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Gambling Glossary


action - The amount of money wagered, and in Poker the placing of money in the pot.

active player - A player who is still in the pot.

ante - A small portion of the minimum bet that each player is required to add into the pot before a new hand starts.


banker - In a card game, the dealer of the players who books the action of the other bettors at the table.

bankroll - A player's total money available for gambling.

bet - The amount of money you wish to wager during a game.

betting limits - In a table game, the minimum and maximum amounts of money that can be wagered on one bet. A player cannot wager less than the minimum, or more than the maximum amount posted.

bingo marker - A crayon or ink dauber that is used to cover the number on a bingo game card.

black - The most common color used for chips worth $100.

blind bet - A bet that certain players are required to bet due to their position in the current game.

bluff - In poker, players bluff when raising with a weak hand in hopes of driving out players with stronger hands.

board - In poker, the community cards dealt face-up in the center of the table are referred to as on the "board".

boat - Another name for having a Full House.

break-even point - The point at which if you played forever, the bets you made would approximately equal the payoffs you'd receive.

bring-in - In seven-card stud, the bring-in is a mandatory bet made by the player with the lowest upcard in the first round of betting.

buck - A wager worth $100.

bug - A joker card.

bump - To raise.

burn card - The card temporarily removed from play. After a shuffle and cut, one card is placed on the bottom of the deck or in the discard tray, which is called burning the card.

bust - In blackjack, to go over twenty-one. If you bust you immediately lose.

button - In poker, a small plastic disc used as a marker that is moved from player to player after each hand to designate the dealer position.


call - In poker, when a player matches the current bet on the table. In keno and bingo, to draw the numbers for each game.

caller - In a bingo game, the person who is responsible for choosing the game pattern, drawing each bingo ball and reading each number clearly. In poker, someone who has called a bet.

card counting - To keep track of all of the cards that have been played since the shuffle.

card shark - A person who is an expert at cards.

carousel - A group of slot machines arranged in a circle to allow a change person to stand in the center.

cashier's cage - The place in the casino where players can cash out or redeem their chips for cash.

casino advantage - The "edge" that the casino has over the players.

casino rate - A hotel room rate rate that is reduced for good customers.

catch - In keno, a number that you have marked on your ticket that has been drawn.

check - Another term for a chip, or in poker, a player can "check" in order to stay in the game but not bet.

chips - Round tokens that are used in casino gambling that hold a cash value.

chip tray - The tray in front of the dealer that holds that tables chips.

cold - A player on a losing streak, or a slot machine that isn't paying out.

color up - When a player exchnages a smaller denomination of chips for a larger denomination of chips.

combination way ticket - In keno, a ticket in which groups of numbers are bet several different ways, allowing the player to spread money over more combinations.

comps - Complimentary gifts used by casinos to entice players to gamble. Typical comps include free room, food and beverage.

copy - In pai gow poker, when a player and the banker have the same two-card hand, or the same five-card hand. The banker wins all copies.

credit button - In slot machines or video machines, the button that allows players to bank coins in the form of credits.

croupier - The French word for dealer, used in the games of baccarat and roulette.

cut - When the dealer divides a deck into two parts and inverts them after they have been well shuffled.

cut card - A card of different color that is used to cut a deck of cards.


deal - To give out the cards during a hand.

designated dealer - In Poker, the player to the left of the dealer bets first. in a poker room where each game has a resident dealer, a different player serves as the designated dealer for each hand.

deuce - A Two.

dice - Two identical numbered cubes used in gameplay.

die - The singular form of dice, a game cube with numbers 1-6 on the sides.

dime bet - A wager worth $1000.

discard tray - A tray normally on the dealer's right side that holds all the cards that have been played or discarded.

dollar bet - A wager worth $100.

double down - In blackjack, it is the players option to double their original bet in exchange for receiving only one more card. To do this the player turns over their first two cards and places an equal bet alongside the original bet.

draw - In draw poker, it is the second round of cards dealt.

draw button - In video poker, this button allows the player to draw up to 5 new cards.

drop box - The box that serves as a repository for chips, cash, and markers.


edge - an advantage over another opponent.

even money - A bet that pays back the same amount that you wagered, in addition to your original wager.

