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What Does 'Skin' Mean?

'Skin' is a term with several meanings in gambling and gaming. It appears most often in poker. To 'skin' a card or a deck means to employ cheating techniques, by removing cards from the deck and hiding them for later use, or dealing extra cards and hiding one. To 'skin a hand' means to conceal extra cards to cover up cheating. A player might also be said to 'skin' another or to 'skin' the game if he cleans up decisively with a strong win. In online gaming, a 'skin' is a web template used by a company to provide their own branded version of a multi-platform game, such as a poker match. In US slang, a 'skin' means one dollar and a 'skin bet' is a $1 wager.

'Skin' Explained

In poker, 'skin' usually means to cheat. A player who is a 'skinner' is a cheat, while a 'skin game' contains cheating players. Players can 'skin a card' or 'skin the hand', which means they conceal cards from their hand for later use. They might also 'skin the deck' - which means that during the deal, the player removes cards from the pack, either to keep them from play entirely or to use them later in their own play. Skinning is rare in casinos thanks to anti-cheating techniques, but a complicit and clever dealer might still be able to use skinning during play.When a poker player refers to a 'poker game skin' online, they may mean a game which is available through many different websites. Often a game such as a poker tournament will be run on one company's server, but other companies will buy the rights to use the game themselves. The 'skin' is the individually branded facade which fronts the joint game behind it. 'Skin' also means one dollar in US English. The term originates from the trading of hides, or animal skins, for dollars.