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Poker Terminology


To make a play either bet, call, raise, or fold at the required time.


1.A player's turn to act.

2.A willingness to gamble.

3.A bet, along with all the calls of that bet. For example, if one player makes a $10 bet and three other players call, he is said to have $10 "in action", and to have received $30 worth of action on his bet.

action button

A marker similar to a kill button, that a player places an extra forced bet.

action card

In Texas holdem poker or other community card games, a card appearing on the board that causes significant betting action because it helps two or more players. For example, an king on the flop when two players each hold an king.

active player

A player still involved in the pot. If there are side pots, an all-in player may be active in some pots, but not in others.


In a live game, to buy more chips before you have busted. In tournament play, a single rebuy for which all players are eligible regardless of their stack size.


To expose cards in such a way as to deliberately convey an impression to your opponents about your style of play.


1.In lowball, "giving air" is letting an opponent who might otherwise fold know that you intend to draw one or more cards to induce him to call.

2.Nothing, as in That last bluff was with total air, or I caught air on the river.

all in

Having bet all of your chips in the current hand.


A technically legal, but borderline play.


1.A draw requiring two or more rounds to fill.

2.A hand made other than the hand the player intended to make.

back in

To enter a pot by checking and then calling someone else's open on the first betting round.

back into

To win a pot with a hand that would have folded to any bet.


A reraise from a player that previously limped in the same betting round.


Balance refers to playing very different hands in the same way, with the aim of making it more difficult for an opponent to gain useful information about the cards a player has, even though on a value basis one would play them differently.


Also called the house, the person responsible for distributing chips, keeping track of the buy-ins, and paying winners at the end of the game.


1. The amount of money that a player has to wager for the duration of his or her poker career.

2. To fund someone's participation in a game.


1.Not having the best hand.

2.Describing money in play but not visible as chips in front of a player.


1.Any money wagered during the play of a hand.

2.More specifically, the opening bet of a betting round.

3.In a fixed limit game, the standard betting amount. There were six bets in the pot when I called.

betting structure

The complete set of rules regarding forced bets, limits, raise caps, and such for a particular game.

big bet game

A game played with a no limit or pot limit betting structure.

big full

The best possible full house in community card games.

big stack

A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played.


A card, frequently a community card, of no apparent value.


An unusual poker hand of five face cards that outranks a flush.


Consistently losing chips through bad play, possibly resulting from tilt.


1.A type of forced bet. See blind.

2.In the "dark".

blind stud

A stud poker game in which all cards are dealt face down. Was popular in California before legal rulings made traditional stud legal there.

blind off, blinded

1.To "ante off".

2.To have one's stack reduced by paying ever increasing blinds in tournaments.

blocking bet

An abnormally small bet made by a player out of position intended to block a larger bet by an opponent.


1.The set of community cards in a community card game.

2.The set of face-up cards of a particular player in a stud game.

3.The set of all face-up cards in a stud game.


Another name for Full house

both ways

Both halves of a split pot, often declared by a player who thinks he or she will win both low and high.

bottom end

The lowest of several possible straights, especially in a community card game.

bottom pair, bottom set

In a community card game, a pair made by matching the lowest-ranking board card with one in one's private hand.


An aspect of some poker tournaments that rewards players for eliminating other players with a cash prize for each player they eliminate, separate from the tournament payout structure.


The chip tray in front of a house dealer, and the house dealer's position at the table.

boxed card

A card encountered face-up in the assembled deck during the deal, as opposed to one overturned in the act of dealing. Most house rules treat a boxed card as if it didn't exist and place it aside .


1.In a draw poker game, to discard cards that make a made hand in the hope of making a much better one. In a Jacks-or-better draw game, a player breaking a high pair must keep the discarded card aside, to prove he had openers.

2.To end a session of play.

3.During a tournament, an interval where play stops and the players are free to stretch themselves.

bring in

1.To open a betting round.

2.A forced bet in stud games.


A 10 through ace straight.


1.A casino employee whose job it is to greet players entering the poker room.

2.To recruit players into a game.


A player who raises frequently to force out more cautious players, especially one with a large stack .


1.Not complete, such as four cards to a straight that never gets the fifth card to complete it.

2.Out of chips. To "bust out" is to lose all of one's chips.


