Understanding the Casino Gambling Terms

Understanding the Casino Gambling Terms

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Gambling and the Internet go hand in hand. But with an increased prevalence in online gambling, web browsers everywhere were faced with the loss of their favourite buzzword when Google announced that it is altering its autocomplete algorithm to stop suggesting “what is a roulette,” and “what is a blackjack.”

However, until that day comes (or doesn’t), we welcome you to consult our comprehensive glossary of casino gambling terms:

Win rate

The win rate is the percentage of time you’ll win by betting on the same number over and over again. For example, if you bet £1 on each number in roulette and your win rate is 58%, then, on average, you will win £0.58 for every £1 you bet. Because the house edge isn’t figured into this equation, it’s an easy way to estimate how much you can expect to lose in the long run.

House Edge

It refers to the casino’s advantage over the player. It is also called “the vigorish”. The house edge can vary widely depending on the game’s rules and the player’s skill. For example, in blackjack, for well-trained professionals, it is about 0.5%. In roulette, it is 5.26%, but for a novice, it can be as high as 35% or even higher.


The term hold refers to any part of a player’s bet held back by the casino. This amount is retained until the player has won or lost his entire bet, at which time it will either be paid out or deducted from the winnings. Casinos use holds to discourage players from “chasing” losses. Casinos will typically retain anywhere between 5%-20% of a player’s total bet in this manner.

This amount is almost always posted prominently on signs throughout each casino floor. When a player wishes to cash out, the hold must be paid to receive their money. The most common type of hold used by casinos is the “5 per cent hold,” which means that 5% of a player’s bet will be held back until they have either won or lost their entire bet. This type of hold is used primarily on slot machines and video poker machines.


A payout is the total amount of money won by players relative to the amount wagered. Payout, commonly expressed as a percentage of money won or ratio of how much was paid out to bet. Payout is one of the most critical factors in determining whether or not an individual casino game is profitable for that casino and whether it makes sense for a casino to offer that game at all.

Payouts are typically calculated for single games but may be calculated on multi-game combinations, such as keno or bingo. For example, in keno, an additional payout known as the holder may be deducted so that the casino may keep a portion of all money wagered. Most casinos offer far better odds at their slot machines than table games. Blackjack, craps, and roulette have fixed odds that are set at the time they are manufactured.

Slot machines have no fixed odds; they pay out whatever they payout–and it’s entirely based on chance. The advantage for casinos comes from having lots of slot machines available; each machine has less overall payout than table games, but there are more slot machines to choose from.

Other common casino gambling terms are listed below:

  • Bankroll: The amount of money a gambler is willing to lose in a session, trip, or for an entire gambling session.
  • “Big bettor” or “whale”: A gambler places huge bets in casinos, often above £100,000. This person may also chase losses by placing large bets to win their money back.
  • Casino Comps: Complimentary services casinos offer to their high-volume gamblers, such as free or discounted rooms, food and drinks, and entertainment.
  • Chips: Small discs used in some casinos instead of cash to play table games.
  • Chip Race: A side bet made by players that award extra chips to the winner if the cards indicate a win.
  • Door Card: A card that is dealt face-up on the table by the dealer for all players to see before any cards are dealt on top of it.
  • Early Payout: The payout on a slot machine on which players can collect their winnings while still playing (as opposed to waiting until the end of the game). Early payouts are typically calculated at about 98% of theoretical return on investment (RTP).