Poker Glossary

As we provide more articles about poker strategy, there may be a time when we discuss a term that you are not familiar with. Therefore we have created this glossary to help alleviate that problem.

To start, we have added a sampling of basic poker terms, but as we delve into more complex issues, we’ll continuously add new entries, so please consider this an ongoing project.

-A-

  • Ace high: A poker hand with no pair and an ace is the highest card.
  • Aces up: A hand consisting of 2 pair, one of which is a pair of aces
  • All-in: A bet made by a player which uses all of his remaining chips
  • Ante: An automatic bet made by all players before the hand commences.
  • Antes help to encourage more action and are usually introduced in the later stages of a tournament.

-B-

  • Backdoor draw: a hand that needs both the turn and river to complete a straight or flush combination.
  • Bad beat: A strong hand that is ahead at the start but ends up getting outdrawn by a weaker hand.
  • Bankroll:  The total amount of money a player has put aside to gamble with.
  • Big Slick: Nickname given to a starting hand consisting of an Ace and a King.
  • Big Blind: An automatic bet made by the player sitting 2 spots left of the dealer before the hand is dealt.
  • Bluff: Making a bet to appear strong, but in actuality your hand is very weak.
  • Board: The community cards that are face-up in the center of the table.
  • Boat: Nickname for a full house.
  • Button: The disk used to indicate the current dealer position.
  • Buy-in: The amount of money or chips needed in order to play a particular tournament.

-C-

  • Call: To match a bet in play without raising in order to keep your hand alive.
  • Calling Station: Used to describe a player that has a tendency to neither raise nor fold, but consistently calls with both strong and weak hands.
  • Catch: When a player makes his hand by drawing, or “catching,” one of his outs
  • Check: The option to stay in a hand without betting.  Can only be done when calling a bet is not required in order to play.
  • Community Cards: The cards dealt face-up in the center of the table, to which all players may use create their poker hand.
  • Connectors: Hole cards that are sequential in value, such as 45 or TJ.
  • Counterfeit: Used to describe a situation when a player has a strong hand, but is crippled after being dealt a card that severely weakens it, usually by pairing an existing card on the board that doesn’t match the player’s hole cards.
  • Cut-Off: The seat postion directly to the right of the button.

-D-

  • Dealer: Considered the most advantageous position as they get to observe the actions of all other players before making their decision.  In other words, the last player to act in any given betting round.
  • Dominated Hand: When one player has advantage by having one card that matches his opponents and another card that is a higher rank then his opponent’s second card.  Eg, Ten-jack is dominated by ace-jack.
  • Drawing Dead: A situation where a player has no chance of winning, no matter how many cards are left to be dealt.

-E-

  • Early Position: The players that act first in any given hand are said to be in “early position.”
  • Eight-or-better: A poker variant that includes the possibility of every pot to split between a high hand and a qualifying low hand.  A low hand consists of 5 cards of non-equal denominations that have a value of 8 or less.
  • EPT: European Poker Tour

-F-

  • Fifth Street: The fifth community card on the board – also called the river card.
  • Final Table: In a tournament setting, the last table remaining after all other players have been eliminated.
  • Fish: A derogatory term used to describe a weak player.
  • Fixed Limit: A style of poker where players can only raise by a predetermined amount. For example, a $1/$2 limit game would allow a maximum bet of $1 in the early betting stages of a hand and $2 towards the end.
  • Flop: The first 3 community cards, that all players can use to make their hand, dealt after the initial betting round.
  • Flush: A poker hand that consists of five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence.
  • Freeroll: Any tournament or bet that cost nothing to participate in.
  • Fold: To discard a hand by tossing your hold cards into the muck.
  • Four of a Kind: A poker hand that has cards of the same denomination. EG, AAAA8
  • Fourth Street: The forth card in a poker hand. In holdem, also known as the turn.
  • Full House: A poker hand that consists of 3 cards that share the same denomination coupled with another pair.  Eg., 777KK

-G-

  • Gutshot: Any straight draw requiring one card. EG, if your hand consists of 3-4-6-7, by hitting a 5, you have made a gutshot straight.

-H-

  • Heads Up: A match between 2 players
  • Hole Cards: Also known as pocket cards, these are the 2 cards dealt face down to you at the start of every hand.

-I-

  • Implied Odds: A mathematical calculation involving the current bet you must make in relation to how much you stand to win when considering additional bets to be made in future betting rounds.
  • In the Dark: To make a blind bet without looking at your cards or waiting to see the outcome of a draw.

-J-

-K-

  • Kicker: An unpaired card used to determine the outcome if two or more players have identical paired cards.

-L-

  • Late Position:  The last players to act in any given betting round.  Generally, it is more advantageous to be in late position as you can see how other players behave before determining your actions.
  • Limp: To enter a pot during the first betting round by calling the minimum amount.
  • Loose:  Used to describe the style of a player who prefers to play a higher percentage of marginal hands then average.

