Online Casino Terminology | 100+ Common Casino Terms Explained

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Online Casino Terminology

Learn more about the online casino industry with the KingCasinoBonus.uk dictionary. Our experts have compiled a list of 100+ gambling terms and provided simple definitions for them.

Experienced or not, you will find one or two unfamiliar phrases as you gamble online. Our glossary will help you navigate the online gambling world with ease, so keep it close.

While it doesn’t cover every phrase in the industry, our experts have cherry-picked the most common ones. And to keep up with the fast-moving industry, we update the list regularly!

A

  • Ace: A playing card in card games, often marked with the letter A. In blackjack, the ace card has a value of 11 (it can be 1 if adding it gives a total above 21).
  • Action: Total money wagered by a player in a particular game. If you stake more money, you’re providing a lot of action. Action can also be a dealer’s way of alerting players that it’s their turn to make a move.
  • Advantage Player: A player who uses strategies to gain a mathematical advantage over the house. By doing so, they can win more than they lose.
  • All-in: Betting all money left in your balance. This term is commonly used in board games like roulette and poker.
  • Ante: The minimum amount each player pays before a betting round starts. It’s mandatory and common in poker.

B

  • Baccarat: A card game played between players and the banker. Whoever gets a value closest to nine wins. The game is also called Punto Banco.
  • Banker: Whoever you bet against in a casino game. It can be the investors financing the casino or a third-party financial organisation. These are the people who pay out players’ winnings. In games like baccarat, a player can act as a banker, but they are different in every round.
  • Bankroll: Money available to spend. It can be from deposits, bonuses, or both.
  • Base game: A regular round of play in casino games (usually slots) with no bonus features active. All in-game bonuses are activated in the base game.
  • Bet: Money wagered on the outcome of a game. Also called a wager or a stake. As a verb, bet means risking a certain amount of money on an event or outcome. For example, bet on odd/even in roulette.
  • Blackjack: An online casino game played with cards. The goal is to form a hand whose value is closest to 21 without busting. In the game, ‘blackjack’ means a hand whose total points are 21. It’s the strongest and automatically wins unless the dealer has a blackjack, too.
  • Bluff: Pretend to have a stronger hand while you have a weak one. The goal is to deceive the other player into folding a better hand so you can win the whole pot. It’s more common in poker.
  • Bonus: A reward given to players for performing a particular action. It may be opening an account, depositing some money or reaching a certain wagering level (in the loyalty program). Common online casino bonuses are welcome bonuses, cashback offers, reload bonuses and free spins.
  • Bonus Abuse: Any activity that’s against the terms and conditions of a particular bonus. For example, claiming a bonus multiple times using different accounts or using malicious strategies to quickly fulfil wagering requirements. Depositing only when a bonus is offered is also considered bonus abuse. Another name for the term is bonus hunting.
  • Bonus Buy: Paying some money to unlock a certain in-game bonus feature like free spins in slots. Such features are automatically activated if you land certain symbol combinations. But you can skip that and purchase the bonus feature directly.
  • Bonus Code: A combination of letters, numbers or both, used to claim online casino bonuses. Also called a promo code. You provide it when claiming the bonus. However, not all bonuses require a code.
  • Bonus Game/Bonus Round: Special features commonly found in video slots. They are triggered when you land certain symbols – like 3 scatters – on the reels. Good examples are free spins. You can also purchase them through the Bonus Buy option (if the game has one).
  • Bust: A bust happens when your total hand value exceeds 21 in blackjack. If this happens, the dealer automatically wins.
  • Buy-in: Non-refundable money paid to join a table or enter a tournament. It’s common in VIP tables (both online and physical).

C

  • Card Counting: Keeping a record (in your head) of all cards dealt to later make a strategic move based on the cards left. Card counting is common in blackjack but is considered cheating.
  • Card Game: A casino game played using cards. Some examples are blackjack, baccarat and poker.
  • Cashback: An online casino bonus based on lost bets. You get back a portion of the total losses incurred over a certain period. It’s often percentage-based, like a 10% cashback on weekly losses.
  • Cash Out: Requesting a withdrawal of your casino winnings.
  • Casino: An online or physical platform that provides gambling services. It hosts casino games, accepts bets, provides dealers and pays out winnings.
  • Chips: Small, round, coloured discs used in physical casinos to represent money. Each colour represents a certain monetary value. You exchange real money for chips at the table or the cashier. If you win, you must exchange the chips for money because they are useless outside the casino. Some online casinos often use the term ‘chips’ to mean stake.
  • Column Bet: A roulette term referring to bets placed on a 12-number row. There are only 3 such rows. Such bets offer a 2:1 payout.
  • Comp Points: Points earned when you wager real money in an online casino. You can exchange them for cash and bonus gifts or accumulate them to progress to the next loyalty level. They are also called loyalty points. Check our loyalty programs page for more details.
  • Community Cards: All cards dealt face up in blackjack. All participating players get community cards.
  • Crash Games: Online casino games centred around quick rounds, increasing multiplier values and multiplayer functionalities. You bet on a growing curve/object and cash out before that curve crashes, resetting the multipliers. Popular crash games are Aviator by Spribe and Cash It by Playtech.
  • Croupier: The French term for dealer. This is the person running a table game. They spin the wheel (in roulette), deal cards (in card games), roll the dice (in dice games) and call out winning numbers. In game shows, they are called presenters.
  • Crypto Casino: Online casinos that accept payments in cryptocurrencies.
  • Craps: An online casino game played with dice. Two dice are rolled, and you bet on the outcome.

