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• 86 - A slang term meaning to be banned from a casino. Example: "He has been eightysixed from the Flamingo" means, he has been banned form the Flamingo Casino.


• action - A wager. Total amount of money bet by a player throughout the course of an entire gambling session. Amount of money "put into action".

• action Jackson - A gambler who wagers every day- day and night.

• advantage player - A gambler who tries to gain advantages by deliberately targeting weak casino dealers or opponents.

• agent - (1) A player cheat who frequents casinos and works with casino dealers and employees. (2) Person who for a fee or commission lures people to a crooked game to be fleeced. (3) An accomplice.

• all-in - To bet the entire bankroll. Example: "I'm all in" means, "I bet everything I have".

• anchor man - A player who sits at the dealer's extreme right at a Blackjack table.

• ante - The small wager put into the pot before the cards are dealt.

• apple - A sucker.


• bad beat - When a huge hand is beaten by a better hand. Example: a full house gets beaten by a better full house.

• banker - In Pai Gow Poker it is the player who books the action of the other bettors at the table.

• base dealer - A cheat who deals from the bottom of the deck.

• basic strategy - The entire set of optimal plays for any given hand in the game of Blackjack. These rules were determined by computer simulation. Basic Strategy varies slightly under different rule conditions and different numbers of decks.

• beard - A player who will place a bet for another player (usually a cheat) who does not wish his/her identity to be known.

• Bee cards - A brand name for cards made by The Playing Card Company. They feature an all-over back design composed of a diamond pattern. Click here to view a picture.

• beef - A problematic situation.

• (a) bite - A request by a gambler for a loan.

• blackjack - A card game played in casinos and private games. The object of the game is for the players to beat the bank by adding the values of the cards as close to 21 without going over.

• blackleg - An old jargon term for riverboat gamblers (meaning cheaters and outlaws) that operated in the rough and dangerous towns along the Mississippi river, in the early 1800s.

• (a) blind - A mandatory blind bet before the cards get dealt out. Example: in Texas Hold'em the player to the dealer's left must take a small blind (half the minimum bet), and the next player must pay the big blind (the minimum bet), while all the other players get a free ride.

• blister - A tiny bump put on the back of a playing card . The cheat may feel the "blister" while holding the deck in the hand for dealing. In this way the cheat always has a choice between two cards which he wishes to deal. See "pegging". See also chapter Marked Cards.

• blockout work - A method of marking cards by "blocking out" a portion of the back design. Click here to view a picture. See chapter Marked Cards.

• bricks - Shaven, misshapen dice. Same as flats.

• break-in dealer - A dealer who is in the process of "breaking in", i.e. being trained as a dealer but already working on the casino floor.

• Broadway - (poker slang) An ace-high straight.

• broad tosser - The operator of the three card monte swindle. The slang term for cards in this case is "broads", therefore the operator is "tossing the broads".

• broads - A 19th century slang term for cards, which were made wider than some other cards from that era.

• bullet - An ace.

• bunco - (slang) A trick or scheme that deceives people into parting with money. The term evolved from the word "banco".

• burn card - After cutting the deck and prior to dealing, the first card is (or first few cards are) discarded.

• burn joint - Slang term for a casino with nearly unbeatable rules.

• bustout dealer - A crooked dealer employed by a casino or by an after-hours club. This dealer is brought into the game to get rid of a customer who is problematic, or to make sure a high roller does not walk out with big winnings. Also called a streak-breaker.

• bustout joint - A crooked gambling establishment, usually an after-hours club with gambling tables where the dealers are trained cheats.


• C-note - A $100 bill.

• capping - A form of cheating by secretly adding a chip (or chops) to the top of the bet stack.

• card counting - Any of various techniques used to keep track of a statistic that describes the cards that have been played since the shuffle. Although card counting is not a cheating strategy, casinos do not allow it.

• casino nights - Entertainment events with a casino theme. Usually done for fund raisers. Also called Vegas Nights, Las Vegas Nights or Monte Carlo Nights.

• card mechanic - A card cheat who specializes in cheating by using sleight-of-hand.

• chips - The counters used in gambling games instead of cash.

• chip cup - A cheating device used to hide high-denomination ships. A chip cup is essentially a hollow tube designed to mimic as a stack of low-denomination chips. A cheat can steal chips with the aid of a crooked dealer by asking for change and betting the chip cup instead of regular chips. The scam is usually done in craps.

