Guide to Gambling Terms

Guide to Gambling terms

Online casinos and online games come with their own lingo. Casino Play has compiled a list of the most common terms used in the gambling world in case you ever get confused between a cash-out and a payout.

A casino is a casino is a casino, right? How different can one casino be from another? All they do is exchange money for chips, offer games, and then exchange chips for money.

Well, no. No story goes, “Once upon a time, everything was simple, everything was the same, and everyone was happy. The end.”

Every casino – both brick and mortar and online – is unique. Yes, there are similarities, both legislative and game based, but there’s no way to summarise all casinos with just a few simple sentences.

Luckily for you, we have taken the time and effort to really get into the foundations of online gambling: what makes it tick, how it works, what players can expect, and so much more. Here, we offer you all the in-depth guides to online casinos and gambling you’ll need. And we take that promise seriously, which is why we are constantly working to add more guides that cover every aspect of the online casino experience.

In this series of guides, you will find information about jackpots, variance and volatility, online casinos, casino bonuses, withdrawals and deposits, and more.

Why should you use guides?

Casino guides like these can really help enhance your online casino experience. For example, jackpot guides don’t just tell you what a jackpot is; they explain the various types of jackpot, how they work, how to play to win, where to find games with different jackpots, and even who the game developers are.

Casino bonus guides are another super useful way to figure out which online casinos will work best for you. We don’t only look at the types of bonus offered, but explain how they work, the hidden pitfalls to look out for, and ways to make the most of your wagering requirements.

You’ll find enough information here to keep you busy longer than a great game of poker, so dig in, and come out the other side a little more knowledgeable. And if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about that you don’t find here on CasinoPlay, let us know. Happy reading!


A glossary of online gambling terms



A starting bet that is obligatory in games like poker.



A table game played with cards held by the dealer and one player, while multiple players bet on the outcome


Another word for the dealer.


The money you have to gamble with – never go over your bankroll or draw more money if you’re losing.


The amount you put into the game to wager on the outcome


A table game played with cards held by individual players who compete with the dealer; the hand closest to 21 wins


An incentive or reward offered by online casinos to entice new players to sign up – always read the terms and conditions.



Withdrawing money from your online casino account.


Where you deposit into and withdraw funds from your online casino account.

Casino Advantage:

The mathematical advantage that the online casino has over players – also called the house edge.

Casino guide:

A guide describing the design, play, games and other factors of an online casino.

Casino odds:

The percentage of all bets placed that a casino typically retains.

Casino payout:

The winnings paid out to players by casinos.

Casino review:

A review evaluating an online casino


The legal certificate under which a casino operates.

Classic slots:

An online slot game in the style of traditional slot machines


Online alternative to cash amounts. You can usually choose to play in cash (R/$/£/etc.) or in coins that represent a monetary amount.

Cold Streak:

A losing run – also called a losing streak.

Comp Points:

Points you earn for playing selected games at an online casino, usually in tournaments. Can be used for rewards.


A table game played with dice thrown by players in turn


A casino dealer. Only found at Live Dealer games in online casinos.



A casino employee responsible for dealing cards or spinning the wheels at roulette/win and spin. Live Dealer games at online casinos are where you will find the dealers/croupiers.


Money you add to your casino account to fund your play

Download Casino:

A type of online casino that requires you to download software to play the games.



The advantage held in a casino game. The vast majority of time, it’s the casino that has the edge.


Free spins:

Free turns in online slot games, often offered as a bonus or reward


Gambling addiction:

Problem gambling that the player is unable to break away from.

Game guide:

A guide describing the game’s design, specifications and play.

Game review:

A review evaluating a game.


High Roller:

Someone who plays casino games for high stakes. Also called a whale.

Hot Streak:

An extended winning run.


The casino is often referred to as the house.

House Edge:

The mathematical advantage that the online casino has over players – also called the casino advantage.

House Rules:

Rules that are specific to a particular casino.


Instant Casino:

An online casino where you don’t need to download any software.



The big prizes offered by certain games such as progressive slots.


The countries in which an online casino is allowed to operate.



A lottery-style numbers game.