D

  • Dealer: See croupier
  • Deposit: Adding money to your online casino account for wagering purposes.
  • Demo Mode: The free version of a casino game. It’s played without spending any money.
  • Deposit Methods: Payment service providers used to deposit money into a casino account. Also called payment methods or banking options. Examples in the UK include PayPal, Paysafecard and Siru Mobile.
  • Deuce: Slang for the word ‘two’.
  • Dice Games: Online casino games played using dice. Examples are Craps, Sic Bo and Chuck A Luck.
  • Double Down: Doubling the initial bet to get an extra card. Commonly used in blackjack when your two-card total doesn’t seem too favourable. For example, if your total is 9, 10 or 11 without an ace, you can double down and get one extra card.
  • Drops & Wins: Casino promotions where various prizes are given out whenever a draw is done. There is often the final bigger prize, but smaller ones are issued on predetermined days (when there’s a draw). It could be daily, weekly or monthly.

E

  • En Prison: A wager that remains on a French Roulette game for use in the next round. This opportunity is only available to even-money bets that lost to 0 or a 00.
  • Even Money Bet: A bet that pays back the same amount of money wagered. For example, if you stake £100 on an even money bet and win, you get £200. So, the odds are 1:1

F

  • Face Cards: Jack, Queen, or King poker cards in a deck.
  • Flush: A hand with 5 cards from the same suit. See the definition of suit below.
  • Fold: Give up on a certain game round. Commonly used in poker when a player believes their hand isn’t strong enough or gives in to the opponent’s bluff.
  • Free Spins: Online casino bonuses used on slot games. You get free rounds to spin the reels on select slot machines.
  • Free Play: Check demo mode.
  • Fruit Slot: Online slot games with fruit themes. You’ll find fruit symbols throughout, such as lemons, grapes, oranges and cherries.

G

  • Gambler’s Fallacy: A belief that the likelihood of a random event is affected by previous rounds’ results. Consider a situation where the roulette ball has landed on even numbers several times. Some players would believe the chances of the ball landing on an even number again are lower. That’s a gambler’s fallacy.
  • Gambling: The act of placing bets on a game with an unknown outcome.
  • GAMSTOP: A self-exclusion program in the UK that helps players pause gambling for some time to regain control. All legal online casinos in the UK are linked to this scheme.
  • Game Show: A type of live casino game inspired by popular TV shows. In most, there’s a prize wheel with different segments and a presenter who spins it once all bets are in. Examples are Evolution’s Crazy Wheel and Playtech’s Adventures Beyond Wonderland.

H

  • Hand: Used in card games. A hand represents the cards a player holds.
  • High Roller: A gambler who bets big. They stake huge amounts of money.
  • High-Value Symbols: Commonly used in slot games. These are symbols with the highest payout potential.
  • Hole Card: Facedown cards dealt from a pack. It’s the opposite of a face card.
  • House: The casino you’re gambling at.
  • House Advantage: The mathematical edge a casino has over players in a certain game. It’s normally represented as a percentage. For a game with 97% RTP, the house advantage is 3% (100-97). It’s also called house edge.
  • House Edge: See house advantage.
  • Hot Table: A game (usually a table game) where players are winning frequently. For example, if Live American Roulette 1 is paying out frequently, that’s a hot table.

I

  • iGaming: Another name for online gambling.
  • Inside Bets: Used in roulette. These are bets placed on a number or a group of them in the roulette table. They have the highest payout potential, up to 35:1.
  • Insurance: A blackjack side bet on the dealer having a hand of 21 points with the first two cards dealt. It’s only available if the up card is an ace.

J

  • Jackpot: A big cash prize for winning a casino game. It’s usually the largest. There are two main types of jackpots – fixed and progressive.

K

  • Keno: A casino game in the lottery family. Players bet on numbers 1 to 80, and whoever guesses right wins.