• checks - Same as chips.

• CM - Casino Manager.

• cold deck - A deck that has been stacked prior to the game and then switched in during the game - usually at the end. The expression means that the deck is cold because it was not in use up until the moment it is switched in.

• cooler - Same as cold deck.

• cooler move - A maneuver used to exchange the deck in play for a cooler.

• cop - See gambler's cop.

• craps - A popular casino game with two dice.

• crossroader - An old term used to denote cheats, having its origins in the Old West practice of cheating at saloons located at crossroads. The term is still applicable today for cheats that specialize in hitting casinos.

• croupier - French word for dealer. In roulette it is the person who spins the wheel.

• cucumber - A sucker.

• cut card - A plastic cards used to cut the deck. That card is then left at the bottom of the deck to seal off the bottom of the deck to prevent bottom dealing, or to prevent someone from catching a glimpse of the bottom card.


• daub - A paste used by cheats to secretly smear marks over the backs of playing cards; usually during the game.

• deadwood - The pile of discards.

• dealing a blister - A technique employed to deal cards in connection with a secret mark called a "blister". The cheat can feel the "blister" on the back of the top card and may decide to deal a second instead.

• dealing base - Dealing from the bottom of the deck. See base dealer.

• double discard - A cheating technique in draw poker. For example, the cheat calls for three cards as he drops two onto the table - apparently discarding them. He makes a mental note of them and receives three draw cards. He places the remainder of his hand onto the draw cards and selects the two which make the best combination with the three he just discarded. Then he places these selected two onto the discards, picks up the five as he casually pushes the three new discards aside. The cheat really discarded twice.


• ear - A bent corner put on a playing card by a cheat to identify or locate it.

• edge - An advantage.

• egg - A sucker.

• E.R. man - Same as anchor man.


• fat - Said of a gambler with a large bankroll.

• fish - A sucker; also apple, or mark.

• flash work - A method of marking cards by shading the entire back of the card except for a small portion which is intentionally left blank. See also chapter Marked Cards.

• flats - Dice that have been slightly shaven to increase the chance of some numbers occurring more frequently than others.

• flashing - A practice of exposing the top card of the deck by the dealer to an agent. Click here to view picture. See chapter Standard crooked moves.

• flick - Same as glim.

• fronts - In craps, pair of fair dice that are identical to the crooked ones. Often when a dice hustler order crooked dice, from a dice maker, the order will also include a pair of fronts.


• G-note - A $1,000 bill.

• gaff - Anything that is made, or altered in any way, specifically for the purpose of cheating at gambling games. Marked cards, holdouts, and loaded dice are just a few examples of cheating gaffs.

• gambler's cop - A method of palming cards. See chapter Standard crooked moves.

• George - A generous big tipper; the opposite of Tom. Also a fake name used to secretly communicate a coded message, by a cheat to an accomplice, that it is time to raise. "Did you see George the other day?" -- real meaning, "Raise! We are about to take this sucker down."

• Gem-backs - The name for the borderless card back design made by Gemaco Playing Card Company.

• glim - Any kind of shinny object, which may be used to reflect the index of a card. Other slang terms are: shiner, reflector, light, flick...

• glimpsing - Same as peeking.

• going paroli - Same as parlay.

• grind - Small play.


• hand mucker - A cheat who specializes in switching cards. The process is called hand mucking. See chapter Standard crooked moves.

• hand mucking - Any of various techniques used by the cheat to switch cards in and out of a hand. See chapter Standard crooked moves.

• hard hand - In blackjack, a hands without an ace, or with an ace valued at 1. Said to be "hard" in that they can only be given one value after adding up the total. Opposite of soft hand.

• hayseed - A sucker.

• heavy hand - A hand of cards that consists of one or several extra cards unknown to the opponents. See playing heavy.

• high roller - A gambler that plays high bets.

• hit - In blackjack, to ask the dealer to deal another card.

• holdout machine - A mechanical device, worn on the cheat's person, used to switch cards in and out of the cheat's hand. See chapter Holdouts.

• holdout man- A card cheat who specializes in cheating by having at least one extra card available somewhere near by. The holdout man gains access to an extra card during the game. This card is letter switched in and out of play as it may become necessary. See chapter Holdouts.

• hole card - In blackjack or in stud poker, the hole card is the card that is face down. That card is revealed at the showdown. In some games there may be more than one hole card.

