Terms for Gambling

Have you ever wanted to play a game, but felt overwhelmed with terms you don’t know the meaning of? Most casino games are fairly simple to learn, but the language and terms used to describe actions in the game can be quite difficult to understand. This is the reason casino games might seem intimidating, Terms for Gambling especially for beginners.  

It can be hard to keep up with a game if you don’t know the terms used, and there is simply no time to whip out a dictionary and search for the meaning of specific terms. Nevertheless, fret not! In this article, we will take a look at the most prominent gambling terms and the meaning behind them, in an attempt to make your gaming experience all the more thrilling! 

Basic terms and phrases 

  • Bet 

  • The most general and universally used term, it denotes the amount staked on a single instance of a game to back an outcome. This term is most often used in poker, casino games, racing, and other sports competitions. 
  • Betting limit 

  • The term “betting limit” is exactly what it sounds like. It denotes the minimum and/or maximum amount you can commit on a single instance. 
  • Bonus 

  • Another universal term used in casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms to attract players to participate in any type of available contest. There are various types of bonuses, ranging from welcome bonuses new players receive upon opening an account, referral bonuses for referring a friend, to no deposit bonuses and more. 
  • Cap 

  • One of the most general gambling terms that denotes the maximum amount allowed to be bet in a single round of a game. 
  • Deposit 

  • This term refers to the money placed with a casino or sportsbook which is then accessed as you place bets on games or events. This mostly exists online. 
  • Jackpot 

  • Probably one of the most popular terms used even outside of the gambling industry, a jackpot is a big cash prize. This is something every gambler dreams of. 
  • Payoff 

  • A payoff is the money the player receives upon winning a game. 
  • Return 

  • This term refers to the amount of money made off of a bet. 
  • Tank 

  • “Tanking” is a verb used when someone takes their time to think through a scenario before making any actual decisions or playing further. 
  • Wager 

  • A term that might confuse some players, it is actually just another word for a bet. 

Now that we have analyzed some of the most common general gambling terms, we will look at a few more game-specific examples of terms and phrases. 

Poker terms 

Poker itself is an umbrella term used to describe all variations of the game. The most common variations are Texas Hold’em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, and many others. 

  • Active player 

  • This poker specific term refers to the player that is still in play. 
  • All-in 

  • A poker term used when a player decides to wager all their remaining chips. Most often a player will go all-in if they are faced with a higher bet. 
  • Bluff 

  • Probably one of the most popular terms in poker, a bluff is the action a player takes when they try to signal that they have a stronger hand then they actually possess. 
  • Bring in 

  • To “bring in” in poker means to be the first player to place a bet in the very first round of the game. This action usually dictates how the rest of the game will go. 
  • Call 

  • Another action term, a player “calls” when they want to have their bet matched with their opponents. 
  • Check 

  • When a player is happy with their bet, they “check it”; meaning they do not want to call or raise an opponent. 
  • Dealer 

  • A dealer is the person who deals, or distributes, the cards in a card game. 
  • Flush 

  • When a player has a hand with all cards from the same suit, that is referred to as a “flush”. 
  • Fold 

  • When a player “folds” in poker, they are withdrawing from a round because their hand is too weak. 
  • Hand 

  • Another general term in poker, a “hand” refers to the combination of cards a player holds. 
  • Joker 

  • Last on our list of poker terms, but in no way the least, is the Joker. This is a wildcard that can acts as a substitute for any other card in the game. 

Slot machine terms 

A slot machine refers to a video game terminal designed to pay out money upon hitting specific combinations. Even though they were originally created as a pass-time, their popularity has grown immensely throughout the decades. 

  • Cold and hot slots 

  • A cold slot doesn’t pay enough to attract customers. On the other hand, hot slots are believed to pay out more and are hence more popular and attract more customers. 
  • Flat top and progressive slots 

  • This term is used to describe slot machines that have a fixed jackpot. An opposite would be progressive slots, which offer a progressive jackpot option. 
  • Free spin 

  • A free spin is exactly what it sounds like: a free round in a slot game. Players can get one, ten, fifteen or more free spins, depending on their luck. 
  • Multiplier 

  • Although this term is also used in poker and other casino games, a multiplier in slot machines is a unique feature that can multiply your winnings by a predetermined amount. 
  • Pay line 

  • A “pay line” is one of the winning combinations in a slot game. 
  • Reels 

  • Reels are the lines on which symbols and pay lines appear in a slot game. 
  • Staggered payout 

  • This term means that the slot machine pays out more to people who place a higher wager. 
  • Symbols 

  • Symbols are the icons, letters or numbers in a slot machine game. They are the building blocks or winning combinations. With the advance of technology, symbols became more detailed and exciting, designed to attract customers. 
  • Scatter symbols 

  • These types of symbols are associated with various bonus features of the slot game, such as free spins or multipliers. 
  • Wild symbols 

  • Much like the Joker in poker, this symbol acts as a sort of “wild card” for slot machines. The wild symbol can act as a substitute for any other symbol, apart from scatter symbols. 

With an industry this big, there is no wonder that there are so many different terms and phrases used. This comprehensible list will help you get a good grasp of basic terms and, hopefully, make your gambling experience all the more exciting!