L

  • Lady Luck: The personification of Karma as a woman who brings good or bad fortune. In casinos, she determines whether you win or lose.
  • Live Casino: An online casino where you play games in real time and with human dealers. Games are hosted in physical locations and the play is aired to the player’s screen through digital streams.
  • Live Chat: A messaging service provided in online casinos through which players can contact the customer service department. Some live casino games provide in-game live chat for players to converse.
  • Live Dealer Games: Casino games played in real time and hosted by human croupiers. They are simply the table games and game shows in a live casino.
  • Lottery: A game where players purchase numbered tickets and win a prize if their number is drawn. In the UK National Lottery, allowed games include Lotto, Scratchcards, EuroMillion and Thunderball.
  • Loyalty Program: A rewards scheme for regular players in online casinos. Members get more bonuses, higher withdrawal limits and exclusive tournament entry, among other perks.
  • Low-Value Symbols: Commonly used in slot games. These are symbols with the lowest payout potential.

M

  • Martingale: A gambling strategy where you double your bet after every loss.
  • Match Bonus: A casino bonus whose size depends on your deposit amount. The deposit is matched by a certain percentage, say 100%. If the match bonus is 100% and you deposit £100, you get £100 as a bonus.
  • Minimum Bet: The least amount of money you can stake in a casino game per round.
  • Multipliers: Values multiplied by your bet to determine your total winnings. For example, Book of Dead has a maximum win of 5000x. 5000 is the multiplier. If you bet £0.1, your total earnings will be £500 (5000*0.1) if you’re lucky.

N

  • No-Wagering Bonus: A casino bonus without any wagering requirement. Check out the best no-wagering casino bonuses for you this year.
  • Non-sticky bonus: A type of casino bonus where bonus funds and the deposit amount are separated. You can withdraw money earned through the deposit funds without meeting the bonus wagering requirements. You can also withdraw the bonus money after you fulfil the playthrough requirements.

O

  • Odds: A number representation of the likelihood of winning in a certain casino game.
  • Online Casino: A website where you can play casino games from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Outside Bets: Even-money bets in roulette. For example, odd/even and red/black.

P

  • Payline: A line running across the reels of a slot game. It’s used to determine whether a player has won. To win, you need to align the symbols on a payline.
  • Payout: The money you get after winning in a casino game.
  • Payout Percentage: The percentage representation of the money a game gives back to players in the long run. It’s always below 100%; the lower it is, the better it is for the house.
  • Paytable: Common in slots. It’s a table showing how the game pays, detailing the value of each symbol. This is where you can identify the high and low-paying symbols.
  • Pending Period: The time between a withdrawal request and approval. Online casinos spend it to confirm that all terms and conditions are met. You can reverse your withdrawal request within this time.
  • Playthrough Requirements: The minimum number of times you need to wager the bonus or deposit money before you can withdraw any resulting winnings. For a £100 bonus with 20x playthrough requirements, you need to bet the money at least 20 times. It’s also called a wagering requirement.
  • Poker: A casino game played with cards, usually against other players.
  • Progressive Jackpot: A jackpot that increases with every bet placed. It grows until a lucky player wins it, after which it resets to the initial value.
  • Promo Code: Check bonus code

Q

  • Quads: Four-of-a-kind cards with the same rank. Commonly used in poker. The best quad is made of four aces.

R

  • Rake: Amount collected by the casino on each round of game played. It’s a fee the house charges for hosting the games. But it’s rare in online UK casinos.
  • Rakeback: Similar to cashback, but not based on losses. Rakeback is the money given back to players whether they won or lost. In most cases, the money has no playthrough requirements.
  • Real-Money Games: Online casino games played with actual cash. It’s the opposite of free-play games.
  • Reel: Vertical discs (columns) holding symbols in slot games. They rotate every time you spin, revealing different symbols in the game.
  • Reload Bonus: An online casino bonus given on subsequent deposits. It’s normally a match bonus, so its size depends on what you deposit. Several UK online casinos offer as high as 200% deposit bonuses.
  • Responsible Gambling: It’s simply controlling how you gamble. Playing with money you can afford to lose and knowing when to say enough.
  • RNG: Abbreviation for Random Number Generator. It’s a technology used in developing online casino games to guarantee random results in every round of play. It’s used to make games unpredictable.
  • Roulette: A casino game with a numbered wheel, and ball. Players guess where the ball will land when the wheel spins and stops.
  • Rollover Requirements: Check playthrough requirements.
  • Royal Flush: A winning hand in poker with Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and Ten of the same suit. It has the highest value when wild cards are not involved.
  • RTP: Abbreviation for Return to Player. Check payout percentage. A game that pays back 96% is said to have a 96% RTP.

