South African Gambling Glossary


Whether you prefer playing live at your local South African casino or on the internet, you're bound to come across at least a few unfamiliar gambling terms. While it's entirely possible to play without being fully versed in the lingo of your favourite games, you'll have more fun if you're fully fluent. That's precisely why we've created this handy glossary of gambling terms. Browse it now and bookmark it for easy reference whenever you play.

Action: The funds wagered during the course of a gaming session.

Advantage player: A person who has an upper hand over the casino. This term can refer to skilled blackjack card counters or anyone who maximizes online perks and bonuses.

All or nothing: A special keno bet where you'll only win if all of your numbers come up or none of your numbers come up.

American roulette: The US style of the game that features both 0 and 00 slots on the wheel. This game offers worse odds than its European counterpart.

Any craps: A craps bet that pays 7:1 and requires the next roll to be a 2, 3, or 12.

Any seven: A craps wager that requires the upcoming roll to be a seven and pays 4:1.

Ante: The wager you are required to make before the hand or game starts.

Backline: Another name for the "don't pass" line in craps.

Banker: Usually a synonym for the dealer, but in baccarat it refers to one of the available bets.

Bankroll: The cash you have available for gambling.

Basic strategy: A system that puts you in the best position to win.

Bet: The amount of money you're risking, otherwise known as a wager.

Big red: Placing a craps wager on any seven.

Black: An even money roulette bet on any of the 18 numbers that are black in colour.

Blackjack: The name of South Africa's most popular casino table game as well the two-card hand that totals 21.

Bonus: Free money, complimentary spins, or other benefits players receive. Some terms and conditions may apply when claiming bonuses.

Card counting: A blackjack strategy where a player keeps tabs on which cards have already been dealt from a deck to better assess the odds and gain an advantage over the casino.

Card sharp: An expert card player, but often used to described underhanded or otherwise deceitful players.

Cash bonus: A real money online casino incentive that's added to your bankroll. Players generally need to meet specified wagering requirement before withdrawing bonuses.

Cash out: Withdrawing your bankroll or winnings. An online casino may let you cash out using credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, electronic wallets, or cheques sent by courier.

Cashier: The area where players exchange chips for money at an offline casino. The online casino cashier handles all deposits and withdrawals.

Chasing: Attempting to win back money you just lost, which is ill-advised according to just about every bankroll management strategy.

Chat: The feature in live dealer games that lets you interact with the croupier or other players. This can be text based or using a microphone. Poker games played against other players usually offer a chat feature too.

Cold streak: A lengthy series of losses.

Come bet: A craps bet that can only be placed after the come out roll. Works similarly to pass line bets.

Come out roll: The initial roll of the dice in a craps game.

Comps: The perks that casino players can receive when playing live. These include everything from complimentary food and drinks to free play and accommodations.

Craps: The name of the dice game craps but also the numbers 2, 3, and 12 within the game during the initial roll or come out roll.

Croupier: The dealer who runs the action at a table.

Deal: When the dealer gives out cards.

Deposit: Adding funds to your casino account. Online casinos accept a variety of deposit methods including credit cards, prepaid vouchers, bank transfers, debit cards, electronic wallets, and more.

Deposit bonus: Extra cash that a casino will give you when you fund your account.

Deuce: Refers to cards with the number two.

"Don't come" bet: A craps wager placed after the "come out" roll. This even money bet works similarly to "don't pass" bets.

"Don't pass" bet: A craps bet that the come out roll will be a 2, 3, or 12. Players will lose on a 7 or 11 with all other numbers establishing the point.

Double down: Doubling your original blackjack bet to receive just one additional card.

Double zero: The number 00 on American roulette wheels and tables.

Down card: A card that's dealt face down.

Download casino: A gambling site that requires you to download and install software in order to play. Compare this to instant play or no download casinos that let you play right in your web browser.

eCOGRA: Stands for E-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. This independent online gaming authority tests sites, protects players, and holds sites accountable.

European roulette: Standard roulette which features 37 numbers between 0 and 36.

Even bet: Wagering on all even numbers in roulette such as 2,4,6,8,10, etc., which pays 1:1.

Face card: A jack, queen, or king of any suit.

Face up card: Cards dealt with the face visible to all. These could be your cards or those of your opponents or the dealer.

Free spin: Complimentary spins that you can win while playing slot machines. Some online casinos offer free spins as part of a bonus package.

