Gambling Terms E to H

Have you ever been puzzled by a gambling term? This is the perfect page to have those questions answered and to brush up your betting knowledge.




The term “eighty-sixed” or 86’d in a casino context refers to the act of being removed, banned, or barred from a casino. Originally a general slang term used in various businesses, especially in the food and beverage industry, to indicate refusal of service or the removal of an item from the menu, in the casino world it specifically means that a person is no longer welcome in the establishment.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. A player might be eighty-sixed for cheating, winning excessively (particularly if suspected of card counting in blackjack), being disruptive, or for any other behavior that the casino deems unacceptable. The term implies a permanent or at least a long-term exclusion, rather than a temporary removal.

En Prison

“En Prison” is a term used in roulette, specifically in European roulette. It is a rule that applies to even-money bets, which are bets with a near 50/50 chance of winning, such as betting on red or black, odd or even, or high or low numbers. If a player has made an even-money bet and the ball lands on zero, the “En Prison” rule offers two options:

  1. Half Back: The player can choose to receive half of their bet back, minimizing their loss.
  2. Leave the Bet “In Prison” for the Next Spin: The player’s bet is left on the table (“in prison”) for the next spin of the roulette wheel. If the next spin results in a win for the bet type the player originally made, they get their full bet back without any winnings. However, if the next spin results in a loss or lands on zero again, the player loses the entire bet.

The “En Prison” rule significantly reduces the house edge on even-money bets, making it a favorable rule for players. This rule is not commonly found in all casinos and is typically associated with European roulette.


In the context of casinos, particularly online casinos, “encryption” refers to the process of encoding data to secure it from unauthorized access. This is a critical aspect of online gambling platforms as it ensures the safety and privacy of players’ personal and financial information.

Encryption works by transforming readable data, known as plaintext, into an unreadable format, known as ciphertext. This process requires an encryption key, which is used to encode the data, and a decryption key, used to decode the data back to its original form. The most common form of encryption used in online casinos is SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption, which establishes a secure and encrypted connection between the player’s browser and the casino’s server.

This technology is crucial for protecting sensitive information like credit card numbers, bank account details, and personal identification information. When you see a padlock icon next to a website’s URL, it indicates that SSL encryption is in place, signaling that the connection is secure and the data is protected from cyber threats such as hacking or identity theft. In the online gambling industry, robust encryption practices are essential for maintaining trust and compliance with regulatory standards.

European Roulette

European Roulette is a popular variant of the game of roulette, distinct primarily for its wheel layout and some specific rules. The key features of European Roulette include:

  1. Wheel Layout: The European Roulette wheel has 37 pockets – numbers 1 to 36, colored alternately in red and black, and a single 0, which is green. This is in contrast to the American Roulette wheel, which has an additional double zero (00) pocket.
  2. House Edge: Due to the presence of only one zero pocket, the house edge in European Roulette is lower compared to American Roulette. The house edge in European Roulette is about 2.7%, whereas it’s about 5.26% in American Roulette. This makes European Roulette a more favorable option for players in terms of odds.
  3. Special Rules: European Roulette often features two key rules that can further reduce the house edge on certain bets: ‘La Partage’ and ‘En Prison’. Both these rules come into play when the ball lands on zero and are applicable to even-money bets. ‘La Partage’ allows the player to recover half of their bet, while ‘En Prison’ allows the bet to remain (or be ‘imprisoned’) for the next spin.

European Roulette is favored by many players due to its more player-friendly odds compared to other versions, particularly American Roulette. It is a staple in many casinos around the world and is also widely available on online gambling platforms.

Even-Money Bet

An “even-money bet” in gambling refers to a type of wager where the payout equals the original amount staked. This means that if you win the bet, you receive your initial bet back plus an equal amount as winnings. Essentially, the odds of winning are implied to be 50/50, or as close to it as possible in the context of the game.

For instance, if you place a $10 even-money bet and win, you will receive a total of $20 back – your original $10 bet plus $10 in winnings.

Even-money bets are common in various casino games. In roulette, betting on red, black, odd, even, high (numbers 19-36), or low (numbers 1-18) are typical even-money bets. In blackjack, a winning hand (not a blackjack) typically pays out at even money. Similarly, in craps, a pass line or don’t pass line bet offers even-money payouts.

These bets are popular because they are simple and have a near 50/50 chance of winning, making them attractive to both novice and experienced gamblers. However, it’s important to remember that the presence of house edges in casino games means that the actual odds are slightly less than 50/50 in favor of the house.


The term “Eye-in-the-Sky” in a casino context refers to the surveillance systems used for security and monitoring purposes. This system typically includes an extensive network of cameras strategically placed throughout the casino to observe and record all activities on the gaming floor, at cashiers’ desks, and in other key areas.

