Playing games and gambling in casinos has been a pastime of people for many centuries. In its impressive and varied history casinos have grown and expanded with the number and types of different games available growing year upon year. As the casino business has developed so has its language with many interesting terms and jargon being used to describe games, betting types and actions commonly found in the industry. In modern times the industry has enjoyed continued growth, and now you don’t even have to enter a casino to play the games with a wealth of them available to play online, either by yourself, or interacting with other players from across the globe.
If you are an avid casino game player you may be familiar with some of the terms that are used, whether specific to a particular type of game such as poker or blackjack, or more general terms used in the gambling world. However those who are new to the thrill of the casino may not be so familiar, and it is easy to get confused when these terms are used, so it’s good to familiarise yourself with them to make sure you stay on top of your game! Below we have listed some of the most common slang terms used in the casino which you can study, memorise, or print out and keep with you to use as a handy reference guide when playing. Once you have studied up on your casino slang terms why not take the Lingo of the casino quiz with Ladbrokes?!
Action – this is a casino term used to describe the placing of bets by player(s) in a game. It is most commonly used in card games and is easily remembered as the betting is the ‘action’ that the players have to make to be in the game. Alternatively a dealer in a poker card game can use the term to refer to which player is now in a position to bet.
Ante: This is a very useful phrase to know when it comes to gambling! The Ante is a bet that a player must make before other players can bet, so there is always money in the pot. It is used to force action by other players and keeps the game moving. Without the anti no one would be forced to bet so hands could be played where no money is won or lost which is not the point of the game!
Bankroll: It’s a good idea before you enter a casino or start playing online to have a bankroll. This refers to the entire sum of cash that you are willing to gamble with. A top tip is to never go over this to ensure you are always gambling within your means! If you don’t do this you might be referred to as a Pigeon, Plunker or Steamer – a person who continues to chase his or her losses.
Betting Limits -a fairly self explanatory term used to describe the specific limit that a player can bet with. Slotting machines often have betting limits i.e. 10/20 cents or $1 a go, and the ‘max bet’ is the multiple of this that you can bet up to, for example there may be a betting limit of $1 and the max bet is 5 x this, so $5.
A Blind bet -another easy term to remember that you will often hear in poker games where a player bets without knowing what card will come up next.
The Cage -this is where the casino keeps all its money!
ColourUp – this refers to chips you get at a casino to use in a variety of games. If you colour up, you are asking the dealer to exchange smaller value chips for larger ones. Often people do this at the end of their games to make it easier to exchange their chips for cash!
Eye-in-the-sky – these are the surveillance cameras that keep an eye on everything going on in the casino. Although casinos have many staff members and security guards who watch over players ensuring that they spot anyone who may be cheating, or behaving inappropriately, surveillance cameras are used as an extra measure to keep everything safe and secure.
Fish – if you are new to gambling you may well be referred to as a ‘fish’. It is a cheeky (but affectionate) way of describing someone who is new to the gambling world.
Hit me – used in blackjack to indicate to the dealer that the player wants another card
Junket – if you hear this term being used then keep your eyes peeled! A junket refers to a group of big, experienced, high rolling players who have been flown in especially on a charted plane at the casinos expense.
Overlay – if you hear this word you are in for a treat! Overlay means that the gambling situation is in favour of the gambler i.e you are more than likely to receive more money than you bet, if you win.
Shill – this is an interesting one. Essentially a shill is a filler player. They are paid by the house to sit in on games to make up numbers. They are commonly used in poker games. This is also called a ‘prop’ or ‘proposition player’.
Toke -A tip for the dealer. This is customary in larger casinos, and is expected if you have done pretty well while gambling at that particular table. Often dealers make the majority of their wages this way, so it is important to remember that if you leave with a good return on your investment. You might also hear someone being referred to as a George which means they tip well, or a Stiff for someone who does not!
Whales – a fantastic term used to describe players that are so rich they can happily lose millions in the casino seemingly without a care in the world. You rarely see a Whale around a regular casino playing table, and, as with actual Whales they are a very rare breed with only around 250 in the world!
Turkey – another term that you certainly don’t want to be called in the casino, or anywhere for that matter! A Turkey refers to someone who acts unpleasantly towards the dealer, usually because they are losing or think they know the rules better!
86’d (eighty-sixed) – Let’s hope you don’t hear this term being used too often! To be 86’d means getting thrown out of the casino for underhand or undesirable behaviour!
Of course these are just some of the most commonly used slang terms you may hear while in a casino, or playing online. While there are many others, hopefully by understanding these you will have a better idea of how to play the most popular games and what to look out for to make your gambling experience an even more enjoyable and successful one.