Casino Glossary – Complete Guide to Casino and Slot Terms From A to Z

If you’re new to the world of online casino gaming, there may be a few terms, vocabulary, and jargon that you aren’t yet used to. The more you play, the more familiar with these words you’ll be. However, to give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a glossary of the most commonly used casino and slot terminology in alphabetical order.

Casino Glossary Contents

General Casino Terminology


Essentially the balance that you have to play with. Whatever you deposit into your casino account will automatically be added to your bankroll or balance. Every wager you make depletes it, and every win you land raises it. You can replenish your bankroll by depositing. Further details regarding online casino payment methods.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is an essential part of playing gambling games. Players will likely handle bankroll management differently, based on their budget and the volatility of their game.

While it is possible to do this by adjusting your chip sizes, stakes and paylines, or even by choosing specific slot games which fit your budget and wagering habits; other tools exist to help with this process. Some slots and table games come with built-in bankroll management features which allow players to automatically select stakes based on their wagering preferences.


Generally seen as a casino promotion, players can pocket cashback in the form of a bonus, either when they deposit or when they suffer losses. This type of offer is not available at all casinos, though. Some casinos, (such as Casino Secret) are known to offer cashback within their slots following successive losses.


Most online casinos nowadays offer games that are created by outside companies. These companies are often referred to as developers, providers, creators, etc. It has become common for casinos to carry games created by multiple (in some cases dozens of) developers, adding to the excitement with the ability to try out thousands of different games. Here we introduce some of the most popular casino software developers.

Free Spins

Free spins are generally handed out to players either as a no deposit offer, or a deposit bonus. They will typically involve playing a few spins on selected slots for free, although with the potential to win real money. They may or may not come with wagering requirements. The other type of free spins out there are found in slots, and you can read more about those in our slot terminology glossary.

High Roller

High rollers are those members of an online casino site who wager large sums of money on games. The term may also be used to describe players who wager frequently. By contrast, mid-rollers are players who wager “average” stakes, and low-rollers are those casino members who prefer cheap bets.


HTML5 is the programming language used to develop many modern slots. This format allows a typical online casino game to be mobile-friendly. Almost all major mobile slots are developed in HTML5 format now, as opposed to Flash, which was the instant play predecessor of HTML5 games.

Live Casinos/Live Dealers

Live casino gaming involves playing table games (such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette) over a video stream. A series of digital betting menus are present on the screen, though a real-to-life human dealer acts out the game. These types of games are known as live dealer games, and the sites which offer them are conveniently known as live casinos. Live casino games are part of the offering of any online casino out there.

Quickfire (by Microgaming)

One of the biggest software platforms around, Quickfire has been put together by casino games developer Microgaming. By working with Microgaming, smaller casino software providers can host their games on the Quickfire platform, allowing players at any casino hosting it to play games from developers they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to play.

In addition, Quickfire runs in your web browser, so there is no need to download any software or mobile app (such as the original Microgaming casino software known by the name Viper which also includes multi-player features such as slot tourneys).

Responsible Gambling Tools

Responsible gambling tools are now a common occurrence at all reputable casinos. These include measures to ensure that gamblers stay on the straight and narrow when betting at casino sites.

They can include (but are not limited to) caps on how much you deposit and wager, withdrawal locks, self-exclusion tools, KYC (Know Your Customer) verification process, and other means to keep you safe when betting online. For an in-depth guide, see our responsible gambling tools section.

Return to Player (RTP)

This is often represented as a percentage and is the theoretical rate at which a slot or table games pay over an undetermined (but lengthy) number of games. The higher the RTP, the more likely the player is to win. If a blackjack game has an RTP of 96.5%, for instance, this means that there is a house edge of 3.5%.

Slot Tourney or Tournament

Also known as a slot or stake race, slot tournaments feature at many top Asian casino sites. There is no one format that they all follow, but most operate as a table (leaderboard), with players ranked based on how much they have won or wagered on a specific slot, or a series of slots. They can last a few hours, a day, a week and some even last a month. The players finishing towards the top of the table are the most likely to win a share of a prize pot. See also our FAQ on slot tournaments.