These cameras are usually discreet and are designed to be unobtrusive, often mounted on the ceiling (hence the term “Eye-in-the-Sky”). The footage is monitored in real-time by security personnel who are trained to spot any signs of cheating, theft, or other suspicious activities. The system also aids in resolving disputes, tracking gaming patterns, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

The use of “Eye-in-the-Sky” surveillance is a crucial aspect of casino operations, providing a critical layer of security to protect both the establishment and its patrons. It helps maintain the integrity of casino games and ensures a safe gambling environment.



In roulette, particularly in the game’s more formal or high-stakes settings, a “ficheur” is a device used to organize and dispense the different-colored chips that are unique to the game. In traditional roulette, each player receives chips of a specific color, different from those of other players, to avoid confusion on the betting table. Each color represents a certain value, and the ficheur is used to manage these chips efficiently.

The ficheur is typically used in games with a croupier or dealer, such as in a casino. It’s a practical tool for the croupier to keep track of each player’s bets and to ensure the correct payout for winning bets. In automated or electronic roulette versions, the role of the ficheur might be integrated into the gaming software or machine.

Final Schnaps

“Final Schnaps” is a term used in roulette, particularly in European or French versions of the game. It refers to a type of bet that focuses on two specific final digits. In roulette, a “final” bet typically covers all numbers ending in the same digit. The “Final Schnaps” bet extends this concept by allowing players to bet on two different final digits simultaneously.

For example, if a player makes a “Final Schnaps” bet on 3 and 6, they would be betting on all numbers ending in either 3 or 6. In a single-zero roulette wheel, this would include 3, 6, 13, 16, 23, 26, 33, and 36. Each of these numbers would require one chip, so a complete “Final Schnaps” bet on 3 and 6 would require eight chips in total.

This type of bet offers a way for players to cover a specific range of numbers on the roulette wheel more efficiently and can be an attractive option for those looking to employ a more diverse betting strategy. However, like all roulette bets, the success of a “Final Schnaps” bet is ultimately subject to the randomness of the game.

First Base

In blackjack, “First Base” refers to the first position to the dealer’s left. This is the first player to receive cards and the first to act on their hand after the cards are dealt. The term comes from baseball, where first base is the first of the four bases a player must touch to score a run.

The position of first base can be significant for several reasons:

  1. Card Counting Strategy: For skilled players, especially those who count cards, being at first base can offer a slight strategic advantage or disadvantage depending on the count and the remaining cards in the shoe.
  2. Game Pace and Decision Making: Being at first base means you have to make your betting and playing decisions quickly, as you’re the first in line. This can be a bit more pressure for new players.
  3. Interaction with Dealer: Being in the first base position often means you’re closest to the dealer, which can affect the social aspect of the game for some players.

The importance of the position can vary based on the player’s strategy and experience level. Some players have preferences for certain positions at the table, believing it impacts their luck or strategy, while others are indifferent to their seating position.

Five Card Charlie

In blackjack, “Five Card Charlie” is a special rule in some variations of the game. Under this rule, if a player is dealt five cards without busting (exceeding a total of 21), they automatically win the hand, regardless of the dealer’s hand. This rule is an exception to the standard blackjack rules and is not commonly found in most casinos.

When the Five Card Charlie rule is in effect, it adds an interesting strategic layer to the game. Players might be more inclined to hit (take another card) when they might not otherwise do so, in hopes of reaching five cards without busting. This rule significantly lowers the house edge, making the game more favorable to the player.

However, because it gives such an advantage to players, very few casinos offer this rule, and it is typically seen in home games or informal settings. If you’re playing in a game with this rule, it’s a good idea to adjust your strategy to take advantage of it.

Fixed Odds

“Fixed odds” in gambling refers to a type of betting where the odds of a bet are agreed upon at the time the bet is placed and do not change regardless of how much more money might later be wagered on the event. These odds determine the amount that the bettor will win relative to their stake if their bet is successful.

Fixed odds are commonly found in sports betting, horse racing, and many standard casino games. For instance, if you place a bet on a football team to win at fixed odds of 4 to 1, you will win 4 times your stake if the team wins, irrespective of any odds changes that might occur after your bet is placed.

This contrasts with pari-mutuel betting, where odds are not fixed and payouts depend on the total amount of money bet on all the different outcomes, or with spread betting, where the amount won or lost varies depending on the accuracy of the bet.

Fixed odds betting provides a clear understanding of potential returns at the time of placing a bet, making it easier for bettors to assess risk and reward.


In Keno, a “flashboard” is an electronic display board used to show the numbers that have been drawn in the game. This board is an essential part of a Keno game, especially in casinos or other large gaming venues, as it allows players to easily see which numbers have been selected in real-time.

