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Casino Career A Reference Guide

A little guide to the hospitality industry’s most flashy little subculture. Casinos have had their own little universe of jargon since their first origins. Use this as a clip ‘n’ save reference.

All In – When a player has bet all of their remaining chips.
Ante – The opening bet placed into the pot by all players of a poker round.

Bad Beat – When one very high hand is beaten by an even higher one in poker.
Banker – The dealer covering the action of the other bettors in Baccarat.
Bankroll – The player’s total available gambling money.
Betting Limits – The maximum and minimum allowable bets, to discourage Martingale systems.
Bingo Bus – A tour bus arriving with a group of tourists, usually retirees, to a casino for the day.
Blind Bet – A bet that certain poker players are required to make because of their betting order.
Bluff – Pretending to have a better poker hand in the hopes that other players will fold.
Board – The center of a poker table where the community cards are dealt face-up.
Book – The place where you place bets on sporting events; the Race and Sports Book.
Breaker – A new dealer brought in to break a player’s lucky streak.

Break-In House – A dealer’s first job, typically their learning period at a lower-standards casino.
Bring-In – a mandatory bet by the player with the lowest upcard in the first round of 7-card stud..
Bust – Going over 21 in blackjack.
Bust Out – To make a player go broke.
Burned card – The top card immediately discarded in blackjack, done to ensure a fair game.
Button – The marker that designated the dealer between rounds in poker.

Cage – The cashier’s booth.
Call – To respond to a raised bet with a matching bet in poker.
Check – When a poker player opts to stay in the game without raising the bet.
Checks – Another word for casino chips.
Comp – Any free benefit provided to guests and players, such as free food and drink.
Comp Card – An electronic card similar to a credit card used to track comp points.

Comp Points – A loyalty scheme which rewards players with comp points for playing.
Copy – When a player and the banker have the same hand In Pai Gow poker.
Croupier – The French term for dealer, used in the games of baccarat and roulette.
Cut – Cutting the deck of cards and replacing them with their hands inverted after shuffling.

Die – The singular form of the word ‘dice’.
Discard – A tray on the dealers right side that holds all previously played cards.
Double Down – In blackjack, to double your bet and split it into two hands to play at once.
Draw – To receive a new round of cards.
Drop – Lose money at a game.

EO – The privilege of going home from work early, known as ‘Early-Out’.
Even Money – A bet that pays you back in the ratio of 1 to 1, for example ‘odds’ bets in craps.

Fifth Street – The third round of betting in seven-card stud, when all players have five cards.
Flop – The three cards dealt face-up in the center of the table in Texas Hold-Em.
Flush – A hand consisting of five cards of one suit in poker.
Fold – When a poker player declines to bet and drops out of the hand.
Foreign Coin – Chips or tokens from another casino.
Foul – When the two-card low hand is set higher than the five-card high hand in Pai Gow poker.
Four Of A Kind – Four cards of the same rank in poker.
Fourth Street – The second round of betting in seven-card stud, when all players have four cards.Full House – A hand consisting of a three of a kind and a pair in poker.

Hit – To accept another card in blackjack.
Hole Card – The face-down card that the dealer gets in blackjack.
House Edge – The percentage of profit from each bet that the casino makes; the casino’s profit.

Inside Bet – A roulette bet placed on any small combination of numbers, as opposed to a group.
Insurance – In blackjack, a side bet that the dealer has a natural if the dealer is showing an ace.

Kicker – An odd high card in poker not part of a combination, used to decide draws.

Marker – A check written by a player at the table if they have established credit with the casino.
Muck – The act of throwing your cards away because you cannot or did not win the pot in poker.

Natural – In blackjack, a natural is a two-card hand of twenty-one points.

Open – The first player to bet in a round of poker.
Outside Bets – Roulette bets located on the outside part of the layout, including a large range.

Pair – Any two cards of the same rank in poker.
Pass – To make either a 7-11 on the come-out or to roll the point before the seven in craps.
Payline – The line on a slot machine window on which the symbols from each reel must line up.
Payout Percentage – The percentage which a slot machine pays back per dollar bet.
Pit Boss – The person who supervises the table gaming area.

Pocket – Your first two down cards in Texas Hold-Em.
Pot – the accumulated bets in a round of poker, payable to the winning hand.
Progressive – A slot machine whose potential jackpot increases with each coin that is played.
Push – A tie hand between a dealer and a player in blackjack.

Qualifier – A poker hand which meets the minimum standard to bet.

Raise – A bet to increase the stakes in poker.
Rake – The money that the casino charges for each hand of poker.
River – The final card dealt in a hand of 7-card stud or Texas Hold-Em.
Rock – An extremely conservative player, who bets low, folds early, takes the best odds, etc.
Royal Flush – An ace-high straight flush in poker, the best possible hand.

Session – A series of plays at any gambling game.
Set – Two separate hands of two and five cards each in Pai-Gow poker.
Shoe – A plastic rack designed to hold several decks of cards in dealing table games.
Showdown – When all the cards are revealed at the end of betting in a poker round.
Side Action – The table games with a huge house edge, said to be only played by ‘suckers’.
Soft Hand – Any hand that contains an ace counted as eleven in blackjack.

Stand – To refrain from taking another card in blackjack, ending the player’s turn.
Straight – A hand consisting of five cards of consecutive ranks in poker.
Straight Flush – A straight in poker where the cards are also of the same suit, but not a Royal.
Surrender – To throw away your hand in blackjack.

Three of a Kind – Three cards of the same value in poker.
Tokes – Another word for tips, those paid to dealers.
Two Pair – Two pairs of cards with the same value in poker.

Freelance writer for over eleven years.

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