Casino Lingo By Region
Since there are casinos in almost every country in the world, there are bound to be slang terms that are specific to a particular region. After all, any activity that gets adopted by a culture is going to get localised in one way or another. Here are a few casino terms, the country they are used in, and what exactly they mean.
Slots games have a number of different slang names. In the United States, United Kingdom, and many other parts of the world, slot games are often referred to as one armed bandits, fruit machines, or just slot machines. The term one-armed bandit speaks for itself, with people jokingly saying that the machine is a like a bandit, after the coins in your pocket, and the arm refers to the level you used to have to pull down to turn the reels.
Fruit machine is a term that was more commonly used in the old days. The earlier slot games often used fruit as their play symbols, with cherries, melons, and plums being common. This was because some slot games used to pay out in chewing gum, as opposed to money. The fruit referred to flavour of chewing game that was to be paid out. Even after the machines stopped paying in chewing gum, the trend of fruit symbols remained as a tradition.
In Australia slot games are only every referred to as pokies machines. This comes from the term poker machine, which, of course, refers to video poker slot games. In Australia, however, pokies refers to all slot games, and not just those that actually involve playing electronic poker. Any slot game is a pokies machine in Australia.
High roller is another term that has slang alternatives, depending on where you are in the world. A high roller is, of course, a casino game player that has a reputation for making larger than usual bets. Some of the other terms used are big spender or whale.
The term high roller is used with varying levels of popularity across the world, but the term big spender is more often used in the United States. In the United Kingdom whale is a more commonly used term. Interestingly, the term fish is also used in the United Kingdom, which refers to a new player who tends to hold on to their cash as much as possible. Both whale and fish are not thought of as offensive terms, although the term fish is a bit cheeky.
Betting, making a wager, or action, all simply refer to the act of a player taking part in a game and committing money. The terms are all used with relative frequency across the world, but some are more specific to certain regions.
In the United Kingdom the term wager is more commonly used, although saying you are placing a bet would not get you any funny looks, since the term is fairly universal. Saying that you are looking for action, however, is a phrase that may be taken a number of ways, depending on where you are in the world, and the circumstances involved. Some parts of the world, such as the United States, may think you are more likely looking for a strip club, as opposed to a casino.
The house, bank, banker, dealer, or croupier, all refer to the same thing, although the terms may be used in slightly different ways depending on where you are. The croupier is the person in charge of a table, and will deal the cards to players, as well as play off against the bettor if it is required. Referring to the croupier as the bank, or banker, is more common in the United Kingdom.
The house can refer to the casino as an establishment, but the croupier will also sometimes be referred to offhandedly as being the house. The term croupier itself is universal, but originated in France and is more commonly used in that part of the world. Few casinos or countries use the term croupier commonly, although it is the correct term.
A tip or toke is something that players give to the croupier. Upon a player leaving a table, having done well, they may decide to give a few chips to the dealer. In the United States this is referred to as a tip, in the United Kingdom it is a toke.
Other related slang terms are George and stiff. A George in the United Kingdom is a person who tips especially well, and dealers will often be heard saying they hope a few ‘Georges’ come round today, since croupiers make much of their wages on tips. A stiff, of course, is a player who does not give a tip, even after having a great winning streak. The word stiff, in referring to a person who is tight with their money, is fairly common in the United States, both inside and outside the casino.