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The Slots Virtual Glossary

The purpose of The Slots Virtual Glossary is to provide both experienced and inexperienced players with a well-written, accurate reference that explains the interesting and colorful terminology used in the gaming world.

The following definitions are used universally for the game Craps. In addition, you will receive many interesting hints on how to improve your moves and increase your winnings. Read them at your convenience.


This vocabulary will not only enable you to better understand and enjoy your favorite game activities, but will also make you a better, more complete player.

Action - general gambling term referring to the total amount of money wagered within a specific period of time. For example, ten bets of $20.00 each sum up to $200.00 of action. The term action typically refers to any kind of wager. It may also be used in much the same way as a movie director uses it. For example, if a player appears to be unaware that it is his/er turn to play, the dealer may say, "Your action, sir/ma’am."

Alpo - a dog, puppy or underdog, i.e. the team, side or contestant in any given event considered to be the least likely to win.

Angle - any questionable deception or ruse by a player in cards or other game in order to successfully determine the game’s outcome and thereby increase his/er expectations. A player with an angle, even though it is technically legal, is not often welcome in well-established casinos.


Bankroll - the total money balance available for a player to gamble with.

Basic Strategy - a playing system designed to optimize the player’s edge over the house. Most guidelines take into account the player's cards and the dealer's exposed card(s). Blackjack: a predetermined set of decisions a player could make to maximize his/er average gain or expectation while s/he is playing a single hand against a deck(s) of cards.

Bet Spread - the ratio between the maximum and minimum bet amount allowed at any given game or casino. A player who uses $50.00 maximum bets and $5.00 minimum bets is using a 10:1 bet spread.

Blow Back - a loss of gains or profit after enjoying a plus in the winnings column.
Book - a sports-book or betting establishment that sets odds, and accepts wagers, on the outcome of sporting events.

Bookie (Bookmaker) - a person, house or organization that takes players' bets.

BR - an abbreviation for bankroll.

Break-Even Point - the point at which the bets, the player has made, approximately equal the payouts received.


Carousel - a group of slot machines.

Cashier's Cage - the counter in a casino where players redeem casino chips for cash, cash checks, or credit. It is often referred to as the cage.

Cash In - to leave a game and exchange one's chips for cash, either through the dealer or at the cashier's cage.

Cash Out - to leave a game and cash in one's chips at the cashier's cage.

Casino Advantage - the edge that the house has over the players.

Casino Rate - a reduced hotel room rate that the casinos offer good customers.

Casino Supervisor - a person employed in a casino in a managerial capacity relating to the conduct of gaming. The title includes a games' supervisor.

Chips - round tokens that are used on casino gaming tables instead of cash.
Cold - a player on a losing streak, losing dice, losing hands, or a slot machine or video machine that is not paying out.

Comps - complimentary gifts used by casinos to entice players to gamble. Typical comps include free room, food and/or beverage (RFB).

Credit Button - a button that allows players to bank coins in the form of credits while playing slot machines or video machines.


Dealer - a casino employee who either deals cards in Poker, Blackjack, or Baccarat, works the identical ends of the craps table, or works as a stickman.

Degenerate - a term for a compulsive gambler.

Dime - the sum of $1000.00.

Dime Bet - a $1000.00 wager.

Dollar - the sum of $100.00.

Dollar Bet - a $100.00 wager.

Double Bet - a wager that is twice the amount of the player's usual wager.

Drop Percentage - a portion of the player's wagers that casinos retain based on the house percentage. It is a default amount that the player eventually loses from an initial stake, which is usually around 20 percent.

Due For - a term referring to a slots player, contestant or team that is considered to be overdue for a win or loss in the next pull, contest or sports event. The due for wager is a favorite strategy of many players.


edge - an advantage over an opponent or the house in any wager, or the advantage that the casino has on any given wager.

Expected Win Rate - a percentage of the total amount of money wagered that a player is expected to win or lose.

Exposure - the amount of money the player or book is willing to lose on any action.

Extension - the amount of money the book theoretically risks losing on an event.


Fill - the replenishment of a coin hopper on a slot machine that has run out of coins. The fill is normally done by an attendant who obtains a bag of coins from the cashier and refills the empty coin hopper.

Firing - wagering large sums of money; a player who does so is said to be firing.

First Base - the position on the far left of the dealer at the start of each hand at the Blackjack table is considered to be first base, and is the first position dealt during play.

Fixed - slang term referring to the outcome of a race, contest or game that has been illegally pre-determined. No one in the mainstream sports betting world, on either side of a wager, cares for this term.

Flat - a slot machine with a jackpot that is always a fixed amount, as opposed to a progressive type of slot machine.

Flea - a derogatory term describing the wanna-be players who wager little, and expect something for nothing.

Floorman - a casino executive who supervises one or more tables.


Game Supervisor - a casino employee responsible for the immediate supervision of the operation of a game.

Get Down - make a wager.

G-Note - a one thousand-dollar bill.

Going Down - losing a wager, or series of wagers.

Grand - a thousand dollars. It could be in the form of a G-note, smaller bills, chips, or vouchers.

Grinder - a player who wagers small money.

Gross Win - winnings before expenses.


High Roller - a big bettor.

Hold - the percentage of profit the house holds back from the slot machines, based on the number of coins played in them. This percentage, which accounts for the house profit, may vary from about three to fifteen percent. Some casinos program their machines to hold back higher percentages.

Holding Your Own - the result of breaking even, that is, neither winning nor losing during a wager or series of wagers.

Hopper - the physical area inside a slot machine where the coins are held. Oftentimes, players will fill a slot machine hopper to overflowing. While it is true that slot machines occasionally run empty, at times they overflow. When the hopper overflows, the excess coins drop into a bucket beneath the hopper. This is the profit the casino takes. The buckets are usually emptied in the early morning hours when the traffic is light.