S

  • Scared Money: Money you can’t afford to lose. It also means bets that are too high for your current balance.
  • Scatter Symbol: A special symbol in slot games that can land anywhere and still form a winning combination. It doesn’t have to land on a payline. In some, landing 3 or more scatters triggers a bonus game.
  • Scratchcards: A lottery-style casino game where players scratch off something on the ticket to reveal their prize. Depending on what’s shown, you win or lose.
  • Self-exclusion: Voluntarily forbid yourself from gambling for a certain period. In the UK, you can use GAMSTOP to self-exclude.
  • Session: Total time spent playing a casino game without taking a break.
  • Sic Bo: A 3-dice casino game where you guess the outcome after the dice are rolled. The dealer shakes the dice in a bowl, spreads them on the table and calls out winning players.
  • Slingo: A casino game that combines the functions of slots and bingo. Players line up numbers vertically, horizontally or diagonally. After the reels spin and the alignment matches your prediction, you win.
  • Slot Games (Slots): Also called slot machines. They are casino games played by matching symbols along a payline. You press the ‘spin’ button, and the machine does everything. You don’t need any skills since the game is completely random.
  • Soft Hand: A blackjack hand with an ace and whose total doesn’t exceed 21. For example, a 6 and an ace is a soft hand (soft 17). But a 7 and a 10 give you a hard 17.
  • Software Provider: A company that develops online casino games. Good examples in the UK are Playtech, Play’n GO and IGT.
  • Stake: See bet
  • Stake Limit: The minimum or maximum amount you can bet on a certain game per round. For example, the maximum stake limit on slots in the UK is £2 per spin for adults of up to 24 years and £5 for those older than 24.
  • Sticky Bonus: An online casino bonus attached to your deposit. It’s non-cashable, so you cannot withdraw the bonus money. For example, you deposit £100 and get a £100 bonus. You decide to stake your entire balance (£200) on an even money bet and win. This gives you £400. If you withdraw after meeting all wagering conditions, you’ll only get £300 (£400 minus the £100 bonus).
  • Straight Bet: A roulette bet placed on one number. It pays out 35:1 and lies in the inside bets category.
  • Suit (Poker): Cards marked with the same symbols. For example, cards with a heart are said to be in the same suit. There are four suits in poker: hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs.
  • Surrender: Give up a weak hand to get back half of your bet. Used in blackjack and available only on your first two cards. For example, you can surrender if your first cards are 4 and 5 (9 total) and the dealer’s up card is a 10, you can surrender and cut your losses.
  • Symbols: Images/icons arranged in a slot game’s reels. Align the right ones on the paylines to form winning combinations. You can find how much each symbol pays out in the paytable.

T

  • Table Game: A casino game played on a board (table). Examples are roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker.
  • Tap Out: Exhaust your gambling money. Such a player is said to have tapped out.
  • Three-of-a-kind: A hand with 3 cards of the same value or rank. Commonly used in poker and blackjack.
  • Tilt: A state of mind characterised by frustration and anger that leads to losing control of the game. It’s caused by a series of losses. When on a tilt, a player makes game decisions driven by emotions not strategy. The term is common in poker.
  • Tournament: A contest whose goal is to win the top prize by collecting the highest number of points within a specified period. You earn points by playing games in this tournament. Everything is recorded in a leaderboard (using players’ nicknames) so you can check your progress.
  • Two-Pair: A 5-card poker hand with two pairs of same-rank cards (each pair representing a different rank) and one more card (less significant). For example, 5, 5, A, A and Q.

U

  • UK Gambling Commission: The current regulator of all gambling activities in the UK.
  • Under The Gun (UTG): A player who acts first in a game round. In poker, that will be after the initial cards are dealt. Such players are considered to be at a disadvantage, hence the name under the gun.

V

  • VIP Club: A program with extra rewards for select players. It’s usually for high rollers, and members enjoy benefits like higher withdrawal limits and free tickets to exclusive tournaments. In some online casinos, VIP clubs are invite-only.
  • Video Poker: The video version of poker. It’s usually simulated in a format similar to online slot games.
  • Volatility: A term used to describe the risk-to-reward balance in casino games. In a high-volatility game, you can have high potential returns but less often. In a low-volatility game, you win small amounts but more frequently.

W

  • Wager: See the definition of bet.
  • Wagering Requirement: Check playthrough requirements.
  • Whale: Another name for a high roller.
  • Wild Card: A card that can take any value to complete a hand. It replaces another card of a player’s choice. In most poker games, Joker acts as a wild.
  • Wild Symbol: A symbol that replaces all others on the reels (except the scatter) to form a winning combination in slot games. In Play’n GO’s Book of Dead, the tomb acts as the wild symbol.
  • Withdraw: See cashout
  • WSOP: Word Series Of Poker in full. It’s a poker tournament held every year. You can sign-up online or in person, but you must be 21 years or older to participate.