• hole carding - A term used to describe the action of an advantage player deliberately trying to gain a glimpse of a dealer's hole card, in blackjack. This is done by targeting specific dealers who may have weaknesses and by taking up a specific seat at the table.



• insurance - In blackjack, it is a side bet that is offered to the players only when the dealer's up card is an ace.


• juice - A term used to describe an advanced marking system for cards. The marks can only be seen by a trained eye. I have also encountered people using the term juice to refer to marked cards in general. This may not really be the correct use of the term juice but since most of the gambling term are slang expressions there probably is no rule to it. Someone once suggested to me that juice used to be the term for marked cards before the actual marking system known as juice was invented. Afterwards the term was simply adopted for naming what is today known as juice. See chapter Marked Cards.


• Kepplinger holdout - A holdout machine invented by San Francisco's gambling cheat named Kepplinger. It is considered the most sophisticated holdout machine ever invented. See chapter Holdouts.

• kibitzer - A spectator at any game who has a habit of looking at active players' cards and dispenses unwanted comments and/or advice.


• light - Same as glim.

• lowball - A variation of poker. The object of the game (besides winning money) is to end up with a hand bearing the lowest possible rank or even the lowest possible cards.

• luck - An imaginary concept used as a substitution for skill by numerous players who unwillingly finance the expansion of casino industry around the world.

• luminous readers - A deck marked for the purpose of cheating. The marks are invisible to the naked eye unless viewed through a red filter which may be in the form of a visor, sunglasses or contact lenses. See chapter Marked Cards.


• mark - A sucker.

• marker - An advance extended to a player/gambler on credit.

• mechanic - A cheat who specializes in sleight-of-hand. A card mechanic is one who manipulates cards. A dice mechanic manipulates dice.

• mechanic's grip - A method of holding a deck of cards to allow any of the crooked deals to take place. The cheat who specializes in the use of crooked deals is called a card mechanic, therefore the grip in which the deck is held by a card mechanic is called the mechanic's grip. See chapter Crooked Deals.

• mooch - A sucker.

• muck - (1) A hand mucking maneuver. (2) The pile of discards (to "throw your hand into the muck" means to throw your cards into the pile of discards).

• mucker - See hand mucker.

• mucking - See hand mucking.


• natural - In blackjack, it is a hand that consists of only two cards and ads up to 21. One card must be an ace and the other a ten value card (such as 10, J, Q or K). Sometimes a natural is also called a blackjack.

• necktying - A method of camouflaging the action of a second deal by tilting the deck so that mostly the front edge is seen by other players. This tilt conceals the top of the deck which is the most vulnerable spot during a second deal.


• office - A secret signal passed from a gambler to his confederate.

• on a rush - See rush.

• overhand run-up - Stacking the deck with the use of an overhand shuffle.


• package - A cold deck.

• paper - A deck marked for cheating. See chapter Marked Cards.

• paper player - A cheat who uses marked cards. See chapter Marked Cards.

• painter - A cheat who uses marked cards. See chapter Marked Cards.

• palm - Any of various methods of concealing a card or cards in the hand for the purpose of switching it, stealing it or loading it.

• parlay - To stake an original bet and its winnings on a subsequent bet. Also "going paroli", or "running limit".

• past posting - An attempt (usually orchestrated) to place a bet on an outcome of chance after the outcome is already known, while making it seem that the bet had been placed legitimately. The term originated in horse-racing circles: it means placing a bet on a horse after the horse has "passed the post."

• pat hand - In blackjack, it is a hand that has not been busted and is worth al least 17 points.

• peeking - Any of numerous cheating techniques used to secretly glimpse (peek) at a card. Also known as glimpsing.

• pegging - The act of putting a tiny bump (also known as "blister") on the back of a playing card. This is done with a small device called "pegger". It resembles a miniature stapler.

• playing heavy - Playing with extra cards. In poker, for example, a cheat may deal himself an extra card and play the best five out of six cards that he holds in his hand. See heavy hand.

• pigeon - A sucker.

• push - A tie. No one wins or loses.

• push-off second - A method of second dealing. Two cards are being pushed off as one with the thumb of the dealing hand. The other hand withdraws the lower one of the two cards as the dealing thumb pulls the top card back into alignment with the rest of the deck. See chapter Crooked Deals.


• quads - Four of a kind in poker.


• rabbit hunting - Asking to see what cards would have come up if a hand had continued.

