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If you are just starting out in the world of online gambling games and would like to learn more about the words and phrases used to describe games of chance, game styles, strategies and more, this useful Gambling Guide can help boost your knowledge and add to your online gaming experience. Even experienced players may come across gambling lingo, gaming jargon and gaming slang they’re not sure about; here are some handy descriptions to take the guesswork out of your gameplay.
Note: Please note that we want to give you an overview that is as comprehensive as possible, but not all games have to be available in your country of residence.
Slots and table games have their roots in brick-and-mortar gambling halls. Those games and their online counterparts in a static or Live Gambling environment may have many variations on the standard gameplay. For more information, check out our iGaming guide.
Baccarat - is a card game where you have 2 or 3 cards. The winning hand is the one with the higher score. It is strictly a game of chance without a strategy and basically a “comparing cards game” played between two hands, the “player” and the “banker”. Each round has three possible outcomes: “player” (player has the higher score), “banker”, and “tie”.
Blackjack - A table game where players take on the dealer by attempting to score a hand as close to 21 points as possible (or achieving it), without going over, or going bust. An ace and a 10-point card make up the Blackjack (or ‘Natural’.) Also known as twenty-one.
Craps - A dice game in which two are thrown: a first throw of 7 or 11 wins, a first throw of 2, 3, or 12 loses, and a first throw of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 can be won only by throwing the same number again before throwing a 7.
Poker - (Texas hold’em, Five-card draw, Omaha hold’em). Different versions of poker are played according to location, regulations and popularity. Poker is a card game played by two or more people, betting on the value of the hands dealt. A player wins the pool either by having the highest combination at the end or by forcing all opponents to concede without a showing of the hand, sometimes by means of a bluff, (convincing other players that your hand is stronger than theirs).
Roulette - A game in which a ball is dropped onto a revolving wheel with numbered compartments. Players bet on the number at which the ball comes to rest. French Roulette, European Roulette and American Roulette all differ in gameplay but may all be found within the same operator.
Pachinko - A game similar to pinball, in which successfully bypassing obstacles to land balls in pockets secures a win.
Slot machine - (Slots, online slots, fruit machines, pokies, one-armed bandits) Games in which players insert coins or tokens (virtually, in online slots) and activate spinning reels or wheels in an attempt to line up matching symbols to secure wins of different values.
Video lottery terminal - A type of electronic gambling machine typically operated by a region’s lottery and based on a random number generator.
Video poker - A fixed-odds poker game based on five-card draw, and played in either iGaming websites or on terminals similar to slot machines in physical gambling halls.
Bingo - A game in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly by a caller, the winner being the first person to mark off all their numbers. In online Bingo, sites use a random number generator to represent the balls used in a regular Bingo game.
Keno - a lottery-like game played at modern operators (brick-and-mortar and online).
Scratch Cards - Virtual cards that are clicked on to reveal prizes of differing values.
Ante - The bet made by a player before cards are dealt.
Autospin - An online slots option that allows players to select a certain amount of spins so that they don’t have to manually press a spin button.
Balance - The amount of money in a player’s account, used to make bets and play games.
Barred - When a player is unable to play at an online operator due to their location or IP address.
Bankroll - Money that a player has set aside to gamble.
Beginner’s luck - When a player has unusually good fortune in their first gambling experience.
Bet - A single wager of money on a gambling game. Multiple bets are allowed in a single game.
Blinds - Blinds are bets a player is obliged to take in Hold’em Poker.
Bonus - An incentive offered to players to encourage play.
Calling - The call to match the current bet, typically followed by someone raising the existing bet.
Cascading - Cascading or collapsing reels are a bonus feature in some online slots games that occur when a winning combination is found, which can lead to multiplied winning combinations.
Classic slots (Fruit Machine) - Classic slots were the first slots played (many using fruit symbols) resembling online slots with three reels.
Dealer - The dealer is the employee who deals the cards to the players.
Deposit - The sum of money players need in their account to access the games.
Face Cards - This is any playing card with a face on it: kings, queens, and jacks. These are also commonly used as slots symbols.
Fixed Jackpots - These games come with a fixed top prize set by their developers. The value of the jackpot remains unchanged, irrespective of the number of players spinning, or how many attempts players have to win.
Free Spins - Free Spins refers to spins that a player wins that were not paid for. It can also be a bonus used on specific slots. Free Spins rounds may contain additional mechanics not available in the base game.
Free Play - Some online games have a demo or practice mode that allow players to play without wagering real money.
Grid - The design framework in a slots game in which the reels are set.
High Roller - A big spender in either table games or online slots.
House Edge - The house edge is the expected advantage the house (operator) has in a particular game.
