Glossary

Poker Language

When you play poker, you might hit on unfamiliar words that are very common in the gaming world. In order to help you to learn the “poker language”, here is a practical glossary of the terms that are frequently used in this game.

Aces Full

A full house with three aces and any pair

Ace-high

A five-card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it

Aces Up

A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is a pair of Aces

Act

An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand

Action

Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an ‘action’ game

Active Player

Any player who is still in the hand

Aggressive

Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls.

Ajax

The name of an Ace and Jack in the pocket, suited or otherwise

All-in

When a player bets all his/her chips

American Airlines

Two Aces

Angle

An action that isn’t against the rules, but still incorporates unfair tactics

Angle-shooting

Using unfair tactics

Ante

Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun

Bad Beat

When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw

Backdoor

Making a hand other than the one intended. Example: Having J/10 of Clubs with a flop of A of Clubs, 5 of Clubs, 6 of Spades. The turn and river are K & Q of Hearts. You made a straight instead of the intended (and more likely) flush

Backraise

A re-raise from a player who originally called

Bankroll

The amount of money you have

Belly Buster

A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight

Bet

To place chips into the pot

Bet Odds

The odds you get as a result of evaluating the number of callers to a raise

Bet the Pot

When a player bets the amount of the pot

Bicycle or Bike

A straight: A-2-3-4-5

Big Blind

A designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)

Big Slick

A hand that contains an A-K

Blank

A useless card

Blind

The bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the dealer’s left which will start the action on the first round of betting. The blinds are posted before any cards are dealt. (A ‘Blind’ bet is one that is made without looking at your cards.)

Blind Raise

When a player raises without looking at his hand

Bluff

To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have, by betting or raising

Board/Boardcards

Also “community cards”. The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In flop games, five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. In 7 Card Stud, four cards are dealt face-up in front of each player

Boat

A full house

Bottom Pair

When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards

Broadway

An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10)

Bring-in

The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in 7 Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is the highest card showing.

Bring It In

To start the betting on the first round

Broomcorn’s Uncle

A player who antes himself broke

Bullets

A pair of Aces

Bump

To raise

Button

Also known as the “dealer button”, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand

Buy-in

The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game

Call

Matching the bet amount

Call Cold

To call both a bet and raise(s)

Call The Clock

A method of discouraging players from taking an excessively long time to act. When someone calls the clock, the player has a set amount of time in which to make up his mind; if he fails to do so, his hand is immediately declared dead. In tournament play, a common rule is that if a player takes too long and no one calls the clock, the dealer or floor personnel will automatically do so.

Calling Station

A passive and loose player who does not raise much, but calls more than he or she should.

Cap

To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.

Cardroom

The room or space in a casino where poker is played.

Cards Speak

Your hand is the most favorable possible combination of cards, no matter how you call it.

Card Suit

One of the four categories into which the cards of a deck are divided: Spades and Clubs (both black), Hearts and Diamonds (red).

Case Chips

A player’s last chips.

Cash Out

To leave a game and converting chips into cash money.

Check

When it’s a player’s turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he ‘checks.’

Check-raise

When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.

Chip

A small disk used in place of money. See casino token.

Chip Declare

A method of declaring intent to play high or low in a split-pot game with declaration. See declaration.

Chip Dumping

A strategy whereby one player deliberately loses chips to another player. Where players have agreed to take such action together, this is a form of collusion. In tournaments, two players are able to increase their combined equity of the total prize pool if their stacks are more evenly balanced. That is because of the changing marginal utility of chips in a poker tournament. In cash games, this is typically an attempt to perpetrate money laundering or other sorts of fraud, and chip dumping in such situations does not usually harm other players in the game (although there are obscure exceptions).

Chip Leader

The player currently holding the most chips in a tournament (or occasionally a live no limit game).

Chip Race

An event in tournament poker where chips of a value lower than the minimum required are removed from play. See main article: chip race.

Chip Up

To exchange lower-denomination chips for higher-denomination chips. In tournament play, the term means to remove all the small chips from play by rounding up any odd small chips to the nearest large denomination, rather than using a chip race. To steadily accumulate chips in tournament play, typically by winning small pots with minimal risk-taking.

Chop

To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. It also means to ‘split the pot’.

Chopping The Blinds

Ending a hand when all players have folded to the blinds with the blinds being returned to those who paid them. See main article: chopping the blinds.

Click Raise

Making the minimum raise. Referring to online poker when you click the raise button without specifying the amount of raise.

Clubs

One of the four playing card suits, similar to a black clover.

Coffee Housing

Talking in an attempt to mislead other players about the strength of a hand. For example a player holding A-A as their first two cards might say “lets gamble here”, implying a much weaker holding. Coffee housing is considered bad etiquette in the UK, but not in the USA. This is also called speech play.

Coin Flip

A situation where two players have, perhaps wisely, invested all their money in the pot and it’s a roughly even chance which of them wins. A-K against a small pair is a common case; the A-K is only a modest dog. Also “race.”

Cold Call

To call an amount that represents a sum of bets or raises by more than one player. Alice opened for $10, Bob raised another $20, and Carol cold called the $30. Compare to “flat call”, “overcall”.

Cold Deck

A deck that has been intentionally rigged (‘stacked’) such that some player or players cannot win.

Collusion

A form of cheating involving cooperation among two or more players. See cheating in poker.

Color Change, Color Up

To exchange small-denomination chips for larger ones.

Combo, Combination Game

A casino table at which multiple forms of poker are played in rotation.

Come Bet, On The Come

A bet or raise made with a drawing hand, building the pot in anticipation of filling the draw. Usually a weak “gambler’s” play, but occasionally correct with a very good draw and large pot or as a semi-bluff.

Community Card

See Board/Boardcards

Completion

To raise a small bet up to the amount of what would be a normal-sized bet. For example, in a $2/$4 stud game with $1 bring-in, a player after the bring-in may raise it to $2, completing what would otherwise be a sub-minimum bet up to the normal minimum. Also in limit games, if one player raises all in for less than the normally required minimum, a later player might complete the raise to the normal minimum (depending on house rules). See table stakes.

Connectors

Two or more cards of consecutive or close to consecutive rank.

Continuation Bet

A bet made after the flop by the player who took the lead in betting before the flop (Texas hold ’em and Omaha hold ’em). Compare to “probe bet”.

Cooler

A situation in which a player holds a second best hand so powerful considering the circumstances that they are destined to lose the maximum with it no matter how they play it. Examples of this would be K-K running into A-A pre-flop, a king-high flush losing to an ace-high flush on an unpaired board with only three of the suit present, or a nut full house losing to quads when both players have pocket pairs.