The flashboard typically displays all possible Keno numbers (usually 1 through 80). As numbers are drawn, they are illuminated or highlighted on the board, making it easy for players to check their tickets against the drawn numbers. This visual representation of the game is crucial for players to quickly determine if they have winning numbers on their Keno cards.

In modern Keno games, the flashboard may be part of a more sophisticated electronic system that can also show the number of games played, the number of hits (or matches) a player has, and even potential payouts for winning tickets. This technology enhances the gaming experience by making it more dynamic and accessible for players.

Flat Betting

Flat betting is a term used in gambling to describe a strategy where a player bets the same amount on every wager, regardless of previous wins or losses. This approach stands in contrast to other betting strategies where the bet size changes based on the outcome of previous bets or based on a player’s betting system.

For example, if a player is flat betting in a game of blackjack and decides their bet size is $10, they will bet $10 on each hand, irrespective of whether they won or lost the previous hand.

Flat betting is considered a conservative and disciplined approach. It helps in managing one’s bankroll effectively, as it avoids the potential rapid losses that can occur with progressive betting systems. This strategy is often favored by players who want to enjoy a longer session of play with a limited bankroll or by those who prefer to minimize their risk of large losses.

Flat Top

In the context of slot machines, a “Flat Top” refers to a type of slot machine that has a fixed jackpot amount. This means that the top prize, or jackpot, does not change and remains the same regardless of how many times the game is played or how much money is wagered. This is in contrast to progressive slot machines, where the jackpot increases incrementally as players continue to play and bet, until it is won.

Flat Top slot machines are known for offering smaller but more frequent payouts compared to progressive slots. They are preferred by players who are looking for more consistent winnings rather than chasing large, less frequent jackpots. The fixed jackpot of a Flat Top slot is typically a multiple of the highest bet that can be made on that machine. For example, if the maximum bet is $1 and the jackpot is 1,000 times the bet, the top prize would be $1,000.

Flat Top slots are a popular choice for many casino goers because they offer a clear understanding of the maximum win possible, and for some, they provide a more predictable and straightforward slot gaming experience.

Four Corners

In Bingo, “Four Corners” is a term that refers to a pattern players need to form to win a game. As the name suggests, this pattern involves marking the four corner numbers on a bingo card. Typically, a standard bingo card is a 5×5 grid, so the four corners would be the first and last numbers in the top row and the first and last numbers in the bottom row.

This pattern is one of the simpler ones in bingo and is often used in traditional and online bingo games. To win a “Four Corners” game, a player must be the first to have all four of these numbers called and marked on their card.

The “Four Corners” pattern offers a different dynamic compared to the traditional full-line or full-house bingo wins, often leading to quicker games. It’s a popular variation because it provides an alternative way to play and win, adding diversity to the game of bingo.

Free Space

In Bingo, the term “Free Space” refers to a square in the center of the bingo card that is typically marked as “free” and can be used by players to complete a pattern. On a standard bingo card, which is a 5×5 grid, the free space is located in the middle of the card, at the intersection of the third row and the third column.

The free space is automatically considered “marked” or “covered” for all players from the start of the game. It acts as a wildcard that can be included in any pattern that players are trying to form on their card, such as a line, an X, or a full house. The presence of the free space can make it easier to achieve a winning pattern.

This feature is a staple in the game of Bingo and is especially helpful in increasing the chances of winning, making the game more engaging and accessible for players of all levels.

Free Spin

In slot machine gaming, a “Free Spin” is a bonus feature that allows players to spin the reels without having to place a bet or use any of their credits. Essentially, it’s a spin of the slot machine that is free of charge, but can still result in real winnings.

Free spins are often awarded as part of a bonus feature or a promotional offer. They are triggered in various ways, depending on the specific slot game. Common triggers include landing a certain combination of symbols (often scatter symbols) on the reels, or as a reward in a bonus game.

During free spins, the game continues as normal, but the player does not pay for these spins. Sometimes, free spins come with additional perks like multipliers (which increase the winnings), special wild symbols, or the ability to retrigger more free spins.

Free spin rounds are highly sought after by slot players as they offer a chance to win without risking any personal funds. They add excitement to the gameplay and can potentially increase the player’s winnings significantly.

Front Line

In craps, the term “Front Line” is another way of referring to the “Pass Line,” which is one of the most fundamental and commonly made bets in the game. When a player places a bet on the Front Line, they are essentially wagering that the shooter (the person rolling the dice) will win by either rolling a natural (a 7 or 11) on the come-out roll, or by establishing a point (rolling a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and then rolling that point number again before rolling a 7.

The Front Line bet is a popular choice because it has a relatively low house edge and simple rules, making it an attractive option for both novice and experienced players. It’s also often a required bet for participating in other aspects of the game, like betting on the odds, which is an additional bet that can be made after a point is established.

