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Gambling Jargon Explained

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Introduction

One of the barriers to gambling is the jargon that’s used. It’s often completely alien to those who haven’t found themselves at a casino or a betting shop before. If you’re one of those people, we’ve got a rundown of the most popular terms you’ll find in casino gambling and betting.

Knowing the jargon that gets used is the first step to placing bets that pay off. When you’ve familiarized yourself with these terms, you can see them in action at sites like

A

Action: The term for any kind of bet.

Aces: A bet that the next roll will be a 2 in craps.

Ante: The required stake for a player to join a poker game.

Against The Spread: A bet on which team covers the spread, not who will win.

Arbitrage Betting: Using different bookmakers’ odds to hedge your bet and ensure you’ll win something, no matter what happens.

B

Banker: A fancied selection that’s thought to be strong. It is often used during combination bets.

Bankroll: The money you have set aside for gambling.

Betting Limit: The limit that can be bet on certain table games.

Beard: Somebody who places bets to conceal the identity of the real bettor.

Betting Exchange: Peer-to-peer betting networks that allow you to place bets and match other people’s wagers.

Bookmaker: A company that accepts bets on the outcome of an event based on odds given to their customers.

Buy-In: Where you convert cash into chips that can be used at the casino. In many casinos, it also functions as a cost of entry.

BTTS: Both Teams To Score betting.

C

Cash Out: Settling a bet before it is finished, taking your winnings, and quitting while you’re ahead instead of leaving the bet run.

Cage: The secure area of the casino where chips are converted back to cash from their vaults. Only really applies to physical locations.

Card Sharp: Somebody who is skilled at card games.

Card Washing: How the dealer mixes cards before shuffling. Nowadays a machine does it in casino buildings while algorithms handle it on websites.

Chalk: The favorite in betting.

Chalk Player: Players who consistently bet on the favorite.

Circled Game: Sports betting term describing games whose betting activity has been limited by the bookmaker.

Combination Bets: Multiple bets placed to maximize gain and reduce loss potential.

D

Dog: Another term for the underdog.

Dog Player: A bettor who favors the underdog.

Double Or Nothing: A bet that doubles your money if you win but you don’t lose anything if you lose.

Dutching: Where you divide your stake to cover more than one outcome of an event.

E

Edge: The gambler’s advantage in a bet.

Exotic: Not a straight bet or a parlay, a proposition bet.

Exposure: How much the sportsbook/house stands to lose in a game.

F

Face Cards: The picture cards that have Jacks, Kings, and Queens in a deck of cards. They’re often valued at ten in table games.

Fold: A poker term where you give up on your current hand and remove yourself from the current play.

H

High Roller: Players with a large bankroll can risk much more when they gamble.

Hedging: A bet opposing your original selected outcome that minimizes or eliminates your loss potential.

House: Another term for the casino. They have the house edge too, which is where every game is weighted towards the house winning, hence the house always wins.

J

Juice: Also called vig, this is the commission taken by sportsbooks and casinos.

L

Lay: Bookmakers lay a bet when they accept it.

Line: Odds or point spreads given on a certain event.

Longshot: A bet that’s perceived as unlikely to win.

N

No Action: A bet where no money is won or lost.

P

Pit Boss: Somebody who oversees fair play at casinos.

Point Spread: The scoring differential between two opponents in sports betting.

R

Railbirds: Spectators at casinos who are kept away from the gamblers to avoid undue influence.

S

Sharp: A gambler that knows what they are doing.

T

Toke: A term for a tip. It’s polite to give a tip to the dealer when you’re on a winning streak, especially in blackjack and poker.

U

Railbirds: Spectators at casinos who are kept away from the gamblers to avoid undue influence.

V

Value Bet: Value bets are where the odds are believed to be in your favor. It is mathematically unlikely that the bet will result in a loss. This is more common in sports betting over casino gambling due to the house edge.

W

Whales: Whales are even higher than high rollers, wealthy individuals who have a lot of cash to gamble with. They often don’t care if they win or they lose as long as they’re having fun, it’s not about the money.

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