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Hold

What is 'Hold'?

In any form of gambling, 'hold' means the amount of money which is retained by the house, i.e. the casino or the bookmaker. 'Hold percentage' is the proportion of bets kept after the book is closed or the game round ends, and it is part of the series of metrics that make up a casino's total revenue. 'Hold' can also refer to cards: players can 'hold out' which means to cheat by removing cards from the game, and 'hold'em' is a form of community flop poker. In older slots gaming with manual spins, 'hold' is a feature which temporarily freezes the reels and retains the playing symbols until the next turn.

'Hold' Explained

The most common use of 'hold' in gambling is when describing the percentage of bets kept by the casino or by the bookmaker. Almost all bets have some form of house edge factored in, which makes a profit for the writer of the book or the operator of the casino game. Gaming establishments take payments for chips, and players may then win or lose those chips during play. At the end of the play session, a player might cash away and walk away with a profit for themselves, or run out of chips - leaving the casino in possession of them all. The 'hold' is the amount of chips kept by the casino, usually expressed as a percentage of total money spent by players.'Hold' can also refer to a stop placed on a bet, which is rare but might happen. Either the player or the bookmaker might activate a 'hold' clause in extreme circumstances. For example, a cup tie between football teams might be cancelled due to the weather. Rather than return all bets, they might be placed 'on hold' until the rematch can be scheduled. 'Hold' was a frequent feature of slots, helping players retain higher-paying symbols over a number of reel spins. The feature still appears in some online video slot games today.
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