Countdown

The act of counting the cards that remain in the stub after all cards have been dealt, done by a dealer to ensure that a complete deck is being used.

Cow

A player with whom one is sharing a buy-in, with the intent to split the result after play. To “go cow” is to make such an arrangement.

Cripple

In some community card games, to cripple the deck means to have a hand that is virtually impossible for anyone else to catch up to. For example, in Texas hold ’em, if a player’s hole cards are A-T and the flop is A-A-T the player has “crippled the deck”; though that player’s hand is high (probably unbeatable), other players are unlikely to see any possibility for improvement and will probably fold. Such a hand generally doesn’t gain much money for the player holding such a hand, however it is possible to win a large amount through slow play.

Crying Call

Calling when a player thinks he does not have the best hand.

Cut Card

A distinctive card, usually stiff solid-colored plastic, held against the bottom of the deck during the deal to prevent observation of the bottom card.

Cutoff

The seat immediately to the right of the dealer button. In home games where the player on the button actually shuffles and deals the cards, the player in the cutoff seat cuts the deck (hence the name).

Dark

An action taken before receiving information to which the player would normally be entitled. I’m drawing three, and I check in the dark. Compare to “blind.”

Dead Blind

A blind that is not “live”, in that the player posting it does not have the option to raise if other players just call. Usually involves a small blind posted by a player entering, or returning to, a game (in a position other than the big blind) that is posted in addition to a live blind equal to the big blind.

Dead Button

A situation in a game with a rotating blind in which the player to the left of the dealer is eliminated or otherwise leaves the table and the dealer button is rotated to the empty seat rather than skipping to the next player still at the table. In such a situation, the small blind is not posted.

Dead Hand

A player’s hand that is not entitled to participate in the deal for some reason, such as having been fouled by touching another player’s cards, being found to contain the wrong number of cards, being dealt to a player who did not make the appropriate forced bets, etc.

Dead Man’s Hand

The hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back: two pair – Aces and Eights, preferably black (spades and clubs).

Deal

To distribute cards to players in accordance with the rules of the game being played. A single instance of a game of poker, begun by shuffling the cards and ending with the award of a pot. Also called a “hand” (though both terms are ambiguous). An agreement to split tournament prize money differently from the announced payouts.

Deal Twice

In a cash game, when two players are involved in a large pot and one is all-in, they might agree to deal the remaining cards twice. If one player wins both times he wins the whole pot, but if both players win one hand they split the pot. Also, “play twice”.

Dealer

The man or woman who handles the cards, gives out the pots, and monitors the game.

Dealer’s Position

Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button.

Declare

To verbally indicate an action or intention.

Deep Stack

A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played. Also called “big stack”. Compare with “short stack”.

Defense

Making a play that defends the player against a bluff by forcing the supposed bluffer to fold or invest further.

Deuce

A 2-spot card. Also called a duck, quack, or swan.

Deuces

A pair of Twos. Any of various related uses of the number two, such as a $2 limit game, a $2 chip, etc.

Deuce-To-Seven

A method of evaluating low hands.

Diamonds

One of the four playing card suits, similar to red rhombus.

Dirty Stack

A stack of chips apparently of a single denomination, but with one or more chips of another. Usually the result of inattention while stacking a pot, but may also be an intentional deception.

Discard

To take a previously dealt card out of play. The set of all discards for a deal is called the “muck” or the “deadwood”.

Disconnect Protection

A tool to protect players in the event that their internet connection is lost while involved in a pot.

Dominated Hands

Hands that are okay to play, but tend to lose against similar non-straight/flush hands. Example: A2 is dominated because against other hands with an Ace, it loses or draws without improvement.

Door Card

This is the first exposed card, or ‘up’ card, in a player’s hand in Stud games.

Donk Bet

A bet made by a donk, i.e. one that is generally considered weak or to demonstrate inexperience or lack of understanding of strategy. A bet made in early position by a player who didn’t take initiative in the previous betting round. It was named because this move is often considered indicative of a weak player (since it is more often reasonable to expect a continuation bet).

Donkey

A weak player, also known as “fish” or a “donk”

Door Card

In a stud game, a player’s first face-up card. Patty paired her door card on fifth street and raised, so I put her on trips. In Texas hold ’em, the door card is the first visible card of the flop. In Draw poker, the sometimes visible card at the bottom of a player’s hand. Players will often deliberately expose this card, especially at lowball.

Double-Ace Flush

Under unconventional rules, a flush with one or more wild cards in which they play as aces, even if an ace is already present.

Double Belly Buster Straight Draw

a combination of hole cards and exposed cards in hold ’em or stud games which does not include four connected cards, but where there are two different ranks of card that complete a straight. An example would be where the combination of hole cards and the flop is J9875.

Double-Board, Double-Flop

Any of several community card game variants (usually Texas hold ’em) in which two separate boards of community cards are dealt simultaneously, with the pot split between the winning hands using each board.

Double-Draw

Any of several Draw poker games in which the draw phase and subsequent betting round are repeated twice.

Double Raise

The minimum raise in a no-limit or pot-limit game, raising by just the amount of the current bet.

Double Suited

An Omaha hold ’em starting hand where two pairs of suited cards are held, e.g. two spades and two diamonds. May be abbreviated “ds” in written descriptions. AAJT (ds) is widely considered a premium pot-limit Omaha hold ’em starting hand.

Double Up, Double Through

In a big bet game, to bet all of one’s chips on one hand against a single opponent (who has an equal or larger stack) and win, thereby doubling your stack. I was losing a bit, but then I doubled through Sarah to put me in good shape.

Downcard

A card that is dealt face-down.

Downswing

A period during which a player loses (or lost more) than expected. See also: Up ‘upswing’.

Doyle Brunson

It’s a Hold’em hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the World Championship of Poker two years in a row with these cards).

Drag Light

To pull chips away from the pot to indicate that you don’t have enough money to cover a bet. If you win, the amount is ignored. If you lose, you must cover the amount from your pocket. This is not allowed at any casino or any but the most casual home games.

Draw

A hand that is incomplete and needs further cards to become valuable

Draw Lowball

Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones – the low hand wins.

Draw Poker

Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards down, with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to attempt to make a better hand.

Drawing

Playing a hand to improve (also see “draw hand”)

Drawing Dead

A drawing hand that will lose even if it improves.

Drawing Hand

A hand that needs improvement to win. Usually to a straight or flush.

Drawing Live

Not drawing dead; that is, drawing to a hand that will win if successful.

Drawing Thin

Not drawing completely dead, but chasing a draw in the face of poor odds. Example: a player who will only win by catching 1 or 2 specific cards is said to be drawing thin. Profitable drawing thin requires large pot odds.