The minimum required amount of chips that must be "bought" to become involved in a game or tournament.

buy short

To buy into a game for an amount smaller than the normal buy-in.

buy the pot

Making a bet when no one else is betting so as to force the other players to fold, thus winning the pot uncontested.

call the clock

A method of discouraging players from taking an excessively long time to act.


A limit on the number of raises allowed in a betting round.

cap game

Used to describe a no-limit or pot limit game with a cap on the amount that a player can bet during the course of a hand. Once the cap is reached, all players remaining in the hand are considered all-in.

cashing out

Exchanging chips for cash when leaving a game.


To receive needed cards on a draw.

catch up

To successfully complete a draw, defeating a player who previously had a better hand.

center pot

The main pot in a table stakes game where one or more players are all in.


1.To call a bet to see the next card when holding a drawing hand when the pot odds do not merit it.

2.To continue to play a drawing hand over multiple betting rounds, especially one unlikely to succeed.

3.To continue playing with a hand that is not likely the best because one has already invested money in the pot.


1.To bet nothing.

2.A casino chip.

check out

To fold, in turn, even though there is no bet facing the player.

chip leader

The player currently holding the most chips in a tournament .


1.To split a pot because of a tie, split-pot game, or player agreement.

2.To play a game for a short time and cash out.

3.A request made by a player to a dealer after taking a large-denomination chip that he wishes the dealer to make change.

4.To chop blinds.

5.An agreement by all players remaining in a tournament to distribute the remaining money in the prize pool according to an agreed-upon formula instead of playing the tournament to completion. Usually occurs at the final table of a large tournament.

click raise

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

coffee housing

Talking in an attempt to mislead other players about the strength of a hand. It's a form of bluffing

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.

cold call

To call an amount that represents a sum of bets or raises by more than one player.

cold deck

A deck that has been intentionally rigged .


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

combo, combination game

A casino table at which several 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.


To raise a small bet up to the amount of what would be a normal-sized bet.


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 .


A case in which playing a strong hand that normally justifies the maximum bet is beaten by a still stronger hand similar to bad beat.


1.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.



A player with whom one is sharing a buy-in, with the intent to split the result after play.


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.

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.


The seat immediately to the right of the dealer button.

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 refers to a small blind posted by a player entering, or returning to, a game that is posted in addition to a live blind equal to the big blind.

dead hand

A player's hand that is not entitled to participate in the deal .


1.To distribute cards to players in accordance with the rules of the game being played.

2.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.

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.


1.The person dealing the cards. Give Alice the cards, she's the dealer.

2.The person who assumes that role for the purposes of betting order in a game, even though someone else might be physically dealing. Also button.

dealer's choice

A version of poker in which the deal passes each game and each dealer can choose, or invent, a new poker game each hand or orbit.


To verbally indicate an action or intention. See declaration.


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

2.Any of various related uses of the number two.


A method of evaluating low hands.

dirty stack

A stack of chips apparently of a single denomination, but with one or more chips of another.


To take a previously dealt card out of play.

dominated hand

A hand that is extremely unlikely to win against another specific hand, even though it may not be a poor hand in its own right. Most commonly used in Texas hold 'em.

door card

1.In a stud game, a player's first face-up card..

2.In Texas hold 'em, the door card is the first visible card of the flop.

3.In Draw poker, the sometimes visible card at the bottom of a player's hand. Players will often 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-board, double-flop

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


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

Used to describe an Omaha hold 'em starting hand where two pairs of suited cards are held,ie ,two spades and two diamonds.

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.


A card that is dealt facedown.

drag light

To pull chips away from the pot to indicate that you don't have enough money to cover a bet.

draw, drawing hand, come hand

1.A 'drawing hand' is when a player has a chance to improve their hand to something considerably stronger through 'drawing' the required cards on the flop, on the turn or on the river.

drawing dead

1.Playing a drawing hand that will lose even if successful a state of affairs usually only discovered after the fact or in a tournament when two or more players are all in and they show their cards.

2.Playing a hand that can never improve beyond the opponent's hand.Similar to bad beat.

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.


1.To fold.

2.Money charged by the casino for providing its services, often dropped through a slot in the table into a strong box. See rake.

3.To drop ones cards to the felt to indicate that one is in or out of a game.

dry ace

In Omaha hold 'em or Texas hold 'em, refers to an ace in one's hand without another card of the same suit. Used especially to describe 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.