French roulette: The French variation of European roulette that features a slightly different table and occasionally en prison and la partage rules that reduce the house edge overall.

Hand: The cards a player has or the individual games that take place between the shuffling of the deck.

Hit: Asking for an additional card in blackjack. Can also denote a win when playing slots.

High roller: Players who place large bets.

Hole card: Cards that are dealt face-down in blackjack, poker, or other games.

House edge: The mathematical advantage that's built into every game that ensures the casino takes in more than it pays out over time.

House rules: Special rules that deviate from typical versions of the game. In blackjack, these may dictate which hands are eligible for splitting or doubling down.

Instant play games: Online casino games that run directly in your web browser without the need to download or install software. These generally work with a wide variety of hardware.

Insurance: A blackjack side bet that's offered when the dealer shows an ace.

Jackpot: A big prize common in slots or video poker.

Live dealer games: Special tables that are webcast from the casino floor or a dedicated studio to your device. These games are staffed by a human dealer and feature real cards, dice, or roulette wheels rather than computer generated versions.

Lobby: The launch screen of an online casino where you'll be able to choose from available games.

Maximum bet: The top amount that a player is able to be wager in a casino game

Minimum bet: The lowest bet you are able to place.

Multi-hand game: A game that lets you play more than a single hand at the same time.

Natural: A two card hand that totals 21 in blackjack. In baccarat, a natural totals eight or nine.

Odds: The amount you can win in proportion to the size of your wager. In roulette, odds can refer to betting on odd numbers such as 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc. and pays even money.

One-armed bandit: Nickname for a slot machine that stems from the era when slots had levers rather than spin buttons.

"Pass" line bet: A craps wager that will win on a 7 or 11 during the "come out" roll. The bet loses on a 2, 3, or 12, while rolling any other number will establish the point.

Payout: The amount you get if your bet wins.

Payout table: Reveals the winning combinations or hand and how much you stand to win when playing slots, table games, or video poker.

Place bet: A craps bet that a specific number will be rolled prior to a 7.

Point: Established during the "come out" roll in craps, this number can be either 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Players must roll the point again before rolling a 7 to win a "pass" line bet.

Progressive jackpot: Any type of jackpot that increases over time until a lucky player wins it.

Push: A tie in any casino game.

Random number generator: The computer algorithm that ensures what happens in online casino games statistically reflects real life outcomes and probabilities.

Red: An even money roulette wager on any of the 18 numbers that are red in colour.

Reload bonus: A deposit bonus that is available to existing players. This usually amounts to getting extra cash when funding your account.

Scatter: Special slot machine symbols that pay out regardless of where they appear on the reels.

Seven out: Rolling a seven in craps after the point is establish. This will end the round.

Shoe: The physical box that houses and dispenses cards at table games. The shoe can also denote the number of decks used. For example, many players prefer a 4-deck shoe when playing blackjack.

Shooter: The craps player who rolls the dice.

Shuffle: Mixing up a deck of cards so the order is random and the game is fair.

Side bet: An additional yet optional wager offered in many games.

Sign up bonus: Special offers geared towards new customers. This is also known as a welcome bonus and may include free cash, complimentary spins, and freeroll tournament entries.

Split: A roulette wager on two numbers that are next to each other the board.

Snake eyes: Rolling a two in a craps game.

Soft hand: Using an ace as an eleven rather than a one in blackjack.

Stake: Your bet size.

Stand: Opting to not receive additional cards during a blackjack hand.

Suit: The type of card, either hearts, spades, clubs, or diamonds.

Surrender: Abandoning your hand but retaining half of your blackjack bet.

Tournament: A group competition rather than a single game or hand.

True odds: Your chance of winning based on statistics rather than the posted payouts.

Three of a kind: Three cards that are the same except for their suits.

Variance: The fluctuation of wins and losses as a function of time.

VIP program: A loyalty scheme that rewards players for their patronage. You'll find these at online and offline casinos.

Wagering requirements: Also known as play through requirements, these stipulations dictate how much you need to wager before you can withdraw or fully access a free bonus.

Wild cards: Cards that can take on any value to help you complete your hand.

Wild symbol: A slot machine symbol that can take the place of other symbols in order to complete a winning combination.

Withdraw: The act of cashing out your funds from the casino. Depending on where you play, you may be able to receive your money using debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers, electronic wallets, or payment by courier.

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