Drop

Fold.

Dry Ace

In Omaha hold ’em or Texas hold ’em, an ace in one’s hand without another card of the same suit. Used especially to denote the situation where the board presents a flush possibility, when the player does not in fact have a flush, but holding the ace presents some bluffing or semi-bluffing opportunity and a redraw in case the flush draw comes on turn. Compare to “blocker”.

Dry Board

The texure of the community cards. A board is considered dry when the cards on the table mean that is unlikely or impossible that any player has made a strong hand like a straight or flush (e.g. because there are insufficient cards of the same suit). Compare to wet board.

Dry Pot

A side pot with no money created when a player goes all in and is called by more than one opponent, but not raised. If subsequent betting occurs, the money will go to the dry pot.

Ducks

A pair of Twos.

Early Position

Position on a round of betting, where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It’s considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.)

Eight Or Better

A common qualifier in High-low split games that use Ace-5 ranking. Only hands where the highest card is an eight or smaller can win the low portion of the pot.

Equity

One’s mathematical expected value from the current deal, calculated by multiplying the amount of money in the pot by one’s probability of winning. For example, if the pot currently contains $100, and you estimate that you have a one in four chance of winning it, then your equity in the pot is $25. If a split is possible, the equity also includes the probability of winning a split times the size of that split; for example, if the pot has $100, and you have a 1/4 chance of winning and a 1/5 chance of taking a $50 split, your equity is $25 + $10 = $35. expectation, expected value, ev See main article: expected value. Often used in poker to mean “profitability in the long run”.

Exposed Card

A card whose face has been deliberately or accidentally revealed to players normally not entitled to that information during the play of the game. Various games have different rules about how to handle this irregularity. Compare to “boxed card”.

Family Pot

A deal in which every (or almost every) seated player called the first opening bet.

Fast

Aggressive play. I was afraid of too many chasers, so I played my trips fast. Compare to “speeding”.

Favorite

A hand which when matched against another in a showdown has an advantage odds-wise over the other. A hand can be called a small or a big favorite depending on how much it is dominating the other. Contrast “underdog” where the situations are reversed. Favorites are usually used but not exclusively comparing how 2 hole cards do against 2 other hole cards pre-flop.

Feeder

In a casino setting, a second or third table playing the same game as a “main” table, and from which players move to the main game as players there leave. Also called a “must-move table.”

Felt

The cloth covering of a poker table, whatever the actual material. Metaphorically, the table itself: Doyle and I have played across the felt. Also used to refer to table felt made visible by being uncluttered with chips from a player having lost them all or taken all of an opponent’s. I felted Carla when I filled up against her flush.

Field

All players as a collective in a large tournament: There were many professionals amongst the field of the Main Event. The number of players in a large tournament: Duhamel defeated a field of 7318 other players to win the title.

Fifth Street

Also known as the ‘river’ card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. In Stud games, this is the fifth card dealt to each player and represents the third round of betting.

Fifth Street

The last card dealt to the board in community card games. Also see river. The fifth card dealt to each player in stud poker.

Fill, Fill Up

To successfully draw to a hand that needs one card to complete it, by getting the last card of a straight, flush, or full house. Jerry made his flush when I was betting my kings up, but I filled on seventh street to catch up.

Final Table

The last table in a multi-table poker tournament. The final table is set when a sufficient amount of people have been eliminated from the tournament leaving an exact amount of players to occupy one table (typically no more than ten players).

First Position

The playing position to the direct left of the blinds in Texas hold ’em or Omaha hold ’em, also known as “under the gun”. The player in first position must act first on the first round of betting.

Fish

A weak player in poker or chess. See also donkey. To chase draws holding weak hand. Especially when facing aggressive play by another player.

Five-card Draw

A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards down. They have one draw to replace them and the best high hand wins the pot.

Five-card Stud

A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards, one down and four up, with betting after 2, 3, 4, & 5 cards. Fixed Limit, Flat Limit In a game played with a fixed-limit betting structure, a player chooses only whether to bet or not – the amount is fixed by rule. To enable the possibility of bluffing and protection, the fixed amount generally doubles at some point in the game. This double wager amount is referred to as a big bet.

Flash

Any card which becomes briefly exposed by accident to at least 1 player must be shown to all the players by the dealer during dealing. The card is said to be “flashed” to all players before being discarded to the muck pile. See also exposed. Unintentionally showing the bottom of the deck if not using a cut-card (an opaque non-play card used to conceal the bottom of the deck) is considered flashing. To show one or more downcards from one’s hand. After everyone folded, Ted flashed his bluff to the other players.

Flat Call

Calling a bet without raising.

Flop

In Hold’em and Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the table, all at one time. The ‘flop’ also indicates the second round of betting

Float

Calling a bet with the intention of bluffing on a later betting round. A player might do this when he suspects an opponent of making a continuation bet on the flop in the hopes that the bettor will give up his unimproved hand and check on the turn, allowing the caller to bet with a weak hand and hopefully take the pot away from the preflop aggressor. We are floating over the other guys flop bet looking for an opportunity to take the pot.

Floorman

An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions

Flop

The dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, or to those three cards themselves. Also see turn and river.

Flop Games

Poker games (Hold’em and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table.

Flush

Any five cards of the same suit

Flush Draw

When a player has four cards in his hand, all of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush

Fold

To throw your hand away when it’s your turn to act

Fold Equity

The portion of the pot one expects to win, on average, by a bet that induces your opponents to fold, rather than seeing the showdown.

Forced Bet

A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand.

Forced-Move

In a casino where more than one table is playing the same game with the same betting structure, one of the tables may be designated the “main” table, and will be kept full by requiring a player to move from one of the feeder tables to fill any vacancies. Players will generally be informed that their table is a “forced-move” table to be used in this way before they agree to play there. Also “must-move”.

Forward Motion

A house rule of some casinos states that if a player in turn picks up chips from his stack and moves his hand toward the pot (“forward motion with chips in hand”), this constitutes a commitment to bet (or call), and the player may not withdraw his hand to check or fold. Such a player still has the choice of whether to call or raise. Compare to “string bet”.

Fouled Hand

A hand that is ruled unplayable because of an irregularity, such as being found with too many or too few cards, having been mixed with cards of other players or the muck, having fallen off the table, etc. Compare to “dead hand”.

Four-Flush

Four cards of the same suit. A non-standard poker hand in some games, an incomplete drawing hand in most.

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same number or face value (‘quads’).

Four-Straight

Four cards in rank sequence; either an open-ender or one-ender. A non-standard poker hand in some games, an incomplete drawing hand in most. Sometimes “four to a straight”.