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.


To counterfeit, especially when the counterfeiting card matches one already present in the one's hand.

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.


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.

expectation, expected value, EV

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.

family pot

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


Aggressive play.


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.


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.


1.All players as a collective in a large tournament: There were many professionals amongst the field of the Main Event.

2.To refer to the number of players in a large tournament: Duhamel defeated a field of 7318 other players to win the title.

fifth street

1.The last card dealt to the board in community card games. Also see river.

2.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.

final table

The last table in a multi-table poker tournament.

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.


A poor player.

five of a kind

A hand possible only in games with wild cards, or a game with more than one deck, defeating all other hands, comprising five cards of equal rank.


1.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.

2.Unintentionally showing the bottom of the deck if not using a cut-card is considered flashing.

3.To show one or more downcards from one's hand.

flat call

A call, in a situation where one might be expected to raise.


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.


A casino employee whose duties include adjudicating player disputes, keeping games filled and balanced, and managing dealers and other personnel. Players may shout floor! to call for a floorperson to resolve a dispute, to ask for a table or seat change, or to ask for some other casino service.


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

flop game

A community card game.


A hand comprising five cards of the same suit.


To discard one's hand and forfeit interest in the current pot.

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.


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 called 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.

fouled hand

A hand that is ruled unplayable because of an irregularity, ie. 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.


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

four of a kind

A hand containing four cards of equal rank.


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

1.The fourth card dealt to the board in community card games. Also turn.

2.The fourth card dealt to each player in stud.

free card

A card dealt to one's hand or to the board of community cards after a betting round in which no player opened. One is thereby being given a chance to improve one's hand without having to pay anything.


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.

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.

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.

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.


A player who earns a living by making small profits over a long period of consistent, conservative play.

guts, guts to open

1.A game with no opening hand requirement; that is, where the only requirement to open the betting is guts, or courage.

2.Any of several poker variants where pots accumulate over several hands until a single player wins. See guts.


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

half bet rule

In some casinos, the rule that placing chips equal to or greater than half the normal bet amount beyond the amount required to call constitutes a commitment to raise the normal amount.


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

Playing against a single opponent.

high hand, high

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

high card

1.A no pair hand, ranked according to its highest-ranking cards.

2.To defeat another player by virtue of high-ranking cards, especially kickers.

3.To randomly select a player for some purpose by having each draw one card, the highest of which is selected .When all the players get here, we'll high card for the button. Often high card by suit is used for this purpose.

hijack seat

The seat to the right of the cutoff seat, or second to the right of the button.

hole cards, hole

1.Face-down cards. Also pocket cards.

2.A seat, often preceded by a number relative to the button.

hole cam

A camera that displays a player's face-down cards to television viewers.

home game

A game played at a private venue ,as opposed to a casino or public cardroom.


A player financially backed by someone else.

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.


To achieve a better hand than one currently holds by adding or exchanging cards as provided in the rules of the game being played.

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.


A business deal in which players agree to split or reduce a pot 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

1.In a game with multiple blinds, an incoming player may sometimes be allowed to post the blinds in the middle rather than having to wait for them to pass.

2.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.

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 or binding.


Any of a number of abnormal conditions in play, such as unexpectedly exposed cards, that may call for corrective action. See Public cardroom rules.


1.A game of jackpot poker or jackpots, which is a variant of five-card draw with an ante from each player, no blinds, and an opening requirement of a pair of jacks or better.

2.A large pool of money collected by the house and awarded for some rare occurrence, typically a bad beat.


A 53rd card used mostly in draw games. The joker may usually be used as an Ace, or a card to complete a straight or flush, in high games, and as the lowest card not already present in a hand at low.


Money collected by the house. Also vig, vigorish rake.


A hand with little expected value.


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.


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.


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


The player who makes the last bet or raise in a round of betting is said to have the lead at the start of the next round. Can also be used as a verb meaning to bet out into the pot, to lead into the pot.


Used in tournament play to refer to the size of the blinds which are periodically increased.

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.


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


1.The minimum or maximum amount of a bet.

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.


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.

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 cards

In stud poker games, cards that will improve your hand that have not been seen among anyone's upcards, and are therefore presumably still available. In games such as Texas hold 'em, a player's hand is said to contain live cards if matching either of them on the board would give that player the lead over his opponent. Typically used to describe a hand that is weak, but not dominated.

live hand

A hand still eligible to win the pot; one with the correct number of cards that has not been mucked or otherwise invalidated.

live game

A game with a lot of action, usually including many unskilled players, especially maniacs.

