A Glossary of Gambling Terms: Ultimate List

Interest breeds inquisitiveness, in every walk of life. We always try to get better at things we’re passionate about, and that fact holds true for gambling as well. 

Knowledge and understanding of the gambling terms are quite mandatory for any player to sink their teeth in this world of cards and fortune. 

The experienced players have plied their trade for a long time, and that’s why they know how and when to use these terms to make the best impression and to get the best performance. But the beginners get stuck at the other end of the spectrum, and they feel the pinch. They can feel lost in translation, and unable to crack the code of conversations with the pros.

The Importance of Being Earnest (In Gambling as in Life):

Gambling is something that can’t be categorised. It’s an alluring concoction of luck, risk, thrill and bravado. A game of fate, that can change your fate in a fleeting moment, for better or worse. That’s probably why gambling has still retained its charm. It’s something people still fantasise about and want to be a part of.

But for outsiders, the world of gambling can seem inscrutable, a puzzle in itself. So, to enter this realm of mercurial fortunes, you need to get acquainted with the various gambling terms. That is your gate pass, so to say.

The best advice in this regard, and life in general, has already been given in the Kenny Rogers classic, “The Gambler”. It goes like this: 

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em/Know when to fold ’em/Know when to walk away/And know when to run/You never count your money/When you’re sittin’ at the table/There’ll be time enough for countin’/When the dealin’s done”.

So, you need to know the basics first and foremost. That includes the terminologies. These words may carry some other meaning in another setting, and a non-player or beginner may get confused trying to interpret. 

If the players know the gambling terms before stepping in, they’ll be able to soak in the vibes and the atmosphere much better, they’ll feel they belong right away. Knowing these terms will also mean that they would never miss out on any opportunity. 

Also, when a player knows these gambling terms really well, the chance of them keeping up with the experienced players will be rather high. They’ll be much more engrossed in the games, will better read verbal strategies of others, and be much more confident about following the instructions.

So, if you are interested in gambling and love the magic of it all, then read on to know some of the most used gambling terms that’ll surely help you to find your place in the world of gambling.

Most Common Terms Used in Gambling

Get a ‘Bankroll’ to get on a roll:

A bankroll is a specific and appointed amount that a player or a casino lays aside for all kinds of gambling activities. 

Every professional, experienced gambler maintains a healthy bankroll and never steps outside of it. So does every reputed casino, whether online or land-based.

Casino’s bankroll alludes to the amount it has to hand out to the players. This is managed by the authorities who make sure that the casino always has the financial means to provide the money. 

Player’s bankroll is the money that players specifically allot for anything and everything related to gambling. The pros know that to make outrageous profits, you need tremendous management of money. That’s why they fixate on an amount they would like to spend, and they make sure as hell they don’t break the bank, or the bankroll in this case.

Know your best ‘Bet’:

A bet is a particular occasion of giving your money to start gambling. Most bets are placed in the form of money. Though friendly or outlandish bets have their own places in every culture. The number of bets allowed differs from game to game as well.

Simply put, a bet is a wager that you’re putting on the final outcome of any specific event like a game, race (in a more traditional gambling approach) or any other unpredictable occurrence. This is an agreement between two parties that the one who gets the prediction wrong must forfeit something pre-decided.

Hanging in the ‘Balance’:

Balance simply refers to the total amount of money a player has in their account to place bets and play the games.

Balance and Bankroll are different though. Bankroll is the amount you’ve separated for gambling. Whether you win or lose, it doesn’t change as you decide the amount before starting playing. But your Balance changes continuously, depending upon your winning or defeat.

All about ‘Beginner’s Luck’:

Beginner’s luck is a very common term that’s used as much in everyday life as in casinos. This is a concept that states that newcomers sometimes end up on the top just because of their luck.

In Poker, this phenomenon is also called the ‘Winning Phase’ and the ‘Honeymoon Period’. 

The term is also used as a slight or sarcasm implying that the new player’s winning streak is going to end soon, and then their inexperience will show up. 

That’s why don’t use this gambling term for people you don’t know much about. If they feel offended, they can go extra-aggressive on you. 

Where’s the ‘Bonus’:

Bonus is anything extra than the winning amount that apps or casinos give out to motivate and excite the players to play more and more. These are rewarding incentives that provide encouragement, increases engagement between players and the casino, and benefits both the parties. 

These bonuses inspire them to try for more, and improve their skills on their own. The bonuses can be distributed in several forms such as free spins, cash prizes, memberships etc.

Bet Max, Bet Min:

Bet Max is a gambling term that refers to a special action players can choose. In most cases, it’s a button in the slot machines and video slots. When a player presses the button, the game bets the maximum coins for all of the active paylines automatically. It even re-activates the inactive ones to give you the highest amount possible. Instead of modifying settings individually, a player can just click on one single button and be sure of a chance to get the ultimate prize. 

Bet Min, on the other hand, is a term that comes across as pretty similar to Bet Max in its application. But the action it initiates is completely different. If a player clicks on this button, the game will transform your bet into the smallest one available. It proves most useful for slot players who’re new or play casually, but don’t like to go crazy on the spending. They enjoy the long gaming sessions and the overall experience for its novelty.  

