7 Casino Terms You Should Learn Before Placing Your First Bet

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These days, millions of people from all over the world enjoy online casino games. Their popularity is continuously rising, primarily due to how convenient and versatile they are. Some players also appreciate the fact that when gambling online, the odds and chances of winning are much better, while others like how safe and secure it is, as long as you’re playing on reliable and trustworthy sites. 

However, no matter how nice the casino seems (for some reliable ones you can check Betsquare) and how many opportunities it offers, you won’t be able to use these traits to your advantage if you continue to make bad decisions and lose money as a result. There’s just no way around it – if you want to win, you need to know the gambling rules and terms.

Don’t worry if phrases such as return to player, a whale, the cage, the bankroll, or buy-in sound like gibberish. Read the article below to familiarize yourself with the so important gambling jargon, and soon, you will understand everything you should consider before placing a bet.

Return to Payer (RTP)

RTP describes the percentage of wagered money that a slot machine or a video lottery terminal (VLT) will pay back to players over time. For online slots, 96% RTP is industry standard, but you can find games with different rates. The numbers can be lower for brick-and-mortar casinos since they need to account for operation costs.

To further explain how RTP works in practice, suppose that you’re playing on a machine with a high 98% RTP. If the players have spent a total of $100, you’ll receive $98 when you hit the jackpot. That’s why you should look for machines with the highest RTP you can find to maximize your winnings.

One of the best and easiest ways to find RTP data on slot machines is by looking at reports from gaming jurisdictions. They contain lots of helpful information about what kind of payback you can expect from different casinos. If you get lucky and look hard enough, you should also be able to find payback percentages on some of the most popular games.


A whale is a term that originated among poker players, but today is also used by those who enjoy other casino games. It describes players who wager massive amounts of money, their single hand amounting to thousands of dollars. Since it’s in the casino’s best interest to persuade them to return, “whales” are often offered lavish treatment, such as free alcohol, penthouse suites, or gourmet meals.

There is also a second meaning. The term “whale” might also refer to a wealthy but unskilled and sometimes simply bad player. That’s why you should make sure that the other person understands your intent before calling them such a name.


This inconspicuous word is used as a nickname for the place where the cashiers are in the brick-and-mortar casinos. Here, the gamblers can buy casino chips and later cash them in when they are finished with their session. Since cages are used to store a lot of money, they are heavily protected, so they look like a cage, hence the name.


Both online and land-based casinos use the term “bankroll” to describe the amount of money that either a casino or a player dedicates to gambling-related activities. When talking solely about the casino’s bankroll, this term refers to the money the casino pays out to the players. 

If you’re a gambler, the bankroll will be the amount of money you set aside for your gambling activities. You need to keep in mind that in order not to lose too much money, you should set a gambling budget that will help you manage your bankroll and allow you to have a limit you can stick to.


Buy-in is the minimum amount of money that a player is required to pay in order to sit down and participate in a particular poker game. In other words, it’s an entry fee for any poker table or tournament. The payment is always upfront, and each modern poker game has a minimum buy-in, so there’s really no way to skip it. The size of the buy-in then determines the total winning prize pool and also contains a fee (also known as a rake) that is paid to the house.

House Edge

Shortly speaking, the house edge is the casino’s advantage it has over players as they play over time. For instance, if a Blackjack table has a house edge of 0.5%, it means that for every $100 you bet, you are expected to lose $0.50. It’s something that the majority of players simply don’t mind as it’s the part of taking the risk and gambling; after all, the casino also gives you an opportunity to win actual big money.

House edge is a casino’s way to ensure that they generate profit because they need money in order to operate smoothly. If you want to minimize your losses, you can try to look for casinos with the lowest house edge possible. The lower it is, the less money you’re bound to part with.

Card Sharp

Card sharp is a term you might hear when someone is talking about a particularly skilled gambler. However, it’s not always used to show appreciation for someone’s card prowess. It also has a negative connotation and describes swindlers and cheaters. You need to be careful when using the term – if you don’t clarify your intention, you can easily offend somebody because they might think you’re accusing them of cheating.

In Conclusion

To sum up, before you head out the door or go online to visit a casino and play some games, you should definitely take the time to learn these terms first. Knowing who a whale or a card sharp is or what exactly does the RTP or a house edge mean can make a world of difference, especially if you’re a beginner who’s trying to get better at gambling. 

Don’t worry if it all sounds quite confusing at first. The more you play, the easier it will be to get the hang of everything and remember the essential terms. With time you can expect to learn even more terminology, and soon, you will have the knowledge of a gambling insider. Good luck!

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