Hot - a player who is on a winning streak, or a slot machine that is paying out.

House - a term for the casino or establishment that runs a game.

House Edge - the wagering advantage of the casino (house) usually gained by paying out less than real odds would require.


Jackpot - a big win on a slot machine, or a special bonus paid to the loser of a Poker game, if he gets beaten while holding a very good hand. In jackpot Poker, the loser must typically lose with a hand that is aces full or better. This special bonus is more common in Poker games where there are very high stakes.

Junket - a trip organized to enable a group of gamblers to travel to a casino together. Junkets are often subsidized by a casino to attract players.


Layout - the imprinted surface of a gaming table, which shows all the areas where bets can be placed.

Load Up - to play the maximum number of coins per spin that a slot machine or video game will allow.

Loose - when slot machines are paying off and giving the house only a small advantage over the player, they are said to be loose.

Loose Machine - a slot machine that pays back a high return.

Low Level - a slot machine where a player can sit to play.


Nickel - a $500.00 wager.

Nickels - a casino term for chips with a five-dollar denomination.

One Armed Bandit - slang term for slot machine.


Parley - to leave winnings in action.

Pay Cycle - an expression that suggests the number of plays required for a slot machine to cycle through all possible winning and non-winning combinations.

Payline - the line on a slot machine window on which winning symbols line up. Slot machines can have as many as eight paylines. Most have only one.

Payoff - the winning return or payout the player receives on a wager.

Payout Percentage - the percentage each dollar accounts for, played in a video or slot machine. The payout percentage is also referred to as the payback percentage, which is paid to the winner of a game.

Payout Table - a numerical table on the front of a slot or Video Poker machine, that tells the player what each winning hand will pay for each coin or credit played.

Pit - an area of a casino in which a group of table games are arranged in an elliptical pattern, where the center area (the pit) is restricted to dealers and other casino personnel.

Pit Boss - a casino employee who supervises all the games and casino personnel associated with a pit during a particular work shift. Pit bosses are in place to watch for cheating, settle disputes, and give comps to high rollers.

Player - a bettor or gambler.

Press - to wager a greater amount than usual.

Press a Bet (Press) - to increase a bet by doubling it.

Pressing - wagering winnings along with the original bet. A player is pressing a bet when s/he lets winnings ride.

Probability - a branch of mathematics that measures the probability range for an event to occur. Probabilities are expressed as numbers between zero and one. The probability of an impossible event is zero, while an event that is certain to occur has a probability of one.

Progressive - a slot machine, or table game, where the potential jackpot increases with each coin or bet that is played. When the progressive jackpot hits, the amount is reset to the starting amount.

Progressive Slots - a group of slot machines, called a carousel, which are linked together to pay one common large jackpot.


Quarters - a term for chips of a twenty-five dollar denomination.


Red - the most common color used for $5.00 chips.

Reel - a wheel inside a slot machine window upon which the slot machine symbols are displayed. The number of reels per slot machine may vary. Most have three, but some will have two reels, four reels or even more. The greater the number of reels on a machine, the harder it will be to hit a jackpot.

RFB - an acronym for complimentary room, food, and beverage usually given to high rollers (VIPs).


Score - to win a great amount of money due to successful wagering.

Scout - a person who studies the performance and potential of teams, horses or contestants, in or out of play, and reports the pertinent findings to handicapper(s).

Sharp - a wise guy.

Shill - an employee of the house who bets money and pretends to be a player in order to attract players. Shills typically follow the same rules as the dealer, which makes them somewhat easy to spot in Blackjack (i.e. they do not double down or split).
Splash Around - to play more loosely than one should.

Square - an unsophisticated player.

Stake - money used to wager on the success or failure of a particular event.

Straight Slots - a slot machine where the winning combinations are listed on the machine itself. For example, one cherry may pay two coins for each one put in; two cherries may pay five coins and three cherries ten coins.

Stuck - a depressing condition experienced by players who feel behind, buried, losing or down for the week, sometimes as a result of losing a substantial amount of money.

Symbols - icons or images that appear on the reels of the slot machines. Symbols are of an infinite variety and can be practically anything that the manufacturers and the casinos can dream up.


Take Cycle - the opposite of the pay cycle on the slot machines. If a player subscribes to the pay/take philosophy, then s/he believes that a pay cycle is followed by a take cycle, whereby s/he may get the odd small hit. The reality, in fact, is that it's feeding time for the slot.

Tilt (Slots) - the condition where the slot machine stops paying and the tilt light comes on. Slots tilt because they have run out of coins, or because a coin is jammed in it. It should be noted that in such an event, a record of the coins owed to the player are held in the Slots memory and will always be paid after the tilt problem has been identified and resolved.

Toke - a tip or gratuity given to the dealer in the form of money or chips. A toke is normally a small amount of money, a dollar or half-dollar, given to the dealer by the winner of a pot. In many circumstances, tokes represent the greater majority of a dealer's income.


Unit - the dollar amount of a basic bet, i.e., one chip.


Variance - a measure of the extent to which winnings and losses fluctuate over a period of time. Variance is not necessarily a measure of how well someone may play. However, the greater the variance, the greater the fluctuations between winnings and losses.

Vigorish (Vig)(Juice) - the fee or commission paid to a bookmaker (bookie) or taken by the house.

VIP - a big bettor deemed worthy of full complimentary treatment, i.e., RFB.

Void - invalid with no result.


Wager - the amount of money a player voluntarily risks, or bets on cards, or other games. The wager can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers. See also bet.

Wise Guy - a well-informed, knowledgeable, and successful sports handicapper or player.