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Glossary

If you are new to online casino, some of the jargon and terminology – random number generator, lobby, ante, etc. – can seem a bit confusing. Our extensive glossary explains what each term means.

    Whether you’re a gambling novice or a casino connoisseur, our gambling glossary is bound to help. It provides all of the definitions to some of the most popular gambling phrases and terms.

    Feel free to use this guide as a reference page or have a read through now if you’re desperate for a high quality online casino glossary. Plus, if you think we’re missing any casino phrases please let us know. We’re more than happy to help you out and add to our glossary.

    A

    Achievements
    
    The latest online slots and table games feature achievements and goals that players complete in return for points and tokens. These unlock additional game rounds, features and bonuses.

    Advantage player
    
    A player who has some kind of advantage over the casino. It usually refers to blackjack card counters, but can apply to online players who use bonuses to gain an advantage.

    American roulette
    
    A type of roulette game that has a total of 38 numbers – 0 and 00, and 1 – 36. The numbers from 1-36 are alternately coloured red and black, while 0 and 00 are green.

    Ante
    
    An initial bet required before a hand can start. Most commonly heard in card games, particularly stud poker.

    Autospin
    
    A feature built into some online slots that allows players to program up to 50 spins automatically.

    B

    Baccarat
    Also known as Baccara. A table game using 6 or 8 decks of cards. The game is easy to play and unlike blackjack and poker doesn’t require any skill. The aim is simply to achieve a baccarat score of 9, or as close to that as possible.

    Bank roll
    The total amount of money a player is willing to risk on a given visit to a casino. Remember, it is important never to wager more than you can afford to lose, so manage your bank roll accordingly.

    Bankwire
    A way of transferring money from your bank account into your online casino account and vice versa. Also known as a bank transfer or a wire transfer.

    Bet
    The player’s wager.

    Bettor
    The person placing the bet or wager.

    Bet the limit
    Wagering the maximum amount a player is allowed to risk in any game.

    Bitcoin
    A type of digital/cryptocurrency that some online casino sites allow players to use to wager.

    Blackjack
    A card game where the aim for the player is to beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 without going bust. Blackjack is also the term used for a two-card total of 21 consisting of an ace and a 10-value card, such as a King or Queen. 

    Bonuses
    Incentives and special prizes offered to players. They fall into several categories, including: a welcome bonus, reload/deposit bonus and free spin bonus.  

    Break/bust
    When a blackjack hand exceeds a total value of 21.

    Breaking hand
    Also known as a stiff hand or a hard hand. It refers to a hand in blackjack that will break (go over 21) with a one-card draw such as a hard 12, 13, 15, or 16. This is not to be confused with a bust.

    Burn card
    The top card of the deck which is placed face down in the discard pile after the shuffle and cut.

    C

    Card counting
    A system used in blackjack to predict with some accuracy which card will be dealt next. It’s almost impossible to card count at online blackjack tables because the deck is shuffled by the RNG and not seen by the player.  

    Cards
    Used in blackjack, baccarat and poker. A standard deck contains 52 cards, separated into four suits: Hearts (red), Diamonds (red), Clubs (black) and Spades (black). Each suit has number cards from 1-10 plus a Jack, Queen, King and Ace.

    Caribbean stud
    Online card game played against the dealer. It is very similar to 5-card stud.

    Cascading reels
    A popular type of video slot that offers multiple chances of winning. Original symbols are replaced by new ones, signalling a bonus round or game and giving the player another chance to add to their winnings.   

    Cash-out
    The process whereby a player withdraws funds held in their online casino account.

    Cashier
    The section of the online casino where players can deposit and withdraw funds. Payment methods include credit and debit cards, PayPal, pre-paid cards and vouchers.

    Casino advantage
    Also known as the house edge. This is the mathematical edge that the casino has over players.

    Casino Hold’em
    A casino version of Texas Hold’em where players must beat the dealer’s poker hand.

    Chat name
    The moniker or handle players adopt when chatting to other bettors while inside the online casino.