Know your client – guidelines for casinos around verifying the identity and suitability of its clients to partake in its services.



The table surface of games like roulette.


This is where you will find all the games on offer at an online casino.

Losing Streak:

A losing run – also called a cold streak.

Loyalty Program:

A rewards program for frequent players at an online casino – lots of bonuses and free spins.

Live Casino:

Online casino games presented live, with a dealer, from a studio.

Live Dealer Games:

An innovative way of playing online casino games with real dealers and real equipment using web cam technology.


Maximum Bet:

The highest stake that can be placed on a casino game.

Minimum Bet:

The lowest stake that can be placed on a casino game.

Mobile slots:

Online slot games optimised for mobile

Multi-Hand Games:

Games where you can play more than one hand at once for example, Multi-hand blackjack lets you play from one to three hands at the same time.


The number by which your winnings increase.



The maximum amount a player can win.


Online slots:

Slot games presented in video format online



The ‘lines’ across the online slots game screen that show where symbols need to stop for winning combinations. Can be found on the Pay Table.

Payout Percentage:

The approximate return that’s paid out by an online casino over time, expressed as a percentage of overall bets placed. It can be found for individual games or for the online casino as a whole. Also called RTP or Return To Player.

Pay Table:

A table, usually on an online slots game or video poker game, that shows you the winning combinations and the pay-outs associated with the winning combinations and paylines.

Pit Boss:

A sort of supervisor that keeps an eye on the dealers and games during Live Dealer play.


A table game played with cards held by individual players who compete with each other, with progressively rising bets – poker’s winning hands list is extensive and ranges from a pair to a royal flush.


The total bets for a single game.

Problem gambling:

Gambling habits that are causing financial or other problems in the player’s life.

Progressive Jackpot:

A type of jackpot that increases over time – especially lucrative in progressive slots games.


A tied outcome at casino games like blackjack where neither the house nor the player win.


Random Number Generator (RNG):

The software that makes any strategy pointless in an online casino. RNGs are specialised software that continually generate random numbers that determine the outcome of a game. For example, where the reels stop on an online slots game or which cards are drawn in an online blackjack game.

Real Money:

Real cash transferred from your bank account into your online casino account so you can gamble with real cash and win or lose real cash.


The legal registration under which a casino operates.

Regular slots:

Traditional or online slot games with fixed paylines, payouts and jackpots that are played individually.

Reload Bonus:

A bonus for players who make a new deposit into their online casino account.

Responsible gambling:

Ensuring that players have access to information and resources that help them to manage or avoid problem gambling

Return To Player (RTP):

The approximate return that’s paid out by an online casino over time, expressed as a percentage of overall bets placed. It can be found for individual games or for the online casino as a whole. Also called Payout Percentage.


Incentives to online players to reward them for playing at the online casino or to keep them playing for longer.


Random number generator – an algorithm that produces random, unpredictable numbers; this helps to make gambling fair.


A table game played with a spinning wheel and a ball, where players bet on which number (or type of number) the ball will land on.


Return to player – the percentage of money from all bets placed over a while that is returned to players in winnings.



The box from which cards are dealt.

Slot Machine:

A machine inside a casino – or similar entertainment area – that offers RNG-driven games

Sign-Up Bonus:

A bonus offered to new players when they join an online casino. Also known as a welcome bonus.


The amount you bet when playing an online casino game.


Table game:

Any game played in a casino that is played around a table, eg, poker, baccarat, roulette, blackjack.

Terms and conditions:

The terms and conditions a casino operates under.


Video poker:

A machine-driven version of poker, played between the player and the computer.

Video slots:

Slot games presented in video format.


A high-value player that gets special treatment and bonuses at an online casino.



The required amount that you need to bet on games before you can claim your bonus

Wagering Requirements:

Part of the bonuses terms and conditions and normally an amount that must be bet by the player in the player’s own money before any winnings can be withdrawn.

Welcome Bonus:

A sign-up bonus offered by online casinos for joining and depositing money


An online player that plays for big stakes. Also called a high roller.


A request to withdraw money from the positive balance in your casino account

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