Gambling Glossary Guide

If you’re new to the world of online gambling – or if you’ve simply decided to begin focusing on a different game – the lingo can sometimes be a little confusing. When others are throwing about strange words and phrases, it can sometimes be a little disconcerting.

However, there’s no need to let the language of gambling get in your way of enjoyment, as we’ve created this handy glossary. It covers terms from all aspects of online casinos, from individual games, through to bonuses. Once you’ve finished familiarising yourself with the words and phrases on this page, you’ll be ready to hit the slots and tables like a professional!

Gambling Glossary Guide

A-Z of Important Gambling Terms

  • All-in. When a player commits all their chips to the pot in a game of poker.
  • American roulette. One of the three main forms of roulette, characterised by having a double-zero. It has the highest house edge of all three forms of the game.
  • Ante. A bet placed in poker before all the cards are dealt. Unlike blinds, antes are placed by all players.
  • Baccarat. One of the most popular casino games. Simply predict whether the banker or the player will get a card total closest to nine, or whether it will be a tie.
  • Bad beat. When a player suffers a particularly unfortunate or large loss, usually while playing poker.
  • Banco. The bank when playing punto banco.
  • Bankroll. The amount of money a player has available to play with.
  • Bet. The money placed in order to play a game.
  • Bingo. A popular game of chance, whereby players receive a card containing a set of numbers. Match these to randomly selected ones to win a prize.
  • Bingo card. A card issued to bingo players containing a random selection of numbers.
  • Blackjack. An extremely popular casino game with elements of luck and skill. To win, get closer than the dealer to a score of 21.
  • Blind. A bet placed by two players before the cards are dealt in poker. One places the small blind, and another places the larger big blind.
  • Bluff. When a player bets in poker when they have the weaker hand, hoping to convince another player to fold.
  • Bonus. A promotion given to casino players. Players can receive a bonus after depositing or one without having to. Bonuses can come in the form of money or free spins.
  • Bust. In blackjack, when a player exceeds the score of 21.
  • Buy-in. The amount of money paid in order to enter into a tournament, usually a poker tournament.
  • Call. In poker, when a player matches the bet made by another player.
  • Cap. A limit on the amount of money that can be won using a bonus. 
  • Card shark. A particularly good player, who preys on weaker players in order to make money.
  • Cashback. A type of bonus whereby a player receives back a percentage of the money they have lost.
  • Chemin de fer. A casino game similar to baccarat. Popular with French gamblers.
  • Chips. The items used to place bets in a casino. Chips are bought for cash at specific places in a casino.
  • Commission. The money paid to the casino when a successful bet is made on the banker in baccarat.
  • Community cards. The cards dealt into the middle of the table in some forms of poker. These can be used by all players.
  • Comp points. Points earned as a reward for playing casino games. They can then be exchanged for prizes.
  • Craps. A popular dice game found in most casinos, although it is less widespread at online casinos.
  • Croupier. A term used for the staff member in charge of overseeing a game of roulette.
  • Dealer. The staff member in charge of running a casino game using cards, such as blackjack and poker.
  • Deposit bonus. A bonus given to players when they make a deposit. Often a percentage of the deposit made.
  • Double down. An option in blackjack, whereby the player doubles their bet and then usually receives just one additional card.
  • En prison. A rule found in French roulette. The player will receive half their bet back if they’ve made an even money bet and the ball lands on zero.
  • European roulette. The most popular form of roulette. It only has a single zero, however there is no la partage rule.
  • Face card. Any card featuring a person, namely jacks, queens and kings.
  • Fish. A poor poker player, who is often targeted by better players at the table.
  • Five card stud. A variation of poker in which all players receive five cards and there are no community cards dealt.
  • Free spin. A spin on a slot that’s not paid for, as it is given as part of a bonus.
  • Freeroll. A tournament in poker that is free. It nearly always offers a small prize pool.
  • Hand. The cards being held by a player.
  • Heads up. A game with just two players, where they play directly against each other.
  • High roller. A player known to spend large sums of money when gambling.
  • Hit. When a blackjack player elects to receive another card.