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.


1.The lowest card by rank.

2.The low half of the pot in a high-low split.


A measure of the health of a chip stack as a function of the cost to play each round.


A very loose and aggressive player, who bets and raises frequently, and often in situations where it is not good strategy to do so. Opposite of rock.


A person at a poker table that is the focus of attention.

match the pot

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


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 .

middle pair

In a community card game, making a pair with neither the highest nor lowest card of the community cards.


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.

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.


1.To fold.

2.To discard one's hand without revealing the cards. Often done after winning without a showdown or at a showdown when a better hand has already been revealed.

3.The discard pile There were only a couple of cards in the muck

multi-way pot

A pot where several players compete for it. Also known as a family pot.


Rules designating players are allowed to wager any or all of their chips in a single bet. See no-limit.


When a player only has the possibility of a high card and no other hand that will win.

nut hand

The nut hand is the best possible hand in a given situation. Players sometimes evaluate hands by ranking them as being the Second nuts or being the Pure nuts. The Pure nuts is usually the absolute best hand to have at that moment which is impossible to beat, the Second nuts is the second best hand only beat by the Pure nuts, etc. The nut low is the absolute worst hand to have in a given round.

nut low

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


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.


Cards that are not of the same suit. The ace of clubs and the king of spades are called ace-king offsuit

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-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


To bet first. open-ended straight draw, open-ended

An outside straight draw. Also two-way straight draw or double-ended straight draw.


The cards held by a player in a game of jackpots entitling him to open the pot. Splitting openers refers to holding onto one of your openers after discarding it to prove you had the necessary cards to open should you win the pot.

open limp

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


1.An optional bet or draw, such as getting an extra card facedown for 50 cents or raising on the big blind when checked all the way around.

2.The right to raise possessed by the big blind if there have been no raises.


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

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.


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


To call a bet after others have called, esp. big bets. Jim bet, Alice called, then Ted overcalled.


1.A community card with a higher rank than a player's pocket pair.

2.A higher card.


In community card games such as Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold 'em, a pocket pair with a higher rank than any community card.


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.


Any royal card. Used mostly in lowball games, where royal cards are rarely helpful.


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


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 a bet when you are most likely drawing dead because the pot odds justify the call.

penny ante

Frivolous, low stakes, or for fun only; A game where no significant stake is likely to change hands.


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.


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

play the board

In games such as Texas hold 'em, where 5 community cards are dealt, if your best hand is on the board and you go to the showdown you are said to play the board.


Pot-limit Omaha.

pocket pairIn community card poker or stud poker, when two of a player's private cards make a pair. Also wired pair.

poker face

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

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.


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 . 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.


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.


On flop games refers to 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 .

prop, proposition player

A player who gets paid an hourly rate to start poker games or to help them stay active. Prop players play with their own money, which distinguishes them from shills, who play with the casino's money.

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.


The total prize pool in a poker tournament


To bet all in.

put on

To put someone on a hand is to deduce what hand they have based on their actions and your knowledge of their gameplay.


Four of a kind.

qualifier, qualifying low

A qualifying low hand. High-low split games often require a minimum hand value, such as 8-high, in order to award the low half of the pot.


To win a quarter of a pot, usually by tying the low or high hand of a high-low split game.

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.


A poor player.

To make calls based on the hopes of hitting runner runner, inside, or backdoor draws


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.


A low-valued card.


The rail is the sideline at a poker table—the rail separating spectators from the field of play. Watching from the rail means watching a poker game as a spectator.


A non-participatory spectator of a poker game


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

Betting a rainbow: to make a bet of one chip of each colour currently in play.


Rebate or 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.

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 in to winnings.

range of hands

Term used for the list of holdings that a player considers a opponent might have when trying to deduce their holding.


To remove a portion of your chips from the table while the game is underway. Normally prohibited in public card rooms.


An amount of chips purchased after the buy-in. In some tournaments, players are allowed to rebuy chips one or more times for a limited period after the start of the game, providing that their stack is at or under its initial level.


To deal a hand again, possibly after a misdeal.


1.To make one hand and have a draw for a better hand.