• rake - The money removed from each pot by the house. Medium and high-limit games typically have a time charge rather than a rake. A typical Atlantic City low-limit rake is 10% of the pot up to a $4 maximum. The same table in California may rake just the big blind, with the small blind going towards a jackpot.

• readers - Cards marked for cheating. See chapter Marked Cards.

• reflector - Same as glim.

• riffle stacking - Stacking the deck with the use of a riffle shuffle.

• riffle test - A method of checking the deck for markings. The cards are riffled as the eye stays focused at one spot of the back design at the time. If the back design bears marks they might show up in the riffle test. Some types of marks can not be detected in a riffle test. See chapter Marked Cards.

• round - In card games a round could either mean a round of hands, or a round of betting within a round of hands.

• rush - Being "on a rush" means, running extremely lucky and winning a large proportion of hands.


• San Francisco holdout - Same as Kepplinger holdout.

• sawdust joint - An unpretentious casino.

• score - A win.

• scout - A person who studies a team or a player during play and reports findings.

• second dealing - Dealing the second card from the top. See chapter Crooked Deals.

• sheep - A sucker.

• shill - A player employed by the house (or by the gang), whose job it is to bet in order to keep the game going and to warm up potential players (or victims). Same as stick.

• shiner - Same as glim.

• short deck - A deck with one or several cards removed from, either for the purpose of switching them into the cheat's hand at some later time or simply for the purpose of gaining advantage by knowing which card (or cards) is missing. The knowledge of which particular card(s) is missing enables the cheat to make calculations based on this knowledge.

• slow rolling - Taking the time to announce the winning hand in poker.

• snapper - In blackjack, an Ace and 10-value card. Same as natural.

• soft hand - In blackjack it is a hand that contains an Ace, which can be counted as 1 or as 11. For example a hand containing an Ace and a 6 is called a soft 17.

• soft player - A scarce casino industry term for a sucker that does not stop playing until all his money is gone.

• sorts - A method of marking cards by assorting them into groups of cards bearing the same imperfections on the back design. Usually Bee cards are used as they bear an all-over back design and they are factory cut at different areas of the back design. Sometimes cards with white borders are used as they also tend to be cut in different places. See chapter Marked Cards.

• spit - A small amount of money.

• spooking - The practice of standing behind the dealer to peak at the hole card in order to secretly convey the information to a co-conspirator sitting at the table. Although an illegal form of cheating a court has ruled that a seated player may use hole card information if obtained because of a dealer error or mishandling.

• square - An honest player; often meaning a sucker.

• squeezers - An old term for indexed playing cards.

• stack - A group of cards, of which some have been secretly arranged in a certain order to fall to a certain hand when dealt.

• stacking - Secretly arranging certain cards inside the deck, so that they fall to a certain player during the deal.

• stick - Same as shill.

• straddle grip - A method of holding a deck of cards to allow bottom dealing to take place. See chapter Crooked Deals.

• streak breaker - Same as bustout dealer; a streak-breaker is said to be sent in to break a player's lucky streak.

• strike second - A method of second dealing. See chapter Crooked Deals.


• tell - Any form of unconscious telegraphing of vital information. A player may blush when bluffing... etc.

• tell play - Playing the game by observing other players (or the dealer in Blackjack) and trying to detect subtle body language that may give away vital information.

• three card monte - An old swindle in which the operator tosses three cards onto the table. One of these cards is the "money card" and the players are supposed to guess which one it is.

• toke - A tip for the dealer in a casino or card room.

• Tom - No good. Not generous. Opposite of George.


• upcard - In blackjack that would be the dealer's exposed card.

• USPC - Abreviation for the US Playing Card Company, from Cincinnati, Ohio.


• vest holdout - A holdout machine worn over the chest area. A vest holdout is usually sewn into the lining of a vest or jacket. See chapter Holdouts.


• wall man - A member of a three card monte gang who acts as a lookout.

• whale - A sky-high bettor who tries to negotiate maximum limits that make even the largest casinos uncomfortable.

• white-on-white - A method of marking cards. Usually the cheat uses white correction fluid to make small dots somewhere on the white border on the back of the cards. The white correction fluid can be spotted if viewed under a certain angle because these white spots do not reflect light in the same manner as the rest of the card's finish. See chapter Marked Cards.

• WSOP - Abreviation for the Word Series of Poker.


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