Fourth Street

In flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt (also known as the ‘turn’) and represents the third round of betting. In stud games, it is the fourth card dealt to each player and represents the second round of betting.

Free Card

The card you get as result of semi-bluffing from late or last position so that all the players check to you.

Freeroll

A tournament with no entry fee

Freezeout

The most common form of tournament. There’s no rebuy, play continues until one player has all the chips.

Full House, Full Boat, Full Hand, Full

A hand with three cards of one rank and two of a second rank. Also “boat”, “tight”.

Full Bet Rule

In some casinos, the rule that a player must wager the full amount required in order for his action to constitute a raise. For example, in a game with a $4 fixed limit, a player facing an opening bet of $4 who wagers $7 is deemed to have flat called, because $8 is required to raise. Compare to “half bet rule”. See Public cardroom rules and “All in” betting.

Full Ring

A full ring game is a cash game with more than six players involved, typically nine to eleven. This term is normally used in the context of online poker. Compare to “shorthanded”.

Gap Hand

In Texas hold ’em, a gap hand is a starting hand with at least one rank separating the two cards. Usually referred to in context of one-gap and two-gap hands.

Get Away

To fold a good hand against a supposedly superior hand. Compare with laydown.

Going South

To sneak a portion of your chips from the table while the game is underway. The intent is to reduce the stakes you have at risk. Normally prohibited in public card rooms. Also “ratholing”.

Grinder

A player who earns a living by making small profits over a long period of consistent, conservative play. Compare to “rock”.

Grinding

Playing in a style with minimal risk and modest gains over a long period of time.

Gut Shot

To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.

Guts, Guts To Open

A game with no opening hand requirement; that is, where the only requirement to open the betting is “guts”, or courage. Any of several poker variants where pots accumulate over several hands until a single player wins.

Gypsy

To enter the pot cheaply by just calling the blind rather than raising. Also “limp”.

Hand

A player’s best five cards.

Hand-For-Hand

In the late stages of a tournament, a requirement that each table wait to deal the next hand until all tables have finished the current one. This ensures that the number of hands played is equal among all tables.

Hand History

The textual representation of a hand (or hands) played in an Internet cardroom. See Poker tools.

Hanger

When the bottom card of the deck sticks out beyond the others, an unwanted tell that the dealer is dealing from the bottom of the deck.

Heads-up

When only two players are involved with a hand.

Hearts

One of the four playing card suits.

Heater

See rush.

Hero Call

Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects his opponent may be bluffing.

High, High Hand

The best hand using traditional poker hand values, as opposed to lowball. Used especially in high-low split games.

High-card

To decide the first dealer in the flop tournaments each user is dealt a single card and the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order – of spades, hearts, diamonds & clubs) becomes the theoretical dealer.

High Limit

A game where the amounts wagered are high.

Hi/Lo

Split pot games.

Hijack Seat

The seat to the right of the cutoff seat, or second to the right of the button. This is generally considered to be the easiest position to steal the blinds from in tournaments because it is the first seat at the table where players often start to give respect to raisers, hence the name.

Hold’em

Also known as Texas Hold’em, where the players get two down cards and five community cards. See our complete Hold’em rules.

Hole Cards

These are the down cards in front of the players.

Hole Cam

A camera that displays a player’s face-down cards (“hole cards”) to television viewers. Also “pocket cam” or “lipstick cam”.

Home Game

A game played at a private venue (usually the home of one of the players), as opposed to a casino or public cardroom.

Horse

A player financially backed by someone else. I lost today, but Larry was my horse in the stud game, and he won big. Compare with “bankroll” and “staking”. h.o.r.s.e. See main article: H.O.R.S.E..

House

The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.

Ignorant End, Idiot End

In flop games, a player drawing to, or even flopping, a straight with undercards to the flop has the idiot end of it. A player with 8-9 betting on a flop of A-T-J puts himself at great risk, because many of the cards that complete his straight give credible opponents higher ones.

Image

The way other players see you.

Implied Odds

The odds you calculate, considering the assumed result of betting for the remainder of the hand.

Improve

To achieve a better hand than one currently holds by adding or exchanging cards as provided in the rules of the game being played. I didn’t think Paula was bluffing, so I decided not to call unless I improved on the draw.

Inside Straight

Four cards that require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight. Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight.

In Position, IP

A player is said to be in position, if the player is last to act on the flop, turn and river betting rounds. Compare to out of position.

Insurance

A “business” deal in which players agree to split or reduce a pot (roughly in proportion to the chances of each of them winning) with more cards to come rather than playing out the hand, or else a deal where one player makes a side bet against himself with a third party to hedge against a large loss.

In The Middle

In a game with multiple blinds, an incoming player may sometimes be allowed to post the blinds “in the middle” (that is, out of their normal order) rather than having to wait for them to pass. A player being whipsawed is said to be “in the middle”.

In The Money

To finish high enough in a poker tournament to win prize money. Also “ITM”.

In Turn

A player, or an action, is said to be in turn if that player is expected to act next under the rules. Jerry said “check” while he was in turn, so he’s not allowed to raise.

Irregular Declaration

An action taken by a player in turn that is not a straightforward declaration of intent, but that is reasonably interpreted as an action by other players, such as pointing a thumb up to signify “raise”. House rules or dealer discretion may determine when such actions are meaningful and/or binding.

Jackpot

A prize fund awarded to a player who meets a set of predetermined requirements. For example, some casinos will give a jackpot to someone who gets four-of-a-kind or higher and loses.

Jackpot Poker

A form of poker in which the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who has lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better).

Jacks or better

A form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the betting.

Junk

A hand with little expected value.

Kansas City Lowball

Form of lowball poker in which the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of different suits) is the best hand. It’s also known as Deuce to Seven.

Keep them honest

To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing.

Key card

A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand.

Key Hand

In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the player, either for better or worse.

Kicker

The highest unpaired side card in a player’s hand.

Kick it

Raise

Kill Pot

A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s)

Kitty

A pool of money built by collecting small amounts from certain pots, often used to buy refreshments, cards, and so on. The home-game equivalent of a rake.

Knock

Check

Kojak

A hand that contains a K-J

Ladies

Two Queens.

Lag

A “loose aggressive” style of play in which a player plays a lot of starting hands and makes many small raises in hopes of out-playing his opponents

Last To Act

A player is last to act if all players between the player and the button have folded.

Late Position

Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted, (usually considered to be the two positions next to the right of the button).

Lay Down Your Hand

When a player folds. A tough choice to fold a good hand in anticipation of superior opposition.

Lead

The first player to bet into a pot

Level

Used in tournament play to refer to the size of the blinds that are periodically increased. For example, in the first level the small blind / big blind may be $50 / $100, in the second level the blinds may be $100 / $200.

