambling Terms Britney

Another picture of Britney for absolutely no reason


Poker Gambling Terms:

  • All-in: Wagering all the chips you have
  • Ante: A (relatively small) initial compulsory bet before the round begins
  • Bad Beat: Losing a pot due to bad luck (and unlikely odds)
  • Brick/Blank: A seemingly harmless card that wouldn’t likely improve any hand
  • Button: Dealer on the table (not necessarily dealing the cards, but the last to act in a hand)
  • Cutoff: Seated on the right of the dealer
  • Deuce: Two
  • Fish: A bad, new or inexperienced player
  • Flop: The first three community cards dealt
  • Hijack: Seated on the right of the cutoff
  • Hole Cards: The two cards that are dealt to you (also known as ‘Pocket Cards’)
  • Nuts: The best poker hand possible in that situation
  • Quads: Four of a kind
  • Rake: The commission earned by the casino on each hand played
  • River: The fifth and final community card to be dealt
  • Sawbuck: $10
  • Scared money: Money that you’re gambling with and can’t afford to lose
  • Shark: A good/skillful player
  • Showdown: The end of the hand when players show their cards and decide the winner
  • Tilt: Emotional/Angry/Sub-par play. Usually a player goes on tilt after a bad beat
  • Turn: The fourth community card to be dealt
  • Under the Gun (UTG): The person seated on the left of the small blind

Blackjack Gambling Terms:

  • Bust: To go over 21 points
  • Card Counter: A player that uses card counting techniques to gain an edge over the casino
  • Doubling Down: Doubles your bet and deals you one additional card only (done usually when you hold “11”)
  • First Base: Refers to the position that is dealt first. Usually far left of the dealer (also called ‘First Baseman’)
  • Hi Lo: A popular card counting technique
  • Hit me: To requst another card
  • Insurance: An optional bet when dealer shows an Ace
  • Natural: Two card hand that equals 21 points
  • Push: Tie between dealer and player
  • Spooking: Standing behind a dealer to try and peek at the hole cards
  • Standing Hand: Two cards that total to 17 or more points
  • Steaming: A frustrated and emotional player (who’s playing badly)
  • Stiff Hand: Two cards that add up to between 12-16 points
  • Ten Rich Deck: Used by card counters to indicate a deck that has more 10-point cards than average
  • Ten Poor Deck: Used by card counters to indicate a deck that has less 10-point cards than average
  • Upcard: Refers to the dealer’s exposed card

Baccarat Gambling Terms:

  • Chemin de Fer: The original version of Baccarat played centuries ago
  • Face Card: A card with a value of 0 points (Ten, Jack, Queen, King)
  • Le Grande: French for a natural 9 points
  • Natural: Two card hand the equals 8 or 9 points
  • Punto Banco: European name for Baccarat
  • Standoff: Tie

Roulette Gambling Terms:

  • American Wheel: Roulette wheel with two zeros, 0 and 00
  • Corner bet: A bet covering 4 numbers
  • Dolly: The marker placed on the winning number until all bets are paid
  • European Wheel: Roulette wheel with one zero, 0
  • Layout: Numbers portion of the table
  • Orphans Bet: A bet placed on 6, 17 and 34 together
  • Straight Up Bet: A bet placed on one number only


Betting Terms Singing Britney

Last Britney pic on this blog ever, promise.


There’s a whole world of Casino speak out there, and knowing the terms above should get you far enough – but don’t panic if you’re seated at a table and don’t understand what the rest of the players are saying. Sometimes it helps to just ask. Even if the players don’t tell you, more often than not the dealers will tell you exactly what those gambling terms being thrown around mean (don’t forget to tip!).

Be especially careful on the poker table. Sometimes when a few friends are seated at a table together, they may be using betting terms they made up themselves as a form of collusion against you. I’ve had experiences where players started speaking among themselves in another language – and sure enough, it became obvious after a few hands that they were cooperating with one another. Look out for hand/body signals too. If you suspect something like that is going on, pick up your chips and walk away – because you’re almost certainly going to go home broke if you keep playing.


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Images: cesar-picsakislotaslanmedia_officiallouish