Most Common Poker & Gambling Terms, Phrases & Sayings
The world of online gambling is a sub-culture of its own. While it encompasses the nature of land-based/retail gambling, this segment of the industry provides entertainment and enjoyment in a slightly different way. The bonus structures, VIP programs, and game mechanics often differ due to the nature of the online virtual platform.
As such, there are various casino terms and poker terms in the industry that even some of the most knowledgeable land-based players will need to know in order to understand the gameplay in the online world.
Of course, new players may have to learn all the casino phrases, poker lingo, and general gambling terminology from scratch. If you do not learn the terms, the market could feel a little overwhelming when you start off. Just like in any industry – your confidence will often affect your success when playing.
It is for the above two reasons that we, at PokCas, have decided to craft this expert dictionary of casino slang and poker slang terms for you. Whether you are just starting out or have years of experience, you can take a quick glance over our poker words and casino sayings if you are struggling with terminology.
POKER & GAMBLING PHRASES
To make it easier to learn casino terms and poker slang, we have split our dictionary into three workable sections. The first section deals with general iGaming terms applicable across all segments of the online gambling market. Both poker and casino enthusiasts will be able to relate to this lingo.
The second section will form a poker glossary, dealing specifically with terms and jargon particular to online poker. The third section will deal primarily with online casino phrases. Prior to each list, we will provide a brief introduction to the section for clarity. We order all our lists alphabetically for your convenience.
GENERAL GAMBLING TERMS
There is certain terminology that all online gamers are bound to read or hear about, whether they prefer poker, casino games, and often even sports betting (in some instances). If you are new to the gaming world, this list of words should be your first port of call. They include the following:
The banker is a casino croupier who accepts the bets.
Bankroll is your available money balance. It could be your available balance on the site or your whole balance (including the one outside the site) dedicated for the games.
This is the amount of money that you stake in any game round. You will generally make multiples of the bet amount back in rewards if you win.
Bonuses are special promotions provided by a casino or poker site. They usually provide you with bonus playing credits so that you can explore the casino or poker site more thoroughly without having to fit the bill all on your own. For more on bonuses and promotional casino phrases, feel free to read through our comprehensive casino bonus guide.
While the cashier at a land-based casino is a physical staff member that will exchange your cash for casino credits and vice versa, the casino term for a cashier at an online casino is different. It is a handy page/section on the site that will help you manage your deposits and withdrawals.
A person who works for a casino and assists players during live games such as blackjack and roulette.
A digital currency in which encryption methods regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of an ordinary bank. The most popular cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, and Litecoin. Some Bitcoin online poker & Bitcoin casino operators prefer to accept this payment method.
It is a card that sits in the deck and demarcates when it’s time to reshuffle the cards. For example, in blackjack, you play with 6 card decks and after 4 you reach the cut card and the dealer shuffles the cards.
A dealer is another word for a croupier or banker. They facilitate the passage of play during games at live casinos.
This is someone who is prone to spend high amounts at a poker site or casino. High rollers often make it into the site’s VIP program (if it has one).
When playing online, you need to use your mobile device or computer to log in and play the games. The digital control panel linking your device to the dynamics of the game is what we call an “interface”.
Much like land-based casinos and poker rooms, some gambling sites will promote regular gameplay by instituting a rewards scheme of some nature. It usually entails you earning points each time you place a bet.
A Pit boss is a live casino worker who ensures that everything goes smoothly.
Odds are the probability percentage to win in a casino game, poker hand, etc. The higher the number, the more improbable the win, but the more lucrative the return should the bet come in.
Playthrough requirements are the terms and conditions attached to specific bonuses and promotions.
A stake is what you put on the line when gambling. This is usually one of the casino terms synonymous with terms like wager or bet.
Sticky and non-sticky bonus
Non-sticky bonuses are promos that you can partially cash out, while you must play sticky bonuses through completely before you can withdraw funds.
VIP stands for “Very Important Player/Person”. At casinos, some players spend more than others. As such, the casino may class these players as VIPs. Some casinos and poker sites provide exclusive VIP clubs and rewards for these high-rolling players (see high roller).
A Wager is just another of several casino terms for stake or bet. It is more often used in the online casino world.
This is a part of the playthrough requirements found attached to most casino/poker bonuses. It refers to the number of times you must turnover/wager the bonus before you can withdraw any wins made with the credits.
This is a casino term used to identify the highest of spenders at casino and poker sites. They have very deep pockets and usually play for very high stakes.
Poker is a highly technical game that involves a tremendous amount of skill if you want to be successful at the highest level. One of the best ways of starting off is by familiarizing yourself with the common poker words and terminology, then the poker rules, and finally poker strategy and psychology.
While the list of casino phrases for poker is long, studying them is interesting, and understanding them provides you with the keys to unlock the game.
