Learn more about casino practices, policies, procedure, equipment, and slang from this casino glossary, provided by a casino surveillance director.
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Casino Dictionary

Casino policy, practice, procedure, equipment, terminology and slang
casino surveillance policy, procedure, equipment and slang Casino Surveillance Glossary
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Glossary of Casino Terms

By the Vindicator
© 2004 Blackjack Forum Online

B comp. Free beverage comp

Big. A term for $100, as in five "big" = $500

Beans. Slang for cheques

Bet spread. The difference between a player's lowest and highest wagers

Bird dog. See "Shill"

BFA. Black female adult

Black Book. See Excluded List

Bleed. The slow draining of the float or cheques tray by an advantage player

Bleeder. A winning player suspected of being an advantage player

BMA. Black Male Adult

Body talk. Non-verbal communication used by counting teams

Bone. A term used to describe a $1 value cheque, usually white in color

Brush. See "scratch"

Bullet. An ace card

Burn card. The first card off the top of a new shuffle that is sacrificed and not played (goes straight to the discard rack)

Burn joint. A casino where, due to the game rules or reputation of the dealers, a player should expect to get burned (get a bad game or run into cheaters)

Bust-out man. A dealer who cheats

Camouflage. An act to appear less of an intelligent player so as to remain welcome at a casino’s tables

Candy Store. A casino that tolerates advantage players due to ignorance or open-minded executives

Case bet. A last big bet in which a player bets all his remaining chips on a hand in an attempt to come back from losses

CC. Card counter

Cheques play. What's said by a dealer to the pit boss when a player wagers black cheques or higher.

Clay. A chip or cheque

Curfew. An agreed-upon time for team players to end a play session

Dame. A card of the rank of queen

Daub. A foreign substance used to mark cards, can be anything from professionally-made color tinge to human body oil to ashes from the ash tray

Dead hand. A round called dead by a pit boss due to a complaint, misdeal, etc.

Deal me out. A term used to tell the dealer that you do not wish to play this round, as in "Deal me out this round."

Decisions per hour (DPH). The number of decisions (win, lose, or tie) that a player makes during 60 minutes. DPH x # of players = HPH (hands per hour for a casino)

Defensive wager. A wager to reduce one's potential loss

Desirability index. Win rate divided by the standard deviation x 100 = The D.I.

Discard rack. Plexiglas housing (usually smoke or red in color) used to hold discards

Double down. A blackjack play in which the player may bet an additional amount up to his initial wager to receive one, and only one, more card on his initial two-card hand

Double up. To increase your wager to twice the previous amount

Drop. The total funds removed from the table games' drop boxes

Drop box. A self locking box locked to a games table that the dealer places all incoming funds into (outside cheques, cash, fill slips)

Drummer. A player who is tight with his or her money

Duffer. An inexperienced player, a.k.a. a ploppy

Dummy up. What pit bosses used to tell dealers when they wanted them to be quiet and deal

Dump. Said of a dealer who pays losing hands or gives away the hole card or hit card (intentionally). Also a term used by players to describe a table that is losing money to the players

Edge. The percent advantage, either for the player or the house. That is, the percentage of the amount wagered that the player or house can expect to win or lose, over time

EOR. Effects of removal

Even money. An offer of insurance from a dealer when a player has a blackjack and the dealer has an ace showing. Not always a sound wager. Also, a wager that pays 1:1.

Excluded list. The "black book," maintained by the state, of players who are not permitted to enter or play in a casino in that state

Eye. A respectable term used to describe the surveillance department or surveillance camera

F comp. Free food comp

Face chaser. Said by casino personnel of a player who increases his wager after numerous small cards (non-tens) have been dealt. Also a term used by advantage players to describe Griffin agents

Fade. Slang for covering action or accepting a bet, as in to "fade" a bet

False cut. When a dealer falsifies a cut to cheat a player

False shuffle. When a dealer mimics the motions of a real shuffle but retains a clump or the entire preshuffle composition of the cards

Fill. The act of replenishing the cheque rack on a table game with more cheques

Fill slip. The paperwork that must accompany the above-mentioned fill

First base. The first spot (furthest seat on the right) on a blackjack table

Fish. A ploppy or someone easily "hooked." A patsy

Fixed limit. The max wager a casino will allow or book on that game. Most states require casinos to post the table minimums and the fixed maximums.

