Las Vegas Casino Speak: How to Talk the Talk
By: Jay Moncliff
If you’re visiting a Las Vegas casino, you may wonder what kind of language they’re speaking. There is a lot of Vegas lingo, and learning a few of the more popular terms and what they mean can make you look like an old hand in the casino.
Some of the terms are colorful and will really make you look cool. Vegas veterans call dice “bones”. Want to look cool? Roll the bones at a craps table. Another cool Vegas term is “bill”. Be careful, this is a $100 bill, not just a dollar.
You may be interested in playing a “progressive” game. This is a game where the jackpot keeps growing until someone wins. Each play makes the jackpot grow until some lucky person wins the entire “pot” or amount of money available.
You may notice a “fill” while you’re in the casino. When a machine’s coins are replenished, or more chips are brought to a table game, it’s called a fill. Of course, the coins go into the machine’s hopper, or the container inside the machine that holds the coins or tokens.
You may want to keep an eye out for the “pit” while you’re in the casino. This area is usually off-limits to customers, but it’s where the “pit boss” or supervisor monitors the activity in the casino. It’s interesting to see the pit boss concentrate and monitor the “action” or activity on the “floor” (gaming area).
Of course, “gaming” was originally coined because of the negative connotation of the word “gambling”. No one in Vegas actually gambles, if you read the literature. They all participate in “gaming”. You’ll win or lose money either way, but gaming doesn’t carry the same expectation of losing as gambling.
Of course, some of the terms in Vegas have several meanings. You might hear the term “action” used in several ways. Personally, “action” could be the amount of money you bet during one casino gambling session, or the entire amount you bet during your trip. The term is used both ways. For the casino, “action” can refer to the annual amount the casino deposits, or the amount of play in a specific time period defined by the casino management.
The “buy in” is the smallest amount that you can join a table game for. You will notice that some tables require $5, $10 or even $50 and more to join the game. This term inevitably leads to “high roller,” or someone who has a lot of money to bet and isn’t afraid to use it. Depending on the casino, a high roller is usually considered someone who bets $10,000 or more during a day. Or you might say, his action is $10,000 or more.
Finally, you’ll probably need the useful term, “all-in”. This can mean that you are betting everything you have left in a poker game, but it can also mean you’re broke or absolutely exhausted after a long day of “gaming” Vegas can be a lot of fun, and knowing some of the lingo can make you feel like a real “insider”.