  • Hole cards. The two cards dealt to poker players that can only be seen and used by them.
  • House. Another word for the casino. The opponent in many casino games, such as roulette and blackjack.
  • House edge. The advantage a casino has over the player. If a game has a house edge of 5%, it means the casino keeps, on average, 5% of all money gambled on the game.
  • Inside bet. Any bet placed directly on the numbers on a roulette board.
  • Insurance. An option in many forms of blackjack when the dealer shows an ace. If insurance is taken, the player receives a prize of 2:1 if the dealer does have blackjack.
  • Jackpot. The maximum prize offered by a game.
  • Jacks or Better. The basic form of video poker, which pays a prize if the player gets a pair of jacks or better.
  • Keno. A casino game where you pick numbers and then hope to match these numbers with randomly drawn ones.
  • Kicker. The highest unused card in a poker hand. For example, in a hand of 2-2-7-7-A, where the player has two pair, the kicker would be the ace.
  • Multi-table tournament. A tournament featuring a number of different tables. As players are eliminated, the number of tables is reduced, until only one remains.
  • Natural. When a blackjack player is dealt a 10-value card and an ace. This is also simply referred to as “blackjack.”
  • No deposit bonus. A bonus given to a player without them needing to make any deposit.
  • Nuts. The highest possible hand in a game of poker.
  • Odds. The amount of money you’ll be paid if a bet is a successful one. For example, the odds of a straight up bet in roulette are 35:1.
  • Omaha. A version of poker featuring community cards. Players receive four hole cards each and must make the best hand using exactly two cards from their hole cards.
  • Outside bet. A bet in roulette made outside the numbers on the board.
  • Payline. Usually, a line across the reels of a slot machine. Line enough identical symbols up on one and you’ll win a prize.
  • Pokies. Another name for slot machines, used particularly in Australia.
  • Pot. The amount of money in the middle of the table that can be won in a game of poker.
  • Progressive jackpot. A jackpot that continues to rise as more and more people play the game.
  • Progressive slot. A slot machine offering a progressive jackpot.
  • Punto. A bet on the player in a game of punto banco.
  • Punto banco. A casino game very similar to baccarat.
  • Push. The term used for a tie in blackjack. The player will usually receive their bet back in the event of a push.
  • Raise. In poker, when a player places a bet in excess of the amount needed to check/call.
  • Rake. The amount of money a casino takes from a casino game.
  • Random number generator. Software used by online casino games to ensure every turn is random and therefore equally fair to every player. Often abbreviated to RNG.
  • Reels. The wheels containing the symbols at slot machines.
  • Reload bonus. A bonus given to a player who has already used any welcome bonus and is now making another deposit at a site.
  • Return to player. The average amount of money a casino game pays back over a long period of time.
  • Scratchcard. A type of game where the player scratches off parts of a card to reveal whether they have won money or not.
  • Side bet. A bet on an outcome in a casino game that does not affect the main goal of the game, such as betting on whether the player is dealt a pair in blackjack.
  • Slot machine. A machine in casinos that challenges players to line up identical symbols on a set of reels in order to win a prize.
  • Texas hold’em. The most popular version of poker. Players must make the best five-card poker hand using their two hole cards and five community cards.
  • Tilt. When a player loses a big pot or suffers a bad beat, they can go on tilt, meaning they start playing recklessly. This often leads to them losing lots of money.
  • Video poker. A casino game challenging players to make the best five-card poker hand. The better the hand, the more money they will win.
  • Volatility. A slot’s volatility describes how often it pays out prizes and whether those prizes are usually small or large.
  • Wagering requirements. These state how many times you need to wager a bonus before you are able to withdraw it, or any money won from it.

A Z Of Important Gambling Terms



Where do gambling terms come from?
Gambling terms can come from many different places. Some are invented by the casinos themselves, while others develop from terms used by casino players.
Will others understand what I’m saying?
Experienced gamblers should understand you when using gambling terms. However, don’t expect everyone to understand if you’re sitting at a low-stakes table full of novice gamblers.
Should I use slang in a casino?
There’s absolutely nothing to stop you from using slang in a casino. Doing so could mark you out as a more experienced player and therefore one that other players want to talk to.