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Gaming Terminology

The following words (phrases) are often used by veteran casino personnel and professional gamblers throughout the country. They include the common (slang) terminologies. The Glossary will not increase your chances for winning, it will however place you at a much higher level of comprehension whenever you choose the gaming environment. GOOD LUCK!

A - C D - G H - M N - R S - Z

ACTION: Any wager. A better is said to be in action when having a bet riding on any sporting event or table game.

ACTION JACKSON: A gambler who wagers every day- day and night.

AGENT: (1) Player cheat who frequents casinos and works with casino dealers and employees. (2) Person who for a fee or commission lures people to a crooked game to be fleeced.

APPLE: A sucker. A soft player-easy prey- cannot win.

BACKER: Someone who will stake a gambler with a good reputation during a difficult period.

BEARD: A person used to place bets so the bookmakers will not know the identity of the actual bettor.

BEEF: Any situation that is or may cause a problem.

BIG DIME: A $10,000 wager.

BIG ORDER:A large sports bet of five or six figures.

A BITE: A request by a gambler for a loan.

BOOKIE: A person who takes race and sports bets.

BOAT RACE: A crooked horse race.

BUCK: A $100 wager.

BUM STEER: Bad information.

BUSTER: Odds of 15 to 1 on a winning horse. (also- a fuzzy)

CARPET JOINT: A plush-class operation.

C.O.D.: No assets, no credit. All bets must be for cash only. (also- up is the game)

CHALK: Any favorite- team, horse, greyhound etc.

CHALK PLAYER: Person who bets ONLY favorites.

C-NOTE: A $100 bill.

COOLER: A prearranged deck or shoe of cards (Blackjack, Poker or Baccarat) Has been used both for and against the house.(also-cold deck)

COPPER: When one gambler "fades" takes the opposing side of another gamblers bet, position or opinion.

COVER: As in "covering the spread". This occurs when a favorite you have bet wins by more points than you have had to give up.

CROSSROADER: Any gambler who does not bet without cheating.

DAUB: A paste or liquid used to mark cards.

DEUCE DEALERS: A dealer who can peek at the top card and deal the next card if the top card is not to his advantage.(also-second dealer,mechanic or number two man.)

DEAN(THE): A smart gambler who can calculate odds and percentages.(also called The Professor)

DESPERADO: A gambler who bets on credit with rough people with absolutely no way to pay if he loses.

DIME BET: $1,000 wager.

DOG: The underdog in any betting proposition.

DOG IT: To be afraid to increase your bet during an extended winning streak.

DOUBLE BET: A wager twice the size of a persons usual wager. (also press
bet or doubling up)

DRY: A player is "DRY" when he has run out of funds and credit. (also - dead, broke, busted and"used to be somebody"

DUTCH BOOK: A pricemakers odds line totaling MORE than 100%

EAR: A bent corner put on a playing card to identify or locate it. "He put the ear on the aces".

EASY WAY: CRAPS- To make a point number(4,6,8 or 10) any way but the hard way.

EDGE: Any advantage.


END: A share. "What's my end of the score?

EVEN UP, EVEN MONEY: (1) A bet or proposition giving each player an equal chance to win. (2) A bet at correct odds. (3) A 50-50 bet.

EXACTA: HORSE RACING- A wager picking the two horses finishing first and second in the correct order. See-QUINELLA

FACE CARD: A king, queen or jack in a deck of cards.also-paint

FADE: To cover a bet. "You're faded."

FALSE CUT: A cut leaving the deck in its original position.

FAST COMPANY: Seasoned or smart gamblers.

FAT: Said of a person with a large bankroll."He's fat". also- loaded, deep pockets and on fat street

FEVER: A gambling habit

FIELD: Several horses in a race or contestants in a sports tournament grouped as one contestant for betting purposes.

FINK: A stool pigeon or informer.

FISH: A sucker. see-APPLE

FIX: To bribe. "The fix is in".

FLAT STORE: Any gaming operation that is crooked.

FLATS: Crooked dice which have been shaved to favor certain numbers.

G-NOTE: $1,000 bill.

GAFF: Any method or device that aids in cheating.

GET OUT: To regain ones losses.

GEORGE: Generous, big tipper-the opposite of TOM.

GET DOWN: Place a wager.

GRAVEYARD SHIFT: The early morning shift of a gaming establishment.

GRIND: Small play.

GRINDJOINT OR STORE: An establishment that caters to small play.

HARDWAY BET: To bet the number 4, 6, 8 or 10 will be made with two duplicate numbers. 2-2,3-3 etc..

HOT: Said of dice that are passing or a player on an extended winning streak.

HIGH HURDLER: A person who left town owing money leaving no forwarding address.also-skipped,took a hike, took a powder and came up lame

HANDICAPPER: A person who studies and evaluates all sporting events.

HOLDING YOUR OWN: Breaking about even.

HOUSE: The operators of the casino.

HOOKED: Losing a wager by exactly 1/2 a point.

HOT GAME: Any game attracting a lot of action on one side by many players.

IN THE BAG: Said of a sporting event with a predetermined outcome.The fix is in.Also said by over-optimistic tout who may say it about both sides to many clients and then expect a reward from half of them.

JACKPOT: A troublesome situation.

JUICE: AKA-Vig or vigorish.The bookmakers commission for taking a bet.(also a term in casinos denoting influence with upper management.

KIBITZER: A spectator at any game who usually dispenses unwanted advice.

KICK: Ones pocket. "He put the bankroll in his kick".