2.Second or later draws in a draw game with multiple draws.


To represent a hand is to play as if you hold it .


Raise after one has been raised.


The river or "river card" is the final card dealt in a poker hand, to be followed by a final round of betting and, if necessary, a showdown. In Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold'em, the river, is the fifth and last card to be dealt to the community card board, after the flop and turn. A player losing the pot due only to the river card is said to have been "rivered".


1.A very tight player .

2.A bundle of chips held together with a rubber band, or other token signifying an obligatory live straddle. If the player under the gun has the rock, he must use it to post a live straddle. The winner of the pot collects the rock and is obligated to use it in turn.


An expert player who travels around to seek out high-stakes games

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

A straight flush of the top five cards of any suit. This is generally the highest possible hand.


A hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and river.


A prolonged winning streak.


A tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to another 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.


In high-low split games, to win both the high and the low halves of the pot.

second pair

In community card poker games, a pair of cards of the second-top rank on the board. Second pair is a middle pair, but not necessarily vice-versa. Compare bottom pair, top pair.


In spread limit poker, to sell a hand is to bet less than the maximum with a strong hand, in the hope that more of your opponents will call the bet.


When a player bluffs on one round of betting with an inferior or drawing hand that might improve in a later round.


Three of a kind, esp. the situation where two of the cards are concealed in the player's hole cards.


A deck that has been ordered, usually King to Ace by suit .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.

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.


A professional player.


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


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 buy

In no-limit poker, to buy in to a game for considerably less money than the stated maximum buyin, or less than other players at the table have in play.

short stack

A stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes being played.


A poker game that is played with around six players or less, as opposed to a full ring game, which is usually nine or ten players. A tournament where all tables are shorthanded at all times is called a short table tournament.


When if more than one player remains after the last betting round, remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners.

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 created to deal with the situation of one player going "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.

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.


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

2.The worthless hand in question.


To intentionally go easy on a player (ie. 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.

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 two pair

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


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


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 weak players.


1.The total chips and currency that a player has in play at a given moment.

2.A collection of 20 poker chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in an orderly column.


The definition of the amount one buys in for and can bet. You might see it as $10/1


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.

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.


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.

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. 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.


1.Poker hand:

2.When used with an amount, indicates that the speaker is referring to the total bet, versus the amount being raised.

strategy card

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


A street is another term for a dealt card or betting round.

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.


A structured betting system is one where the spread of the bets may change from round to round.


1.A variant of poker.

2.A card dealt face up in Stud poker.

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.


Having the same suit.

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.


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


A tell in poker is a detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of his hand. A player gains an advantage if he observes and understands the meaning of another player's tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable. Sometimes a player may fake a tell, hoping to induce his opponents to make poor judgments in response to the false tell.

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.

three bet, three betting, 3-bet, 3bet

To be the first player to put in a 3rd unit of betting. 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.


1.See loose/tight play. Compare to "loose", "aggressive", "passive".

2.Having a tight is also slang for a "full house".


Emotional upset, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play and poor performance. Compare with 'steam'.

to go

A term used to describe the amount that a player is required to call in order to stay in the hand.


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 community card poker games, top pair is a pair comprising a pocket card and the highest ranking card on the board. Compare second pair, bottom pair.

top two

A split two pair, matching the highest-ranking two flop cards.


When one of a player's hole cards in Texas hold 'em connects with two cards on the board to make three of a kind. This differs from a "set" where three of a kind is made when a pocket pair connects with one card on the flop to make three of a kind.


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


The turn or "turn card" or "fourth street" is the fourth of five cards dealt to a community card board, constituting one face-up community card that each of the players in the game can use to make up their final hand.

under the gun

The playing position to the direct left of the blinds in Texas hold 'em or Omaha hold 'em. The player who is under the gun must act first on the first round of betting.


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.


A full house made where the three of a kind has lower ranking cards than the pair.


When used with a card rank to describe a poker hand, refers to two pair with the named card being the higher pair.

up the ante

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

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.


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 aggression.

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.


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


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 (ie. 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).


1.A 5-high straight (A-2-3-4-5), with the Ace playing low.

2.In deuce-to-seven lowball, the nut low hand (2-3-4-5-7).

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. wrap

In Omaha hold 'em, an open ended straight draw comprising two board cards and three or four cards from a player's hand.

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