Dictionary – The language of gambling

Friday, 2 July 2010

Do you ever go to a casino and hear a whole bunch of lingo you don’t understand? Do you join a craps table and hear something about snake eyes and think you have just been insulted? What about online, do you know the chat terminology other players are using? If not, it’s time for a crash course in casino terminology! Following are terms you need to know. This is the first list from a more comprehensive and complete range that will help newcomers and even old pros learn the language of gambling.

A
Aces Up
Two pair, with one one pair being aces. For example, if someone holds AJ and the board is AKJ74, that person has “aces up” since they hold a two pair of aces and jacks.
Action
A wager of any amount placed while playing.
Action Jackson
Frequent and happy player.
Advertise
When a player advertises, he plays in a different fashion from his usual strategy in order to confuse his opponents. A player will generally alter their strategy so that they play more loose and are more apt to be paid off by their opponents when they hold a strong hand. Example: He is normally is not a loose player, he is just advertising by showing down those bad hands.
Aggregate limit
It’s the payout on a single game.
Aggressive
A player who bets and raises a lot when he has a good hand.
Ajax
Also known as Blackjack.
The hold’em starting hand Ace-Jack (AJ)
All or nothing
It’s a term used in keno. If ticket as ‘all-or-nothing’ you’ll win if all the numbers you chose are drawn. You can win also if none of your numbers is drawn.
All Paint
An “all paint” is a situation in which the board is made up of jacks, queens, kings or aces.
All-In
To bet all your chips, or to call with all your chips. If another player bets more chips than you have in a No Limit game, you can go all-in and stake your total stack against an equivalent amount of your opponent’s stack.
Alligator Blood
Used to describe a player who plays fearlessly when short-stacked and wins, or optionally, a player who plays for a long time short-stacked, winning just enough to keep them in the game. Also can be used to mean the complete lack of concern for other people’s well being at the poker table.
American Airlines
A hand with two aces in the hole (AA).
Anna Kournikova
AK. Because it looks pretty but it never wins.
Ante
Playing poker games such as Caribbean Stud or Trey Card Poker it’s a small portion of the minimum bet that each player needs to place before the hand starts. Apply to all Stud Games Tournaments.
Any Craps
Playing Craps is a bet placed totaling 2,3 or 12.
Any Seven
Playing Craps is one bet placed on any 7.
Arm
A legendary term used in the game of craps to denote a wise and skilled player which throwing the dice is able to alter the conventional odds of the game.
At risk
A players’ wager is ‘at risk’ when the game is starting. Whilst the roulette wheel is spinning or the cards are being dealt.
Aquarium
An aquarium is a poker room or game that has a lot of fish (bad player, who often loses a lot of money) in it.
Assassin
During tournament play, a player on a lucky streak who eliminates several/all opponents from play.
ATC
Short for “any two cards”.
Axs
Axs is a poker abbreviation for Ace-X suited. It means to hold an ace and a low card of the same suit. The other card is generally 9 or below. For example, a hand of A6 of clubs would fall into the category of Axs.

