Lost in Translation: Gambling Jargon and Definitions Explained

Anything that’s even remotely specialized tends to involve a whole lot of jargon and special lingo that is simply lost on people who aren’t experts. It’s always fun to have special ways to describe things, but it can also make people who are new to gambling and the casino world feel excluded.

The best thing you can do if you’re just getting started in the world of gambling is to familiarise yourself with the most frequently used words and phrases so that you can keep up with the conversation.

We’re going to help you get started! Here are some definitions of a few of the most common casino and gambling-related lingo and jargon.

  • RTP: RTP stands for Return to Player. When it comes pokies (or slot machines) the RTP is the percentage of all the wagered money that a pokie or a casino game is programmed to pay back to players over a period of time. For instance, if an online pokies game has an RTP of 90%, that means that the machine is going to return R90 for every R100 that is bet. So, it follows that the higher the RTP, the better your chances of winning!
  • Hand: In the gambling world, a hand is the cards held by a player that have been dealt to them by the dealer.
  • High Roller: A high roller is a gambler who is known for betting large sums of money in casinos and taking big risks with the hope of making big money.
  • Stake/Bet: Your bet or stake is the amount of money that you, as the bettor, has wagered on a specific game or activity.
  • House Edge: In gambling and casino lingo, the House is a reference to the casino. So, the “house edge” is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over all players. That is, it’s a representation of the percentage of each bet that the casino expects to win over a fairly long period of time.
  • Chips: Round plastic tokens used in casinos to represent money. You exchange money for chips so that you can play table games.
  • Ante: This refers to a bet that is mandatory for all players to place before they can receive their cards. It’s common in poker and some other table games.
  • Jackpot: The jackpot is the most desired cash prize – it’s more than just a little win. You can win a jackpot if you achieve a rare or highly desirable outcome.
  • Double Down: Specific to blackjack, double down is the option for a player to double their initial bet after having seen their first two cards. But if they do, they must stand after receiving one more card.
  • Hit: Still in blackjack, a hit is the option for a player to receive an additional card from the dealer.

There you have it. You now speak fluent casino!