-M-

  • Maniac: A loose player who is ultra-aggressive and has little regard to what cards they play.
  • Monster: Used to describe a very strong hand that is unlikely to be beaten.
  • Muck:  To fold your hand and also is used to describe a pile of discarded cards.

-N-

  • NL, NLHE:  No limit and no limit holdem
  • No Limit: A betting structure that allows a player to bet any amount of chips up to the maximum that they possess at that time.
  • Nuts: The best hand possible given the cards in play.

-O-

  • Omaha: A holdem poker variant where each player is dealt four hole cards, but must use just two them, in order to make the best five card poker hand.
  • Offsuit: Used to describe two cards that do not share the same suits.
  • Open-Ended Straight: A hand consisting of four consecutive cards to a straight and needing only one more card on either the high end or low end to complete.
  • Outs: Individual cards needed on a draw in order to make a hand.
  • Over-the-Top: A re-raise made against an opponent.

-P-

  • Pair: Two cards with the same denomination.
  • Play the Board: Used to describe a situation where a player elects to use the community cards to make his final hand.
  • Pocket Cards: Also known as hole cards, these are the 2 cards dealt face down to you at the start of every hand.
  • Pocket Rockets: A nickname given to having two aces as your hole cards.
  • Position: Where a player sits in relation to others at the table.
  • Pot-Limit: a Betting structure that allows players to bet or raise up to the total amount of chips in the current pot.
  • Prize Pool: The total amount of money available to be won as prizes in a tournament.
  • Probe Bet: A bet, usually smaller than normal, used to test the strength of an opponent’s hand.

-Q-

  • Quads: Four of a kind.

-R-

  • Rag: Any low card less than 8.
  • Rainbow: A flop where all three cards are of different suits.
  • Raise: An increase in wager.
  • Razz: A stud poker variant where the goal is to make the best five card low hand.
  • Rebuy: A tournament structure that allows players to buy back into a game if they go broke, usually only for the first few blind levels.
  • Ring Game: A non-tournament cash game.
  • River: The fifth and final community card, followed by a final round of betting.
  • Rock: Used to describe a very conservative player
  • Royal Flush: The best hand possible in a standard poker game, consisting of the Ace to Ten straight, all in the same suit.
  • Runner-Runner: Used to describe a successful backdoor draw. In other words, to make a hand by using both the turn and river cards.

-S-

  • Satellite: A tournament where the prize pool is replaced by paid entries into a higher-priced tournament.
  • Scoop: Used to describe a situation where a player wins both sides of the pot in a high-low split game.
  • Set: A poker hand where a player has a matched card on the board with a pair as his hole cards in order to make three of a kind.
  • Seven Card Stud: A poker variant with no community cards.  Each player is dealt their own cards starting with 2 face down and one face up. Then there are 3 more cards dealt face up, each with their own betting round, finalizing with a seventh card dealt face down with the winner having the best five card poker hand.
  • Shark: Used to describe a player of great skill.
  • Short-Handed: A poker table consisting of 7 or less players.
  • Short Stack: Used to describe a player with very few chips left – usually less than ten big blinds.
  • Showdown: The final point of a hand after all betting has concluded where players reveal their hands to decide a winner.
  • Sit’N’Go: A tournament that is scheduled to start not by date or time, but rather by a predetermined maximum amount of players.
  • Side Pot: A group of chips set aside from the main that one or more players play for after another player involved in the hand has already bet his entire stack.
  • Slow Play: To intentionally play passively with the hopes that other players will bet so that you can reraise.
  • Small Blind: An automatic bet, usually half the toal of the big blind, made by the player sitting on the immediate left of the dealer.
  • Straight: A poker hand that consists of five consecutive cards Eg., 45678
  • Straight Flush: A poker hand that consists of five consecutive cards, all of which are also the same suit.
  • Suck Out: When a player with a inferior hand, or odds to win a hand, manages to catch one of his outs.

-T-

  • Tell: A subconscious act that gives a hint to the strength of an opponent’s hand.
  • Tight: A player that generally waits to play only premium hands.
  • Top Pair: When one of your hole cards matches the card of the board with the highest denomination.
  • Tournament: A survival game structure where players purchase a set amount of chips and continue play until they accumulate them all or go broke trying.
  • Trips:  Three of a kind where a pair on the board matches one of your hole cards.
  • Turn: The fourth community card to be dealt, followed by a round of betting.

-U-

  • Under the Gun: The player in first position that acts at the beginning of each betting round.

-V-

  • Variance: Used to describe the fluctuations one will observe when odds are not finite.

-W-

  • Wheel: A five card straight from Ace to Five, also called a bicycle.
  • WPT: World Poker Tour
  • WSOP: World Series of Poker

-X-

-Y-

-Z-

Written by Admin