KNOCK: To cast disparaging remarks about someone. Usually done behind his or her back also-rap

LAYING THE POINTS: Betting on the favorite.

LAYDOWN: A wager.

LIMIT: (1) Maximum amount a player may wager on a specific bet or event. (2) Maximum amount a player may increase a previous bet.(at poker,etc) (3) maximum amount bet before the casino/bookie changes odds and/or the points.Also known as the "cap".

LINE: The listed odds or points offered on a game. also-point spread and price line

LINEMAKER: A person who establishes (creates) the original and subsequent betting lines. also known as ODDSMAKER.


LIVE HORSE: A horse considered to be in shape to run his best.

LIVE ONE: A player with money looking for action.

LOCK: Best bet,an easy winner, a no brainer..

MAIDEN: A horse that has never won a race.

MARKER: An advance extended to a player on credit.

MICHIGAN BANKROLL: A large bankroll consisting mostly of dollar bills with a large denomination bill on the outside.

MIDDLES: Winning both sides of a betting proposition.

MORNING LINE: A linemakers morning guess as to the probable odds on horses that are to run in afternoon races.

MUDDER: A horse known to favor a muddy track.

NAILED:Caught cheating or stealing

NATURAL: (1) Black Jack - Ace and 10 count card (2) Craps - 7 or 11 on the first roll

NICKEL: A $500 wager.

NOSE OPEN: To have ones nose open is to lose control usually when losing and try to steam ones way out of the trap.

NUT: A gambler or gambling enterprises overhead expenses.

ODDS: Correct odds are the ratio of favorable vs. unfavorable possibilities.

ODDS ON FAVORITE: A horse or competitor that is so favored that the odds are quoted as less than even money."The odds on favorite is priced at one to ten".

OFF THE BOARD: Sporting events casinos or bookmakers will not accept action on.

OFFICE: A secret signal passed from a gambler to his confederate.

ON THE HOP: A one roll wager.

ONE DOLLAR: $100 wager.

PAPER: Marked cards.

PARLAY: A bet on two or more propositions.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Prior events are studied in order to help determine the outcome of a future contest.

PAST POST: A devious attempt to bet during or after an event has taken place.

PICK`EM GAME: A dead even game giving both sides an equal chance.

P.M.G.: Baseball terminology-Advertised Pitchers Must Go.

PUSH: A tie. Neither side wins or loses.

QUINELLA: A wager picking the first or second place finish in either order (1,2 or 2,1).

A box to hold chips or checks.

RENEGE: (1) To refuse to honor a lost wager or debt; to welsh. (2) To misplay a card illegally.

ROUND ROBIN: A bet of 3 teams or more. e.g. A&B - A&C - B&C, this constitutes three 2 team parlays

RUSH: POKER- A streak of winning many consecutive hands

SAWDUST JOINT: Unpretentious gambling casino.

SCOUT: Person who studies a team during play and/or practice and reports findings.

SCORE: A substantial win.

SEND IT IN: A player who takes full advantage of a winning streak by increasing his bets substantially."When he's going good he sends it in".

SHORT ENDER: An underdog in any betting proposition.

SILKS: A jockeys uniform.

SMART MONEY: When professional gamblers wager.

SOFT PLAYER: Bets less when he wins and doubles up when he loses. Can't stand to take off a score.

SQUARES: Perfect dice to within a tolerance of 1/5,000 of an inch.

SNAPPER: Ace/10 see natural

SPIT: A very small amount of money.

STEAMER: Will only bet big when losing. The softest of soft players.

STUCK: Losing,-In the hole:losing a lot.- Buried: lost it all.

TAP OUT: To bet and lose ones last dollar.

TOM: No good. Not generous. Opposite of George.

TOUT: A professional tipster who offers to sell his opinion on the out come of a sporting event without benefit of knowledge.


VALUE: A professionals opinion regarding a proposition that appears to be an overlay or an underlay - High or low.

VIRGIN LINE: A line sent out to Sports Books before any wagers have been made.

WAVE: (1) To bend the edge of a card during play for identification purposes. (2) The bend itself.

WISE GUY: An educated professional gambler with an extensive track record of being a winning player.

WHALE: A sky high bettor who tries to negotiate maximum limits that make even the largest casinos uncomfortable.

WRONG BETTOR: DICE-A player who bets the don't

ZOMBIE: A gambler who never shows emotion regardless of the outcome.

A glossary of terms commonly used in sports gambling.

Point Spread Number of points a team is favored to win by

Over/Under (or Totals)

Total combined number of points expected to be scored.

(Both teams)

Sometimes the over or under is favored.

In the following example the over/under is followed by an "o" or "u", then the money line (5.Ou-125)

Money Line

The money line is an indicator of the odds that a team will win.

The negative money line represents how many dollars you would need to bet to win $100.

A positive money line represents how many dollars you would win if you bet $100.

-110 or -120 (excessive advantage) for either side would constitute the sports book advantage.

Basketball and Football Basketball and Football both use point spreads and the over/under

Baseball uses the money line for odds.

Occasionally a run line maybe an alternative.

(Atlanta -1.5runs Florida +1.5runs) Player lays 11 to 10.


Hockey combines both a point spread and the money line.

(Edmonton +1.5+125 at Detroit -1.5-145)*

They also use a split line for increased advantage.**

(Toronto - 1.5goals Montreal +1goal)

Dollar for dollar, even money on either side.

*Detroit is favored by 1.5 goals. If you bet $145 on Detroit, you would win $100 if Detroit wins by two goals or more.

**Please note never play into a split line unless you have tomorrow's newspaper today