Ante is a small bet that all players must make before a poker hand is dealt. Antes gives the pot a value right away. They are most common in live poker and poker tournaments (the first few blind levels may not have them).
A backdoor is getting the cards you need to make your hand on the turn and the river. For example, if there’s one spade on the flop and you have two in your hand and two more spades show up on the turn and river, you’ve hit a “backdoor” flush.
When a player with a seemingly strong hand loses anyway. An unexpected/unlikely loss.
Blind is the term for either the big blind or the small blind in poker. Small Blind is sitting to the left of the dealer button while one position to the left is a Big Blind.
In poker, a blocker is a card that you have in your hand that blocks some of your opponent’s combinations. For example, if there are three hearts on a table and you have Ace of hearts in your hand, then you are certain that your opponent does not have an Ace-high flush (a nut flush).
In poker and other games, the board is the set of community cards on the table.
Another word for the ”Full House” poker combination.
In poker, bluffing is a player’s bet when he is trying to claim the pot and not go to a showdown. In other words, the player is trying to trick the opponent into making him/her fold. If another player still calls with a very weak but better hand, it is called a Hero Call.
A dealer button is a constantly moving button on a poker table. Next to it, you have Small Blind and Big Blind. In some home games, the player with this button deals the cards to the players at the table. This position is great for trying and steal the blinds from weaker players. There are no dealer buttons in online poker.
The range of hands for a specific poker action (shove, call, raise) or if it is not in that range – fold. Various poker charts show hand ranges you can use for specific situations.
Player position to the right of the dealer button.
Deuces or Poker Deuces is another term for a pair of twos in poker.
Staying in a poker hand in the hopes of improving it. For example, you don’t have anything yet but need one or two more cards for a straight or a flush.
In poker, Face Cards are Jacks, Queens, and Kings.
A Fish is an unskilled poker player who makes rookie mistakes. Most of the time it is a newbie.
A Gutshot is a straight which is missing one card from the inside out. It’s the opposite of an open-ender straight in poker.
This is the period just before live or online tournaments reach the prize money (ITM). Most of the time it goes hand-for-hand until the prizes are reached. This ensures that no players are wasting too much time and every table deals the cards at the same time.
Limp – Limping
Calling preflop in poker (not being aggressive).
MTT is a Multi-Table Poker tournament.
Very high-stakes poker games.
The highest possible poker combination on the table.
Only one remaining card in the deck that could save you in a poker hand. Terms like ”two-outer”, and”three-outer”, mean the same, but the number of remaining ”lifeline” cards in a deck is different.
A 4 card straight that could be completed by one of two possible cards (any suit) in a poker deck. For example, if your hole cards are 7-8 and the flop shows 6-9-king, either a 5 or a 10 on the turn or river would complete the straight.
Betting more than usual in a poker hand. For example, betting way more than a pot-size bet.
It is a card or cards higher than the board cards or your opponent’s hole cards.
In poker, it is a pair that is larger than any community card on the board.
Poker reads – tells
Getting information about your poker opponent through their behavior and habit. Such body language and behavioral signs are very common in live poker, while in online poker you must stick with game analysis unless you are chatting with players while playing.
Poker Tracker – HUD
A poker tracker is an online poker tracking software tool that helps you to analyze and improve your gameplay. Some of the most popular tools are Holdem Manager 2 and Poker Tracker.
A poker player who commits to the pot. Folding would lose them a lot of chips so he would call any bet.
Pot odds – equity
Poker odds are the ratio of poker chips in the pot compared to what you need to call to keep playing. For example, there is $50 in the pot. Opponent bets $5, so the pot now contains $55. It costs you $5 to call, so your pot odds are 11 to 1. Do you assume the odds of your hand being the best are better than that? If yes, then you should call. Or if you are getting the same odds but you don’t have a made hand but the odds of getting to a better combination are greater than 11 to 1, you would also have to call and make the right play.
Poker tournament phase just before the money. During that time most players play “tight” in order for a better shot at reaching the prizes.
A poker play going All-In and betting his remaining chips.
Quads is another term for a four-of-a-kind poker combination.
Rake is a land-based casino or online poker site’s fee paid by poker players. It is like a commission for playing.
Rakeback – Cashback
A loyalty/VIP reward for players increases in size depending on how active the player is. Rakeback only applies to poker, while the term cashback is used by various brands across the market.
In poker, it is a flop in which the two cards are not of the same suit.
Recreational player (Rec)
A person playing for fun. It does not always mean that it is a bad player since there are many recreational businessmen who play poker very well.
It simply means that a person does not want to dedicate all the time to poker and is not a regular/professional player.
Regular player (Reg)
This is the opposite of a recreational player. It is an experience poker player.
Runner runner is two running hards needed to complete a winning poker combination.
An online or live poker tournament that lets you qualify for the next stage if you survive. It could award an entry to another tournament or award an entry/package to a live event.