BitStarz Casino slot tournament leaderboard

Recommended online casinos in Asia featuring regular slot tournaments are, for instance, VideoSlots and BitStarz – at BitStarz Casino the slot tourneys go by the name of Slot Wars. 😉 Moreover, this popular cryptocurrency and bitcoin casino even features tourneys involving table games (live dealer games included).


Also known as KYC (Know Your Customer), this is a process which most casino players are required to go through before they can withdraw. It essentially requires you to confirm your identity, to protect against identity fraud. KYC processes often involve handing in some form of documentation that shows that you are who you say you are and that you haven’t stolen the bank card (and thus, the identity) of another. Further details on account verification.

Volatility in Casino Games

Also known as variance or risk, this term is almost exclusively reserved for online slots. A highly volatile game is not likely to pay out very often, but when it does, it will tend to dish out large cash prizes. Low-risk, variance or volatile slots will pay out far more frequently, but the wins are often smaller by comparison. Volatility can also be found in table games such as blackjack when doubling down, or splitting is used to lower a dealer’s advantage at a higher risk than usual.

Find out more about popular slot titles and its developers as well as the volatility of these games in our online slots section.

Wagering Requirements

Also known as playthrough rates, these are found in most casino promotions and bonuses. The basic idea is that when a player claims a bonus, to stop them just walking away with that cash, they must wager it a specific number of times before they can withdraw. A typical casino bonus of $100 may come with 40x wagering requirements. What this essentially means is that players must wager their $100 bonus a total of 40 times (so, $4,000 must be bet) before cashouts using these funds are permitted. Complete guide on wagering requirements.


The term wager or stake stands for each bet you place in a casino game. Thus the term stake race came about which is yet another term for a slot tourney campaign.

Slot Related Terminology

Slot Related Terminology

With so many different types of online slots available out there on the net, new players might find it a struggle to keep tabs on just what’s what. From the old, classic fruit machines to modern 3D and mobile slots, these games continually evolve. To help you understand the types of games out there, as well as the many different features you can find in online slots, we’ve put together a handy slot terminology glossary for you.

3D Slots

A 3D slot is essentially any online (or mobile) slot machine game which features 3D graphics and animation, such as those by NetEnt or Betsoft. The images which appear on the reels may be 3D, and there may be animated characters, cut-scenes or symbols present, too. There are slots out there which are actually 3D (and played with 3D glasses), but this term is not generally used for those games.

All Ways Slots

Also known as All Ways Pay games, these slot machines typically refer to games which feature 243 paylines, such as the classic Thunderstruck II by Microgaming. However, the term has also been used for slots which feature 720, 1,024, 3,125 and many more paylines. It is most commonly associated with any slot which pays out prizes if identical symbols appear on consecutive reels, as opposed to specific paylines.

Microgaming Thunderstruck II slot machine

Autoplay Function

Most slot games feature an autoplay option located on the wagering menu. From here, players can choose to play several spins in succession, with the stakes set at the same value. This is handy for players who don’t want to hit the “spin” button every time.

Bet Max Option

Betting the maximum may sound like an option only to true high-rollers, but that is not necessarily the case. Some slot machines offer a built-in “Max Bet” button, which by pressing it, all available pay lines will be bet with maximum number of coins. However, the amount per coin (e.g. $0.01 or $0.50) remains the same as originally set. Many slots offer better payouts on max bets, thus making other bets less ideal (especially in the case of most progressive jackpots which only pay out on maximum bets). Keep in mind though, some slots will start spinning as soon as the bet max button is hit, so it is important to understand how many pay lines there are, along with the maximum number of coins beforehand.

Collapsing Reels

Also known as avalanche reels, rolling reels, cascading or tumbling reels, this is a game engine which is popular in modern slots. Instead of the reels spinning, symbols drop down from above. Following any win, the symbols which featured in the win are removed from the reels, and new ones take their place. Some of these games may feature multipliers which are awarded for consecutive “falls”, such as those found in Net Entertainment’s (NetEnt) Gonzo’s Quest slot.