Flagged. A player who is suspected of advantage play is "flagged" to be watched whenever he returns

Flasher. Said of a dealer who exposes his or her hole or hit card, sometimes on purpose to an agent

Flat store. A casino that cheats

Float. Cheque tray on a table game

Floor supervisor. A person placed in charge of a certain game area. Usually monitors four table games

Fluctuation. A term used to describe the roller coaster ride one's bankroll may experience during a session or multiple sessions

Foul hand. A misdealt round that gets called off

Front loader. A dealer that exposes her hole card when burying it beneath the top card

Front loading. A play that takes advantage of a front loader dealer

Gallery. Non-playing spectators

Gambler. A player willing to wager without an advantage

Garbage. The discards

GCB. Gaming Control Board.

Gorilla. A "big player," a.k.a. "money man"

Grand. Slang for $1000

Grave. The first shift of the day for casinos (starts at the end of the previous day, usually around 4:00 a.m.)

Gravy. A team's or player's overall winnings

Green. A $25 value cheque

Grifter. A term used to describe a cheater

Grift sense. That sixth sense good crossroaders have as to whether to continue with a plan or abandon it

Grind. Winning in a slow, small incremental manner so as not to draw any attention and make a profit over time

Gross revenue. Net win

Hand. The cards held by a player in one round of play

Handle. Total amount wagered in a casino

Hands per hour (HPH). The number of hands that a dealer can deal in 60 minutes, including to herself. HPH divided by (# of players + dealer) = DPH

Hard hand. A hand that can have only one total value, for example, a ten and a 7 = hard seventeen

Harrigan shoe. A shoe with a shield or horse-hair (bristle) covered opening

Heads up. Playing one on one with the dealer

Heat. Extra unwanted attention from a pit boss to a player who appears to be winning by means of advantage play

Heel peak. A method by which the dealer can peek the top card

HFA. Hispanic female adult

HMA. Hispanic male adult

High roller. A premium player, a.k.a. a "whale"

Hit. To request or deal another card to a hand. Also see "scratch"

Hold out. To hold out a card, a.k.a card mucking. Means to withhold a card illegally

Hold out device. A mechanical cheating device

Hold percentage. A casino's table games' win divided by the drop (buy-in) = hold

Hole card. The dealer's face down card

Hop. A cheating method in which cards are cut in such a way as to return them to their original pre-cut state

Hot hand. A run of high valued cards

House. Another term for the casino

Humps. A.k.a. "belly strippers," cards that have been altered by shaving the edges. Used in cheating to find specific cards

Hustle. Said of a dealer who solicits tips

Independent. A lone or solo card counter

Index. The printed values on the playing cards (2, 3, 4, 5, etc). Card counters also use this term to denote the count at which their playing strategy for a given hand changes

Index number. Card counter jargon used to identify the count for specific strategy deviations.

Insurance. A side bet that the dealer has a 10-value card in the hole when showing an ace for a top card. Pays 2:1

Jog. A method in which a cheating dealer marks a position in the deck or shoe; used to guide an agent to the place to cut

Juice. A term used to describe a casino employee who carries political weight or influence within the organization, as in "That boss has a lot of juice. " Also used as a verb, as in "He was juiced into his job."

K. Slang for thousand

Key card. A playing card used to predict an upcoming card or slug of cards, such as an Ace or clump of 10's

Key employee. A casino executive

Kibitzer. A non-stop talking spectator

Knave. A Jack

Knock off. A playing card marked by sandpaper (for cheating purposes)

Lammer. A chip used to identify the dollar amount given to a player under credit conditions for taking or paying back markers

Large. A term for $1000; ten large = $10,000

Layout. The green felt cover on the table made of a nylon weave with a silk screened custom monogram showing the casino’s name, rules, etc.

