Casino expressions

Explanations of the typical expressions you might hear when gambling at a casino

Action – The amount of money wagered (put into action) by a player during an entire playing session.

Bankroll – A player’s total gambling money. Barred Same as Banned. Not allowed to enter the casino premises permanently.

Buck – A $100 wager.

Betting limits In a table game, the minimum and maximum amounts of money that a player can wager on one bet.

Bump – To raise.

Burn Cards – Remove cards from the top of the deck, not to be dealt, and place them in the discard tray after a shuffle and cut.

Capping – Referred to capping of bets. Placing extra chips on top of initial bet after the deal has begun. It is a serious form of cheating by a player.

Card Counting – Used in blackjack game. Recording (in memory) played cards (usually high cards) so as to establish a conditional probability advantage on the remaining cards against the dealer.

Card Sharp – A person who is an expert at cards.

Cashier’s Cage – The casino cash desk for cashing in the chips.

Cold – A player on a losing streak, or a slot machine that is not paying out.

Color up – When a player exchanges smaller denomination chips for larger denomination chips.

Comps Complimentary gifts given by the casino to entice players to gamble. Typical comps include free hotel room, meals and beverages.

Croupier – French word for Dealer, used in the games of baccarat and roulette.

Dime Bet – A $1000 wager.

Dollar Bet – A $100 wager.

Down Card – A face down card.

Edge – An advantage over an opponent.

Eye in the Sky – Slang for video surveillance cameras used by casinos, usually placed on the ceiling above the gaming area.

Face Cards – The Jack, Queen, and King of any suit of cards.

Flat Top – A slot machine whose jackpot is always a fixed amount, as opposed to a progressive.

High Roller – A player that wagers big bets.

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

House Edge – The casino in-built advantage, usually gained by paying less than the odds.

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

Loose – Referred to slot machines that have a generous payout.

Mechanic – Slang meaning a dealer who cheats.

Odds – Ratio of probabilities.

Overlay – A good bet where the player has an edge over the casino.

Payoff – The return or payback the player receives for his or her wager.

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 – A supervisor who oversees a gaming area. Usually supervises more than one table at the same time.

Press a Bet – Adding the winnings over the current bet to ‘let it ride’.

Probability – A mathematical calculation that establishes the likelihood that an event will occur.

Push – A tie hand between a dealer and a player.

Rated – Determination by the casino that a player’s skill level is above average or on a professional level. A player’s rating may be stored on computer and referred to the pit.

RFB – Comped with free Room, Food, and Beverages.

Session – A period of play at any gambling game.

Shoe – Device, usually a wooden box, used for holding and dispensing playing cards to be dealt.

Shuffle Up – Premature shuffling of playing cards by the dealer.

Spooking – Used in blackjack game. The act of standing behind the dealer to peak at the hole card and then secretly convey the information to a partner player sitting at the table. An illegal form of cheating.

Tell Play – Observing the dealer’s body language and expressions to determine his hand of cards.

Toke – A tip given to the dealer in the form of money or chips.

Underlay – A bad or unfavorable bet.

Vigorish (Also abbreviated Vig.) – The casino edge or commission taken by the house.

VIP – A Very Important Person. Usually a big bettor or a high roller.

Upcard – The face up card of the dealer’s initial hand in blackjack.

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