Gambling Jargon

Walk by any table pit or poker room in any casino and you’ll hear gambling jargon, which sounds like a foreign language to new and non-gamblers alike. Jargon such as, “Put five on the big red!”, “Gimmie the Yo”; “Double after split”, or “He’s dead on the river.” This is gambling jargon. If you can’t speak the language, you can’t do the deeds. Don’t be left out! Learn the lingo as you learn the games. To get you started, here is some of the gambling vocabulary used in popular gambling games:

Gambling Jargon for Blackjack

Basic Strategy – Plays you should make to maximize your advantage.

Burn Cards – Removed cards after the shuffle.

Bust/Break – Exceeding a hand total of 21.

Card Counting – Memorizing played cards with an assigned value.

Color Up – Cashing in your chips

Double Down – To double your initial bet following the initial 2-card deal.

Even Money – Cashing in your bet for a 1/1 payout when you have Blackjack against a dealer ace

Face Cards – Jacks, Queens, Kings.

First Base – First seat taken to the dealer’s left

Hit/Draw – calling for another card to add to your hand.

Hole Card – The dealer’s face down card.

Insurance – A side bet against the dealer having a Blackjack when he has an ace showing.

Pat Hand – A hand worth at least 17 points.

Push/Tie – Player & dealer with the same total.

Shoe – A device used for holding & dispensing cards

Soft Hand - A hand with an Ace counted as 11

Stiff Hand – A hand with little chance of winning if hit.

Surrender – Giving up your hand to only lose ½ your bet.

Third Base – Last seat taken to the dealer’s right.

Up Card – Dealers first dealt card face up.

 Gambling Jargon for Craps

Any Craps – A dice total of 2, 3, or 12.

Big Red - A bet in the “any seven” box.

Boxcars – When he dice total 12.

Capped Dice – Crooked dice.

Cold Table – Most shooters are not winning.

Come Bet – A bet made after the point is established.

Come Out Roll – First roll of the dice in a round.

Don’t Come Bet – A bet made after the point is established. (Outcome is opposite of the come bet.)

Don’t Pass Bet – Betting against the shooter before the come out roll.

Free Odds – an additional bet behind the pass line taken at true odds.

George – a good tipper

Hardway – A 4, 6, 8 or 10 thrown as pairs (2 –2, 3 –3, etc.)

Horn Bet – A single bet on a 2, 3, 11, or 12 outcome.

Hot Table- Most shooters are winning.

Lay Bet – Betting that a point number will not be rolled before a 7 is thrown.

Little Joe – a hard 4 (2-2.)

Natural – A throw of 7 or 11 on the come out roll.

Pass Line Bet – Betting with the shooter before the come out roll.

Place Bet – Betting that a place number will be thrown before a 7.

Point Number – One of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, & 10 made on the come out roll.

Press A Bet – To double your bet amount.

Proposition Bets – One roll and hardway bets.

Right Bettor – Betting that the shooter will win.

Seven Out – When a 7 is rolled before the point.

Shooter – Player currently rolling the dice.

Snake Eyes – When the dice total 2.

Stiff – A poor tipper

Toke – a tip given to the dealer.

Vigorish/Vig – commission taken by the house.

Wrong Bettor – Betting that the shooter will lose.

Yo – The number 11 (Yo-leven.)


Aces Up – A pair of Aces with another pair.

All-In - Betting all your remaining chips.

Ante – The opening bet before dealing begins.

Belly Buster – An inside straight draw.

Big Slick – An Ace and a King

Blinds – Forced bets made by 2 players that rotate each hand.

Boat – Slang for a full house.

Broadway - A mixed suit Ace high straight.

Button – A disk placed in front of a player who would be dealing.

Bullets – A pair of Aces in the hole.

Call – to match the current bet.

Check - To defer making a bet until another player does.

Cowboys – Slang for kings

Dead Hand – A hand with no chance of winning.

Donkey/Fish – A bad player.

Drawing Dead – A hand that will lose even if it improves.

Flop - The first 3 community cards.

Flush – Five cards of the same suit.

Full House – 3 of one kind & 2 of another.

Kicker – The Highest unpaired card in your hand.

Ladies – Slang for Queens.

Muck – Face down discarded hands.

Nuts – The highest possible hand on the board.

Overcard – A card that is higher than another.

Quads – 4 of a kind.

Rag(s) Meaningless cards that add no value to your hand.

Rainbow Cards with different suits

River – The fifth and final community card

Rounder – One who makes a living at playing cards.

Set/Trips – Three of a kind.

Short Stack – Having the fewest chips at the table.

Tells – Behavior that gives other players information about how you might play your hand.

Tight - Someone who only plays premium hands.

Tilt – Desperate to re-coup losses, causing bad decisions.

Turn – The fourth community card.

Under The Gun – First player to bet after the big blind.

Wired – A pair dealt in the first two cards.

For more information about gambling jargon check out the following:

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