Limit. The maximum wager a casino is willing to book. Usually displayed on the table game plaque.

Locator. One who plays to the "Key Card," a.k.a. location play

Lock it up. Placing the cheques from a player’s lost wager into the tray.

Longevity. The amount of time measured in minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years before a casino gets wise and bars you

Luminous reader. Cards marked by special ink or substance that can only be seen with special glasses or contact lenses. Cheating

Marked cards. Cards that have been altered from factory standards in order to aid a cheater

Marker. A counter check made payable to the casino in exchange for cheques. Used for "playing" credit

Marker play. A player who plays against his own front money or previously established credit arranged at the cage

Martingale. A very old method of progression betting. A systems player.

Master report. The "rip sheet," or summary sheet, of all wins, drops, fills, markers, etc. per table. This report includes a report on each individual game

Mechanic. A dishonest dealer

Milker. A tight wad player

Money man. See B.P., a.k.a. Big Player

Money manager. A player who makes calculated wagers according to bankroll size, edge, etc.

Monkey. An Asian term for a 10 card

Mucker. A player who switches cards on a table--a cheating move

Mug shot. A picture of a suspected advantage player, shot taker, or cheater, maintained in a file by casinos and official authorities

Multi-deck. A blackjack game that has more than 1 deck in play at the same time, as in double deck, 6 deck, 8 deck

Mystic. An irrational, unreasonable player

Natural. A two card total of 21 in blackjack

Negative deck/shoe. A deck or shoe with extra high cards depleted so that the count has swung below neutral

Negative swing. A losing period

Nickel. A $5 value cheque, a.k.a. red cheque

No dice. Casino term for No Deal, no way, not going to happen, etc.

Nurser. A player who "sweats" his cards; a card fondler

Nut. The casino's overhead

Odds. A probability ratio, as in your odds of liking the movie "Stacey's Knights" are slim to none at best!

Office. A signal given by a cheat to his partner

OMA. Oriental male adult

On the square. On the up and up, fair, honest. Not crooked or flat

Opener. A table card used to counter/verify the cheque inventory when the table was closed. The opener and the closer should match

Original. The first two "original" cards dealt to a player

O.T.T. Off the Top, the first round after a shuffle

Our cheques. Said of a player who is wagering with money he or she won from the casino, as in "She's playing with "our cheques"

Outsider. A non-employee that works with an employee to embezzle/steal cheques from the table

No peek reader. An electronic card-reading device mounted on a blackjack table so that a dealer can check for an ace or ten hole card without seeing the actual value of the card

Pack. Deck of cards

Paddle. The clear plexiglas device used to push the currency (from buy ins and lost cash wagers) and fill slips into the drop box

Paint. Face card

Palming. Another term for mucking, mucker

Pan handler. A dealer who attempts to embarrass a player into toking

Partial insurance. To insure your bet for less than the full amount

Past post. To make a wager after the conclusion of the event wagered upon. Illegal cheating move

Pat. A strong two card total of 17(hard) or better, as in "a pat hand"

Payoff. The monetary amount one expects to receive upon winning the bet

PC. Hold percentage

Peek. To view the top card of the deck prior to dealing it. A cheating move

Pen. The area of the deck or shoe where the "sweat" or shuffle card is placed, a.k.a. penetration

Picture card. Face card

Pigeon. A sucker, easy mark

Pincher. Player who removes cheques from his wager after losing but before the dealer can pick up the lost bet. A cheat move

Pips. The spots on the face of the cards indicating their value

Pit. The area in which gambling is conducted; a.k.a. the Arena

Pit boss. An employee entrusted to oversee numerous Floor Supervisors in a pit

Pit clerk. Data entry clerk in charge of printing fill slips for the supervisors, marker input, player rating input, etc.