Winning a Front Line bet pays out at even money (1:1), which means if you bet $10 and win, you receive your original $10 back plus an additional $10 in winnings. The simplicity and favorable odds of the Front Line bet make it a central aspect of the excitement and strategy of craps.


Getting Down

“Getting down” in gambling refers to placing a bet. It’s a slang term used among gamblers to describe the act of making a wager on a particular event, game, or outcome. This phrase captures the moment when a bettor commits their money to their chosen bet.


In the context of Keno, a “Goose” is a machine used to mix and dispense the Keno balls. The term is derived from the machine’s resemblance to a goose’s long neck, as it extends and drops the balls one at a time. This device ensures the random selection of numbers in a Keno game, a crucial aspect of maintaining fairness and unpredictability in the drawing process.


Hard Way

In craps, a “Hard Way” bet is a wager that a hard number (4, 6, 8, or 10) will be rolled as a pair before it is rolled in any other combination or before a 7 is rolled. For example, if you bet on a “hard eight,” you’re betting that two fours will be rolled before any combination totaling eight (such as 5 and 3 or 6 and 2) or a 7 appears. Hard Way bets are popular because they offer higher payouts due to their lower probability of occurring compared to other bets.

Heads Up

In blackjack, “Heads Up” refers to a game scenario where it’s just one player against the dealer. This term is used to describe the situation where no other players are at the table or involved in the game. Playing heads up changes the dynamics of the game, as the player has more control over the pace and can focus solely on their strategy against the dealer.


In craps, “Hi-Lo” is a one-roll bet that the next roll will be a 2 (snake eyes, or a pair of ones) or a 12 (boxcars, or a pair of sixes). This bet combines two of the highest paying but least likely outcomes in craps into a single wager. It offers a high payout due to the low probability of either of these numbers being rolled. The Hi-Lo bet is a type of proposition bet, which generally involves a specific number or combination being rolled before the next seven.

High Bet

In roulette, a “High Bet” refers to a wager that the next number spun will be high, typically covering the range of numbers from 19 to 36. This type of bet is one of the even-money outside bets in roulette, offering a 1:1 payout. Players place this bet by positioning their chips on the designated “High” or “19 to 36” area on the roulette table layout. The high bet contrasts with the “Low Bet,” which covers numbers 1 to 18.

High Roller

A “High Roller” in casino terms refers to a gambler who consistently wagers large amounts of money. Casinos often treat high rollers with special perks such as complimentary luxurious suites, free fine dining, and personal concierge services, due to the significant amount of money they spend. High rollers are also known for playing in exclusive areas of the casino, which are sometimes referred to as “high limit” rooms, where they can place much larger bets than in the main casino floor. This term is not only used in the context of casinos but also in other gambling venues where large sums are at stake.

Hole Cards

In blackjack, “Hole Cards” refer to the cards that are dealt face down to the dealer. In a typical game of blackjack, the dealer receives one card face up (the upcard) and one card face down (the hole card). The hole card remains hidden from players until all their hands are completed. Understanding the potential value of the dealer’s hole card is a key part of blackjack strategy, as it helps players make decisions about their own hands. In some variations of blackjack, the dealer may check their hole card for blackjack before players continue with the game.

Hop Bet

A “Hop Bet” in craps is a wager that the next roll of the dice will result in a specific combination of numbers. It’s essentially a bet on an exact roll. For instance, a player might bet on a “hop” of 2-4, meaning they are betting that the very next roll will be exactly two on one die and four on the other. Hop bets are high-risk and high-reward, as they offer large payouts due to the low probability of hitting the exact combination. These bets are not displayed on the craps table layout and are considered proposition bets. They are typically made verbally to the dealer.

Horn Bet

In craps, a “Horn Bet” is a single-roll wager that combines four bets into one: on the 2, 3, 11, and 12. It’s a bet that the next roll of the dice will be either of these numbers. The Horn Bet is evenly divided between these four numbers. For example, if a player bets $4 on a Horn Bet, $1 is bet on each of the four numbers.

The Horn Bet is a type of proposition bet, which means it has high payouts but also high odds against winning. It’s considered a risky bet because the likelihood of these specific numbers being rolled is relatively low compared to other possible outcomes in the game of craps.

House Edge

The “House Edge” is a term used in the casino industry to describe the mathematical advantage that the casino, or “house,” has over the players in any given game. Expressed as a percentage, it represents the average gross profit the casino expects to make from each game.

For example, if a game has a house edge of 5%, it means that over the long run, the casino expects to keep 5 cents of every dollar bet on that game. This advantage ensures that the casino will make a profit over time, even though players might win in the short term. The house edge varies among different casino games, with some games having a higher edge than others. It’s a critical factor for players to consider when choosing games, as it affects their chances of winning.


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