NetEnt Gonzo's Quest slot machine

Colossal Reels

Colossal reels often appear as a second set of reels alongside the main 5 reels. These symbols are considerably larger than their counterparts, as their name suggests. It is often possible for some symbols to transfer or clone themselves from the main reel set over to colossal reels, which offer more paylines, thus giving players an added chance to win. A few games, such as Megaways slots like Extra Chilli by Big Time Gaming (BTG), feature expanding reels which add more paylines at random as you play.

Colossal Symbols

These icons are larger than your usual slot symbols. They can appear 2×2, 3×3, 4×4 or even bigger in size. In many cases, they will be standard paying icons, although it is not impossible for such symbols to also be wilds or scatters, such as in Pragmatic Play’s Wolf Gold.

Duplicating Reels

The duplicated reels feature can often be found in NetEnt slots, such as Twin Spin, where it is known as the Twin Spin feature. These features may go by other names, but they essentially offer the same thing. In short, two or more reels will become linked and display the same symbols, which makes landing a big win that little bit easier.

NetEnt Twin Spin slot machine

Each Way Pay

Also known as Win Both Ways, this is a feature which means that players can win with symbols which run from the right to the leftmost reels, as opposed to the more customary left to rightmost reels. Some slots also pay for winning combinations that occur on the middle reels. And some games even allow wins to occur in both directions at the same time, like the NetEnt slot classic Starburst. This game mechanic may appear as a bonus round, or be present in a slot from the get-go.

Expanding Wilds

Expanding wild symbols often appear as a single icon on the reels initially. However, if there is a chance that they can feature in a win, they will expand to occupy an entire reel. These may appear solely in bonus rounds or in the base game. This varies from slot to slot. There are dozens of games featuring expanding wilds. One clear favourite among players is the Starburst slot by NetEnt which also triggers re-spins as part of the expanding wild feature.

Expanding Walking Wild Symbols

Common in slot machine games such as Matsuri by Play’n GO, expanding walking wilds are virtually the same as regular walking wild symbols. Of course, the obvious difference is that they cover entire reels. These features can trigger re-spins, and on each spin, the expanding wilds will “walk” to adjacent reels. The re-spin features continue until the expanding walking wilds have made their way to the leftmost or rightmost reels and disappeared from the reels.

Play'n GO Matsuri slot machine

Free Spins

Free spins are more commonly awarded when 3 or more scatters appear on the reels. However, some are triggered at random and others via alternative means. They all promise a predetermined or random number of free spins, allowing players to pocket real cash without depleting their bankroll. Some free spin rounds solely offer the ability to spin the reels for free, while others provide a wealth of other goodies to enhance that bonus.

When a player runs out of free spins (and they can sometimes add more to their tally), the feature ends and the base game resumes.

Full Screen

A simple option often displayed as a symbol; this allows players to expand the size of the gaming area to that it dominates the entire screen. This is very handy when playing on small screens, such as those commonly found on mobile phones and tablets.

Full Screen (The Actual Slot Feature)

At times, symbols can appear stacked on the reels of a slot, or might even expand up or down those reels. When this occurs, an entire reel can display the same symbol. If you are fortunate enough to land identical symbols on other reels, you may also end up with a full screen of the same paying icons, which will naturally produce considerable wins.

An immensely popular slot game (at least in Europe) that made the full screen feature fashionable is Book of Ra by popular Austrian slot machine manufacturer Novomatic. A very close alternative to the brick and mortar casino and gambling arcade slot classic can be found in Book of Dead by Play’n GO (see image below) – also available in online casinos in Asia.

Play'n GO Book of Dead slot machine


A 50-50 game of chance which can be triggered following any win in some slots. It may consist of a coin toss game, or a simple red/black or suit card game. If you guess correctly you can double (or quadruple) your money. If you guess incorrectly, you lose. It is best to avoid these features if you win considerable sums, as your odds of success are 50% at best.