Leg-Up, Leg-Up Button

The button used to signify who has won the previous hand in a kill game. Winning a pot in a “2 consecutive pots” kill game with the leg-up button in front of you, results in a kill.

Light

A hand that is not likely to be best. Usually used as an action descriptor; “call light”, “3-bet light”. Also semi-bluff.

Limit Poker

A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals, along with a prescribed number of raises.

Limp, Limp In

To enter a pot by simply calling the bet to them instead of raising, called so because a player with a marginal hand may be willing to pay the minimum to see more cards, but would likely fold if the bet increased further.

Limp-Reraise

A reraise from a player that previously limped in the same betting round. I decided to limp-reraise with my pocket eights to isolate the all-in player. Also backraise.

Limper

The first player who calls a bet.

Limp In

To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. The most common understanding of limping in, is when the first person to speak only calls the Big Blind.

Live Bet

A bet posted by a player under conditions that give him the option to raise even if no other player raises first; typically because it was posted as a blind or straddle, or to enter a new game.

Live Blind

An instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no other player raises. It’s also known as an ‘option’.

Live Card(s)

In Stud Games, cards that have not yet been seen and are presumed to still be in play.

Live Hand

A hand that could still win the pot.

Live One

An inexperienced player who plays a lot of hands.

Live Game

A game with a lot of action, usually including many unskilled players, especially maniacs. See also live poker, below.

Live Poker

A retronym for poker played with at a table with cards, as opposed to video poker or online poker.

Lock Up

To “lock up” a seat in a cash game means to place a poker chip, player’s card, or other personal effect on the table in front of the seat, to signify that the seat is occupied even though the player may not be present.

Long Shot

Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds.

Look

When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.

Loose

A loose player plays a lot hands.

Low

The lowest card by rank. The low half of the pot in a high-low split.

Lowball

Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest hand wins the pot.

Low Limit

A game where the amounts wagered are small.

M-ratio

A measure of the health of a chip stack as a function of the cost to play each round. See main article: M-ratio.

Made Hand

See main article: made hand. Compare to a drawing hand.

Main Pot

The center pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among the remaining players. This occurs when a player(s) goes all-in.

Make

To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.

Maniac

A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.

Match The Pot

To put in an amount equal to all the chips in the pot.

Maverick

The name of a Queen and Jack in the pocket. Suited or otherwise.

Meet

To meet is to call

Micro-Limit

Internet poker games with stakes so small that real cardrooms couldn’t possibly profit from them, are said to be at the “micro-limit” level (e.g. 25¢-50¢).

Middle Pair

In flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the middle card on the flop.

Middle Position

Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button).

Minimum Buy-in

The least amount of money with which you can start a game.

Misdeal

A deal which is ruined for some reason and must be redealt.

Missed Blind

A required bet that is not posted when it is a player’s turn to do so, perhaps occurring when a player absents himself from the table. Various rules require the missed bet to be made up upon the player’s return.

Mnemonics

Mental devices used to remember things. In Hold’em, often players have names for what pocket cards they have, like Big Slick or Maverick.

Monster

A very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after having a small stack is considered to be a monster.

Move In

In a no-limit game, to “move in” or to “go all in” means to bet one’s entire stake on the hand in play. See table stakes.

Muck

To discard or throw away your hand. It is also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.

Multi-Way Pot

A pot where several players compete for it. Also known as a family pot, although family pot sometimes means only a pot where all players participate.

Nit

A player who is unwilling to take risks and plays only premium hands in the top range. Contrast weak player who plays like a nit but also folds extremely easily after taking risks even when holding an excellent hand. A weak player may be a nit but a nit is not necessarily a weak player.

No Limit

A game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of them) on any round of betting.

Nut Hand/Nuts

The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that cannot be beat.

Nut Low

The best possible low hand in high-low split games.

Odds

The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.

Offsuit

Cards of a different suit.

Omaha

A game in which each player is dealt four down cards with five community cards. To make your hand, you must play two cards from your hand and three from the board.

On the Button

Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer’s Position.

One-Chip Rule

A call of a previous bet using a chip of higher denomination than necessary is considered a call unless it is verbally announced as a raise.

One-Eyed Royals

The 3 face cards showing only 1 eye: the Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts and King of Diamonds.

One-Ended Straight Draw

Four out of five cards needed for a straight that can only be completed with one specific rank of card, in cases where the needed card rank is either higher or lower than the cards already held as part of the sequence; as opposed to an inside straight draw or an open-ended straight draw While A-2-3-4 and A-K-Q-J are the only truly one-ended straight draw possibilities, an open-ended straight draw could be considered one-ended if one of the card ranks needed to complete it would also give an opponent a hand of higher rank than a straight. Example: Player A has 8s-9c in the pocket, Player B has 10d-10c in the pocket. The flop and turn were 7c-6d-Ks-6h. Player B would complete a full house with a 6 or a 10. Player A would complete a straight with a 5 or a 10. While strictly speaking Player A has an open-ended straight draw, it can also be referred to as a one-ended straight draw because one of the ends—the 10—would not help the hand. The odds of completing a one-ended straight draw are the same as the odds of completing an inside straight draw

Open

To make the first bet.

Open-ended Straight

Four consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight.

Open Card

A card that is dealt face-up

Open Limp

Being the first person in the pot preflop, but not raising.

Open Pair

A pair that has been dealt face-up

Option

An option is a live blind made before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the ‘option’ player may raise the pot

Orbit

A full rotation of the blinds at a table. Equal to the number of people at the table.

Out Button

A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s), but remain in the game.

Out Of Position, OOP

A player is said to be out of position, if he is either first to act, or is not last to act on a betting round.

Outs

The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand.

Outside Straight Draw

See main article: outside straight draw. Also “two-way straight draw” or “double-ended straight draw”.

Overbet

To make a bet that is more than the size of the pot in a no limit game.

Overcall

To call a bet after others have called, esp. big bets. Jim bet, Alice called, then Ted overcalled. Compare to “cold call”, “flat call”, “smooth call”.

Overcard

A community card with a higher rank than a player’s pocket pair. A higher card. Ted held two overcards to Jill’s pair with two cards to come.

Overpair

A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.

Overs

An option to increase the stakes in limit games. Players may elect to play or not play overs; those who choose to play display some sort of token. If, at the beginning of a betting round after the first, only overs players remain in the hand, bets of twice the present limit are allowed. Most often used in home games as a compromise between aggressive and meek players.

Paints

Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).

Pair

Two cards of the same face or number value.

Pass

To fold.

Passive

A style of play characterized by checking and calling. Compare to “aggressive”, “loose”, “tight”.

