Bankroll – your total gambling budget; the casino has a bankroll too, but in mathematical terms, it’s considered unlimited.
Black Book – a list, kept by the State Gaming Control Board, of people legally excluded from any Nevada casino due to a history of cheating or connection to organized crime.
Boxman – casino executive who acts as the umpire in a game of craps.
Buy in – exchange cash for casino chips.
Cage – the main casino cashier, where chips and tokens are converted into cash, credit is established and, usually, foreign currency can be exchanged.
Carousel – a group of slot machines that are often connected to a joint ‘progressive jackpot’.
Change color – swap chips for ones of a higher or lower denomination.
Check – another word for chip.
Chip – token issued by casinos and used, instead of cash, for table games.
Color up – exchange small denomination chips for larger denomination chips before leaving a table game.
Comps – short for ‘complimentaries’, comps range from free cocktails to ‘RFB’ – room, food and beverage. Their value is calculated by the gambler’s average bet multiplied by the time spent playing multiplied by the house edge. To qualify for comps, you must be a rated player or belong to a slot club.
Credit line – amount of credit a gambler is allowed.
Drop – total amount of money, including chips, cash and markers, brought to the gaming table.
European wheel – a roulette wheel with a single ‘0’ position (which gives players better odds). Most wheels in Vegas have ‘0’ and ’00’.
Eye in the sky – casino’s in-house surveillance system.
Funbook – a magazine of vouchers (meal deals and the like) or match-play coupons (only valid in conjunction with hard cash).
George – dealer-speak for a good tipper. Grind joint – a casino with low table minimums and low-denomination slot machines.
High-roller – big-money gambler who bets a minimum of $100 per hand on a table game, and plays $5 slot machines or $1 multi-play machines.
House advantage – the percentage difference (retained by the casino) between the true odds and the actual payout.
Juice – the ultimate Las Vegas power and influence, who you know.
Layout – diagram on the playing table that marks the area of the game.
Loose – used to describe a slot machine that pays out frequently, casinos compete in claiming that their slots are the loosest in town.
Low-roller – a gambler who bets almost exclusively at low-minimum slot machines, usually in grind joints.
Marker – IOU signed by a rated player to obtain chips and paid off with chips or cash.
Pit – area between the gaming tables reserved for casino employees.
Pit boss – casino executive who oversees the gambling action from inside the pit.
Progressive jackpot – payout on a slot or video poker machine (or group of machines) that increases as each coin is played.
Rated player – player whose gambling has been assessed by the casino and is thus eligible for comps.
Shill – casino employee who plays at empty tables (with house money) to encourage visitors to get down to business.
Shoe – container for decks of cards from which card games are often dealt.
Shooter – the player who throws the dice in a game of craps.
Slot clubs – clubs for slots and video poker players where members accrue points as they play, these can be redeemed against meals, gifts, cash and other perks.
Stiff – someone who doesn’t tip, one of the worst names to be called by dealers, waitresses, bellmen, cab drivers, and others in Las Vegas.
Toke – a tip for a casino employee, often given in the form of a bet on their behalf.
True odds – real chances of winning on any game as opposed to the money actually paid out by the casino.
Underlay – a bet that’s higher than strict probability suggests is wise.
Upcard – the blackjack dealer’s face-up card.
Vigorish – see house advantage.
Whale – big-money gambler prepared to wager huge amounts (at least $5,000 per hand) at high stakes games.