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This is a collection of terms used in all forms of betting, from casino table games like craps and roulette to slot machine and video poker gambling. We've picked out some of the more difficult or unfamiliar terms to help bettors understand the games they play. If you're unfamiliar with a betting term, you'll probably find it in this collection.
Bankroll : This betting term refers to the amount of money a gambler is prepared to bet. This is different from the term "action" because a bankroll is a theoretical amount of money a gambler intends to spend, while a player's "action" is the actual amount of gambling they do.
Burn Card : In almost all card games, a burn card is a card that is pulled from the deck after the shuffle and discarded.
Edge : In casino gambling, the term edge refers to a statistical advantage. Most of the time, gamblers talk about the house edge; an advantage the casino has against the players. Edge is usually expressed as a percentage. An example is the 30% edge the casino has in a standard game of keno.
Hand Pay : This is a slot machine term that you need to understand if you plan on spending any time at the slot machine banks. When a slot machine win is too big to be paid out by the machine itself, a hand pay is required. A casino employee will come to you and pay out your winnings by hand, hence the name.
Hard & Soft Hands : Unless you're really familiar with blackjack, the terms "hard" and "soft" hands probably don't mean anything to you. In blackjack, a hand is said to be "hard" if it doesn't contain an Ace or if the Ace must count as one point according to the game's rules. The opposite of a hard total or hard hand is a soft hand, meaning any hand that contains an Ace that can act as either a 1 point or an 11 point card. It's important to understand the difference between these two types of hands if you want to learn basic blackjack strategy.
Horn Bet : This confusing little betting term is a nickname for a special kind of craps bet. When craps players place a horn bet, they're wagering four units based on the outcome of a single roll. Horn bets can be placed on 2, 3, 11, or 12 on the next roll, and pay out 15:1 for rolls of 3 or 11 and 30:1 for rolls of 2 or 12.
Insurance : In the game of blackjack, the term Insurance refers to a side bet offered when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, which means he may have blackjack and be an instant winner. Insurance is a small-value bet that the dealer has blackjack offering players a way to win in the case of a dealer blackjack. The most important thing to understand about Insurance is that this side bet comes with dismal odds, and all blackjack strategy experts suggest you avoid taking this side wager unless you are counting cards and can tell that the dealer is likely to have a face card to go with his Ace.
Pass Line Bet : If you plan on playing craps, you need to understand the pass line bet because it's the most common wager on the craps table. This bet wins if a 7 or 11 is rolled on the come out roll and loses if the total is 2, 3, or 12. But the Pass line bet isn't all that simple - once a point has been thrown you can then bet up to twice your original Pass line bet on the odds. That's an additional bet that the Point will be rolled again before a 7.
Prop Bet : Proposition or prop bets are wagers on anything besides the outcome of a particular game of chance or skill. Prop bets are hard to define because they're available in so many different casino games. For example, in craps, a prop bet called Seven wins if a 7 is thrown on the next roll. Another type of prop bet is available to sports bettors; in sports betting, prop bets cover anything besides the overall winner of a game. An example of a sports prop bet would be a wager on which team is the first to commit a foul or a bet on the coin flip at the outset of the game.
Push : Almost every game in the casino uses this term, casino slang for a tie between the player and the house. A push happens when the dealer and the player tie, and it means that neither the dealer nor the player wins or loses. In push situations, the player earns back his initial wager and no winnings are paid out.
Random Number Generator : Also known as an RNG, this is a device built into the computer brain of a slot machine or other electronic game that determines a random outcome. Online casino gamblers should be familiar with RNGs even if they don't play slots, because Internet casino games are also run using random number generators. The RNG is basically just a device that chooses numbers at random.
The slot machine’s random nature comes from the random numbers spit out by the RNG, constantly coming up with different numbers until you pull the lever of the slot machine. When the lever is pulled or the button pushed, the RNG determines if that spin was a winner. The reels spinning, lights flashing, and numbers popping up all over the screen are there for show.
The outcome of a round of slot play is determined well before the reels stop spinning. The same is true for any Internet-based casino game that doesn't rely on a live dealer.
Shoe : In casino gambling involving multiple decks of cards, the shoe is the slang term for the actual device that holds the cards used for game play. Shoes hold as many as eight decks at a time and are designed to allow the dealer to move one card at a time onto the gaming surface with ease.
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