Megaways Slots

First developed by Big Time Gaming (BTG), this gaming engine has taken the online casino world by storm. Slots with Megaways engines, such as Bonanza (by BTG – see image below), allow players to play with up to 117,649 ways to win at random on each spin. The actual number of ways (not paylines per se) varies from game to game. Flower Fortunes by Fantasma Games, for example, boasts a maximum of 531,441 ways to win.

Big Time Gaming Bonanza slot machine

Megaways slots are very similar to All Ways slots in that the symbols in a winning combination only need to appear on adjacent reels instead of fixed paylines. However, All Ways slots have a fixed number of ways to win in contrast to the randomly changing Megaways.

Other aspects of the Megaways engine include cascading reels, uncapped multipliers in free spins, and on occasion, a horizontal reel running across the customary 6-reel structure. Since its launch, BTG has leased out the Megaways engine to many rival developers, not least Red Tiger Gaming, NetEnt and others. Some of the latter’s most popular slots now feature the engine, including Gonzo’s Quest and Twin Spin. More details on Megaways games in our slots section.


Multipliers can appear in many slots, including Big Win Cat by popular casino game provider Play’n GO. They may offer you a cash prize by multiplying the amount you wagered, or they can multiply whatever you have won on a line. Their purpose varies from slot to slot. Some multipliers are offered when wilds feature in a win, others are provided at random, and some increase in value during consecutive wins or a free spin bonus.

Mystery Win

There are two types of mystery wins. The first is a randomly triggered bonus. It can occur on any spin at random and promises a cash prize. The second is delivered via mystery symbols. These can take the shape of any icons in the game and will turn all identical symbols into the same image, guaranteeing a win.

Nudge Spin

Sometimes known as drop spins, nudge spins are more commonly found in pub fruit machines. These features allow players to nudge a reel down by a single spot, though, the game does so at random sometimes, too. The purpose of this is that it has the potential to put a valuable symbol that was just out of reach in a prime position on the reels to play a part in handing the player a win or triggering a feature.

Nudge Wilds

A special type of symbol, nudge wilds can substitute for all other standard paying icons in the game, but they can also trigger re-spins. Following a re-spin, the wild will be nudged down one spot on the reel. Players will keep landing re-spins as long as nudge wilds appear on the screen. Once they fall off the bottom of a reel, the re-spin feature they triggered ends. A game with nudge wilds is Sakura Fortune by Quickspin.

Quickspin Sakura Fortune slot machine


One great place to visit when playing a new slot is its paytable. There is often a button on the wagering menu which will take you directly to a slot’s paytable. From there, you can find out a host of information about a game. Such information might include how its features work, what each symbol pays out, as well as information pertaining to paylines, wagers, RTP and volatility. Consider paytables to be a brief “how to play guide” which can educate you about a slot and its features, before you wager real money on the game.

Understanding slot paytables

Pick Bonus

Also known as click and win, click me or pick and win bonuses, these features almost always dole out instant cash prizes to players. They can be triggered via bonus/scatter icons. In a typical game, players may select from several objects on the screen to win a cash prize. Some free spin bonuses offer a pick bonus beforehand, which can add special features to the free spin round which follows.

Progressive Jackpot

There are two types of jackpots in slots. A non-progressive jackpot offers a fixed cash prize. A progressive jackpot grows with each new bet until it is won. The latter can, therefore, be worth millions of dollars in prizes like in the Microgaming slot classic Mega Moolah.

Did you know that Microgaming’s Mega Moolah holds the overall world record in regards to progressive jackpot wins? Moreover, the game is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. In any case, the world record was beaten in September of 2018 when a very fortunate player hit the Mega Moolah jackpot clocking in at almost 19 million Euros (close to 21 million USD). No bad pocket money! In fact, no other casino game comes even close to Mega Moolah’s lump-sum jackpot pay outs.

Some progressive jackpot prizes are won at random. Others pay out via bonus rounds, and some require players to land jackpot icons on paylines, sometimes with a maximum wager staked. There can often be progressive jackpots of several different values to be won in a slot, too.