Pat

Already complete. A hand is a pat hand when, for example, a flush comes on the first five cards dealt in Draw poker. Also see Made hand.

Pay Off

To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand.

Perfect

The best possible cards, in a lowball hand, after those already named. For example, 7-perfect would be 7-4-3-2-A, and 8-6-perfect would be 8-6-3-2-A.

Pick-Up

When the house picks up cash from the dealer after a player buys chips.

Picture Cards

Face cards (Jack, Queen and King).

Play Back

To raise or re-raise another player’s bet.

Playing the Board

In flop games, when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards.

PLO

Pot limit Omaha.

Pocket

The down cards or hole cards

Pocket Cards

The two cards dealt to you at the beginning of a Hold’em hand that no one else is entitled to see

Pocket Pair

In community card poker or stud poker, when two of a player’s private cards make a pair. Also “wired pair”.

Pocket Rockets

A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole

Poker Face

A blank expression that does not reveal anything about the cards being held. Often used outside the world of poker.

Position

Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player’s place in the betting order

Position Bet

A bet that is made more due to the strength of the bettor’s position than the strength of the bettor’s cards.

Post

To make the required small or big blind bet in Texas hold ’em or other games played with blinds rather than antes

Post Dead

To post a bet amount equal to the small and the big blind combined (the amount of the large blind playing as a live blind, and the amount of the small blind as dead money). In games played with blinds, a player who steps away from the table and misses his turn for the blinds must either post dead or wait for the big blind to re-enter the game. Compare to “dead blind”.

Post Oak Bluff

In no-limit or pot-limit poker, a post-oak bluff is a very small bet relative to the size of the already-existing pot.

Pot

The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win

Pot-Committed

More often in the context of a no limit game; the situation where you can no longer fold because the size of the pot is so large compared to the size of your stack.

Pot Limit

This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.

Pot Odds

See main article: pot odds.

Pre-Flop

The time when players already have their pocket cards but no flop has been dealt yet. It’s also the first round of bets.

Probe Bet

A bet after the flop by a player who did not take the lead in betting before the flop (and when the player that did take the lead in betting before the flop declined to act). Compare to “continuation bet”.

Prop, Proposition Player

A person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill.

Protected Pot

A pot that seems impossible to bluff to win because too many players are active in it and the chances of another player either calling you to the end or raising beyond measure become an assurance.

Protection, Protect

A bet made with a strong but vulnerable hand, such as top pair when straight or flush draws are possible.

Purse

The total prize pool in a poker tournament

Push

When the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. It’s also when dealers rotate to other tables

Put Down

To fold a hand.

Put The Clock (On Someone)

See “call the clock”.

Put On

To put someone on a hand is to deduce what hand or range of hands they have based on their actions and your knowledge of their gameplay. See also tells.

Quads

Four of a kind.

Qualifier

In Hi/Lo games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.

Quarter

To win a quarter of a pot, usually by tying the low or high hand of a high-low split game. Generally, this is an unwanted outcome, as a player is often putting in a third of the pot in the hope of winning a quarter of the pot back.

Rabbit Hunt

After a hand is complete, to reveal cards that would have been dealt later in the hand had it continued. This is usually prohibited in casinos because it slows the game and may reveal information about concealed hands. Also “fox hunt”.

Raccoon

A poor player. See also fish. To make calls based on the hopes of hitting runner runner, inside, or backdoor draws

Rack

1. A collection of 100 chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in 5 stacks in a plastic tray.

2. A plastic tray used for storing a rack of chips.

Race

See “coin flip”.

Rag

A low-valued (and presumably worthless) card. I don’t like playing ace-rag from that position. Hence “ragged”/”raggy” – having a low value: The flop was pretty ragged, so I figured my queens were good. Though note that if a flop consists of consecutive or same-suited low-value cards then it is not ragged/raggy, as it could be valuable as part of a straight or flush.

Rail

The rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area.

Railbird

Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.

Rainbow

Three or four cards of different suits, especially said of a flop.

Rainbow Bet

To make a bet of one chip of each color currently in play.

Raise

To increase the previous bet.

Rake

Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.

Rakeback

Rebate/repayment to a player of a portion of the rake paid by that player, normally from a non-cardroom, third-party source such as an affiliate. Rakeback is paid in many ways by online poker rooms, affiliates or brick and mortar rooms. Many use direct money payments for online poker play. Brick and Mortar rooms usually use rate cards to track and pay their rakeback. See main article: Rakeback.

Rakeback Pro

Rakeback pro is the definition given to a poker player who may not be a winning player, however, uses rakeback to supplement his losses and turn them into winnings.

Rank

The value of each card and hand.

Range Of Hands

The list of holdings that a player considers a opponent might have when trying to deduce their holding. See also “put on”.

Rap

When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.

Ratholing

The illegal action of taking money off the table and putting it somewhere else.

Razz

7 Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.

Reading

Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms, and tells.

Rebuy, Re-Buy

The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament

Redeal, Re-Deal

To deal a hand again, possibly after a misdeal.

Redraw, Re-Draw

To make one hand and have a draw for a better hand. Ted made a straight on the turn with a redraw for a flush on the river.. Second or later draws in a draw game with multiple draws.

Represent

To represent a hand is to play as if you hold it (whether you actually hold it or are bluffing).

Reraise, Re-raise

To raise a raise

Ring Game

A ‘live’ game that is not a tournament.

River

This is the last card given in all games. In Hold’em and Omaha, it is also known as 5th street. In Stud games, it is also known as 7th street.

Rock

A passive, tight player

Rolled-Up Trips

In seven-card stud, three of a kind dealt in the first three cards.

Round of Betting

This is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called.

Rounders

Expert players who travel around to seek out high-stakes games Also the name of a popular poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton.

Royal Cards

Royal card are also known as face cards or picture cards. These cards consist of the Jack, Queen, and King of any suit.

Royal Flush

This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.

Run

The act of playing with more money than is typical or reasonable.

Run It Twice, Running It Twice

A gentleman’s agreement (which isn’t allowed in some casinos) where the players (usually two or three) agree to draw each remaining card to come in two different occasions instead of just once after all parties have gone all-in (two flops, turns and river for example for a total of 10 community cards in 2 sets of 5). You may run twice the flop, turn and river or just the turn and river or only the river. Cards are usually not run retroactively unless the players expressly request so (which is rare). The winner of one “run” gets half the pot while the winner of the second “run” gets the other half. Running it twice is done to minimize bad beats and reduce bankroll swings. Running it twice is a form of insurance.

Runner-Runner

A hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and river. Also “backdoor”. Compare to “bad beat” and “suck out”.

