Revealed: the most misunderstood casino phrases

Whether you are a casino novice or expert, spending time around the roulette table means you are more than likely going to hear gamblers using jargon phrases during the game.

To see how savvy the nation’s casino players are when it comes to casino jargon, Coral Casino surveyed 1,000 players to see if we really do know our card sharp from our high roller – and the results are certainly interesting.

The research revealed that almost one in five (19%) could not identify any casino jargon from a list of popular phrases. Unsurprisingly, deuce, jargon for number 2 in dice, was the most commonly understood phrase, with 42% of players identifying it. Underlay, another phrase to describe a bad bet in the casino world, was the most misunderstood – just one in 16 players knew the phrase.

The percentage of casino game players who identified the following phrases as being related to casino playing:

Deuce (42%)
Card sharp (37%)
Hold your own (36%)
Tapped out (24%)
Insurance (21%)
Spinner (20%)
Edge (20%)
Barber pole (9%)
Bug (8%)
Underlay (6%)

Not only does it seem that UK casino players aren’t clued up when it comes to casino jargon, but the research revealed some of the hilarious misunderstandings.

When asked what they thought a ‘bug’ referred to, some of the amusing answers were ‘a player who watches from the side’ and ‘when you can’t win and it annoys you’. In fact, a ‘bug’ is a term that refers to the joker card or a wildcard.

There was also some confusion around the definition of ‘card sharp’ – although just over a third (37%) of players recognised the phrase as related to casino playing, only 4% of respondents correctly recognised the definition of a card sharp as a cheater or a card counter.

The phrase ‘underlay’, a term which refers to a bad bet, also had some amusing misunderstandings. Some of the answers when asked the definition of the term were ‘putting a card under another’, ‘playing in an underhanded way’ and ‘having a betting strategy in place’.

Ana Sowerby of Coral Casino said: “It was certainly interesting to see just how clued up casino players are when it comes to different jargon phrases, and some of the funniest misunderstandings.

“It seems that there is some confusion around some of the most popular terms, which is why we created an online Jargon Buster – whether a customer is playing online or in a casino, hopefully our guide will give them a helping hand next time they hear an unfamiliar phrase”.

To see the Coral Casino Jargon Buster, visit:

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