Jackpot - The largest available prize on a slot machine and other games, usually found in progressive slots or a side bet in Jackpot games.
Lobby - The Game Lobby is the section of an iGaming website that lists all the games available.
Live Dealer - A term that refers to having a live dealer hosting games via a live stream.
Maximum bet (Max Bet) - The maximum bet a player can place on a game.
Megaways - A modifiable reel system that allows a slots game to have up to 117,649 paylines.
Minimum Bet - The least that an operator will allow players to bet on a game.
Multiplier - A multiplier in an online slots game multiplies bets, line wins and total wins by a certain amount.
Network Jackpots - The most lucrative rewards of all, with funds pooled from a game’s entire network of hosting operators, only paying out once a predefined winning configuration is achieved by a player.
Odds - The possibility of winning a gambling bet. In some games and in sports betting this is often written as a series of two numbers, for example: 2:1 odds, i.e., betting the second number will win you the first number.
Payline - A slot win determined by reels or a line, usually produced by a combination of symbols.
Payout Percentage (Return to Player – RTP) - RTP - The Return-To-Player is the payout percentage is the amount that will potentially be paid back to players over an amount of time.
Payout Table - A table containing payout amounts for specific slots bets.
Progressive Jackpot - A progressive slots game that has a progressively increasing prize with every play. This game format may be played across multiple titles or even a network of operators.
Random Number Generator (RNG) - Is used to produce unpredictable and random numbers within gambling games.
Real Money gambling - When money is deposited into an online operator and those funds are used to place bets on games like blackjack, roulette, or slots, that’s real money online gambling. Real money games differ from free or “play money” games in that payouts received from winning bets can be cashed back into the player’s bank account or other funding source.
Reels - The column areas of a slot where symbols may present winning combinations.
RTP - The Return-To-Player value is the payout percentage is the amount that will potentially be paid back to players over an amount of time.
Scatter Symbol - The scatter symbol in slots can be on any line, usually triggering free spins.
Slots - A reel slot machine (fruit machine, one-armed bandit, poker machine or pokie) is a gambling machine that operates according to a game of chance. Online slots and land-based machines have three or more reels (usually columns) that spin when activated, using random number generators to display configurations of symbols that change with every spin.
Shoe - The box that contains the decks of cards from which the cards are dealt.
Spins - The base game mechanic of almost all slots games, where the reels rotate to reveal the game symbols in random combinations.
Stake - (Bet/Wager) The amount a player has chosen to bet on a game according to their budget and bankroll, as well as the limits set by the game.
Sticky Wilds - Online slots Wild symbols that stay in their landing spot for the entirety of a free spin period.
Tapping Out - When a player has finished playing/betting, or they have lost their bankroll.
Volatility - Volatility describes the risks of losing money, it also determines the amount of money you can eventually win.
Wager requirements - the requirements set by online operators that allow players to withdraw winnings by betting a certain amount of money.
Wild - The Wild symbol in a slots game can activate bonus rounds or additional gameplay when landed in different combinations according to each game.
Withdrawal - Taking your money or winnings out of an iGaming site.
Basic/Perfect Blackjack strategy Basic blackjack strategy rests on the mathematical fact that the odds of beating the dealer vary depending on the initial cards that each of you are holding. Essentially, it is just a set of rules that makes it easier to know how to respond to each of the blackjack hands you get, accounting for the dealer’s up card. When you learn basic blackjack strategy, you’ll have a set of tables that you will need to learn. They lay out the action you should take in each possible scenario. While there are 34 possible starting hands, there are only a few different responses you can have to them.
As the name suggests, basic strategy is only the beginning. The perfect blackjack strategy builds on the concepts to create a more refined set of instructions. It varies depending on the number of decks in the shoe and whether the dealer is instructed to stand or hit on soft 17. The more extensive list of combinations makes perfect blackjack harder to learn. Still, if you can do it correctly, it will help reduce the house edge below the 0.5% achievable with basic strategy.
Bet spread - The ratio of maximum to minimum bet (Blackjack).
Double Down - Doubling down means increasing your wager by two if you notice you have a strong hand and the dealer has a weak up card.
Hard/Soft Hands - A soft hand contains an ace, since you can be more flexible with changing its value from 1 to 11 (and vice versa). Hard hands, on the other hand, don’t contain an ace.
Hit/Stand - Hitting means asking for another card from the dealer. On the other hand, standing means sticking with your cards. Generally, you hit when you have a weak hand, though exactly when also depends on what the dealer has.
Optimal strategy - A set of plays designed to make the player get the best returns from a game, mostly used in video poker and blackjack.
Perfect blackjack - The best possible hand in blackjack, consisting of an ace and a card with a value of 10.
Split - The option to bet your original amount again, splitting your two cards into two hands. While you should always split AA and 88, you should always stand on 1010.