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, jack, and queen cards of any suit.

family pot - In poker, when everyone has entered into the pot.

fifth street - In seven-card stud, the third round of betting is called fifth street because players have five cards. In hold 'em , fifth street is the fifth card on board and the final round of betting.

flat top - A slot machine that has a fixed jackpot, rather than one that is progressive.

flush - In poker, a hand consisting of five cards of one suit.

front money - Cash or bank checks deposited with the casino to establish credit for a player who bets against that money.

fold - When a player declines a bet and drops out of the hand.

foul - In pai gow poker, a hand is fouled when the two-card low hand is set higher than the five-card high hand, or when the hands are set with the wrong number of cards. A fouled hand is a losing hand.

four of a kind - In poker, when a player has a four cards of the same rank or number.

fourth street - In seven-card stud, the second round of betting is called fourth street because players have four cards. In hold 'em, fourth street is the fourth card on board and the third round of betting.

full house - In poker, a hand consisting of a three of a kind and a pair.


green - The most common color used for $25 chips.


hand - Refers to the cards that you hold, or to everything that happens in a card game between shuffles of the deck.

hard hand - A hand that does not contain an ace valued at eleven.

high poker - Standard poker, as compared to low poker or lowball. In high poker, highest hands win.

high roller - Someone that bets very big.

hit - To take another card. The card received is also called a hit.

holding your own - When a player ends the game and breaks even.

hole card - In blackjack, the facedown card that the dealer gets. In stud and hold 'em poker, the facedown cards dealt to each player.

hot - A player who is on a winning streak, or a slot machine that is paying out.

house edge - The percentage of each bet that you make that the house takes in. Winning bets are paid off at less than the true odds to generate income for the house.


inside - A straight in poker, four cards of a straight where the straight can only be completed one way.

insurance - In blackjack, a side bet that the dealer has a natural. Insurance is offered only when the dealers up card is an ace. The insurance bet wins double if the dealer has a natural, but loses if the dealer does not.


jackpot - A big win on a slot machine.


keno board - A large electronic board that displays the winning keno numbers.

keno lounge - The main area within a casino where keno is played.

keno runner - A casino employee who shuttles your keno bet from wherever you are to the keno writer, and also delivers payment for winning tickets.

kicker - In a draw poker game, an odd high card held that doesn't contribute to a straight or a flush, usually an ace or a king.


limit - In poker, any game that has a fixed limit on how much you can bet or raise in each round.

load up - To play the maximum number of coins per spin that a slot machine or video game will allow.

loose - Slot machines are loose when they are paying off and giving the house only a small advantage over the player.

low poker - Also called lowball, is poker in which the pot is awarded to the hand with the lowest poker value.


marker - A check that can be written at the gaming tables by a player who has established credit with the casino.

mini-baccarat - The scaled-down version of baccarat, played with fewer players, dealers, and formality but following the same rules as baccarat.


natural - In blackjack, a natural is a two-card hand of twenty-one points. In baccarat a natural is a two-card total of eight, or nine.

number pool - The range of numbers from which you select the ones you want to play. A typical lottery pool ranges from 1 to 60, and the keno pool is 1 to 80.

nut - Either the overhead costs of running a casino, or the fixed amount that a gambler decides to win in a day.


odds - Ratio of probabilities.

open - In poker, the player who bets first.

outside bets - Roulette bets located on the outside part of the layout. They involve betting 12 to 18 numbers at one time.

overlay - A good bet where you have an edge over the casino.


pair - Any two cards that have the same rank.

pass - To not bet, to fold.

pat - In draw poker, a hand that does not need any more hands. In blackjack, an unbusted hand worth at least 17 points.

pay cycle - A theoretical expression that reflects the number of plays required for the machine to cycle through all possible winning and nonwinning combinations.

payline - 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 paylines, although most have only one.

payoff - Your payback; the return you see on a wager.

payout percentage - Also referred to as the payback percentage, the percent of each dollar played in a video or slot machine that the machine is programmed to return to the player. Payback percentage is 100 percent minus the house edge.

payout table - 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.

pit - An area of a casino in which a group of table games are arranged, where the center area is restricted to dealers and other casino personnel.

pit boss - The person who supervises all the games and casino personnel associated with a pit during a particular work shift. Pit bosses are in place to watch for cheating, settle disputes, and give comps to big bettors.

