Online Casino Glossary

Action: The ‘action’ is the total value of the bets in a game, or the size of an individual staked amount for a single bet.

Advantage Player: A player who has some additional edge over the house, usually in reference to a blackjack player who is able to count cards effectively.

Ante: The minimum stake amount to play a hand, e.g. in poker, the ante is the minimum required stake to be dealt into the next hand, forming the basis of the pot for the game.

Autoplay: Commonly found in slots, this a function that allows you to automatically spin through a predetermined number of actions, or a predetermined amount of your bankroll, without manually initiating each spin. Good for increasing play speed.

Baccarat: A popular casino card game, where players strive to reach a hand worth as close as possible to 9 points in value. ‘Baccarat’ is the worst hand available in the game, scoring zero points.

Bank: Usually refers to the dealer, but can also be used to refer to the amount of money in the dealer’s chip stack, or the final player to act in any pass round the table.

Bankroll: The amount of money held in your betting account, or at the table for a particular game. Bankroll is your gambling bank balance.

Bet Spread: The gap between the minimum amount per bet and the maximum amount per bet, the spread is the distance between these two numbers.

Blackjack: A hugely popular card game, both in land-based and online casinos. Each player tries to make a hand of as close to 21 as possible without going over this limit, playing against the house.

Bonus: An incentive offered to new players for signing up and depositing, or in recognition of player loyalty in an online casino. Usually free credit to your bankroll, free spins, or similar.

Bonus Round: Common in online slots, the bonus round is additional to the main game and is usually triggered by three scatter symbols or similar. Often pays free spins and multipliers, cash wins, and also acts as the route to winning jackpots.

Burn Card: A single card discarded from the deck, usually before a hand is dealt. Common in some casino games and often used to make card counting techniques more difficult.

Buy In: The minimum amount of chips each player needs to take a seat at a particular game.

Card Counting: A technique, particularly in blackjack, where players attempt to count, memorize or otherwise track the cards that have been dealt to gain an insight into the cards still remaining in the deck. A difficult technique in practice, but one with notable success for some players.

Craps: A common dice-based casino game. Players bet on the numbers showing on two dice, with varying payouts depending on the bet.

Croupier: The dealer, or the individual responsible for running a game on behalf of the casino. Online, these are most commonly encountered in Live Dealer (Live Casino) games.

Dealer: The person responsible for dealing cards, or otherwise running the game – similar to the croupier. In online casinos, this can also refer to the house’s hand, for example in blackjack, where there is no physical dealer present.

Down card: A facedown card dealt to the dealer, or to another player in a number of different card games. Contrasts with up card, which is a publicly-shown card, often one of the dealer’s cards, e.g. in blackjack.

Drop: Losses on any given bet, or the corresponding wins for the casino on any given bet.

Edge: The percentage of each bet that represents the house’s margin. An inherent disadvantage against players, where slimmer house edge represents better odds of playing profitably.

Even Money: Any bet that pays out in a 1:1 ratio. Bet £10 at even money, win back £10 plus your original £10 stake.

Expectation: The percentage win rate for any given player over long-run outcomes, based on probability and house edge.

Face Cards: The royal cards – Jack, Queen, King – in any deck. So-called because they depict a face, rather than a numerical value. Often the highest valued cards, other than the Ace, in any card game.

Fold: To quit a hand, especially in poker, to minimise losses and exclude any further betting.

Gambler: Someone who takes risks and engages in chance-based games, for example slots, rather than skill-based games like poker.

Hand: The cards you’re dealt and hold at any one time, applicable to a number of casino games.

Heads Up: Playing one-on-one against an opponent, usually in the run-up to the showdown in poker.

High Roller: Someone who plays for large stakes on individual bets, often a professional gambler or wealthy individual.

House: The casino.

House Edge (see ‘Edge’): The margin of advantage in favour of the casino.

House Rules: Particular rules for the specific casino you are playing at. Many casinos have their own house rules, which can act as a deviation from the standard rules of the game.

Insurance: A specific bet offered in blackjack, players can take this side bet to offset against the risk the dealer lands a blackjack hand. Become available when the dealer’s up card is an Ace.

Insurance Bet: Any other bet taken as an insurance position, designed to cover losses from other bets.

Jackpot: The top prize amount or amounts available from any given game, most commonly in slots and chance-based games.

Layout: The specific table cloth used in a casino game, with markings denoting different bets and payouts available.

Limit: The maximum amount that can be wagered on a given bet, or at a given table.

Live Dealer: A type of online casino game where player are shown a live feed of a physical dealer conducting the game, for a realistic casino-like experience.

Loose: Usually refers to a slots game, paying more regularly that an average game. Contrasts with ‘Tight’, where a slots game is paying out less frequently than average.

Maximum Bets: The highest single bet available on a given hand or spin. Slots players can choose the ‘Max Bet’ button to bet at the highest available per spin amount.

