Confusing Casino Terms Explained

Casinos Terms

Casino TermsAn explanation of some of the more confusing online casino terms, with a definition of some online casino phrases you might need clarified. 

Online casino players will need to go through games rules, player agreements and gaming articles. There they may come across terms that may be confusing. We have picked five terms that are usually unclear to new players and explain them in simple language.

Average Return To Players

Average return to player (also referred to as payout percentage) indicates how much a player can expect to win in the long run. It is expressed as a percent and would be less than 100%. The casino needs to retain a small percent of the total wagers in order to meet its costs. For casino games like roulette and craps the average return can be calculated mathematically. For the more complex games it is estimated statistically.

Some typical average returns are as follows:

  • Slot machines: 96%
  • European Roulette: 97.3%
  • Baccarat, Blackjack, Video Poker: 99%

Wagering Requirement

The wagering requirement is the most important condition that comes with a bonus and unfortunately the most misunderstood. If for a 100% bonus on a deposit of $100 the wagering requirement is 30 times the deposit and bonus.  In total amount the wagering requirement will be $6,000.

When you place a bet from the bonus and win, the bonus balance will increase. From the winnings you have to be able to place bets amounting to $6,000 (for the above example). If you lose all the funds before the wagering requirements are met, you cannot cash out anything. If you have a balance left then you can cash out subject to the other conditions.


Volatility or variance is a term associated most with online slots but works for other casino games as well. Games with high volatility are those that will pay less often but can pay really big amounts. The classic example is the progressive jackpot slot machine. High volatility games are suited for players who are willing to take some risks and are looking for big wins.

Games with low volatility will deliver smaller wins, but more often. They are suited for players with a conservative approach. Slot machines with all pays structure will have low volatility.

Line Bet And Total Bet In Online Slots

Online slots pay tables have two types of multipliers. This may confuse some new players. You first select the amount you want to bet per payline and this is the line bet. Then you activate a number of paylines. If you get a win on any active payline the multiplier value is applied to the line bet.

The total bet is the line bet multiplied by the number of active paylines. Slot machines also award payouts for scatter wins, where the symbols are not restricted to a payline. Therefore the multiplier for such wins is applied to the total bet.

Hard And Soft Blackjack Hands

When you look at blackjack strategy, it depends crucially on hard hands and soft hands. You cannot afford to be vague on what these hands mean. The key is the value of the ace, which can be 1 or 11. A hard hand is one in which the ace can take a value of 11 without busting. A soft hand either does not have an ace. If it has an ace, then the ace has to be valued at 1. If it takes the value of 11, the hand value will exceed 21.

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