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.

pressing - A player is pressing the bet when they let winnings ride by wagering them along with the original bet.

probability - A branch of mathematics that measures the likelihood that an event will occur. Probabilities are expressed as numbers between 0 and 1. The probability of an impossible event is 0, while an event that is certain to occur has a probability of 1.

progressive - A slot machine whose potential jackpot increases with each coin that is played. When the progressive jackpot finally hits, the amount resets to the starting number.

push - A tie hand between a dealer and a player; no money changes hands. A push at blackjack occurs when both the player and the dealer have a unbusted hands with the same total points.


quads - Also called a Four of a kind.

qualifier - In poker, the minimum standard a hand must meet in order for it to be eligible for part of the pot.


rack - A plastic container in which you can transport and count large-denominational coins, slot machine tokens, and casino plastic chips.

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.

red - The most common color used for $5 chips.

red-black bet - In roulette, an outside wager on whether the next spin will be a red or a black number. This bet is played off at even money.

reel - A wheel inside a slot machine window on which the slot machine symbols are printed. The number of reels per slot machine may very but are usually three.

river - In poker, the final card dealt in a hand of stud or hold 'em. In seven-card stud, staying in until the fifth and final round of betting is called going to the river.

royal flush - In poker, an ace-high straight flush; the best possible hand.


session - A series of plays at any gambling game.

set - In pai gow poker, players set their seven cards into two separate hands of two and five cards each.

seventh street - In seven-card stud, the fifth and final round of betting is called seventh street because players have seven cards.

shoe - A plastic or wooden box that holds multiple decks of cards for dealing more than two decks of cards.

showdown - In poker, after the last betting round, the players who remain in the pot must show their hands in the showdown to determine the winner.

shuffle - Before each hand the dealer mixes up the order of the cards.

shutter - A window covering a number on a reusable bingo card. The shutter can be pulled down to mark each number as it is called.

singleton - In poker, a card that is the only one of its rank.

sixth street - In seven-card stud, the fourth round of betting is called sixth street because players have six cards.

soft hand - In blackjack, any hand that contains an ace counted as eleven is called a soft hand.

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 - In blackjack, to stand is to refrain from taking another card.

stiff - In blackjack, a hand that is not pat and that may bust if hit once. Stiffs include hard twelve through sixteen.

steal - In poker, to win the pot by bluffing. 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.

straight keno - The basic keno game, played by marking individual numbers on a keno ticket.

surrender - In blackjack, to give up half your bet for the privilege of not playing out a hand. In roulette, you effectively lose only half on an even-money bet when the ball lands on 0.


third base - In blackjack, the spot nearest the dealer's right hand, which will be played last before the dealer's hand is played.

third street - In seven-card stud, the first round of betting is called third street because the players have three cards.

three of a kind - Three cards of the same rank.

token - A tip given to the dealer in the form of money or chips.

touch wand -A pointing device used on some video keno machines to select numbers.

trey - A three trips In poker, three of a kind. true odds The ratio of the number of times one event will occur to the number of times another event will occur. The odds posted in a casino are usually not the true odds.

two pair - In poker, a hand consisting of two sets of pairs and a singleton.


underlay - A bad bet; an event that has more money bet on its happening than can be justified by the probability of it happening.

upcard - In the blackjack dealer's hand, the card that is face-up for all the players to see before they play their hands.


vigorish - The fee, or commission taken by the house.

VIP - A big bettor that is worthy of full complimentary treatment.


way ticket - In keno, a ticket that groups different numbers to create more than one way to win.

white - The most common color used for $1 chips.

wild card - A joker or other card that can be used as any other card to complete your hand.


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