For an increasing number of people, playing and having fun on a casino floor is an enjoyable pastime. However, if you’re a newbie to playing casino games in a brick-and-mortar casino or even online, it can be somewhat confusing. You’ll hear random words shouted by players and dealers alike at the top of their voices, making the casino world a potentially tricky place to navigate as a newcomer.
There is no doubt that the casino industry has developed its own unique language over the years. Many of the classic table games, such as blackjack, roulette and craps, are very fast-paced with the casinos keen to turnover as many hands per hour as possible from their players. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most popular phrases you’re likely to hear at the tables to put you in pole position to try and beat the house.
Betting the limit: This is a saying you’ll hear from a bold or confident casino player who chooses to wager the maximum amount they can risk in one deal or spin.
Card counting: Something that’s often frowned upon in a brick-and-mortar casino. If you are considered card counting in blackjack, i.e. recording played cards in your memory to calculate rough probabilities of the cards the dealer has left, you’ll probably be politely asked to leave as this is deemed as unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Can I color up?”: A casino player may ask the dealer to “color up,” which means they exchange a large stash of smaller denomination chips for fewer larger denomination chips.
Comps: In some instances, you might sit down next to another player who says they have enjoyed “comps” from the casino. That’s a slang word for complimentary gifts, i.e. free drinks and meals or hotel stays.
Flat top slot machine: This is a slot machine that only pays out a fixed amount every time. It also does not increase its potential jackpot the longer it goes without being won like a progressive jackpot slot does.
Hot streak: This is a player who is experiencing a winning run. A slot machine can also be considered “hot” if it is regularly paying out to players.
Live casino: State-of-the-art online casino sites are increasingly offering live streamed table games managed by real-life dealers. iGaming software pioneers such as Evolution Gaming are currently the leading choice for live casino platforms.
Loading up: A player “loads up” when they opt to put the maximum number of coins per spin or game that a slot machine or video game will accept.
Pigeon: More experienced casino players may try to phase you and put you off your stride by labeling you a pigeon — a name given to naïve or inexperienced punters.
Pit boss: This is the slang name for the casino floor supervisor who oversees all the table gaming action at one time.
Spooking: This is a form of cheating on a casino floor that’s guaranteed to get you quick-marched out of the casino. It involves standing behind a blackjack player to see their cards and telling your friend at the same table what they have.
Toke for the dealer: A “toke” is considered a tip for the dealer, which happens when winning players give their dealer a chip to cash in.
Vigorish: This covers the commission the house (or house) takes, also known as its house “edge.”
Whale: So-called whales are players who make outlandish bets at exceptionally higher stakes than everyone else on the table.
From betting beginners to seasoned pros, it’s always a good idea to keep up to date with the latest phrases and sayings on the casino floor. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you come across any more unique phrases on the casino floor, don’t hesitate to tell us about them!