The Most Useful Gambling Terms: A Guide for Beginners

The Most Useful Gambling Terms A Guide for Beginners

Since gambling has been one of the most popular activities for quite some time now, many people decide to indulge in this fun activity. However, unlike seasoned gamblers, many newcomers may find themselves overwhelmed with various new gambling-related terms they come across.

Just like pretty much anything that manages to develop a loyal following, gambling has also sort of developed its own language. That being said, here are some of the most useful gambling terms many gambling beginners will find more than useful.


As the name itself suggests, action is the term used to denote the act of any player participating in any playing session.


Random number generator, or RNG for short, is a software solution used to assign random numbers to various actions that determine the outcome of the action. There are plenty of games that are RNG-based, but the most popular ones are slot games.

Casino advantage

Casino advantage refers to the mathematical edge that casinos usually hold over their players. This is how casinos actually make money, and it can also be called “house edge” or simply “edge”.


Ante is a term used to describe a bet – most commonly used in poker – that’s made before the players receive their cards. Ante bets are made to ensure that there’s always money in the pot and that each player made their contribution to the pot.


The pot refers to the amount of money that’s wagered during a game. So, when a player or players win a game, their winnings are coming straight from the pot. The pot can also be claimed in case all the players decide to fold.


If you’re wondering what is RTP, the simple answer is that this acronym refers to “return to players”. More specifically, RTP denotes the amount you can expect to win in a specific game.


Bankroll refers to the money a player sets aside for wagering purposes. Usually, casual gamblers don’t really need to determine their bankroll, but in the case of high-end gambling, this is most commonly mandatory. Especially when talking about pro-gambling.

Betting limits

Betting limits refer to the amount of money that needs to be wagered in a specific game in order to be able to participate. There can be both minimum and maximum betting limits, depending on the game and game type.

Double down

To double down means to double the bet. This term is most commonly used in blackjack. The player that decides to double down most commonly does so after seeing the hand that’s been dealt with them. If they decide to do so, they will also be required to draw one additional card.

Fixed odds

Fixed odds refer to the chances of winning the game. So, if a game has fixed odds, that means players will be familiarized with their odds of winning the game before they even start playing it. Although there are numerous popular casino games that fall under this broad umbrella term, poker and sports betting do not, as the outcome of these types of bets is quite unpredictable.

Wild card

A wild card is a card that can be exchanged for any other card value. It’s most commonly found in poker, but there are also other poker-based games that can feature wild cards.


Gorge is slang used to refer to a generous tipper.


A shoe is a device that’s specifically made to hold a certain number of decks of cards. So, when the cards in a card game are being dealt, they are usually being extracted from the shoe.

High roller

A high roller is a person that is well-known for making big bets, wagering a lot of money and overall spending a lot in a casino. Naturally, there’s no predetermined sum that would define one as a high roller – it all varies depending on the casino.


Loose is a term used to describe a slot machine. So, if a slot machine is being referred to as loose, it means that that particular machine is likely to pay out generously.

Maximum bet

Just like with betting limits, the maximum bet is the maximum amount of money that’s allowed to be wagered in a certain game. Depending on the type of game and the overall casino policy, this amount can vary significantly.


Any given game has its own paytable. A paytable refers to the list of payouts that correlate to different results in that game. By getting yourself familiar with a particular game’s paytable, you’ll be able to see how much you can expect to win with every result you manage to achieve.


To stand means to hold your hand without adding any extra cards. This term is most commonly used in blackjack, but it can also sometimes be used in baccarat.


Underlay is a jargon used to describe a bad bet.


Jackpot is the term used to describe the largest prize that can potentially be won in a game. Needless to say, this is every gambler’s favorite term, as jackpots can oftentimes be quite generous.

Wagering requirement

A wagering requirement is the amount of money a player is required to wager before they can be eligible to either play the game or win a certain bonus. Wagering requirements are usually enforced to prevent players from potentially claiming their winnings and cashing out instantly. So, in a sense, they’re there to encourage gamblers to keep on playing.

These are just some of the most important gambling terms every beginner should get themselves familiarized with. Once you start gambling, you’re sure to pick up plenty of other gambling terms along the way.