B
Baccarat
It’s one of the most ancient casino game around. It’s a classic casino card game wherein the aim it to make a total as close as possible to 9.
Backdoor Flush Draw
Three suited cards to a flush. For example, if you hold Ah 8h and the flop is Kh 8d 7c. You have three hearts, so you will hit a flush if you hit a heart on the turn and the river.
Bad Beat
A bad beat is a loss in which the losing player had the better odds on the winning player earlier in the hand. In general, the term is used when all the chips go in the pot when the losing player had odds. To take a bad beat means to be on the losing end of a bad beat.
Ballerina
Two two’s in your hand.
Baseball
A 3 and 9 as your hole cards. Based on the well-known poker game with 3’s and 9’s wild.
Banker
In a card games, dealer or the players who books the action of the other bettors at the table.
Bankroll
Indicates the player’s total amount of money he/she can gamble with.
Basic Strategy
Typically referring to Blackjack, this is a mathematically standardized way of playing in order to maximize the player’s chances.
Barber Pole
Placing wagers using a stack of various chips.
BB
Short for big blind or big bet.
Beer Hand
Generally a 2-7 offsuit, although some consider the 2-7 suited to be a beer hand as well. 2-7 Time for a beer Considered the worst starting hand in hold em.
Bet
To put chips into the pot.
Bet the Pot
To bet an amount of chips approximately equal to the amount of chips in the pot. In Pot Limit games, this is the maximum bet; however, the pot size in Pot-Limit games is calculated in an unintuitive way: All the money in the pot, plus (if you have been raised) the amount you would bet if you reraised.
Betting Limits
On a table game, is the minimum and maximum that you can wager on one bet. Wagering less than the minimum or more than the maximum amount posted is not permitted.
Bicycle
The poker hand A2345. This is the lowest possible straight.
Big Blind special
The big blind special is a term referring to when the big blind wins a hand with a very bad starting hand because he saw the flop for free. When nobody raises the big blind, the big blind is able to see the flop without having to call a bet. Since the big blind’s hand is random, he’ll often have a really bad hand like 38 offsuit. This player sometimes ends up winning the hand by hitting a lucky flop. For example, the big blind has 7s2h and everyone else limps in. The flop is 7d7h2c, giving him a full house, and almost certainly the best hand.
Big Chick
Hole Cards: One Ace, One Queen.
Big Dime
$10,000 wager.
Big Slick
A hand with an ace and a king in the hole (AK).
Binary
Binary is one’s and zero’s in poker
Bird on a Stick
The Holdem Starting Hand 72.
Black
It’s the typical $100 chip color.
Blackjack
A classic casino card game. The object is to beat the dealer by making a hand as high as possible without exceeding 21.
Blank
A card that means nothing to anyone’s hand. For example, in a hold’em game if the board is: As Ks Jd 8h, if a 3c came on the river, the 3c is considered a blank.
Blinds
These are the forced bets that take the place of an ante. The person to the left of the dealer must pay the small blind and the person after him must pay the big blind.
Bluff
To bluff means to make a bet that you hope is not called by your opponents. The aim of a bluff is to win a pot because everyone else folds.
Board Cards
The cards in the middle of the table that are shared by everyone.
Boat
It’s another term used to indicate a Full House.
Bobby Bowden
It is named after Florida State University’s football coach, the winningest coach in college football. FSU has lost a few games in recent years by missing a field goal.
Bones
Gaming dice.
Bonus
Extra chips offered to increase player’s bankroll in order to have more chances to win.
Bot
A bot is a computer program that plays poker. Bots are highly controversial since they are seen as a threat to online poker. If there were too many successful bots, the games would become incredibly difficult to beat. Bots are against the terms and conditions of online poker rooms, and poker rooms will shut down players they suspect to be bots.
Bottom Pair
A Pair consisting of the lowest card on the Flop and one of your hole cards.
Break
Betting a strong hand very forcefully in order to win a huge pot. Often, this means you will put your opponent all-in. This also can mean killing another player’s spirits by beating him or her into submission. For example, if a player consistently loses over a night and loses a lot of his/her money, that player may be considered ‘broken.’
Brick and Mortar
This refers to a land-based casino such as the ones on the Vegas strip.
Broadway
Broadway means a straight from ten to ace. This is the best possible straight.
Brothers
Pair of Jacks in Hold’em starting hand.
Bubble
The bubble refers to the placing in a tournament that are close to winning prize money but do not receive any money. For example, if 100 people enter a tournament and the tournament pays out money to the top 15 players, someone busting out around 16th or so would be said to have busted out on the bubble. When the tournament is at the stage near the bubble, players tend to tighten up a lot because they do not want to bust out and not receive any money. Aggressive players often take advantage of this situation and steal a lot of pots.
Buck
$100 bet.
Buckets
A pocket pair of fours.
Bug
In casino lingo, it indicates the Joker.
Bullets
Pocket Aces.
Burn Card
In a card game it indicates the card that after shuffling decks, is placed on the bottom of the deck.
Bust
When player or dealer exceed 21 in a hand of Blackjack.
Button
At most casinos, the players themselves do not deal the cards. Therefore, a button is used to indicate who is in the dealer’s seat. Except in the preflop round, the player who is on the button acts last in a round of betting.

