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All pastimes have a vocabulary their own.  That of card playing is probably the most extensive, because there are so many different casino games and most are of obscure origin.

This list, therefore, is by no means complete and comprehensive; rather it includes only the words and expressions that are used in this site and, due to limitation of space, those that are self-explanatory and those that most readers may be expected to know are omitted.


ABOVE THE LINE.  In games of Bridge family, bonus scores and penalty scores are recorded above a horizontal line across the scoresheet.  if BELOW THE LINE.

ABUNDANCE (ABONDANCE).  In games of the Solo Whist family, a declaration to win nine tricks.

ALONE.  In Euchre, the right of the player who has named the trump suit to play without his partner.

ANTE.  A compulsory bet made before the deal

ASSIT.  In Euchre, a declaration made by the dealer’s partner to accept the suit of the turn-up card as the trump suit.


BANCO.  A bet equal to the amount staked by the banker.

BASTO.  The ♣ A in Ombre.

BEG.  In games of All Fours family, a rejection by the non-dealer of the suit of the turn-up card as the trump suit.

BELLA.  In Klaberjass, an announcement made by the player who holds the King and Queen of the trump suit, after he has played the second one, allowing him to score 20 points.

BELOW THE LINE.  In games of the Bridge family, scores for tricks bid and won are recorded below a horizontal line across the scoresheet, if ABOVE THE LINE.

BETE.   In Pinocle, failure to make the contract. if  DOUBLE BETE and SINGLE BETE.

BEZIQUE.  In games of the Bezique family, the ♠ Q (or ♣ Q if spades or diamonds are trumps ) and ♦J (or ♥ J if spades or diamonds are trumps).

BLACK MARIA.  In games of the Black Maria family, the ♠ Q.

BLITZ.  In Gin Rummy, winning a game against an opponent who has failed to score.

BOODLE CARDS.  In games of the New market family, the Ace, King, Queen and Jack, each of a different suit, from another pack, placed in a layout and on which bets are staked.

BOOK.  In games of the Bridge and Whist families, the first six tricks won by a side, that do not count in the scoring .

BOTTOM  LAYOUT.  In Monte Bank, the two cards from the bottom of the pack placed by the banker face upwards on the table.  if TOP LAYOUT.

BOWER.  In Euchre, the Jack of a suit.  if LEFT BOWER and RIGHT BOWER.

BOX.  In Gin Rummy, the score for winning a hand.

BRAGGERS.  In Brag, the ♦ A ♣ J and ♦ 9, that serve as wild cards.

BRISQUE.  In games of the Bezique family, any Ace or 10.

BULD.  (1) In Casino, the play of a card to a card in the layout to make up a total that may be taken with another card in the hand. (2) In games of Patience, the play of a card of the same suit on the next one above or below it in rank.

BUY.  Increasing a bet for the advantage of drawing a card face downwards.

BURY A CARD.  In Pinocle, discarding face downwards a card from hand.


CACHETTE.  In Quinto, the widow-hand.

CALYPSO.  In Calypso, a complete suit, from Ace to 2, in a player’s trump suit.

CANASTA.  In games of the Canasta family, a meld of seven or more cards.  if MIXED CANASTA and NATURAL CANASTA.

CAPOT.  In Piquet, the winning by one player of all 12 tricks.

CARDS.  In Piquet, the score for winning the majority of tricks.

CARTE BLANCHE.  A hand that contains to court card.

CASH.  Leading and winning trick with an established card.


CENTRE.  In games of Patience, that part of the table to which the foundation cards are played.

CHECK.  In Poker, nominal bet that reserves the right to call or raise if another player bets.

CODILLE.  In Ombre, one opponent winning more tricks than ombre.

COMBINE.  In Casino, picking up cards from the layout of the total pip value of a card in hand.

COMET.  In games of the Comet family, a wild card, usually a 9.

COMMON MARRIAGE.  In games of the Bezique family, the meld of the King and Queen of the same plain suit.  if  ROYAL MARRIAGE.

CONDITIONS.  In Panguingue, certain melds by making which a player immediately collects chips from all other players.

CONTRA.  A call which doubles the score for a hand in Skate.

COUP.  A winning play or bet.

COURT CARD.  Any King, Queen, or Jack.

CRIB.  In Cribbage an extra hand formed by the discards of the players.

CUT THROAT.   A version of what is usually a partnership poker game in which each player plays for himself.

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