Home TIPS First-Time Senior Gambler: Talk The Casino Talk
First-Time Senior Gambler: Talk The Casino Talk PDF Print E-mail

In the U.S., whether you’re visiting Reno, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or in a Native American or cruise ship casino, know that employees and longtime gamblers have a language all their own. Learning the words and phrases may not help you win, but you’ll better understand what’s going on.   

1. Action: This describes where a gambler can find a game. In the Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls, the question always is: where’s the action? Today, in all casinos, it describes the ongoing process of all live table and roulette games.

2. Bank: This is the visible pile of chips in front of the dealer on the betting tables for craps, roulette and blackjack. The phrase, breaking the bank, meant a really big winner cleared the table, as in many James Bond movies, and the song, The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo. As for the typical senior casino gambler, the phrase is: only in your dreams. 3. Comp: To entice gamblers, casinos offer free rooms, meals, floor shows and other valuable gifts. Gamblers are given ID cards that electronically track their play on the tables and slot machines. Certain amounts of money bet or hours played can earn an increasing value in comps. 

4. Eye in the Sky: All-seeing video cameras are in strategic ceiling positions and other locations throughout the casino, hallways, entrances, exits, elevators, garages, parking lots and elsewhere. Operators in video screen rooms can do all kinds of editing, such as click a still picture of your face and compare it instantly with thousands of others on a worldwide mug shot file. If you’re a known bad guy or math genius who keeps winning, a guard will be at your side very quickly.   

5. High Rollers: They're casino players who bet heavily, and are super wealthy gamblers from all over the world. They often arrive in private jets and carry big bankrolls into U.S. casinos. The ones who plunk down thousands at a time without a blink are called whales. The big fish usually get all kinds of free comps, including suites, meals, limos and high-priced companions.

6. Tips: Just about everything you do in casinos requires tips, gratuities and tokes. It’s all supposed to be voluntary, but there are certain customs you’re expected to observe. The most obvious is tipping while you’re gambling, as cocktail waitresses continuously offer you free drinks.

The casino doesn’t ply you with booze as a courtesy, but because the more you drink, the less careful you are about betting.

Dealers expect tips when you win big on a specific play, and when you decide to leave their table. On a table where the minimum bet is $10, dealers expect at least that amount as you depart. 

Speak It: When you learn the language, you’ll be more comfortable at casino tables and slot machines. You may actually get so good at it, you’ll go home a winner. Lotsa luck! You’ll certainly need it.

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