Random Wilds

Just like regular wilds, these symbols can substitute for all standard paying icons. However, they do not appear on the reels as symbols. Instead, they randomly pop up and sit on top of other icons. Microgaming’s Immortal Romance was one of the first slots to feature random wilds.


Re-spins are similar to free spins, although the bonus features are often far shorter and are played in the base game (as opposed to a second screen). A re-spin feature will often keep many of the same base game symbols on the reels, and it is not uncommon to find sticky wilds and other features appear during this round. Some slots even allow players to “purchase” re-spins.

One of the many slot games featuring re-spins is Fu Er Dai by Play’n GO. Furthermore, the expanding wild that triggers this feature and covers the entire reel stays locked in place, boosting your chances for lucrative wins.

Play'n GO Fu Er Dai slot machine

Return to Player (RTP)

Slots feature theoretical return to player rates, which essentially tell players how often a slot will pay out. In short, it means that over an undetermined (and lengthy) number of spins, players can expect whatever return the RTP rate specifies. That figure is often expressed as a percentage and does not reveal anything about how much a win is worth.

Scatter Symbols

These symbols are known as scatters because they count no matter where they fall on the reels. In many cases, they will multiply a player’s total bet by a given amount. However, most slots will also use scatters to trigger bonus rounds. Some games even feature scatter wilds, which are essentially wild symbols which work as scatters and count anywhere. The purpose of scatters can vary from slot to slot, though.

Shifting Reels

These are not conventional slot reels. Following any win with shifting reels, the reels may adjust their position, potentially allowing players to add additional symbols to their combo, or play with increased multipliers. The nature of shifting reels varies in each slot.

Stacked Symbols

In a slot which features stacked symbols, the standard paying icons are often several symbols tall, and this makes winning with them on several paylines at once more likely.

Stacked Wilds

It is possible for stacked symbols to also be wilds. These stacked wilds can be 2, 3 or 4 symbols deep, sometimes more. Generally speaking, the greater the number of wilds in a stack, the more likely they are to appear on a reel, thus making winning a touch easier. One of the many slot games featuring stacked wilds is, for instance, Fortune Girl by veteran casino games developer Microgaming.

Sticky Wilds

Sometimes known as locked wilds or frozen wilds, these wild symbols can replace all standard paying symbols and lock into place. They may do so for a single re-spin, several re-spins or the duration of a free spin bonus. Some remain in place and dole out additional spins until no new ones appear, or until sticky wilds no longer feature in a win. NetEnt’s Guns ‘N’ Roses slot features notable sticky wilds.

Sticky Win

Following a win, some symbols can become sticky. This means that they will remain on the reels for a subsequent re-spin or re-spins. Any new symbols which are identical to those sticky symbols will join the winning combinations, allowing players to grow a combination from a three-of-a-kind win to something larger. Once no new identical symbols appear, the win is paid out. Major slots to offer this feature include Jack Hammer by NetEnt and The Wild Chase by Quickspin.

Quickspin The Wild Chase slot machine

Surrounding Wilds

Also known as spreading wilds, these wild icons can spread to neighbouring symbols when they appear. Some will spread to just an adjacent symbol, while others can move to positions which surround the original wild. The nature of these symbols varies from slot to slot.

Just to name one NetEnt game boasting not only this but many other bonus features, is Elements. Moreover, its game mechanic includes the collapsing reels feature.

NetEnt Elements slot machine

Turbo Function

Some slot games carry a turbo function which can be accessed from the wagering menu. This function allows players to speed up gameplay. Once it is activated, the reels will rapidly spin and come to an abrupt halt, speeding up gameplay for players in a rush.

Volatility in Slot Games

Also known as slot variance or risk, the volatility of a game determines the value of the payouts a player will receive and how often they occur. Highly volatile slots often require big stakes, and they seldom pay out very often. However, when they do cough up the goods, the wins tend to be considerable. By contrast, low risk or low volatility slots cost very little per spin and pay out frequently, but tend to dish out smaller cash prizes. Further details on slot volatility.