A ‘Call’ to the cards:

Call is primarily a poker term that means that a player accepts to match the current bet that was set or raised by any of the previous players taking their turn in a clockwise manner. 

In poker, a player has multiple courses of actions that they can choose from when it’s time for their hand. They can ‘check’ to pass the action to the next player, ‘raise’ the wager, go ‘all-in’, or ‘fold’ to quit the game. 

Better ‘Chips’ than nachos:

Chips are the most usual kind of currency in land-based casinos. Chips are used as a replacement for real money to save an enormous amount of time and effort. If all the bets were to be done with paper bills, it would become a nightmarish situation in crowded casinos to verify the values of each bill and then handing them in one-by-one. Also, if you count all the different currencies of the world and their varying prices, the task becomes even more time-consuming.

The chips save the casinos from these hassles. They come in various colours, and each colour signifies their denomination. This way, it gets easy for players to distinguish them. Players can exchange these chips for money or the vice-versa by making a short visit to a casino cage.

‘Deposit’ first:

A deposit is a small amount players need to transfer to their account before they can play the games. These are generally miniscule amounts that activate their ability to participate, and test their interest as well.  

Deposit is one of the most common gambling terms you will find inside the online casinos. It’s an easy procedure where you recharge your account with a small amount to start playing. 

When you open an account in any online casino, your balance starts from zero. You get a welcome bonus in one way or the other in all the reputed platforms, but they’ll need you to make a deposit to claim that amount.

Most casinos offer several payment methods for depositing money. Rather it’s a way to identify the best among the rest. All the reputed online casinos will give you all the popular deposit methods and then some, like credit cards, online wallets, different bank transfers etc.  

The ‘Dealer’ knows all:

The dealer is a casino employee who becomes the lord of the plains as soon as the dealing starts at the table. They also have a fancy name: the ‘Croupier’. Dealers are the most recognized entity in a casino, and you’ll meet one of them even in the most unusual casinos of the world.

There are many employees that supervise the casino tables like the laddermen in Baccarat, but only one of them has the power to deal cards, and that’s the dealer. Most of them are experts and learned professionals coming from accredited institutions. 

They even need to acquire a licence from the gambling authorities to get the job. They know every trick in the book, and are responsible in identifying anything illegal. They ensure that the games don’t get rigged by following many rules about dealing, distributing chips, and even washing.

So, make sure you tip them appropriately and generously to keep them happy and by your side for the future games.

To save face, you need ‘Face Cards’:

Face cards is one of the most prominent and most used gambling terms. As the name suggests, it’s about playing cards. It basically means any card with a face drawn upon it.

In a standard deck of 52 cards, the face cards are of three kinds: Jacks, Queens and Kings. They are called like that because they have a picture of those specific personalities in them. Their design is special and distinct amidst all the other cards, as only these ones depict human beings. 

Though Aces are often considered to be beneficial and special in some games, and the Ace of Spades being one of the most wonderful and artistic designs in playing cards, they are still regular cards unlike these. 

Another interesting information is that the term ‘Face Cards’ originated from North America. These are called ‘Court Cards’ in the UK. 

Some of them have very unique nicknames such as the trio of the King of Diamonds, Jack of Hearts and Jack of Spades are known as ‘One-eyed Royals’, and the King of Hearts and the King of Diamonds termed as ‘Suicide Kings’.

All up for the ‘Free Spins’:

Free spins are a form of reward distributed to players to make them reinvigorated and keep them interested. Free Spins can be extra spins or some extra rounds that the players can enjoy without any kind of payment or charges. They get extra turns to test their luck, and it enhances  their chances of winning.

Free spins is one of those gambling terms that are equally applicable to online and in-land casinos. It is a very common bonus system used in almost every kind of slot machine.

Normally players need to obtain a certain number of bonuses or scatters. Sometimes, you can get more free spins while you’re already enjoying them. Also, you may get awarded with some of these by the casino when you deposit big or win some tournament.

Don’t mess with the ‘High Rollers’:

High roller is a heavily-used casino that generally indicates a player who loves playing it big. Big bets, big money, and big wins. You’ll find lots of them in those luxurious casino cruises.

For these players with an abundance of money, flair and all-or-nothing mindset; casinos make space for various tables of various budgets to give everybody a fair chance to play. 

Not everyone’s pocket can match these high rollers. They need their dose of adrenaline, and small stakes won’t do it for them. They get the best-in-class privileges, and many kinds of special rewards such as Junket and RFB rewards. They’re also allowed to play on credit. 

And the ones who spend the biggest amounts even within this group are rightly called the ‘Whales’. They are almost untouchable within the casino’s territory.

Find the ‘Jackpot’: 

Jackpot is one of those terms that was introduced in the field of gambling, but has transcended those boundaries over the years, and has taken a permanent place in the pop-culture lexicon. It normally means an enormous prize.

That’s exactly what it means in gambling too. Jackpot indicates the biggest prize of a particular casino game. The best application of it comes in the slot machines.

