A Crash Course in Casino Slang

Walking into the table games area of a casino can be rather intimidating for inexperienced players. All the fancy equipment, smartly dressed men and women, and complex game rules are a lot to take in.

And then there’s the language. Over the centuries, frequenters of gaming establishments have developed their own dialect that makes little sense to the untrained ear. In the casino, there’s a slang term for everything from the croupier to the casino itself.

It’s natural for players unversed in the common tongue to feel that it puts them at a disadvantage to other players. Then there’s the risk of putting your foot in your mouth by using a term incorrectly! To save you that embarrassment, here’s an overview of some of the most important casino slang there is:

Names for Different Types of Players

  • Crossroader: A cheater.
  • Fish: An inexperienced player.
  • George: A casino player who always tips well.
  • Grinder/ Low roller: A player who makes a living off gambling with small bets.
  • High roller: A player who is known for betting large amounts of money in the casino.
  • Plunger/ Pigeon/ Steamer: Someone who chases his/her losses.
  • Shooter: A player engaged in rolling the dice on a craps table.
  • Stiff: Someone who never tips, even if they win big.
  • Turkey: A player who is rude to the dealer.
  • Whale: An incredibly wealthy player who regularly loses millions at casinos without really caring. Only the most exceptionally rich qualify as whales, of which there are about 250 worldwide.

Names for Casino Employees

  • Boxman: The craps dealer who oversees bets and payoffs.
  • Croupier: The roulette table dealer who collects the chips and places the ball on the wheel.
  • Ladderman: The supervisor of baccarat games.
  • Pit boss: The casino boss who supervises several table dealers.
  • Stickman: The craps dealer who shifts the dice on the table using a hooked stick.

Terms for Casinos and Casino Paraphernalia

  • Book: The room reserved for sports and race betting.
  • Carpet joint: A casino that is intended for high rollers.
  • Check: The casino’s chips.
  • Eye in the Sky: One-way mirror used for surveillance purposes.
  • Folding money: Cash notes.
  • Grind joint/ Sawdust Joint: A casino catering to low rollers.
  • Pokie: The New Zealand name for a slot machine.
  • Toke: Tips or some other form of gratuity.

Now you can talk the talk and feel right at home when other players make metion of something that was previously a little confusing and left you scratching your head, or Googling furiously to find out what they meant!