Walking Wilds

These wild symbols are favourites with players in games such as Jack and the Beanstalk by Net Entertainment (NetEnt). When they appear, they will trigger re-spins. On each re-spin, the wilds will “walk” to the next reel on the left or right. They will continue to trigger re-spins and walk across the reels until they disappear from view, which terminates the bonus.

Wild Reel

Some slots feature wild reels. They can either be a natural part of the base game (such as a special sixth reel which dishes out wilds and other goodies), or they can be a part of a bonus round. In the case of the latter, it is most common to find a reel or two turned entirely wild during a free spin feature, such as in Koi Princess by NetEnt. Their purpose is to make it easier for players to land wins.

NetEnt Koi Princess slot machine

Wild Symbols

The original slot special feature, wild symbols can be found in most major slots. These essentially act in much the same way as a joker does in a deck of cards. They can act in the stead of all standard paying symbols (but not other special symbols in most cases), helping players to land a win. Some can even double the value of any winning combos in which they appear. Others act as the best-paying icons in a slot.

Wilds can come in many shapes and sizes and can dish out various features, too. Most are just generic substitute symbols, though.

Table Game Terminology

Table Game Terminology

Table game terminology is tricky for many players. While some of the internet’s most popular table games share words and vocabulary, other terminology is wholly unique to specific games. Once you grasp a bit of the lingo surrounding Asia’s more popular table games, you’ll have a better understanding of how the games work and the betting options which are open to you. In this glossary, we look at some of the more commonly used vocab in table game terminology.

If you would like to find out more on a specific table game which, for instance, is offered in the live dealer lobby in every online casino please see the following menu:


Simply put, this is the starting bet in any card-based table game. There will usually be a specific circle or square on the table called the “ante spot” to place your chips into.


A baccarat term. There are two sides to bet in baccarat, either banker or player (plus an optional tie bet). In online baccarat games, this is always the standard, whether it is the RNG version or the live dealer table.

Basic Strategy

This is a simple strategy commonly used when playing blackjack. Basic strategy guides exist on the net which can help players learn when to double down, split, hit and stand, amongst other options.

Bet Behind

Betting behind is a feature which is available for players of certain live dealer games. It essentially means that players who haven’t got a seat at a live dealer table can still place wagers on specific games such as baccarat.


The two coloured pockets on a roulette wheel are red and black. When betting on reds and blacks, it doesn’t matter which number pocket the ball lands in. As long as the colour matches the bet, you win.


Blackjack was originally an Ace and a blackjack Jack card. However, in more recent years, the term has come to be used for any hand which equals 21 points in the game.


Should a player go over the magic number of 21 points when playing blackjack, they are said to be “bust” and out of the hand. They will lose their bet if they bust.

Column Bet

A roulette bet which consists of betting on one of the three available columns of numbers on a roulette betting board. Each column consists of 12 numbers, and successful bets pay out at 2:1.


Any player who wins at baccarat by betting on the banker’s hand will have to pay commission. That commission is 5% of the stake, so winnings are only genuinely worth 0.95:1. However, no commission baccarat games do exist, too.

Corner Bet

In roulette, a corner bet equates to any bet on four numbers. The chip is placed at the intersection between the four numbers on the betting board, and an 8:1 prize is won if the player pulls off this bet.


While card games feature dealers controlling the action, the “dealer” in a roulette game is known as the croupier. They are responsible for dropping the roulette ball in the way and calling the bets.


In card games, 2s are also known as deuces. While this doesn’t matter too much in standard card games, the term frequently comes up in poker variants, such as Deuces Wild, where the 2s count as joker/wild cards.

Double Down

Blackjack players who choose to double down are essentially doubling their original ante bet. This is advantageous to cut down the dealer’s edge when you have a particularly good hand. The downside is that players who double down can only draw just a single card more.

Double Zero

Only found in American roulette, the double-zero (shown as 00) is the second of two zero pockets on a roulette wheel. Unless you specifically bet on the ball landing in the zero pocket, you will lose your bet if the ball lands in this pocket.


This is a roulette bet which is based on 12 numbers. These bets are either on numbers 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36. Successful dozen bets pay out at 2:1.

