When Casino Executives Mention Both The “Handle” and “Hold” Of A Slot Machine, What Do They Mean?

When casino executives mention both the “handle” and “hold” of a slot machine, what do they mean? Handle and hold are terms used in the casino industry and gambling industry at large. As a newbie, when you go to a casino, you may overhear players or executives using these words frequently. Many newbies are usually shy to ask the meaning of these words. That’s why this article will be giving you in-depth information and an easy-to-understand definition of these terms. By the time you are through with reading, you will be more knowledgeable about what these terms mean.


When Casino Executives Mention Both The “Handle” and “Hold” Of A Slot Machine, What Do They Mean? What Is The Meaning of “Handle” In A Casino?

“Handle” is a casino or gambling term that talks about the sum of money that a player uses to bet within a particular point in time. The player could choose to bet a certain amount of money on one game or different games in a day, a week, a month, or a season. When people gamble, they should do so with a specific budget. This way, they don’t overspend and there is no fear of them tilting towards problem gambling. For example, you have $100 in your account and want to play a card game that demands a $20 deposit. The $20 deposit you place on the game is what the casino refers to as handle. When other players place their $20 bets on the same card game at the same time, a total of that becomes the game’s handle for that time.

In summary, “handle” in a casino refers to the total sum of money that players place on a game or different types of casino games. Similarly, you could say that “handle” means the total bets that a player places on a particular game.

It is important to note that the term “handle” is not only used in casinos but also in sports betting. So, do not be surprised when you hear sports bettors use the term as well.

“Handle” or “Drop”: Why Do Players Mix Them Up?

In casinos, there is a term known as the “drop” and players often use this interchangeably with “handle”. However, a “drop” means something different. When a player exchanges their money or casino credit for chips, you can call that a “drop”. At games like blackjack, there is usually a box by the table where players drop all their money or credit slips. The total amount of what is there is the total drop.

Does Knowing About The Handle Benefit The Player In Any Way?

Casinos are always looking for how to make money off their players which is exactly what the players intend to do: make money off the casino. So, players always look for any available opportunity that will give them an edge over the house. Players are smart and by knowing the total amount of bets on a particular game, they may devise a means to beat the casino. However, the casinos are smarter as they never announce their handle until the end of a game. So, knowing the handle may not present any advantage to the player.


What Can Affect A Casino Handle?

To start with, you must note that to have a casino handle, there must first be players. If there are no players, then no one is placing bets, and ultimately, there is no casino handle. Casinos increase their profits when they apply different methods to raise the bets and the amount of time the players spend on the game. Now, you could also define the “handle” as not only the total bets players place, but the game speed and the time players spend on the game. If you notice, when you play at a casino, the comps that move you up in the VIP club are based on how long you play or your average bet.

Where Is The Term “Handle” Commonly Used?

As this article has already explained, casinos are not the only betting businesses that use the term “handle”. In sports betting, you will find out that organizers and non-organizers use the term a lot. In events like a UFC MMA fight or the Super Bowl, you will hear commentators include the word in their commentaries. Also, the media uses the word when reporting the events of a particular sports match. You may hear something like this, “The total handle for the match was 20 million dollars.”

Yet, in sports betting, the most popular sport that uses the term “handle” is horse racing. This refers to the total number of bets punters place on the race card for that day. You will hear or find something like the “all-source handle” which contains information about bets, casinos, and other places you can place bets.

What Is The False Handle?

Now that you know what the term “handle” means, you may hear of the false handle. What is this? Well, in popular land-based casinos (especially in Las Vegas), players on one side of the betting table put in more money not because they intend to play. What they want is just to be able to tell others that they put their money in there. Think of this as some sort of ego massage for the player and their team. When many players on one side of the betting table put money in just for the sake of it, of course, this would cause a huge increase in the handle.

Thus, it would mislead others and cause the media to report that one side placed more bets than their opposition. That is the meaning of a false handle: when bets placed are not for playing but to create a false impression. You can also refer to the false handle as the dumb public cash.


What Does The Term “Hold” Mean In Casino?

Now that you know what a handle means, this article will explain what “hold” in a casino means. Hold refers to the money the casino profits off players on a game in a day or a session. For instance, the total money players place on a betting table on a card game is $10,000. If the casino makes a $2,000 profit off it, then the $2,000 becomes the hold. You could also say the casino made a 20 percent hold profit on the card game. In simple terms, the hold is the profit a casino makes from its customers. As players continue to play, the hold may increase or decrease. Thus, the casino executive will have to keep a steady check on the gameplay to arrive at an accurate hold report.

What Is The Difference Between Hold and The House Edge?

Defining hold may seem like one is defining a casino’s house edge. However, there is a distinction between these two terms. The hold is different from the house edge in that the house edge requires a specified profit from a game. For example, if the house expects a 1% return on a card game, it will make sure to get an average of 1 point on every $1 bet a player places.

However, in the case of the hold, the house may expect an average $10 profit on a $1000 bet. Yet, the casino expects players to continue betting and when they do, this gives them (close to) a 100% hold percentage. This way, the casino ends up making so much more than their expected returns.

If you intend to win at a casino, you need to familiarize yourself more with the house edge. This is one strategy that professional gamblers use to make more winnings.

“Handle” and “Hold”: What Are The Similarities and Differences?

“Handle” and “Hold” are similar in that they’re both money players put on the betting table for games. However, “handle” refers to the total amount of money a player or players place on a betting table at a given period. On the other hand, “hold” is the profit a casino makes from players on a game at a particular time.


When casino executives mention both the “handle” and “hold” of a slot machine, what do they mean? Now, you know what these two terms mean. So, the next time you go to a casino, you can use these words in a conversation boldly.