Getting to Grips With Casino Slang Terms

Did you know online casinos are one of the most popular pastimes? In recent years, casino games have become a viable entertainment alternative to Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and movies. Even real land-based casinos continue to be hugely popular, attracting new players regularly. If you are new to the world of casinos, you may be confused by some of the words used in these unique places. 

Whether you are playing an online casino or getting all dressed up to visit a brick and mortar casino, knowing what slang terms are used is important. Not least because knowing unusual terms will give you a better chance of understanding games and the rules of the casino. 

If you worry about embarrassing yourself in front other customers, don’t fear. Below are the most common slang terms you will hear at a casino:

Action: This is a term used in many casino games, such as slots, roulette, and blackjack. It simply means it’s your turn. 

Buy-in: Most casino games require a buy-in before you can play, which means the cost of entry to a game. 

Cage: One of the lesser-known casino slang terms, the cage is where you go to cash winning chips. When you win a casino game, the dealer does not pay your winnings, you must instead go to the cage. 

Card Washing: Don’t worry, you won’t be washing any cards with soap and cloth. This term means when a dealer spreads cards face down and jumbles them before he shuffles the hand. You may not hear this term often, and never at an online casino. 

Face cards: Most people are familiar with a standard deck of cards, including the jacks, queens, and kings. Well these are called the face cards because they all have a face on them. Some people at a casino may call them “picture cards”. 

House/House Edge: This piece of slang could get a whole article for itself. Essentially, it is the advantage the casino has of winning and making a profit. You are probably familiar with the term, “The house always wins”. Well, this is because of the house edge. 

Pit boss: Think of the pit boss as the referee of casino games. This is a staff member who watches dealers and players to ensure fair play. 

Railbird: Casino games can be a spectator sport. When you visit a casino and someone is watching games, these are known as railbirds. Rules dictate people watching games must be far enough away from the action to not influence the outcome. 

Streak: Like in sports, a streak denotes your recent history of wins or losses. You can have a hot streak of consistent wins or a cold streak of consistent losses. 

Toke: Toke is casino slang for a tip. It is common to tip dealers from your winnings on some games. Poker and blackjack are two notable examples. 


Whale: A whale is a favorite amongst casino owners because they are rich individuals who visit a casino with a huge sum of money. Usually a whale will continue to spend win or lose until their money is dry.