Rush

A prolonged winning streak. A player who has won several big pots recently is said to be on a rush. Also “heater”.

Sandbagging

Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand, usually to disguise strength, provoke bluffs, and to check-raise. Also “slow play”

Satellite

A mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.

Scare Card

A card dealt face up (either to a player in a game such as stud or to the board in a community card game) that could create a strong hand for someone. The Jack of spades on the turn was a scare card because it put both flush and straight possibilities on the board.

Scoop

To win the entire pot

Seating List

A waiting list. A player can put his or her name on this list if there are no seats at the table at which they wish to play.

Second Pair

In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board.

See

To call.

Semi-bluff

Betting with a mediocre or drawing hand.

Set

Having a pocket pair that matches one of the cards on the board.

Set-Up

A deck that has been ordered, usually King to Ace by suit (spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds). In casinos, it is customary to use a set-up deck when introducing a new deck to the table. The set-up is spread face up for the players to demonstrate that all of the cards are present before the first shuffle. Also called to “spade the deck”.

7 Card Stud

A well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards. Click here for information on 7 Card Stud.

Sevens Rule

A rule in many A-5 lowball games that requires a player with a seven-low or better after the draw to bet, rather than check or check-raise. In some venues a violator loses any future interest in the pot; in others he forfeits his interest entirely.

Seventh Street

This is the final round of betting in 7 Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better.

Shark

A professional player.

Shills

Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.

Shoe

A slanted container used to hold the cards yet to be dealt, usually used by casinos or in professional poker tournaments.

Shootout

A poker tournament format where the last remaining player of a table goes on to play the remaining players of other tables. Each table plays independently of the others; that is, there is no balancing as players are eliminated. This format is particularly common in European televised poker programs, including Late Night Poker.

Short Buying

Purchasing chips after your initial purchase. Usually the minimum for a short buy-in is less than the initial buy-in.

Short handed

A short-handed game has few players.

Short Stack

A stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes being played. Compare with “deep stack”, “big stack”.

Showdown

At the end of the final betting round, it’s when all active players turn their cards face-up to see who has won the pot.

Side Game

A ring game running concurrently with a tournament made up of players who have either been eliminated or opted not to play the tournament.

Side Pot

A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in.

Sit And Go

A poker tournament with no scheduled starting time that starts whenever the necessary players have put up their money. Single-table sit-and-goes, with nine or ten players, are the norm, but multi-table games are common as well. Also called sit n’ gos and a variety of other similar spellings.

Sixth Street

In 7 Card Stud, this is the fourth ‘up’ card dealt to a player (their 6 card). It is also the 4 round of betting.

Slow Play

Also called sandbagging or trapping, is deceptive play in poker that is roughly the opposite of bluffing: betting weakly or passively with a strong holding rather than betting aggressively with a weak one. The flat call is one such play.

Slow Roll

To delay or avoid showing one’s hand at showdown, forcing other players to expose their hands first. When done while holding a good hand likely to be the winner, it is considered poor etiquette, because it often gives other players “false hope” that their hands might win before the slow-roller’s is exposed.

Small Blind

The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer ‘button’ prior to the cards being dealt.

Smooth Call

See “flat call”.

Snow

To play a worthless hand misleadingly in draw poker in order to bluff. The worthless hand in question.

Soft-Play

To intentionally go easy on a player (e.g. not betting or raising against him when you usually would). Soft play is expressly prohibited in most card rooms, and may result in penalties ranging from forced sit-outs to forfeiture of stakes or winnings.

Soft Break

Exchanging a large bill or chip into both chips and cash, when a player buys in. The cash is returned to the player and thus not in play.

Soft Seat

A seat or game that is favorable because of the lack of skill at the table.

Solid

A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).

Speed Limit

A pair of fives.

Splash The Pot

To throw one’s chips in the pot in a disorderly fashion. Not typically allowed, because the dealer can’t tell how much has been bet.

Split

Tie.

Split Two Pair

In community card poker, a two pair hand, with each pair made of one of your hole cards, and one community card.

Spread

The range between a table’s minimum and maximum bets.

Spread-Limit

A form of limit poker where the bets and raises can be between a minimum and maximum value. The spread may change between rounds.

Squeeze Play

A bluff reraise in no limit hold’em with less-than-premium cards, after another player or players have already called the original raise. The goal is to bluff everyone out of the hand and steal the bets. This play is most effective when a loose aggressive player opens the pot and is called by one or more passive / weak players. Assuming a standard raise of 3BBs, and only one caller, then the minimum bluff squeezing stack is generally accepted as being at least 18 BBs (this increases the more cold callers there are in the pot).

Stack

A pile of chips.

Stakes

The definition of the amount one buys in for and can bet. For example, a “low stakes” game might be a $10 buy-in with a $1 maximum raise.

Staking

Staking is the act of one person putting up cash for a poker player to play with in hopes that the player wins. Any profits are split on a predetermined percentage between the backer and the player. A backed player is often known as a “horse”. The player will then use the money to play in a tournament or ring game. Compare with “bankroll”.

Stand Pat

In draw poker, playing the original hand using no draws, either as a bluff or in the belief it is the best hand.

Starting Hand

The initial set of cards dealt to each player before any voluntary betting takes place.

Stay

When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising.

Steal (Steal Raise)

A type of a bluff, a raise during the first betting round made with an inferior hand and meant to make other players fold superior hands because of shown strength. A steal is normally either an “ante steal” or “blind steal” (depending on whether the game being played uses antes or blinds).

Steam

A state of anger, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play and poor performance. Compare to ’tilt’.

Steamrolling

Re-raising to make a player(s) call two bets instead of one.

Steel Wheel

A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.

Stop And Go

Stop and go or stop ‘n’ go is when a player bets into another player who has previously raised or otherwise shown aggression. Example: On the flop, Bill bets into Tom, Tom raises, and Bill just calls. On the turn, Bill bets into Tom again. Bill has just pulled a stop ‘n’ go play. Another version of the “stop and go” is in tournament poker when a player raises pre-flop with the intention of going all in after the flop regardless of the cards that fall. This is typically done when the blinds are high and every chip becomes vital.

Straddle

A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind, (and one that a player may raise when the action gets to him).

Straight

Five consecutive cards of any suit.

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Strategy Card

A wallet sized card that is commonly used to help with poker strategies in online and casino games.

Street

A street is another term for a dealt card or betting round, e.g. as in first street, second street, third street (flop), fourth street (turn), fifth street (river)

String Bet

A call with one motion and a later raise with another, or a reach for more chips without stating the intended amount. String bets are prohibited in public cardroom rules. Compare to “forward motion”. A player can (and should) defend himself against string bet complaints by declaring his intention before moving any chips. Note that the “I call, and raise…” cliche is a string bet.