Ploy. A system or stratagem

Plus count. A term used to indicate that the composition of the deck favors the player due to an excess of ten value cards

Policy. A casino’s way of doing things: "It's not our policy to take personal checks"

Power of the pen. Having the authorization to comp at the expense of the department or the casino

Press it up. To increase your wager, a.k.a. double your wager

Presser. Player who adds cheques to his/her winning wager after knowing the outcome is in their favor

Procedure. A casino’s written rules that employees must adhere to

Progression. A playing system that entails increasing or decreasing your wager after winning or losing a hand

Prove hand. An action requested by a floor supervisor (or higher) for the dealer to "back out" the cards from the discard rack and restore them to the correct players

Pull through. A false shuffle

Punter. An Australian term for a player

Puppy print. The Ace of clubs

Quarter. A $25 cheque. Also see "green"

Quitter. A player who loses and leaves

R comp. Free room comp

Rabbit hunting. Part of the procedure a dealer goes through to check new cards prior to putting them in play--to check the front and back of new cards

Rag, or rags. To a card counter, low cards

Rail thief. Someone who steals cheques from casino players at the tables

Rat holer. A player who secretly pockets chips in order to hide his winnings from a casino

Readers. Marked cards

Red. A $5 cheque, also see "nickel"

RFB comp. Free room, food, and beverage comp

RFBA Comp. Room, food, and beverage unlimited

Rider. A player who stands behind a seated player and wagers on the same spot. In some countries, the larger bettor controls the decisions on the hand

Rim. Slang for a marker or credit player

Rim Card. An index card used to track a premium player's "rim" play

Ring In. To introduce an unfair deck into play to aid the casino, a.k.a. a "ringer"

Rip off. Slang for a ruse or sting

Risk of ruin. The risk or likelihood of a player losing all of his or her bankroll

Rolling. An expression called out by a dealer before turning a freshly shuffled deck on its side for squaring, as in "rolling the deck"

ROS. "Rule of Six." Applies to single-deck games. Dealer will deal 5 rounds to 1 player, 4 rounds to 2 players, etc. Always adds up to 6.

Rover. A player who roams around looking for an empty seat so that he can play

Rummy. An inebriated player tolerated only because he has funds

Run. A long or unusual winning streak

Run up. Any type of deck stacking (cheating)

Runner. A cheater who fails to execute his move correctly and therefore must make a run for it

Running count. A count of the card values as the cards fall before converting to a true count

Ruse. A plan or means of deception

Sanded deck. A deck that has been marked with sandpaper for cheating purposes

Sawbuck. A $10 bill

Scratch. An old term used to describe the action that a player performs to request a hit

Second base. A term used to indicate the playing position at the center of the table. There is a difference between a base and a spot.

Shaved deck. A deck of cards that has been altered for cheating purposes

Shift boss. A key employee in charge of all pit activity during his or her shift. The shift boss reports to the casino manager

Shill. A player who is paid by the casino and bankrolled by the casino to play at empty games in order to attract others into playing

Shiner. A mirror like device used by a player to catch the image of the dealer's hole card. Illegal under the device law

Shoe. A device used to hold multiple decks of freshly shuffled cards for dealing

Short lived play. Same as "short ‘n sweet" except that the player wins and then departs rather quickly. Also see the surveillance glossary at this Web site

Short ‘n sweet. A term used to describe the play session of a player who loses a lot of money rather quickly

Single Deck. A game dealt from only one deck

Snake bend. A card that has been marked for cheating purposes by quickly bending it from the upper left corner to the lower right corner

Snapper. In blackjack, any two card combination that equals 21

Soft double. A two card total that includes an ace that is doubled down on

Split. A rule option afforded by some casinos in which a player may take two identical value cards and split them into two hands (and wagers)

Spooking. Two players gaining an edge by having one see the dealer hole card (usually from behind the dealer) when the dealer peeks, then communicating the info to the other player.

