Gambling can be intimidating and daunting, and I speak from experience. Even nowadays, if I head down to the local casino and I walk through the aisles, looking at all the slot machines, I still get a sense of hesitation. I shouldn’t because the fundamentals of slot machines remain the same, but the companies that make these games are so darn inventive that they keep reinventing the wheel. New games keep coming in and each time the intention is to offer something different and something new. In doing so, the game is packaged differently each time and even though the fundamentals are the same, the psychology is such that it can seem like a new learning experience each time.
You might feel the same when you’re walking past all the table games such as blackjack, roulette and poker. It’s all meant to look snazzy and sophisticated, and it does! Men and women in suits taking bets, announcing things, spinning wheels, taking and dealing chips and cards. It can be a lot to take in and I think that on some level gambling is meant to seem intimidating. Let’s not forget all those sounds soaking the environment. The beauty is of course that it shouldn’t be and it isn’t.
There are various ways to overcome your reluctance to gambling or gaming, which seems to be the preferred term nowadays. Familiarity with terminology is one way; think of it as getting to grips with the theory. Another way is to try out an online casino, and I say this because these virtual places usually have a practice play option. To help you avoid wasting any time, I would suggest you key in ‘Best Online Casino’ in Google and take something from the first three results. In the meantime, I’ll take you through some basic casino terms and help you get acquainted with the theory.
Basic Casino Terms
I’d like to deal with the basics because it’s a good place to start and once you understand these, you’ll likely be able to find your way. In fact, I’ll do you one better, I’ll give you a top 10 list of terms that will help you navigate your way in and around a casino, be it an online casino or a land-based one. Hopefully, and I say hopefully because this is gambling, you’ll be able to make a serious splash and walk away with more than just a bit of cash.
- Play Now/Sign Up: This is the equivalent of deciding to walk into a casino with the sole intention of playing to win. The difference is that this is applicable to playing at an online casino. This is the most commonly seen banner on their websites and once you click on such a banner, you are indicating to the casino that you’d like to join their fraternity. What usually follows is a request to admit some personal information after which you are given a username and password. Land-based casinos do the same nowadays with their card systems that usually require some form of identification.
- The Lobby: This term is interchangeable and the equivalent of doing a general walk-about in a land-based casino. In terms of an online casino, the lobby is of course all digital and what you’re faced with instead is a list of various places to explore. In the lobby you’ll find everything from banking to games. The games category of the lobby is always subdivided into the usual casino flair so expect to see things like Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker and Scratch Cards.
- Deposit: On a cabinet slot machine you’ll slide your cash notes into a designated area on the machine. In the case of an online casino you’ll need to go into the Banking Lobby and choose a means most suited to your convenience, and most of the time it will be Visa or MasterCard. So you’ll key in the card details, the amount and then you’ll be able to play once payment is confirmed.
- Bonus: This is exclusive to the world of online casino gaming. A bonus is not something you’ll get from a land-based casino. Such places have other amenities to offer but a bonus is not one of them. A bonus is generally offered to a first time player and for a number of reasons. It’s meant to entice you to play, let’s be honest, and it’s meant to enhance your first time. All bonuses have terms and conditions so make sure you get the gist before you commit.
- Progressive Jackpot: If you’ve ever set foot in a casino before, you’ve definitely caught wind of this term. Progressive jackpots are major drawcards to players, especially slots players. This is not to imply that they only feature on slot games. Quite often, especially in online casinos, progressive jackpots can be won on table games like roulette or blackjack, but the home of the progressive jackpot is the slots game. Most of the time the progressive jackpot is divided into four segments; a mini, a minor, a major and a mega. The term progressive refers to the mechanism itself: as more and more people play, the money keeps building and the jackpot keeps progressing up until some lucky player wins it.
- Wilds: If you’ve ever looked at the rules of a slots game, almost every time this is the symbol that will be spoken of or explained first. A wild is often characterised by the lead character of the game. For instance, if you’re playing a Batman slots game, it’s very likely that Batman will be the wild symbol. The wild symbol is a substitution symbol, meaning it will replace others on a fixed payline and strengthen the financial impact.
- Scatters: This symbol almost always comes after the wild and is pretty much on the same level. If I were to explain it in another way, if Batman is the wild, Robin is the scatter. A scatter symbol’s function is quite simple: it multiplies your payout when a certain amount appear on the reels.
- Free Spins: There are two explanations for this one. Free spins are first and foremost the result of a combination of symbols in a slots game. This combination leads to what is commonly known as a free spins bonus game. In this game you are allotted a fixed amount of turns of the reel at no additional cost, hence the name. The second incarnation of free spins is solely applicable to online casinos and it’s usually used by the casino as a way of rewarding your patronage or to help ease the discomfort of a big loss.
- Hit: I’m sure by now you’ve seen enough movies to have heard a player at a blackjack table say “Hit me.” In one of the older seasons of The Simpsons, when it was actually still funny, Bart recounts a story of Homer betting the family’s entire life savings on a hand of blackjack. In this hilarious tale Homer doesn’t fully comprehend the game and keeps saying “Hit me” until he not only achieves blackjack, but also loses. When you request a hit, be it in a land-based or online casino game, you’re requesting that the dealer or computer hand you another card.
- No more bets: This phrase is most commonly associated with roulette and it’s what the dealer declares to everyone at the table once he spins that roulette wheel. At this point you can no longer place any bets or make any changes.
And there you have it ladies and gents, 10 basic casino terms to get you intrigued and maybe even started. Consider the theory that you will need to eventually put into practice. If you’re not ready, I recommend the practice play option at All Jackpots Casino. This will allow you to try your hand and not your cash, and should you decide to play for real, remember that it’s supposed to be fun and entertaining, and that even endeavours as such require responsibility. Good luck!