The world of gambling is full of confusing and colorful lingo and terminology. We break down some of the most common gambling terminology in our casino gambling glossary:

Bankroll

The total amount of money that a player has earmarked and available for their gambling activity. Bankroll management is an important part of being a responsible gambler, and not going broke.

Bet

A bet is a wager placed on the outcome of a particular event, such as a sporting event or a game of chance.

Betting limit

This refers to the maximum amount of money that a player is allowed to wager on a single bet or in a single game. For example a slots game might have a limit of $20 a spin, or the max bet at a video poker game may be $5.

Buy-in

This is the amount of money that a player must pay to enter a casino game or tournament. Usually the house will take a small portion of the buy-in as a fee (usually in the 10% region)- to pay for staff, premises and service.

Casino Crash Games

Casino crash games, also known as crash or bust games, are a type of online casino betting game that involves predicting the crash point of a continuously increasing multiplier. The format became highly popular in 2021 with tons of variants hitting the market.

In the game, players place bets on when they think the multiplier will “crash” or reach a predetermined point, after which all bets are settled and any players who correctly predicted the crash point win a prize.

The multiplier increases over time, with the rate of increase determined by a combination of the total amount of bets placed and the number of players in the game.

Casino crash games are considered high-risk due to the potential for large payouts, and the fact that the crash point is random and cannot be accurately predicted.

Fish

A fish is a recreational poker player with serious fundamental flaws in their poker game which result in them consistently losing money at cash-games, tournaments or both. Good players like to get into pots with the amateur “fish” as they know they will seldom come out on the worse side of things.

In poker there is a fun expression: “when a man with money and a man with experience play poker – the man with the experience leaves with the money and the man with the money leaves with the experience”.

Gambling Taxes

Gambling winnings in the US are taxable. It is important to keep comprehensive records of your gambling winnings and losses for the IRS. Taxes on gambling don’t just apply to winnings from gambling in casinos: Horse races, off-track betting, sweepstakes, lotteries and even game-shows winnings are taxable in the United States. Read our USA gambling taxes guide.

House edge

This is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over the players in a game, expressed as a percentage – over the long run – assuming perfect play from players (which is rare).

Live Dealer Casinos

This refers to gambling at online at real land-based casinos or TV casino studios with real dealers, roulette wheels and blackjack tables – enabled via modern technology like video streaming casino apps. live dealer casinos enable players to play real-money casino games – streamed live to their mobile, as well as to interact with and engage in chat with dealers & live casino players who are playing in the same live-casino games. these games are highly popular because of authentic casino experience and the fact that players can play fro anywhere, any-time.

Jackpot

A jackpot is a large sum of money that is won by a player who hits a certain combination on a slot machine or other gambling game.

There are several different types of jackpots that can be won in a casino. Some of the most common types include:

  • Progressive jackpots: Progressive jackpots are jackpots that increase in size each time a player makes a bet on a particular game, such as a slot machine. The jackpot continues to grow until it is won, at which point it is reset to a predetermined amount.
  • Fixed jackpots: Fixed jackpots are jackpots that have a set amount that is paid out to the winner. These jackpots do not increase in size over time and are not reset after they are won.
  • Mystery jackpots: Mystery jackpots are jackpots that are randomly triggered during game play and can be won by any player at any time. The amount of the jackpot is typically determined by the outcome of the game that was played when the jackpot was triggered.
  • Local jackpots: Local jackpots are jackpots that can only be won by players who are playing at a particular casino or on a specific machine. These jackpots are not linked to other casinos or machines, so the chances of winning are typically higher than with other types of jackpots.
  • Bad Beat Jackpots: Poker rooms sometimes have a steadily increasing jackpot pool (funded by play on cash-tables) which can be triggered and won when a very rare & strong poker hand is beaten by another super-strong hand. For example a card-room might pay out its bad-beat Jackpot if quad jacks or better gets beaten (by quad-queens, quad-kings, quad-Aces or a straight flush). When the jackpots get huge, card-rooms tend to reduce the triggering criteria (e.g to quad 9’s or better must lose).

Odds

Odds are a numerical expression of the likelihood that a particular event will occur – such as a roulette ball landing on a red or black color after a spin. In gambling, odds are used to determine the payouts for bets.

Payout

This is the amount of money that a player wins from a bet or a turn in a gambling game (e.g a spin on the slots, a hand of video poker, a spin of roulette).

Slots Variance

Variance, also known as volatility, is a measure of how much a slot machine’s payouts vary from the expected payouts.

A slot machine with low variance pays out smaller prizes more frequently, while a slot machine with high variance pays out larger prizes less frequently.

The variance of a slot machine can affect a player’s experience, as low-variance machines provide a steady stream of small wins, while high-variance machines may have longer dry spells but also offer the potential for larger payouts.

Slots RTP

The term “RTP” stands for “return to player” and refers to the percentage of wagered money that a slot machine is programmed to pay back to players over time.

For example, a slot machine with an RTP of 94% is expected to pay out 94% of the money wagered on it, while the remaining 6% is retained by the casino as profit.

It’s important to note that the RTP is a long-term average and does not guarantee that a player will win a certain amount on a single spin or even over a short period of time. The RTP is usually expressed as a percentage and can be usually found in the game’s rules or pay-table or PAR sheet.

Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes casinos, also known as sweeps cash casinos, offer a unique gaming experience with free-to-play games for gamblers in the United States. In addition to traditional social casinos, which are designed for entertainment purposes only, many social & sweepstakes casinos have options that offer the chance to win real money online.

Stadium Blackjack

A highly social variation of the casino card game Blackjack which enables up to 44 players to compete in each hand with one of two live dealers, in stadium-style seating via electronic terminals.

Rake

This is a percentage of money that a casino takes from each pot as a fee for hosting a poker game. Usually cash-game rake is capped at a few % of the pot.

Generally casinos don´t take rake from hands that do not see a flop (e.g in the case where 1 player raises, another player 3-bets and everyone folds to the 3-bet, the re-raiser wins all of the pot, and the house takes 0 rake from the hand). In poker tournaments rake is usually around 10% to 15% of the buy-in, so a $100 tournament entry would cost $100 + $10 to enter, with the $10 being taken by the house, while the $100 would go into the shared prize pool of the tournament.

Whale

A Whale is a high-stakes gambler  – a high roller who like to bet large amounts of money at a casino.

Slingo

Slingo is a combination of the popular casino games slot machines and bingo.

The game is played on a grid that typically consists of five reels and five rows. Each spin of the reels reveals numbers that are called out as in bingo. The goal of the game is to complete a specified pattern or “slingo” on the grid.

The pattern can be a straight line, a diagonal line, a full house, or a pre-determined combination of numbers. The player can spin the reels a certain number of times, and may also have the option to use extra spins or other special features to help complete the pattern. If the player successfully completes the pattern, they win a prize.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

KYC, or “Know your customer,” is a process that is used by many companies, including online casinos, to verify the identity of their customers. The purpose of KYC is to prevent fraud and money laundering by ensuring that the company knows who their customers are and that they are not using the casino for illegal purposes. Legal and regulated USA online casinos are required to perform KYC checks on all customers as part of their license agreement.

The KYC process typically involves the customer providing some form of identification, such as a government-issued ID or passport, and other information that can be used to confirm their identity. This information is then checked against various databases and other sources to verify its accuracy.

KYC is important for online casino and sports-betting companies because it helps them comply with laws and regulations which are designed to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities. In addition, it helps protect the casino and its customers by ensuring that only legitimate players are able to use the casino’s services, and that known problem gamblers and self-excluded players are not permitted to play.