Casino Lingo


Got a monkey and you need to color out? Ever been 86’d?

For the uninitiated, casino terms and slang can be an intimidating landscape to navigate. Developed over several centuries, some phrases used in casinos have made their way into everyday language, such as playing your cards right, or being on a roll, whereas others only tend to appear during the game. This can make it difficult for even the most experienced casino goer to follow what is going on, so to help you out we’ve put together a list of terms that you may hear next time you park up.

The action happens when a player makes a bet. If the action is in a hand, the player is now in a betting position. Money put in action is the amount of money played in a session, including money won and wagered. Betting all their chips means a player has gone all-in.

The amount of money a player brings to the table is known as their bankroll. The player’s net winnings equal the overall payout minus the original stake.

Getting barred from a casino can be referred to as being 86’d. A brick is a card which appears not to help a poker player’s hand and in 7-card stud poker, it can also be known as a blank.

A carousel is a group of slot machines placed in a circle. Most players bring case money in the event of an emergency. New players sometimes experience a honeymoon period, or a hot streak, where they appear to win more frequently.

To win a card game tournament, players must accumulate a certain number of points over a series of games. These are referred to as match points.

To chase a bet is an attempt to win back a loss and betting the same numbers as someone who is winning at that time is known as a coat-tail.

A player colors up when they exchange smaller denomination chips for larger ones. Should the player make enough money to cover expenses plus a profit, they will have cracked the nut.

The ones who try to go around the rules are known as crossroaders and those who are totally broke are down to the felt. These players are usually watched by the eye in the sky (video surveillance). Crossroaders sometimes skin the hand as a way of getting rid of unwanted cards.

Even money bets are bets with odds of 1:1. Flat betting means the same amount is placed on each wager. If you place a $100 bet, you might hear it referred to as a buck. To match the current bet, players need to call, and if they press the bet, they are letting winnings ride.

When a player is firing, they are usually wagering large sums, or, if they are losing a lot, they are referred to as a fish. Fleas are people who expect something for nothing. They may try to grease (bribe) the dealer with a toke (dealer tip). High rollers are those who wage big bets and sharks are crafty players who sometimes pose as a fish. Shills are players paid by the house to fill in games, while uneducated players are known as pigeons.

In blackjack, any hand that does not contain an Ace with a value of 11 is known as a hard hand. When a player passes, they fold. Picture cards can be known as monkeys.

If a player makes a bet without knowing which card is coming up next, they are playing a blind bet.

Laying the odds occurs when the odds are in favor of the potential winner that winning bets are paid a percentage less. When a player takes the odds, they bet an amount which is less than what they would get if they won.

When a dealer spreads the cards face down on the table to mix them, this is known as card washing. Riffling the deck is another shuffling process in which the deck is divided in half and the corners pulled up to let the cards zip together.