Casino Slang Terms and How to Use Them

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Casino Slang

Playing at the casino for the first time may be quite intimidating – new experience, new games, new people. And while you certainly won’t be using casino slang terms when you’re playing all by yourself in an online casino, you still need to understand the basics of the terminology. Learning the fundamentals may not only increase your skills but can also make you much more confident when playing the game!

Plus, whenever you go to Las Vegas, you certainly need to know all these terms in order to hit, split, and double like a pro. So without further ado, let’s check out 12 of the most popular casino slang terms and how to use them in real life!


Part of speech: adjective.

All In Gester in CasinoDefinition: Also known as going all-in, this term refers to a player who increases the bet with all the chips he’s holding. That said, the player takes all the chips and moves them to the pot. This action can be usually seen in the games of no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em. The other player has two options: either to match the bet or fold. And depending on your opponent, you can either go home with a big pile of money or end up losing everything.

How to use: She’s such a great player, if she goes ‘all-in’, I wouldn’t even be able to figure out whether she has a good hand or not!

Black Book

Part of speech: noun.

Casino Slang Terms and How to Use ThemDefinition: This is a common expression in land-based casinos to describe players who are officially blacklisted from the venue. Maintained by Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), the list contains all the personal information of those who are excluded: including names, phones, addresses, and photos.

Usually, the Black Book contains people who have been suspected or convicted of a crime; however, the casino reserves the right to blacklist any suspicious player, even if the only thing he’s doing is card counting.

How to use: Man, how did you end up being in the Black Book?! Were you cheating while playing Blackjack?


Part of speech: noun.

Definition: In land-based casinos, the cage means the Cashier, where the players can exchange chips for money and vice versa. And in online venues, the cage is usually represented by the Cashier tab. Simply put, it’s a place where the casino holds all the money.

How to use: He pleaded guilty to robbing the casino cage in Las Vegas casino.

Card Washing

Casino Slang Terms and How to Use Them

Part of speech: verb.

Definition: The process when the dealer shuffles the cards is called card washing. It is called so because the croupier mixes the cards as if he washes them in order to prevent consistencies. However, most casinos use automatic card shuffling machines, that’s why this term is rarely used now.

How to use: Good card washing is essential in the land-based venues in order to provide 100% fairness of the game.

Color Up

Part of speech: verb.

Definition: Coloring up is the process when players exchange chips of a lower denomination for higher ones. This is usually done in order to make room at the table, or to make it easier when you exchange the chips for money at the cage.

How to use: It looks like your stack of chips is continually growing, maybe it’s time to color up?

Eighty-Six (86)

Part of speech: verb.

Definition: While this term doesn’t refer to any casino game, it’s directly related to the land-based gambling venues. This verb means to refuse service, deny entry, or ban any kind of person. The term came from the Mafia times when the cheaters were taken to the desert and placed in a hole 8 feet deep and 6 feet long.

How to use: He was nice at first, but then the dealer saw he was cheating, so the security eighty-sixed him!

Eye in the Sky

Part of speech: noun.

Definition: This is a general term used to describe video surveillance at brick-and-mortar casinos that helps to monitor everything and everyone. The system usually has facial recognition, the ability to zoom, the software to recognize players, and even sometimes the technology to prevent cheating.

How to use: You can’t cheat at land-based casinos: the eye in the sky sees literally everything!


Part of speech: noun.

Definition: It’s not George Bush, the former president of the US, as you may have thought. “George” usually refers to the player who always (and quite generously) tips the dealer and other casino workers.

How to use: You never tip the dealer, maybe you should start being a George.

Casino Slang Terms and How to Use ThemKicker

Part of speech: noun.

Definition: The kicker is a term used in poker in order to identify the highest unpaired card. It’s a side card relevant only when your opponents have hands of equal rank. If and only if, the kicker becomes a tiebreaker, and whichever kicker is higher wins.

How to use: I won, even though we both had Aces – I had the King as a kicker, and he had the Queen.


Part of speech: noun.

Definition: Railbirds are people who prefer watching the game “from the rail” rather than participating. They’re usually keeping a safe distance from players in order to not influence the gameplay.

How to use: I’m terrible at poker, that’s why I prefer being a railbird at the casinos.


Part of speech: verb.

Definition: Once the dealer finishes the game, he rubs his hands together and demonstrates that he hasn’t taken any chips for himself. This is called washing. Just as card washing, the process of washing is essential for the casino and the players to ensure the croupier didn’t steal anything.

How to use: Before the dealer walks away after the blackjack game, he always does the washing.


Part of speech: noun.

Definition: Whale is basically a synonym for a high-roller. This is usually a player who places unusual high bets, losing thousands of dollars. Whales don’t have to be skilled or experienced players, but they usually get some extra perks from the casino, like limos, compliments, and luxury hotel suites.

How to use: Whenever the whale sits to play blackjack or poker, it’s always crowded around him.


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