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Gambling Glossary

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The amount of  money wagered.  In poker, the placing of money into the pot.
Active player  One who is still in the pot.
Ante  In poker, a small portion of the minimum bet that each player is required to put into the pot before a new hand starts.
Bankroll A player’s total available gambling money.
Banker In a card game, dealer or the players who books the action of the other bettors at the table.
Basic strategy In blackjack, the set of plays that you should make to maximize your advantage.
Bet Wager
Betting limits  In a table game, the minimum and maximum amounts of money that you can wager on one bet.  you 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 numbers on a bingo game card.
Black The most common color used for $100 chips.

Blind bet  

A bet that certain poker players are required to make because of their betting positions.


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


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


Another term for a full house.

Break-even point

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


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.


A $100 wager


A joker
Bump    To raise

Burn card  

 In card games, 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.


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


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.


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   Keeping track of all cards that have been played since the shuffle.
Card sharp   A person who is an expert at cards.
Carousel   A group of slot machines that are positioned in a  ring, enabling a change person to stand in the center.
Cashier’s cage   The place in a casino where players may redeem their casino chips for cash.
Casino advantage   The edge that the house has over the players
Casino rate   A reduced hotel-room rate that the casinos offer good customers.
Catch In keno, to catch a number means that a number you have marked on your keno ticket has been drawn
Check   In casino gambling, a check is another term for a chip.  In poker, a player can check in order to stay in the game but not bet.
Chips   Round tokens that are used on casino gaming tables in lieu of cash.
Chip tray   The tray in front of a dealer that holds that table’s inventory of chips.
Cold    A player on a losing streak, or a slot machine that isn’t paying out.
Color up   When a  player leaving a game exchanges smaller denomination chips for larger denomination 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 games like Texas hold’em,  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
Die  Singular for dice, a cube with numbers 1-6 on each side.
Dime bet    a $1000 wager
Discard tray   A tray on the dealer’s right side that holds all the cards that have been played or discarded.
Dollar bet    a $100 wager
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, the second round of cards that are dealt.
Draw button   In video poker this button allows the player to draw up to five new cards.
Drop box   On a gaming table, the box that serves as a repository for cash, markers, and chips.
Edge   An advantage over an opponent
Even money   A bet that pays you back the same amount that you wagered, plus your original wager.  shown as a ratio of 1:1.
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 jack, queen, and king of any suit of cards.
Family pot   In poker, when everyone at the table decides to enter a 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.
First base   At the blackjack table, the position on the far left of the dealer is considered to be first base and is the first position dealt with.
Fishing   A player who stays in a poker game longer than advisable generally is fishing for the card or two that will make the hand a winner.
Flat top   A slot machine whose jackpot is always a fixed amount, as opposed to a progressive.
Flop In a game of hold ‘em, the three cards dealt face-up in the center of the table.
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  In poker, 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   Four cards of the same rank, also known as quads.
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   In blackjack, any hand that does not contain an ace valued at eleven.
High poker   Standard poker, as compared to low poker or lowball.  In high poker, high hands win.
High roller   A big bettor.
Hit   In blackjack, to take another card.  The card received is also called a hit.
Hold ‘em   A class of poker games
Holding your own Breaking 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 bets   A roulette bet placed on any number, or small combination of numbers.
Inside 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.
Joker   The 53rd card in a deck, sometimes used as a wild card.
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 un-busted 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 non-winning 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 pay lines, 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.
ressing   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 un-busted hands with the same total points.
Quads   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.
RFB   High rollers are "comped" with free room, food, and beverage.
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.
Toke   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.


Remember, you can beat the odds, but you can't beat the percentages.
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