Gambling Terms To Get Ahead

Roll the dice

Gambling is the luck of the draw, but it’s also a sport that takes some time and practice to master. When done right, you might be able to win big (and have some fun in the process). Here are a few gambling terms to help stay ahead in the game (and to know when to step away if needed).

Hand

A simple term that every gambler should know is hand. No, it’s not referring to your actual hand but what you are holding in it: your cards. You will have your own set of cards at the table that are to be used during a given round. Now, all you have to do is play your cards right.

Beginner’s luck

Whether this is superstition or not, a lot of people believe first-time gamblers are lucky (hence the name). This may be because beginner's are less likely to overthink their hands and how they play their cards. And, if you are one of the lucky newbies, winning big your first time can be exhilarating—and addicting. But, watch out because you won’t be a beginner forever and your bank account isn’t unlimited.

Camouflage

While a hunter uses camouflage to blend in with the great outdoors, a card player uses this technique to stand out. They might appear to be drunk or in a wacky disguise (sometimes simply a baseball hat and sunglasses) to camouflage their true identity and skill, so the other players don’t know what’s coming. So, if the player next to you is wearing a feather boa, don’t underestimate them, they're probably one of the best players at the table.

Dime bet

The term dime bet might be a little misleading for those who are new to gambling. (FYI, you aren’t betting with 10-cent coins.) This phrase means that the wager is one thousand dollars. Be sure to remember that the next time you’re at the table and want to use your spare change.

Hold your own

In life when you hold your own, it usually means you can withstand pretty much anything no matter how hard it is. But in gambling, this expression means you break even. You walk away from a game without making money but without losing more than you put down either. It’s not a terrible outcome, but probably not what you hoped for. Regardless, your spouse won’t kill you, and that’s a win in our books.

Jackpot

We’ve all heard this word before and it means exactly what it sounds like. When you score a jackpot you are walking away with a solid win. And, with that win, you are bringing home some sweet sweet cash. 

Lay the odds

Do you have a favorite number? If you do, this expression is for you. Lay the odds or lay odds refers to when a player bets on a specific number because he think it’s good luck (you know, kind of like Taylor Swift’s obsession with the number 13). Oftentimes, it seems this bet will not be fruitful, but you have a hunch. The odds may be against you, but it will end in your favor, right?

Pocket cards

This phrase has little to do with actual pockets. The real meaning behind pocket cards deals with the way they are dealt. In poker, a dealer (the player who hands out the cards at each game) will deal these pocket cards face down to each player so they are hidden to the eye. You don’t want to show your hand too early, and the dealer is here to help.

Layout

The layout of a game is really the overall structure. Everything is outlined for you in the layout of the table, making the process very clear. You’ll know the basics like how much to bet and where to place it on the table as long as you pay attention to what’s in front of you.

Surrender

If you’re playing roulette (a game where players bet on a ball’s landing spot after the wheel stops), you’ll want to know the term surrender (also known as imprison). When the roulette wheel is spinning, you better hope the ball doesn’t land on a zero. If it does, it could cost you half your original bet. Ouch.