**Stand-off ** - When a player has the same amount as the dealer.
**Surrender ** - Forfeiting half the bet in exchange for half of it back if you think you can’t beat the dealer.
Back Door - A hand made using the final two cards dealt (Poker).
Back Hand - The first hand (five cards), that is required to be the strongest of the player’s three hands in poker.
Barrel - To bet into a pot on multiple streets in poker.
Behind - When a player holds a hand unlikely to beat their opponent in poker.
Bet - To make the first wager.
Big Blind - The forced bet from the player sitting two to the left of the dealer in poker.
Bluff - To indicate having a strong hand when the hand is actually weak.
Call - Match the previous bet amount to stay in the hand.
Check - To pass the action to the next player without making a wager if nobody has bet/raised before (with the option to call or raise later on).
Check Raise - A check and raise after a player behind you bets, a move that can be used to reduce the playing field of players.
Double Down - When the amount the player is betting on is doubled on the hand or turn.
Double or Nothing - a bet style in which players double their bet after losing a hand.
Flush - A hand made up of cards from the same suit.
Fold - Leaving the hand, before or after investing money.
Full House - A Full House in Poker is a hand consisting of two cards of one rank and three cards of a second rank. Also known as a Boat.
Poker styles - Different styles of poker play include tight-aggressive, loose-aggressive, tight-passive and loose-passive.
Pot - The amount of money after antes, bets, raises and re-raises that a player wins at the end of the hand.
Raise - Making a second wager after one player has bet.
Re-raise - Making a third wager after one player has bet and another has raised.
Note: All games have an RTP or house edge, and roulette is no exception. These strategies don’t actually change this because the odds of a win are always the same. In theory, some of these strategies could help you offset losses by making larger and larger bets, but the table limits prevent this. You should see strategies as a fun way to add structure to your game, not as a way to make guaranteed wins.
Martingale - A strategy which says you should increase your bet after each loss by doubling and adding one unit.
Reverse Martingale The same as Martingale, but you double your wagers for wins and half them after each loss. It has the same pros and cons, as it will hit the table limit in just a few rounds.
Labouchère - A more complex numbers-based strategy: To use it, you need to choose a sequence of numbers (they can be anything you want) and make a bet that is the sum of the first and last numbers in it. If you win, you remove the first and last positions from the sequence and start again, if you lose, you add the wager size to the end of the sequence.
Fibonacci - A Fibonacci sequence is one that spirals exponentially larger by adding the last two numbers in the sequence together. For example: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233. In roulette, the Fibonacci strategy involves increasing your wagers in a Fibonacci sequence.
D’Alembert - With this strategy, if you start out with a €1 bet and lose, you’d increase it to €2, then €3, €4, and €5. If you then won, you’d just subtract €1, moving back down to €4, and then €3.
Inside bets - Bets on the inside section of the roulette layout, where the numbers are printed. These bets cover only individual numbers and small groups of numbers and pay out at relatively high odds.
Outside bets - Bets made on the outside part of the roulette table layout, generally covering large sections of the roulette wheel and paying out at lower odds. Many are even money bets, such as red/black or odd/even.
Banco - (Baccarat) The Bank/House. Also, the bet that is placed on the bank/house winning.
Betting Right - Betting with the shooter in Craps. Betting Wrong is betting against the Shooter.
AGCO - Refers to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (Canada), responsible for regulating Ontario’s alcohol, gaming and horse racing sectors and cannabis retail stores.
AML - Anti-Money Laundering: activities and organizations that ensure industry compliance.
eCOGRA - e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance: Online gambling regulation providers who ensure that the industry stays safe and honest for players. eCOGRA-certified iGaming operators provide assurance to players that play is fair and safe.
EGM - Electronic Gambling Machine (a slots machine, for example).
GGL - Refers to the Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder, the German federal gaming regulator, or the common authority for German Gambling.
KSA - Refers to the Kansspelautoriteit, an independent administrative body and the supervisor and regulator of gambling services in the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
KYC - Know Your Customer (player identification and verification process).
MGA - The Malta Gaming Authority is the gaming control board of Malta. It regulates most forms of gambling in its territory, including both land-based and online gambling services.
RG - RG refers to Responsible Gaming, Responsible Gambling, also known as Safer Gambling, is the set of social responsibility initiatives by the gambling industry – including governments, regulators, operators, and vendors – to ensure the integrity and fairness of their operations, and to promote awareness of the harms associated with gambling, such as gambling addiction, financial abuse, personal neglect.
RG Regional - These are some of the regional bodies responsible for managing Responsible Gaming support within their territories:
Didn’t find the term you’re looking for? Get in touch, and we’ll do our best to add to this list.