Money Management: The practice of managing bankroll for longevity and profit, skillful players study money management to establish their optimum stake per bet.

Odds: The probability, or the given payout ratio, on any wagered outcome. See True Odds.

Payline: A marked winning line in slots, where combinations of matching symbols will pay out a return, as per the paytable.

Payout: The amount of money a player will receive for winning a given better event.

Payout Percentage: The notional percentage a player would expect to receive back for playing a game over the long-run. Most games have a negative payout percentage, i.e. less than 100%, factoring in the house edge.

Pit: The table area, where the croupier runs the game and takes bets in a land-based casino.

Pit Boss: The croupier’s superior in a land-based casino, responsible for running a number of tables and games at once.

Poker: The world’s most popular card game. Numerous variations are played in casinos, online as well as offline, with Texas Hold’em the most widely played.

Pot: The amount of money available to be won in any game, commonly used to refer to the amount on the line in a poker hand.

Progressive: A type of jackpot, usually the largest in size, comprised of a small portion of individual stakes, linked across a number of players and games. A common feature of online slots, progressive jackpots can reach the tens of millions.

Punter: Slang terminology for a gambler, or for someone taking part in a casino or betting game.

Push: An outcome linked to a draw, when there is no outright winner or loser. All bets are returned to affected players.

Rake: A percentage commission built into a game to represent the house’s profit, particularly prominent in poker

Roulette – hugely popular casino game. Players bet on a range of outcomes, and a ball is spun around a roulette wheel to determine the winning number. Pays at 35:1 for a single winning number, with a range of other betting configurations available.

Round: One full revolution of the table, or one full pass of the game in question. A round of poker, for example, ends when every player has taken their turn and the action returns to the dealer.

Scared Money: A must-win bet for a player, common in poker.

Scatter: A type of symbol found in online slots which is often responsible for triggering bonus games. Players usually need 3 or more scatters to trigger a bonus, depending on the specific rules of the game they are playing.

Shoe: The container that holds multiple decks of cards at one time, used by the dealer in multi-deck games, commonly including blackjack.

Shooter: The player responsible for rolling the dice in a round of Craps.

Shuffle: To reorder a deck of cards randomly. Many games will have shuffles built in to the rules, with some notable exceptions including blackjack, where shuffling does not normally happen at the end of each hand.

Sic Bo: A dice-based game similar in some respects to craps. Uses three dice instead of two, and players bet on the total value of the dice to be rolled, with a number of different bets available.

Slots: Casual term for slot machines, including online slot machine games.

Stake: The amount of money bet in on any one outcome. Players can usually choose the amount of their stake, subject to maximum and minimum bet rules.

Stand: To stick with the cards you’ve got, especially in blackjack. Contrasts with ‘to hit’, which is to add another card to your hand in an attempt to reach 21.

Streak: A player who keeps on winning is said to be on a streak. Similarly, a string of consecutive losses can be deemed to be a ‘losing streak’.

Suit: The family or ‘house’ of cards. There are four suits in a standard deck – Clubs, Spades, Diamonds and Hearts.

Table Game: Term to describe the most common types of casino games, i.e. those played at a table. Roulette, blackjack, poker, etc. Contrasts with slots.

Table Limits: The specific limit to the size of any bets or the total pot on a given table.

Tie: A draw outcome, the same as ‘Push’. All bets are returned, unless stipulated otherwise in accordance with house rules or particular game rules.

Tight: The opposite of ‘Loose’, tight games pay out at a frequency below the average player expectation.

Tilt: Rash decision making, often arising out of a series of losses, or less commonly a series of big wins. When players start to take irrational gambles or bet more erratically, they are said to be ‘tilting’.

True Odds: The mathematical odds of a given outcome, versus the odds quoted by a casino. E.g. in roulette, casino odds for a single number are 35:1. In reality, each number has true oddsof ‘1 in 37’ or ‘1 in 38’ of winning on a given spin, depending on the game version.

Unit: A standard bet increment, often tied to the minimum bet available on a given table. Players often bet in units in poker, for example.

Up Card: A card that is dealt face up, sharing information with other players and the house. Commonly referenced in blackjack, regarding the single upturned card of the dealer’s hand.

Video Poker: A fixed odds game based on 5 card draw poker. Players try to make hands of a sufficient ranking to win a payout, as determined by the game paytable.

VIP: A term used to denote loyal players and casino loyalty programs for their best customers. Means ‘Very Important Person’.

Wager: The amount of money on the table in a given bet, or a term for the action of placing the bet itself.

Wild Card: A symbol or card that can be read as any other card to create a winning combination – especially in slots and video poker.

Win Rate: The number or percentage of wins expected over a given timeframe, as a mechanism for comparing different players or different casino games.

author avatar
David jansen David is PlayRight's resident casino expert and senior writer. When he's not testing the latest online casino to within an inch of its life, he travels the world visiting, you guessed it, the world's great casinos.

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