Same as a usual poker bluff, but a person has a weak/mediocre hand that may have a chance of winning even if it goes to a showdown.
Another term for three of a kind in poker.
A side pot in poker is when a short stack goes “all in” but does not cover a person who calls the shove.
Sit & Go (SNG)
Sit & go is a poker tournament with a set number of players and prizes. Has one or very few tables.
Spin & Go
Spin and go is very similar to Hyper Sit & Go’s, but here about a third of the prize pool goes to the Jackpot fund. This means that you can get more than just an X2, X3, or X4 multiplayer once you start the game.
A ”draw” in poker is when poker combinations are equal and you have to split the spot with your opponent(s).
Trying to steal the chips by raising preflop in poker.
Straddle is an optional cash game pre-deal bet, typically made by the player to the left of the big blind. The straddle amount is twice the big blind. The straddler may re-raise when the action comes around to him.
A three-bet is a second raise in poker (blinds -> raise -> reraise).
Tilt – Tilting
In poker, “tilting” is being very unhappy with your gameplay because of your luck or actions. It may affect player’s future poker decisions during that short time period.
Under the gun
It is a poker player in the “first-to-act” position on a table. It is the position to the left of the big blind (BB).
Poker variance is a term or a number that describes how far your results spread in the long run. A lot of variance means many swings while less variance means fewer swings and bigger winnings. It is simply the downswings and upswings which occur while playing poker.
CASINO GAMBLING TERMS
Finally, in this last section of our guide, we will have a look at some of the more classic casino terms and casino phrases used in the industry. This way, whether you load up your favorite online slot or table game, you can identify with the game interface and the game rules in each instance.
Baccarat is a popular card game where the aim of the game is to get a hand closest to 9. You can bet on one of three options in the base game. Back the dealer, player, or opt for a tie for rewards.
Blackjack is also known as 21 in some circles. The aim of the game is to make a hand closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust. This game of skill can reward you up to 3:2 for a winning Blackjack hand.
This is a slot game (see slots) that embraces a simpler 3-reel format with few paylines. Distinctive features of classic slots are their fruity-themed symbols.
A hard Hand is a Blackjack hand in which there is no involvement of the ace. For example, T9 is a hard hand and A5 is a soft hand.
Blackjack jargon for receiving/asking for an additional card.
A roulette bet which a player places on the field of numbers in the center of the betting layout. The odds are higher on these bet types, making them far more lucrative if your bet comes in.
This is the highest combination win possible in any single-game round. It is mostly associated with video poker or slot games. The highest combination yields the jackpot.
Roulette betting is when a player is not betting on numbers but is betting on a color, odd/even number, and more. The odds are lower on these bet types providing a better chance of winning.
A term mainly used in casino slots. It is a demarcated pattern across the reels. Land matching symbols across a payline to receive a payout by the machine.
This is a jackpot (refer to jackpot) that progressively grows as the seconds tick by. In most cases, a percentage of all wagers placed on the game, across the game’s network, contribute to its growth.
This is a handy selector on a game interface that allows you to place the same wager as the one you previously made.
This term is slot slang. These are the vertical rollers on a slot game interface that carry the symbols. The outcome of the reels determines whether you win or lose when playing the slots.
Return to Player (RTP) percentage
RTP is the average payout percentage a casino game will payout over its lifetime.
Roulette is a famous casino game where you need to guess where a white ball will land on a spinning roulette wheel. You can play for various odds because there are so many different bet types.
A casino card holder is used in games such as blackjack. It also talks about the number of decks used in a card game.
These are high-stakes games played like video games from your desktop or mobile device. Place a stake and spin the reels to match winning combinations for rewards.
This is a blackjack hand involving the Ace. Being “soft” means that the value can change based on how you use the Ace (as a one or an eleven).
A two-card split option is available in blackjack. If you receive two of the same type of card, you can split them into two separate hands.
Surrender is a blackjack slang term alluding to a rule that allows you to give up and only lose half of your bet
Up-card is a casino dealer’s face-up card in blackjack.
This casino term refers to the swing between wins and losses in virtual casino games, like slots. Low-variance games pay out lower sums more frequently and high-variance games pay out larger sums less frequently. Medium variance games provide the best of both worlds.
This is an online slot game variation of a popular land-based game found on the floors of Vegas and other casinos.
Not all games will help you play through your wagering requirements in the same way. While slots may attribute towards 100% of the requirement, games with low house edge will often satisfy only a fraction of the condition.
ALL THE ANSWERS AT POKCAS
It is our mission at PokCas to make your iGaming encounters as easy-going as possible. This dictionary of casino phrases is simply one of the multiple ways in which we aim to educate our players and help them enjoy the best gaming entertainment out there. For more expert guides to increase your knowledge and enhance your skills, be sure to read through our Academy section for a long list of articles and guides crafted for your benefit.