What are The Most Common Casino Terms?

What are The Most Common Casino Terms
Reading time: 5 minutes

If you’re a newcomer to the world of gambling, you might feel like you’ve landed on another planet – casino terms are often confusing! And this planet has its own unique vocabulary and vernacular that can be daunting to the uninitiated.

OK, another planet, and the language of extraterrestrial life, is probably stretching it a bit far. But casino language can often be alien to casual gamblers.

Has the thought of not knowing casino lingo kept you from the thrill of gambling? Is it the embarrassment of saying the wrong term at the blackjack table holding you back? Well, fear no more, curious reader!

In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the most common gambling and casino terms and phrases. Then you can talk the talk and walk the walk (or the spin, or the deal, or the roll).

List of Common Gambling Terms:

  • Bankroll: This is the amount of money that a gambler has set aside expressly for gambling. It’s important to keep your bankroll separate from your other funds, so you can keep track of your wins and losses.
  • Blackjack:  A classic casino card game that involves trying to get a hand total of 21, or as close to it as possible without going over. Check out our list of UK blackjack casinos.
  • Bonus: This is a reward that a casino gives to players, such as free spins on a slot machine or extra chips to play with.
  • Croupier: This is the person who oversees a game of roulette or blackjack, spinning the wheel or dealing the cards.
  • High roller: A gambler who bets large sums of money. If you’re in the company of a high roller, you might want to keep an eye on your wallet.
  • House edge: This is the statistical advantage that a casino has over a player in a particular game. For example, in roulette, the house edge is approximately 2.7%.
  • Jackpot: The big prize that a player can win in a casino game, often a slot machine. Jackpot slots can produce life-changing sums of money.
  • Martingale: A betting system that involves doubling your bet after every loss. This can be a risky strategy, as it can quickly eat up your bankroll.
  • Odds: The probability of winning in a particular game. For example, the odds of winning a single number bet in roulette are 1 in 37.
  • Hand: The cards that a player is dealt in a card game.
  • Payout: The amount of money that a player receives when they win a bet. The payout is usually determined by the odds of the bet.
  • Progressive jackpot: A jackpot that increases in value every time someone plays the game until it is won. Progressive jackpots can reach enormous amounts of money.
  • RNG: Short for Random Number Generator. This is a software program that ensures that casino games are fair and unbiased, generating random outcomes for each round.
  • Stake: The amount of money that a player bets on a particular game or hand.
  • Table limit: The maximum amount of money a player can bet at a particular table.
  • Wager: Another term for a bet. To wager is to place a bet on a particular outcome.
  • All in: A term most often used in poker, when a player bets all of their remaining chips.
  • Ante: A small bet that all players must make at the start of a hand, often used in poker.
  • Banker: The person who deals the cards in baccarat, and who is betting against the player.
  • Burn card: In some card games, the top card of the deck is discarded before the betting begins, to prevent cheating.
  • Craps: A fast-paced dice game that involves betting on the outcome of rolls.
  • House rules: The specific rules that a casino has for each game.
  • Tilt: A state of emotional distress or frustration that can affect a player’s judgement and cause them to make irrational decisions.

Now, even if you just remember these terms, you’ll seem like a casino regular and will impress James Bond himself!

Even more Common Casino Terms

  • Double down: In blackjack, a player can double their bet after seeing their first two cards, but they must take one more card and stand.
  • Flop: In poker, the first three community cards are dealt face-up on the table.
  • Hit: In blackjack, to take another card.
  • Keno: A lottery-style game where players choose numbers and hope they are drawn.
  • Push: A tie in a game, where neither the player nor the house wins.
  • Split: In blackjack, split means to separate a pair into two separate hands, and double the bet.
  • Surrender: In blackjack, to give up half of the bet and the hand, rather than play it out.
  • Whales: High rollers who bet exorbitant amounts of money.
  • Wild Card: In certain card games, such as poker, a wild card is a card that can be used to represent any other card in the deck.

Uniquely British Terms for Gambling

OK, so we have covered a whole chunk of casino terminology, but you may not be out of the woods yet.

Now, especially in the UK, you may find yourself in a casino where the regular punters use rather odd words to describe the amount of money they are gambling. If you hear this, don’t worry, it’s just cockney rhyming slang and we will go through the main terms for money amounts.

  • Lost and Found/Quid£1 – Quid comes from “quid pro quo”, which is Latin for “something for something” and is used in English to mean “a fair exchange” or “a deal”. Whereas lost and found rhymes with ‘pound’.
  • Deep sea diver/fiver:£5– which rhymes with ‘fiver’.
  • Cock and hen/tenner: £10– hen rhymes with ten.
  • Score: £20– The reason ‘score’ means 20 comes from the practice of counting sheep in the olden days. When a shepherd or farmer would count to 20 they would make a notch or a ‘score’ on a stick before proceeding to count to the next 20. Alternatively, £20 can be Bobby Moore or Apple Core.
  • Pony: £25– Allegedly, this came from British soldiers returning from India as 25 rupee notes had pictures of ponies on them.
  • Bullseye: £50 – A bullseye is worth 50 in darts.
  • Tonne: £100 – This derives from weight measurement where 100 hundredweight (CWT) equals one tonne.
  • Monkey: £500– Like ‘pony’, a ‘monkey’ is named after Indian 500 rupee notes that had pictures of monkeys on them.
  • Bag of Sand: £1000 – sand rhymes with ‘grand’.

Take Time to Think

Now that you know some of the most common gambling terms and phrases, you can enter a casino or join an online game with confidence. But remember, gambling should always be done responsibly, and with the understanding that the house always has an edge. However, by knowing the terms and rules of the games, you can increase your chances of success and have a better time at the tables.

If you’re new to gambling, we recommend starting with casino games that have lower house edges, such as blackjack or craps, rather than games like slots, which have a higher edge. Also, make sure to set a budget and stick to it. Then you don’t end up losing more than you can afford.

In conclusion, gambling can be an enjoyable and thrilling pastime. But it’s important to do it responsibly and with a knowledge of the terms and rules. By understanding the vocabulary of the gambling world, you can increase your chances of success and have a better time at the tables.

So, place your bets, roll the dice, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Back to overview
Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
58 Articles
27 Reviews

Peter is our Editor-in-Chief at Gamblingauthority. He has more than eigth years of experience from the iGaming industry and is a valuable resource for everything related to online casinos.

Read more about the author

Latest guides

Gamblingauthority.co.uk » Guides » What are The Most Common Casino Terms?
Last updated: