By Olivia - December 29, 2023

Baccarat players yell ‘monkey’ because they are pleading to the gambling gods for the third card draw to be any face card or ten. Any 10, jack, queen, or king counts as zero and won’t alter the point total of their current hand.

The word ‘monkey’ in baccarat has been assumed to refer to any ten, king, queen, or jack. However, the term actually has an interesting history – One that may take us as far back as Asia.

History of the Word Monkey At Baccarat Tables

The origins of the nickname “monkey” among baccarat players are unknown, although its prevalence in the Asian community may be a hint. Many casino gambling resources believe that the conventional deck’s usage of royalty figures to symbolize face cards might have something to do with it

You’ve probably heard the term “monkey” a lot if you’ve played baccarat or blackjack. Baccarat originated in Europe and ultimately spread to Asia. If you ask any dealer, they will tell you that they have no idea where the term came from or where it originated because many believe that the face cards resemble a monkey face or that they used to resemble monkey cards.

However, the true explanation, believe it or not, comes from Chinese culture. In Europe, kings and queens were members of the royal court, often known as the monarch’s court.

Players would call for the “monarch card” or “monarchy card” when playing baccarat. Saying the English word “monarchy” quickly with a thick Chinese accent is handy the sound of “monkey” to an Asian player who speaks Mandarin or Cantonese.

Here’s the bottom line: When baccarat first arrived on the coasts of China and other Asian nations more than a century ago, the locals’ effort to pronounce “monarchy” may have resulted in “monkey” as shorthand.

Monkey in baccarat is a slang word used to mean face cards and tens (i.e., 10, J, Q, and K). By yelling out “monkey,” baccarat players are actually playing to the gods of gambling to spare their current hand from cards that might alter the point total. The good thing about tens and face cards in baccarat is that they are worth zero points and won’t change the hand’s current value.

The term monkey is often used by Asian players when they want the third card to be any 10 or a face card. Essentially, the Asian player doesn’t want the next card to ruin the point total or value of their current hand. If the first card and second card are 9 and 8 for a hand value of 7, you do not want to receive a 3, 4, or other low-value cards that will lower your point total.

In most cases, the money refers to a worthless picture card like a queen, king, or jack.

According to another Asian monkey theory, this phrase represents a mispronunciation of the word “money.”

In other words, Asian players say “give me the money (the card that would let me to win the game)” but pronounce it differently, making it seem like they were saying “monkey.”

Monkey in gambling can mean face cards or tens, especially in baccarat. It can also refer to an untamed, wild, and unpredictable player in poker, blackjack, and other casino games where players play against each other.

In sports gambling and poker betting, the term monkey may be used to refer to a wager that is worth $500. Of course, the monkey is not the only fascinating term used at baccarat tables and in other gambling scenarios.

Other slang terms used by other players when playing online or at land-based casinos include:




The Big Eye Boy


Blackjack Burn Cards


Panda 8


Dragon 7




What is a monkey in poker?

Monkey in poker can refer to a poker game that combines the exciting randomness of children’s classic games like The Game of Life and Monopoly with the easy poker gameplay of Texas Hold’em. This game could be a big hit on your next kids’ birthday party, camp, or school fun day.

The word monkey in poker can also mean an unpredictable and wild poker player, usually a novice, who is likely to play without bluffing or putting too much thought into their play.

What does Banco mean in baccarat?

Banco is a Spanish word for a bank or banker. So, Banco in baccarat often means the player who is selected to be the dealer. It is the player who is responsible for dealing out the cards.

What is the monkey bonus in baccarat?

The Monkey Bonus in Baccarat refers to special payouts for specific conditions. The Monkey Tie bet yields 150 to 1 if a six-card hand ties with the 5th card being any card except a ‘Monkey’ and the 6th card being a ‘Monkey.’ A Grand Monkey bet pays a massive 5,000 to 1 if all six cards in the hand are ‘Monkeys.’

What does a monkey mean in gambling?

In gambling, especially in blackjack, “monkey” is a slang term players use when requesting a card valued at 10, which could be a 10, Jack, Queen, or King. By calling for a “monkey” players are hoping to improve their hand with a high-value card.

How does the dealer play in blackjack?

In blackjack, the dealer follows a strict set of rules: they must hit (take another card) on a hand with a value of 16 or less and stand (not take more cards) on a hand with a value of 17 or more, including a \”soft 17\” which contains an ace.