En Prison

A common feature in French roulette, the En Prison Rule basically means “in prison” and only applies to even money bets. If the balls lands in the zero pocket with this rule, they can either take half of their bet back, or they can choose to leave it “in prison” for their next bet.

Even Money

Any winning hand or roulette bet which results in a 1:1 payout is known as an even money bet. This is because players will win their original bet back as well as exactly the same amount again.

Face Cards

A self-explanatory term which refers to Jack, Queens and Kings. All of these cards are known as faces. They are all worth 10 points in almost all card games, apart from baccarat, where they are effectively worth zero.

High/Low Bets

These bets appear in roulette. High bets involve betting on numbers 19-36, while low bets involve wagers on numbers 1-18. Payouts for high or low bets are worth even money (1:1).


This is an option open to players in blackjack. Also known as drawing or “draw”, hitting involves taking another card. Altering your original bet (such as doubling down) may see the number of times a player can hit restricted.

Hole Card

Any card which is not dealt face up on the table is known as a hole card. For instance, in blackjack, at least one of the dealer’s card will be a hole card.

Hot/Cold Numbers

When playing number games such as roulette, you may come across hot and cold numbers. These are statistics designed to influence players to bet one way or another. Hot numbers are those which have appeared recently or frequently, while cold numbers have not appeared for any length of time. Some players believe that wagering on cold numbers is advantageous as they “have to show up eventually”, but the laws of probability tell us that this just isn’t true.

House Edge

The casino has a built-in advantage to ensure that they profit, no matter what happens in a game. This is known as the house edge. The house edge (or RTP in other games) varies depending on the game you happen to be playing. There are subtle ways you can try to reduce the house edge in games, with the information commonly available in strategy guides.

Inside Bet

Inside bets are a feature of roulette. These bets are the least likely to occur, but as a result, they offer the biggest cash prizes. Good examples of inside bets or streets, splits and straight-up bets.


Blackjack is a game which offers players insurance. Should the dealer have an ace showing, then players may assume that the dealer has a good chance of having blackjack. In which case, they are entitled to take an insurance bet (at an additional cost of commonly half the original bet). If the dealer does have blackjack, the player will win a 2:1 payout, irrespective if they win or lose the hand. If not, they will lose their insurance bet. Most blackjack pros warn against taking insurance bets.

La Partage

Found in French roulette, the La Partage Rule is similar to En Prison. If the ball lands in the zero pocket, the player loses half their bet, and the other half is paid back without the option of leaving it in prison.

Live Dealer

A modern type of table game found at casinos. These games are played using real-life human dealers and are streamed via a video to your computer or mobile device. You can compete against other players and chat to dealers in many top live casinos.


Some table games permit players to play with several hands at once. They must place a fresh bet for each hand, and these games are known as multi-hand table games.

Multiplayer Game

Most table games involve direct dealer vs. player action. However, some games may also feature other human players. These are typically known as multiplayer games in the online casino world.


A natural is a perfect winning hand which is obtained outright at the first attempt. In blackjack, a natural would be a 21 or blackjack. When playing baccarat, a hand worth 8 or 9 points is considered a natural.


Another one of roulette’s simplest bets. Odds and evens are bets placed on all odd or all even numbers on a roulette wheel. Successful bets are paid even money, at a rate of 1:1.


Orphans, or Orphelins in French, are specific bets on sections of the roulette wheel. If the ball lands in a pocket on any of the Orphelins sections, a win is acquired. Orphelins bets are commonly found in French roulette.

Outside Bet

Outside bets are found in roulette and represent the simplest types of best with the biggest chances of success. However, because the bets – such as odds, evens, reds and blacks – have a high degree of probability of success, they tend to pay out even money at worst, and 2:1 at best.


The paytable is the term used to describe the list of possible hands/bets and the prizes you can win. It can commonly be found via a button in any online gambling game, including table games.


Each number on the roulette wheel will be numbered and coloured. These are known as pockets, and when the ball lands in these grooves on the wheel, it determines the outcome of your bet.