There are various kinds of jackpots too. Some of them come with a fixed price, and some of them are progressive in nature which means that the value of the jackpot shoots up as you surpass one round after another. 

One slot machine can have the integration of more than one jackpots inside with variable prices. You’ll always know the exact price of the jackpot before starting any game.

The good kind of ‘Lobby’:

The Lobby is generally a space where players can see the whole collection of games the casino provides. It makes the selection for the players easier, as they can watch and evaluate every game at once.

You’ve probably heard the word a thousand times with different connotations. 

But in terms of online casinos, it alludes to an area where a player can see all of the games that are available on the platform. They are often categorised into efficient categories like Table games, Live Dealer, Hottest, Trending etc.

In physical casinos, the lobby looks and feels like any other lobby. But the difference is, here the players can wait and watch. It’s a waiting room of sorts that’s used to accommodate players before letting them enter the main casino or the VIP areas.  

Never get off the ‘Payline’:

Payline is one of the most used gambling terms, especially in casinos. It’s a prominent capability of slot machines in in-land casinos and most of the video slots in the virtual casino environment. 

To win in slots, you’ll need to score a winning mix on the payline. You get paid because of these, so calling them paylines isn’t far off perfection. 

The number of paylines in a game depends upon the design of the slot. There can be only three of them in there, and there can be hundreds of thousands too. They are generally positioned horizontally or in some intricate zigzag designs. 

Before playing in a slot, you can observe its paytable to know the exact number of paylines in the slot machine. Some slots have a fixed number of paylines, whereas some can be adjusted. 

In those adjustable ones, players have the freedom to choose the number of these paylines they want to have or select only those that enhance their number in bonus features.

‘RNG’ is all about generating dreams:

RNG or ‘Random Number Generator’ is an important item of modern gambling terminology. It’s often used in online casinos to produce random markers.

There are two variations of the RNG software: Pseudo-Random and Real-Random Number Generator. The pseudo-random one utilises constants that are predefined by the system and a whole lot of mathematical wizardry to create a ‘forced’ result. Though, it’s almost impossible to predict and has a certain amount of randomness in it. The real-random variation uses many of the unpredictabilities of our real world. 

These RNGs need a licence before implementation, and need to pass strenuous tests to prove that they’re fair to every player. That’s why, when you play at a licensed casino which incorporates reputed software providers who also have their licence, you don’t need to worry about something unfair happening under the table.

Splitting the atoms of a pair:

One of the most popular blackjack strategies is to split pairs. 

A pair is two same cards from different suits. In the game of Blackjack, if you have a pair, you can choose to split them and create two new hands. This way, you get two more cards for these two hands and the total bet of yours gets doubled. Though you go on playing normally, you basically get two bites of the cherry- two opportunities to defeat the dealer. 

The most professional of the gamblers know exactly when to push the switch, as far as splitting pairs in blackjack is concerned. The best pairs to split are aces and eights according to many experts of the game.

What’s in the ‘Reels’ is real:

Reels are the columns in a slot that holds all the symbols, and are programmed to produce various combinations.

Reels is one of the most used gambling terms by slot machine players and video slot admirers alike. If you’ve ever played slots, you’ll know that these reels are the most significant part of the whole machine. Every reel has one of the symbols that makes up the winning combination.

When you pull the lever down or press that button, these reels start spinning, and then they come to a stop. At this point, you come to know whether you’ve won something or not.

The vintage slot machines were mostly built with three reels. But in modern machines, you’ll see five reels in most of them. Though, there’s many innovations being cooked up by the software developers for video slots to bring new and more interesting games. Some of them have introduced slots that have two different grids of these reels.

Three of a kind:

‘Three of a Kind’ is a one of those gambling terms that came from Poker, but has assimilated in various other games. 

One of the best examples would be the Indian version of the classic English game Three-Card Brag that’s called Teen Patti. This game and many other teen patti variations have incorporated this hand as well. It’s also called ‘Trio’ in the Indian subcontinent.

This hand consists of three cards that share the same rank. There are variations of poker like Texas Hold’em which gives out only two cards per player. In this case, you’ll need the help of one community card with the same rank at the very least to complete this hand.

But many poker players are cautious of this hand too. Because once you’ve put this hand on the table, the chances of making quads or getting a full house increases considerably. 

Going inside out:  

Another hugely popular card game in India goes by the name ‘Andar Bahar’. Andar means in/inside and Bahar means out/outside. 

This is one of the most popular tash games in India (Tash means playing cards). In Andar Bahar, cards are dealt to two sides of the table. The left side is called ‘Andar’ and they receive the first card. The right side is ‘Bahar’ and they get it after them.

The only objective of this game of chance is to guess which side will match the rank of the joker first.

To conclude, it must be said that knowing these gambling terms will serve you well only if you have the dedication to learn the ins and outs of the games as well. 

There are many terms that are used around the world for other less popular sorts of gamblings. Though they haven’t warmed up to a more global audience, they have a crazy amount of support in their respective countries or areas. 

The gambling terms mentioned above are mandatory to know to achieve success in the world of gambling. But these are just a start, you should always look to pick up things from experienced pros. Even a simple tip of theirs can open doors you never imagined.