Spot. The betting area or box in front of a player. First spot is to the dealer's left; then go clockwise to spot 6 (or more)

Spotter. A member of a count team who grinds away at a table and signals in the Big Player when the count is high

Stand. To refuse any further hits on your blackjack hand.

Standard deviation. A mathematical term for describing the variance of a game

Steamer. A player who is chasing his losses

Stiff. In blackjack, a two-card hard total from twelve to sixteen

Stiff sheet. A folded up sheet carried by the CSM (Casino Shift Manager) showing his or her shift's totals. Also see "Master"

Sting. See Ruse

Store. A casino

Stuck. To have lost money gambling, to be down, as in "We’ve got him stuck for $20K"

Suit. Slang for a casino pit employee

Sweat card. A plastic red, green, yellow, purple, or other color card used to mark the end of the portion of cards to be dealt in a deck or shoe. Indicates the "penetration"

System. To casinos, wagering or money management patterns erroneously employed by players to gain an advantage, in contrast with legitimate methods like card counting (casinos love systems players)

Table hopper. A player who hops from table to table to play fewer hands at a disadvantage

Tapped off. A dealer gets "tapped out" when relieved for a break

Tapped out. To have lost all your money

Tell. A facial expression (face dance) or gesture that gives a clue to an opponent

Theoretical hold. Percentage of wagering buy-ins that the house expects to keep on any given game or machine based on the house's mathematical advantage and game speed. Always an estimate

Third base. The last possible spot to the dealer's right on a blackjack table, a.k.a the last spot, or anchor

Tip. See toke

Toke. A tip (token of appreciation)

Tray. The float or tray on the table in front of the dealer that holds the house cheques

True count. Running count divided by the number of undealt decks

Truncating. To remove the decimal portion that follows an integer

TTO. This Trip Only is said when a player asks for an extension on a maxed out account. The casino may agree, but TTO

Turn. An action performed by a player to distract (turn) a casino employee. "Turning" is used for both legal and illegal purposes

Underdog. A player with a very small starting bankroll who builds it up to a small empire

Unit. Another term used for cheques or chips; 5 units could be 5 red, green, black, etc.

Vigorish. Slang for "commission," a percentage of a win that the house takes to get its advantage in some games

Walk. To leave a table game

Walked with. Said of the amount a player leaves a gaming table with, part of a dealer's report to a pit manager or higher, as in "He walked with $5K"

Warp. Cards that show a distinctive bend due to the dealers having to manually peek the hole card

Wash. A procedure that requires the dealer to "pizza wash" cards newly introduced to a game. The act of mixing the cards before shuffling by spreading and smearing them around on the table

Wave. The hand motion a dealer makes to offer insurance or the chance to wager prior to dealing a round

Wave off. A hand motion a player is required to make to show that he or she wishes to stand and wants no more cards

WFA. White female adult

Whale. Term for a premium player, a.k.a. high roller

Whiz machine. A fill, credit, and marker slip dispenser. It's like a Pez dispenser, except it dispenses casino documents

Whole 9 yards. A slang term for a "case" bet

Win. Gross revenue, also see "net win"

Win rate. The amount the house or a player expects to win per hour, based on game speed, dollars wagered, and advantage

WMA. White male adult

X-Ray. Said of a player (cheater) who can read the cards from the backs, based on such marks as lime shade, nicks, etc.

Yard. A $100 bill, also see Benji, C-Note

Zebra. Radio call sign for the surveillance department, as in "Security Officer Williams to Zebra One"

Zoo lander. Also a "Lookie Lou," that is, a non-playing, non-drinking, aisle-blocking, over-the-shoulder player who thinks he knows it all and tries to help you play your hand

Zuke. A tip, a.k.a. a "toke" ♠

[For a book with more information on casino personnel and procedures, see The Card Counter's Guide to Casino Surveillance by D.V. Cellini, an Arnold Snyder Professional Gambling Report.]

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