    Chips
    Round tokens that are used on gaming tables in lieu of cash. They also feature in most online table games.

    Cold streak
    An extended losing run.

    Come-out
    The first roll of the dice in craps that establishes the point.

    Comp points
    Also known as loyalty or reward points. The more a player plays, the more comp points they earn. Points can be exchanged for chips or even items such as sunglasses and watches.

    Craps
    Casino dice table game where players attempt to predict the outcome of two dice.

    Crapping-out
    In craps, having a bet on the pass line and losing by rolling a 2, 3 or 12 on the come-out roll.

    Croupier
    The French word for a dealer.

    Customer support
    Agents on hand to help with any issues you may be having with your account or the games on their site. They are available on the phone, via email, and sometimes through live chat.

    D

    Deal
    The distribution of cards from the dealer to the player in blackjack and baccarat.

    Dealer
    They operate the game, dealing cards and taking bets. In most online casino games, this function is carried out by the random number generator, but in live casinos, the dealer is human.

    Deuce
    A phrase that means a two in dice.

    Double ball
    A new live roulette format from Evolution Gaming. Two balls are fired round the wheel, giving players double the chance of winning.

    Double down
    A move in blackjack that allows the player to double their initial bet to receive one more card.

    Download casino
    An online casino platform that is downloaded to a player’s desktop or laptop computer.

    E

    Encryption
    Software used to protect player information and data.

    European blackjack
    A popular variant of the game played with six decks of cards.

    European roulette
    A version of roulette with just one zero. It is also known as French roulette.

    Even money
    A bet that pays winnings to players at odds of 1-1, also known as evens. Popular evens bets include: outside bets in roulette and a regular winning bet in blackjack or baccarat.

    Expanding symbol/wild
    An icon in an online slot that expands to fill the whole screen, triggering big wins.

    F

    Face cards
    Any card that has a ‘face’ on it. So, a King, Queen or Jack.

    Fish
    A new, naïve or unsophisticated gambler. In games of skill, they are often preyed on by more experienced players known as sharks.

    First base
    At a live blackjack table, the first base is used to describe the first seat to the dealer’s left.

    Fixed odds games
    Odds offered by a bookmaker on an outcome of an event, against which players can place bets to try and achieve a profit.

    Four of a kind
    In poker, four cards of the same denomination. For example, four Queens, or a four of Hearts, Clubs, Spades and Diamonds.

    Full house
    In poker, a set of three cards of the same denomination plus a set of two cards of the same denomination. For example, three Kings, a six of Clubs and a six of Spades.

    G

    Gambling
    The voluntary act of risking a sum of money on the outcome of a game or other event.

    Gamification
    A developer term for tools and features added in to game to keep players engaged for longer. Things like progress bars, tasks and missions, tournaments and tokens.

    H

    Hard hand
    Any hand without an Ace, or a hand where all cards are Aces and counted as one.

    Hit
    The player takes an additional card at their request, a particularly common action in blackjack.

    High-roller
    A player who makes extremely high wagers. They are often enrolled on an operator’s VIP scheme, and enjoy perks such as their own account, special bonuses and rewards, and all-expenses-paid trips to exotic locations.

    Hole card
    The dealer’s unexposed down card in blackjack.

    Hot streak
    An extended winning run.

    House
    The casino is often referred to as the house.

    House edge
    The mathematical edge the casino has over the player. For example, a house edge of 1% means that for every £100 bet by the player, the probable long-term outcome will be £99 won by the player, and £1 retained by the casino.

    House rules
    A set of rules established by the casino that players and dealers must follow. Breaking these rules, while admittedly harder online, can result in players being barred from the casino or blocked from the site.

    I

    Immersive roulette
    A type of live dealer roulette game with several cameras placed around the wheel and the table, offering players a more immersive view of the action.

    Inside bet
    A bet placed in roulette that is on a single number, two numbers or four numbers. A single number bet pays 35/1.

