Experience in Online Gaming
Thread poster: Marzia Nicole Bucca

Marzia Nicole Bucca  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
English to Italian
+ ...
Feb 20, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are well!
It has been a while now since I have been thinking about entering the field of online gaming (Poker, Betting…) translation.
So I would like to ask you if you could give me some suggestions and tips on how to gain some experience in this field… possibly without going broke!icon_biggrin.gif

Thank you!



Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:28
French to English
+ ...
Some work falls more or less under general IT translation Feb 20, 2011

Marzia Nicole Bucca wrote:
It has been a while now since I have been thinking about entering the field of online gaming (Poker, Betting…) translation.

I specialise in IT and have translated a few documents in the field of on-line gaming not so much through being a poker expert (which I'm definitely not) but because there seems to be quite a lot of material in this field which really covers areas of general IT (e.g. encryption and communications protocols for transmission of player requests, databases for storage of users and mandatory audits, networking infrastructure...), plus a smattering of general gaming-related terminology (which you'd equally have to know about for translating, say, information about the architecture of a MUD or other on-line simulation/gaming system).

Clearly there must be some front-end stuff that is more related to the specific game in question for which you do need to know your royal flushes from your pairs of queens. But it seems that you don't necessarily need to target that very specific part of the market to begin with if you want to get into the field generally.

I'd be interested to hear if other peoples' experiences have been similar.

Incidentally, I think there has been a spate of translations in this field over the last year due to recent EU legislation which has tightened up the IT infrastructure that on-line gambling systems are required to have. As companies implement the new requirements, I wonder if there's going to be so much steady work in this field in the long run (though I suppose it's a big industry per se). Again, I'd be interested to hear what others have to say on this.


Alexandre Maricato
Local time: 12:28
English to Portuguese
Learn the games first Feb 20, 2011

Most of poker rooms and casinos have an option to use "Play Money" (which is a virtual cash that you may use to have fun with the games - note that you are not playing for real money, so you won't win or lose anything).

Also, you must know the concepts of the games (in case of poker, you must at least be familiar with how hands are ranked, the different types of games, how a hand is played, the betting rounds, the different types of tournaments, etc...). This you can learn for free on several poker forums around. Just google and you will find a lot.

You must also know that Poker is not only Hold'em (the one we see on TV). There are several other variants like Omaha, Stud, 5-Card Draw, etc. You must know how they are played so you won't get lost while doing your job.

There is also several good poker books you may read. Try a beginner's book like one from Harrignton's series (Harrington on Hold'em) or Phil Gordon's Little Green Book.

Regarding casino games, most of the sites offer bonus offers (which you recieve a % of every deposit made). You should invest a small amount and play low to get familiar with the games (bonus rounds, free spins, type of game symbols, etc).

You must also have some pop culture, as serveral games are based on TV/movie/comics characters.

And you must, please, consider these the minimum requirements to start translating gaming content. I do it every day and the quality of the translations that sometimes comes into my hands is simply horrible.

Hope it helps and good luck.


Nils Vanbellingen  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:28
German to Dutch
+ ...
Sign up and play Feb 20, 2011

Hi Marzia

Start by opening a player account on several e-gaming sites (the biggest being Unibet, Bwin, Bet365, Betfair)... As already suggested by someone else, when it comes to poker you can play for "play money", so you can pick up the rules and the terminology without losing money. As far as sports betting goes, there's no need to lose a lot of "learning money" either... Just make a minimum deposit of e.g. 10 eur (many gaming sides will even douvble that deposit for you as a "sign-up bonus"), and you can then place bets with minimum stakes (about all gaming sites accept bets with a stake as small as 1 eur).

Even if you don't want to spend any of your own money, I stronlgly advise you to do so, because if you want to get into the field of e-gaming translation, you will have to get fairly acquainted with the process and terminology of online transactions anyway.

Also make sure to study the help pages of these websites (source and target languages), as these are very helpful for getting used to the terminology. I myself have been working in the e-gaming indursty for over 5 years now, so if there is anything I can help you with, do not hesitate to contact me.


Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:28
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Casino Feb 20, 2011

You might want to check out a real casino, if there is one near the place you live... In most countries croupiers are highly trained professionals (sometimes licences are required), so having one as a consultant might be a very good idea.

One word of warning, though: most gaming sites have very elaborate measures that are supposed to protect their users from... themselves, actually. It is extremely easy to start gambling as an innocent distraction (or even a means of self-education, like in your case!) and end up losing significant amounts of money. It might depend on the type of personality, but the danger is quite real.


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Consider volunteer translation Feb 21, 2011

Marzia Nicole Bucca wrote:
So I would like to ask you if you could give me some suggestions and tips on how to gain some experience in this field… possibly without going broke!

Not all games are gambling games, but still share similar rules or principles. To gain some experience in game translation, why not do some volunteer translation of various freeware card games on the internet, or similar? It will give you insight into gaming terminology.

Or try translating the Wikipedia pages of certain games into your language.


Jacqueline Sieben  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:28
Dutch to English
+ ...
Gambling forums Feb 21, 2011

Hi Marzia,

I used to be a moderator at a gambling forum, which enabled me to gain extensive insight into the world of casino games and casino & poker promotions. The work included casino/poker reviews and slot machine reviews. When doing slot reviews I obviously played in free money mode.

There are many gambling forums out there - you might want to consider working as a mod for some time. In my experience, you may be able to earn a small monthly fee (ranging from $75 to $200 per month) for your work.

[Edited at 2011-02-21 13:21 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-02-21 13:22 GMT]


Marzia Nicole Bucca  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
English to Italian
+ ...
Grazie grazie grazie Feb 23, 2011

to all of you for your invaluable tips and suggestions.
I have got a clearer picture now and, most of all, I know where to start in order to build up some knowledge in this field.

I have already got a copy of Dan Harrington's book and will definitely visit some forums, start playing a bit, and find some volunteer translation.

As Neil was pointing out, I have got the feeling that online gaming could offer steady work for translators in the days to come. In the last two years I have been spending long periods in Italy, UK and Australia, and I have noticed (with much surprise, I have to say) how big is people's interest in online gaming and/or gambling. It seems that this global industry continues to grow and governments and legislations will have to keep pace with it.

Once again, thank you so much, you have been really helpful!


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