Structure

The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game.

Stud

A variant of poker. A card dealt face up in Stud poker.

Stud Games

Games in which players get both down cards and up cards.

Stuck

A player who is losing in a game.

Subscription Poker

Subscription poker is a form of online poker wherein users pay a monthly fee to become eligible to play in real-money tournaments.

Suck Out

A situation when a hand heavily favored to win loses to an inferior hand after all the cards are dealt. The winning hand is said to have “sucked out”. Compare to “bad beat”.

Suit

A characteristic of a playing card. The card being either of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades.

Suited

Having the same suit. See card suits.

Suited Connectors

Two cards that are suited and consecutive.

Super Satellite

A multi-table poker tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers gain entrance to a larger tournament.

Table

The surface on which poker is played.

Tag

A “tight aggressive” style of play in which a player plays a small number of strong starting hands, but when in pots plays aggressively.

Tainted Outs

Cards that improve a hand so that it is better than the other current hands, but simultaneously improve other hands even more. See also outs.

Tell

An action that gives clues about the cards someone is holding.

Texas Hold’em

This is also the name for Hold’em, the most popular form of poker.

Texture

How well coordinated the community cards are to one another. This is used to estimate your relative hand strength: a pocket pair, for example is of a higher value when the texture is uncoordinated (also known as a dry board), as it reduces the probability that someone has hit a stronger hand like a straight or a flush. See also dry board and wet board.

Third Man Walking

A player who gets up from his seat in a cash game, after two other players are already away from the table, is referred to as the “third man walking”. In a casino with a “third man walking rule”, this player may be required to return to his seat within 10 minutes, or one rotation of the deal around the table, or else his seat in the game will be forfeited if there is a waiting list for the game.

Third Street

In 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on the first three cards.

Thirty Miles

Three Tens

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same number or face value (‘trips’).

Three Bet, Three Betting, 3-Bet, 3bet

To be the first player to put in a 3rd unit of betting. For example, if Bob opens for $10, and Mary raises to make the bet $20, if Ted also raises to make the bet $30, this is to “three bet”. (Before the flop, 3-betting means re-raising the first raiser.)

Three Pair

In a seven card game, such as seven-card stud or Texas hold ’em, it is possible for a player to have 3 pairs, although a player can only play two of them as part of a standard 5-card poker hand. This situation may jokingly be referred to as a player having a hand of three pair. Note that in Omaha hold ’em, it is possible to “have” 4 pair in the same manner.

Tight

Either a player who doesn’t play many pots, or a game that doesn’t have much action.

Tilt, On

Behavior as a result of losing, usually negative.

TOC

Tournament of Champions.

To Go

The amount that a player is required to call in order to stay in the hand, “Alice was deciding whether to call now it was $50 to go.”

Toke

In a brick and mortar casino, a toke is a “tip” given to the dealer by the winner of the pot. Tokes often represent a large percentage of a dealer’s income.

Top Kicker

In community card poker games, top kicker is the best possible kicker to some given hand. Usually it would be an Ace, but with an Ace on the board it would be a King or lower.

Top Pair

In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.

Top Two Pair

Having both your pocket cards match the highest two cards on the board.

Treys

A pair of threes.

Trips

Three of a kind.

Turbo

A turbo is a type of tournament where the blind levels increase much faster than in standard play.

Turn

In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.

Two Pair

A hand consisting of two different pairs.

Under the Gun (UTG)

Being the first person to act, being in the earliest position.

Underdog

An underdog or dog is a player with a smaller chance to win than another specified player. Frequently used when the exact odds are expressed. Harry might have been bluffing, but if he really had the king, my hand was a 4-to-1 dog, so I folded.

Underfull

A full house made where the three of a kind has lower-ranking cards than the pair. I had the underfull when the flop came A-A-5 and I had pocket 5’s in the hole. Can be beaten by the “big full”.

Up

When used with a card rank to describe a poker hand, refers to two pair with the named card being the higher pair. For example, a hand of QQ885 might be called “queens up”.

Up Card

A card that is dealt face-up.

Upswing

A period during which a player wins more (or loses less) than expected. See also: Up ‘downswing’.

Up The Ante

Increase the stake. Also commonly used outside the context of poker.

Upstairs

Raise.

Value Bet

A bet made by a player who wants it to be called (as opposed to a bluff or protection bet). This is typically because he has a superior hand that he expects to win at showdown, or a very good draw for which he can increase his pot equity by more than the amount of his bet.

Variance

The statistical measure of how far actual results differ from expectation. See main article: ‘variance’.

Vigorish, Vig

The rake.

Vpip

A statistic that stands for Voluntary Put Money In Pot. It represents the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blind postings. Also called VP$IP. VPIP is an excellent measure of how tight or loose a player is.

Wake up

To “wake up with a hand” means to discover a strong starting hand, often when there has already been action in front of the player.

Walk

A walk is the situation where all players fold to the big blind.

Walking Sticks

A pair of sevens.

Wash

To mix the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them up. A dealer may wash the deck before shuffling.

Weak Ace

An ace with a low kicker (e.g. four). Also “small ace,” “soft ace,” “ace-rag.”

Weak Player

A player who is easily bullied out of a hand post-flop by any sort of action (betting, raising), whether he has the best hand or not. Weak players are usually but not always nits. Weak players are poker player’s favorite opponents second only to calling stations.

Webcam Poker

A form of online poker which allows players to watch each other during play via a webcam. Webcam poker gives competitors the chance to observe their rivals’ reactions in virtual poker games and tournaments. Players can see the cards being dealt by live webcam poker dealers, rather than random number generators.

Wet Board

The texure of the community cards. A “wet board” is when the cards on the table make it possible for players to have hit strong hands like straights, flushes or draws. The opposite is a dry board.

Wheel

A 5-high straight (A-2-3-4-5), with the Ace playing low. See List of poker hands and Lowball (poker). In deuce-to-seven lowball, the nut low hand (2-3-4-5-7).

Wild Card

A card that can be played as any value.

Window Card

An upcard in stud poker. The first window card in stud is called the “door card”. In Texas hold’em and Omaha, the window card is the first card shown when the dealer puts out the three cards for the flop.

Worst Hand

A losing hand.

Wrap

In Omaha hold ’em, an open ended straight draw comprising two board cards and three or four cards from a player’s hand. A player holding 345A with the board 67K has a “wrap”, as any 3, 4, or 5, or 8 will make a straight. A hand of 4589 would also be a wrap draw, but would often be referred to as a “big wrap” because it has twenty outs rather than thirteen, and is not at the idiot end.

WSOP

World Series of Poker.