    Instant play
    Online casino sites that can be accessed in a web browser and do not require players to download a client to their desktop or laptop computer.

    Insurance
    The player bets that the dealer has blackjack (an Ace and a 10-value card) when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. Insurance usually pays out 2/1 or 3/2 depending on the game format being played.

    J

    Jacks or better
    In poker, a pair that pays off only if the cards in the pair are Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. Lower pairs do not pay off.

    Jackpot
    The largest pay out issued by a casino game, usually a slots machine. It’s also the name of the best online casino guide in the UK!

    K

    Keno
    A lottery-type game offered in most online casinos. Players pick numbers between 1-80, place their wagers, then 20 numbers are drawn at random by the RNG. Players win each time a number they picked matches those drawn.  

    L

    Licence
    Awarded to operators and suppliers who meet internationally recognised standards and best practices. It reassures players that games are fair, and that sites are being run honestly and transparently.

    Line
    Short for pay line, which is the line of symbols on a slot which must be filled with certain combinations in order to create a win.

    Live dealer
    Table games streamed from studios or real-world casinos to online players. The tables, cards, chips and croupiers are all real. Players can also interact with the dealer.

    Lobby
    The area of the online casino where they games are displayed.

    Login
    The area through which players access the online casino by entering their user name and password.

    M

    Match bonus
    A reward where a deposit is matched by the online casino by 50%, 100% and even as high as 200%. They usually come with a wagering requirement.

    Maximum bet
    The largest amount that a casino will allow a player to place on a specific bet. This is often larger for VIPs and high-rollers. By speaking to customer support, you can sometimes increase the maximum bet threshold.

    Mini-baccarat
    A simplified online version of the game where all cards are turned over before play for everyone to see.

    Mini-games
    Small subgames built into some online slots that offer players more chance to win.

    Money wheel
    A new type of live-dealer game broadcast from a studio, set up to look like the set of a TV gameshow. Players bet on which number they think the wheel will stop on once spun.  

    Monkey
    The slang term for $/£500. The Chinese also use it to describe any card with a value of 10.

    Multiplier
    A prize bonus in an online slot that can be added to winning spins and free spins to boost winnings.

    Multi-ball
    A variant of roulette where more than one ball is fired round the wheel at once, giving players more opportunities to bet and win.

    Multi-table
    Games of blackjack, poker or roulette where players can access more than one table simultaneously.

    Multiple pay lines
    Slots that feature more than one pay line, as opposed to the old-fashioned one-armed-bandit games.

    N

    Natural
    Being dealt a 21 in blackjack with the first two cards. It’s also a term in baccarat for being dealt two cards that make a total of either 8 or 9.

    O

    Odds
    The chance of a player making a win.

    Outside bets
    In roulette, bets made on columns of 12 numbers, sections of 18 numbers (1-18, 19-36), Red/Black or Odd/Even.

    P

    Pass
    Mainly relates to card games, and means taking the decision to not place a bet.

    Pay line
    Same as “line”.

    Payout
    The prize or winnings paid out to the player. At licensed online casinos, these payouts are audited by an independent third party.

    Payout table
    Also known as the pay table. The sign that tells you what each winning hand or set of symbols will pay for the number of coins, chips or credits played. Usually refers to slots or video poker games.

    Playing strategy
    Self-imposed strategy or rules designed to maximise odds for winning the game.

    Progressive jackpot
    A linked prize pool connected to several casinos. Jackpots are made up of a small percentage of players’ wagers, and are triggered at random or by hitting a certain pay line. They can roll over into millions of pounds.

    Push
    A draw between the player and the dealer. No money is lost by either party.

    O

    Omaha
    A poker variant where each player is dealt four cards and must make his or her best hand using exactly two of them, plus exactly three of the five community cards.

    Omaha hi lo
    A version of the above, but played with an eight-or-better qualifier, which means that a low hand must consist of five different cards – ranked eight or below – to be eligible to win the low portion of the pot.

    R

    Reels
    In an online slot, they are the vertical columns of symbols that spin and land in random positions.