C
Call
To place an amount of chips in the pot equal to the previous bet. It is necessary to at least call a bet to stay in the game; the other options are to raise or fold
Calling Station
Type of player who will call a lot. They do not think about other people’s hands, but rather just want to see if their hand will win. They do not bluff much and are not aggressive; they just call a lot.
Candy Canes
Another term for pocket sevens in Texas Hold’em.
Canine
The hold’em starting hand King-Nine (K9).
Cap
It’s the maximum that a player may wager on a specific game.
Case
The case (x) refers to the last card available of that rank in the deck. For example, if I hold pocket tens and the board is TAA4 and a ten comes on the river, that final card is considered the case ten.
Card Counting
It’s a strategy practiced mainly whilst playing blackjack. It consists in analyzing the percentage of high to low cards that have been played since the last time the deck was shuffled by the dealer.
Cash Game
This is the typical, non-tournament poker game where players buy-in and cash out as they please.
Chase
To call in the hopes of hitting a draw. This word often connotes that someone is a calling station and will call even with bad odds.
Check
To not put any chips into the pot, to decline to bet. If it is your turn to act, and there is no bet to you, you may check instead of betting. However, if there is a bet to you, then you must call, raise, or fold.
Check-Raise
To check with the intention of raising your opponent’s bet. This is a technique used to get more money into the pot (two bets instead of one), and is more effective at Limit Poker than at No Limit
Chips
Colorful tokens used to place bets at casinos, each indicates a certain cash value.
Chip magnet
A player who is a large chip leader, or who has won several hands recently. Pun from the term “chick magnet”.
Chip Sandwich
If an early position player raises and gets called (called but not raised) by one or more later players, you can “sandwich” the callers by reraising.
Chop
A chop essentially means to split the pot. It can be used in two situations: 1. If everyone folds to the blinds, the blinds may elect to have the blind money returned to them and proceed to the next hand. 2. A chop can refer to just splitting the pot between the players. Either the players hands are tied or the players agree to simply split the pot in half instead of seeing whose hand wins (this occurs rarely and only if the pot is very large and the players hands are of almost equivalent value).
Cold Call
This means to call a bet and a raise. An example would be if it is preflop and you are in late position, a person in earlier position raises the blinds and you call two bets flat.
Collusion
Collusion is a form of cheating. Players will work in a team to try to gain an advantage over the other players. They will somehow signal to each other what their cards are. They will then use this information to gain an unfair advantage. Collusion is illegal. It is sometimes hard for brick and mortar card rooms to detect colluders, but online poker rooms can track potential colluders because they can review hand histories.
Colt 45
4 and 5 of spades
Combination Way Ticket
A Keno term referring to a ticket where the same group of numbers is bet in multiple different ways, giving the player a better chance of winning with the same ticket.
Comps
Free Chips and Bonuses given to users as a courtesy and reward for playing.
Computer Hand
A starting hand that, on average, is the median of all other hands. Q 7.
Connected
When your hole cards are consecutive, (89, 45, etc). When someone is suited and connected they are holding consecutive cards of the same suit, (QsJs, 2d3d).
Copy
“A term from Pai-Gow poker. The same 2-card or 5-card hand”.
Counterfeit
Sometimes a card will come on the board that will hurt your hand because it makes previously valuable cards in your hand communal property. For example, suppose you hold A9 in a game of Texas Hold’em. The board is 5678. You hold a straight to the 9! However, if the final card on the river comes a 9, your hand is counterfeited. Now, everyone has a straight to the nine. Being counterfeited occurs a lot in Omaha Hi-Lo. Many times people’s lows are counterfeited by the board. Suppose you hold AAK2. The board is 367Q. You hold the nut low (A2367). However, if the river comes a 2, you no longer hold the nut low. Your low is A2367 still. However, someone with A4 in their hand will have you beat with a low of A2346.
Cowboys
Two King cards.
Crabs
To get dealt pocket 3’s.
Cracking the Nut
To win enough to cover losses, expenses, and leaving a sum left over.
Credit Button
A function button on Video Poker machines that uses the money already won but not yet paid out as a stake in a new hand.
Croupier
In games with French origin as Baccarat and Roulette he’s the dealer assigned to the table.
Cut
It’s the act of splitting and reintegrating the deck of cards after they have been shuffled. It ensures a fair shuffle.
Cycle
In video poker this is the statistical amount of hands that would have to be dealt to encounter the Jackpot -usually by Royal Flush – at least once.

To be continued in the next issue.

Author: Editor

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