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is another name for baccarat. The name effectively translates from Spanish as “player-banker” and is in everyday use in the online casino world. Any punto banco game you come across will be near enough identical to baccarat.


Should a blackjack game end in a tie, then the hands are said to push. In the event of a push, all bets are returned to players. The only exception to this rule is if you are playing a blackjack variant where the dealer or player wins all ties.


A separate betting table located beside the main roulette betting board. This features orphelins, orphans, voisins du zéro and other oddities such as tiers du cylindre bets. The racetrack is commonly found in French roulette.

RNG (Random Number Generator)

RNG stands for random number generator. A random number generator is a program written to ensure that each hand or spin in a table game is dealt with using a totally random series of events and numbers. The use of RNGs ensures that table games cannot be predicted or cheated, in the way that imperfections on land-based roulette wheels or decks or cards can.


The shoe is a card holder in a typical table game. It is also known as an automatic dealer machine or an automatic shuffler. It ensures that cards are shuffled well and dealt at random. Of course, in an online table game, the job a shoe does is replaced by random number generators.


In some card games, players may be able to place a side-bet. Unlike the insurance bet, these bets are almost like playing two games at once. For instance, in blackjack, a Perfect Pairs bet will pay out if players have a pair, whether they win the hand or not. Side-bets cost extra and vary from game to game.

Soft/Hard Hands

You may hear the terms soft and hard when playing blackjack. A soft hand is a hand which includes an ace as an 11-point card, not a 1-point card. By contrast, a hard hand is one where the ace is a 1-point card and not an 11-point card.


While playing blackjack, players may be able to split hands. This involves having two cards of the same rank and splitting them into two new one-card hands. A new bet is required for the second hand, and one new card will be drawn to each hand. You are, therefore, suddenly playing with two hands at once. The rules regarding the splitting of aces vary from game to game.

Split Bet

Split bets appear in roulette. They involve betting on two numbers with the chip being placed on the line between those numbers. Successful split bets pay out at 17:1.


If a player is happy with the hand that they have in blackjack, they can choose to stand. This is important so that your hand doesn’t bust if you draw another card.


Also known as a trio, this roulette bet involves betting on three numbers. The chip is placed at the end of that row of numbers on the betting board. Successful street bets pay out at 11:1.


Most players will already know the meaning of this term. A deck of cards is divided up into four suits – diamonds, spades, clubs and hearts. Each suit has an Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen and a King.


Some blackjack variants (although not many of them) allow players to surrender. This involves folding (giving up) and losing half of your bet. While that doesn’t sound too appetising, it is preferential to losing all of your bet if you stand.

Table Limits

Every casino table game will feature table limits. Table limits are essentially two figures. One is the minimum amount that a player must wager to play a hand or spin. By contrast, the other number is the maximum amount that a player can wager when playing any one hand or spin of a game. High-roller table limits will naturally be much more costly than those in low-roller table games.

Third-Card Rule

Baccarat features a tricky third-card rule but not to worry. Both in land-based baccarat and online, it is taken care of for you by the dealer (or by the RNG). This rule can see players and/or bankers take a third card to try and force a win in the game, but only under certain conditions.

Tiers du Cylindre

This is another bet only available in the French version of roulette. It covers the rest of area on the wheel that is not covered by Orphans/Orphelins and Voisins du Zéro.


A simple enough word to learn. The upcard is the dealer’s card (or cards) which is visible to the player.


Most major table games adhere to the same rules. However, some games adjust or change the rules slightly, and these are known as variants. While similar to the original game, the rule changes in variants mean that the house edge will likely be somewhat different from what you might expect in the original table game.

Voisins du Zéro

Another special option found in French roulette; Voisins du Zéro is a wager on several numbers which sit around the zero pocket. It translates from French as “neighbours of zero” and will see players win if the ball lands in or around the zero pocket – where veteran croupiers can supposedly aim for.


Every roulette wheel will have at least one zero pocket (American roulette features two). If the ball lands in the zero pocket, the player will lose their bet unless they are betting on it or playing with the En Prison or La Partage rules, or the Voisins du Zéro bet.