    RNG
    The random number generator. The hardware that is used to create the random numbers that determine the outcome of casino games. They are tested by independent third parties for fairness.

    Royal flush
    In poker, five consecutive denomination cards of the same suit, starting from 10 and ending in an Ace.

    RTP
    Return to player. The theoretical, long-term prize payouts made by a casino for every £100 wagered by the player.

    S

    Self-exclusion
    Players can opt to exclude themselves from an online casino either for a temporary amount of time or permanently.

    Shoe
    The box from which the cards are dealt.

    Sit&Go
    Also known as SNGs. A single-table online poker tournament. There is no schedule, and the game begins as soon as there are enough players around the table.

    Shark
    A professional or highly experienced gambler.

    Social casino
    An online casino where games are played using virtual chips. Players are given some chips for free, and can purchase more if required. The wager, however, is made with the virtual chip and no cash prize is awarded.

    Soft hand
    In blackjack, it refers to a dealer’s hand that contains an Ace that can count as 1 or 11.

    Soft double down
    Doubling down when one of the two cards is an Ace.

    Split
    Option to play each of two of the same cards as a separate hand, but a separate bet equal to the original wager must be made.

    In blackjack, if a player is dealt a King of Hearts and a King of Clubs, they can split, place an additional wager equal to the amount of the original bet, and receive two more cards.

    Stacked symbols
    Icons in an online slots game that can appear three to a reel.

    Stand
    The decision to not receive another card.

    Standing card
    Term used when the dealer has a 7 or greater showing.

    Standing hand
    A hand requiring the dealer to stand.

    Straight
    In poker, five consecutive denomination cards of different suits. For example, Nine of Hearts, Ten of Clubs, Jack of Hearts, Queen of Spades, King of Clubs.

    Straight flush
    In poker, five consecutive denomination cards of the same suit. For example, Nine, Ten, Jack, Queen, King of Spades.

    Stud poker
    In this variant, the first card is dealt face down before each player and the next four are dealt face up (5-card stud) or in which the first two cards and the last card are dealt face down and the intervening four cards are dealt face up (7-card stud). Bets are made after each round.

    T

    Texas Hold’em
    A poker variant in which each player is dealt two cards face down and combines these with any of five community cards to make the best available five-card hand.

    Tie
    A third betting option in baccarat. If the player and the dealer hold the same hand, a bet on the tie pays at 8/1.

    Tier
    The different levels players can reach in an online casino operator’s rewards or VIP programme.

    Three of a kind
    In poker, three cards of the same denomination or rank.

    Two pairs
    In poker, two sets of pairs of the same card denomination.

    U

    Up card
    In blackjack, this is the dealer’s face-up card.

    Username
    The online identity used by a player when logging in to an online casino.

    V

    Video slot
    An online slot game that includes a video display and enhanced graphics to make the game more exciting.

    Vigorish
    The commission or fee that is taken by the casino when a player wins.

    VIP Programme
    Online casino operators offer loyalty schemes to players; the more they play, the higher they climb the various tiers.

    VIPs gain access to personal account managers, personalised bonuses and rewards, as well as all-expenses-paid trips and once-in-a -lifetime experiences.

    Virtual reality
    A computer-generated, three-dimensional environment that people can interact with. Slots developers such as NetEnt are already working on VR games that port players into new and exciting worlds.

    W

    Wager
    A bet. Any bet, in fact.

    Wager requirements
    Restrictions placed on bonuses to stop players abusing the bonus. A player must play a certain number of bets or hands before they are able to cash out the bonus. Otherwise, casinos would simply be handing out free money.

    Welcome bonus
    See “bonuses”.

    Whale
    A player who makes extremely large wagers. They tend to be a class above high rollers when it comes to the amount the spend on gambling. Think hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not millions.

    Wild
    A symbol in an online slot game that substitutes for any other symbol on the reels and helps form a winning combination.

    Wild card
    A joker or other card that can be used as any other card to complete your hand in card games.