Poker Terms
Make a play by checking, calling, betting, raising, or folding.
1) Opportunity to act.
2) Betting.
An amount of money or chips which may be added to a player’s current chip total at a cost.
A portion of the minimum bet that must be contributed to the pot by each player prior to each hand. Most tables do not require an ante in Texas Holdem throughout the entire tournament because there are blinds. Sometimes blinds and antes are both required.
The occurrence of when a player bets all of his remaining chips. Going all-in is the maximum bet a player can make.
Completing a flush or straight using both the turn and river cards (aka runner-runner).
Bad Beat
The event of when a player with a strong hand loses to another player that has a much lower statistical chance of winning.
Big Ace
An Ace in a player’s starting hand with a high ranked second card.
Big Blind
The forced full minimum bet made prior to the hand being dealt. The big blind is paid by the player directly two positions to the left of the dealer button.
Big Full
To have a full house with a three of a kind being of a higher rank than the pair.
A community card that doesn’t appear to assist the other community cards in making a hand such as a straight or flush.
A forced bet made prior to the hand being dealt.
The five community cards, usually placed face up in the center of the table, which may be used by all players to complete a hand. The board consists of the flop, turn, and river.
An artificial intelligence or computer that plays at an electronic Poker table.
Bottom Pair
A hand in which you have exactly two cards of the lowest ranked board card.
Brick & Mortar
An actual physical location such as a casino, opposed to a virtual Poker room, in which Poker is played.
Bubble, (on the) Bubble
In a tournament, the lowest place in which a player will finish without winning any prize money.
Burn, Burn (card)
To remove the top card from the deck and put it out of play face down to prevent cheating.
Typically it is a round, flat white marker placed on top of the table used to indicate the dealer position. The dealer is often referred to as the button too.
To raise the bet high enough that no other player calls and it results in the raising player winning the pot without having to show his cards.
The cost to enter into a tournament.
To put a value of chips or money into the pot that matches the most recent bet or raise.
To make the last permitted raise during a round of betting. Not all tables or tournaments require a cap.
The fourth and final card left in the deck of a certain rank. There are exactly four of each rank in the deck. Once the case comes out, there are no other cards of that rank possible.
Center Pot
Also known as the main pot, it is the first pot in which all remaining players are still able to claim if they win the hand. All side pots would be considered separate from the center pot.
1 ) To bet nothing.
2) A casino chip.
To check if no other player bets or raises; to call if another player bets or raises less than a self predetermined maximum call amount which may be as high as an all-in. This strategy is used often when a player has a strong hand but feels that his opponents may fold if he raises.
To fold if any player bets or raises any amount. This strategy is used if a player has a very weak hand and is unlikely to win.
Check Out
To fold, in turn, when there is not a bet required to stay in the game.
To check during first action, then raise if any other player follows with a bet. This strategy is sometimes used by a player that feels he has a superior hand but senses all other players have very weak hands. The goal of the check-raise player is to win more money using this strategy rather than simply making a traditional initial bet which may have made the remaining players immediately fold.
1) To split a pot with the other winners of a hand in the case of a tie.
2) To split the prize money amongst the remaining players in the money if all players agree.
Click Raise
To raise the minimum amount in online Poker because the user clicks the “raise” button without specifying an amount.
Coin Flip
If two players are remaining in the hand, it is a reference used when there is a roughly 50/50 chance that either player will win the hand.
Cold Call
To call a bet that was the sum of more than one players’ raise.
Come Bet
To make a bet in anticipation that you will complete your hand either by the turn or river.
Community Card
Any of the 5 board cards that all players can use to complete a hand.
Complete Hand
A hand that completes a straight, flush, full house, four of a kind, or straight flush.
A card that is one rank away from another card.
Continuation Bet
A bet made by the player that initiated betting before the flop.
To make pocket cards less valuable if the board cards complete a hand. This can occur when a player completes a straight requiring only 3 board cards but the board also gives another player the same straight using 4 or 5 board cards. This usually results in a tie instead of a win for the first player.
To beat a player’s big starting hand. Typically, pocket aces are usually referred to being cracked if they don’t win the hand.
To significantly reduce the odds that any other player can beat a player’s very strong hand.
To split the deck before it is dealt to prevent cheating. Often used in amateur games.
Cut Card
Usually a distinguished solid colored card that the dealer uses under the deck to hide the bottom card.
Crying Call
A call made by a player that believes he will not win the hand.
Dead Money
1) Money in the pot that was put there by players who are no longer active.
2) A derogatory term used to refer to players in a tournament that are considered unlikely to win money.
To distribute the cards to players at the table according to the rules of the game.
Deal Twice
In a cash game with two remaining players in which either player is all-in, to deal the remaining cards twice if both players agree. If one player wins the hand twice, that player will get the entire pot. If each player wins once, the pot is split.
Dirty Stack
A stack of chips that appears to be of only a single denomination that actually has at least one or more chips of another denomination.
To take a card that was intended to be used in play and then removing it from play to be considered a card that cannot be used by any player. Typically this occurs when a card is accidentally exposed.
Dominated Hand
A hand that is extremely likely to lose to another similar type of hand usually because it has an inferior ranked second card (kicker). Example: KJ dominates K8 because the Kings are equal but the Jack is a higher rank than the eight and will likely be considered in the top 5 cards of the player’s hand. Only a very favorable board that uses an eight would allow the K8 hand to be higher.
A very poor player also known as a fish.
Door Card
The first visible card when the flop is dealt.
Double Suited
Two starting hole cards that have the same suit. Example: Starting with two cards that are both diamonds.
Double Up
To win a hand against one other player caller that has an equal or larger chip stack involving a bet of at least one player’s entire chip stack and resulting in the doubling of a player’s total chip stack. This can only occur when at least one player makes an all-in bet.
A card that is dealt facedown.
To play a hand that still needs at least one or two cards to complete a stronger hand. Example: A player has 2 hearts in the hole and 2 hearts come out on the flop. He needs one heart either on the turn or river to complete a flush which requires 5 cards of the same suit.
Drawing Dead
To not be able to win the hand no matter which remaining board cards come out because the hand is too far behind the hand currently winning the pot.
Drawing Thin
To have only a very limited amount of outs left in the deck to win the pot.
Family Pot
A hand in which all players, or most players, call the bet before the flop.
Fast Play
To play aggressive.
A very poor player also known as a donkey.
The first three community cards placed face up all together by the dealer.
A hand of five cards of the same suit.
Four of a Kind
A hand consisting of exactly four cards of the same rank.
Free Card
A community card that follows immediately after the flop or turn in cases when not a single player raises before the next card is revealed.
Free Roll
A hand that two players are currently tied to win but one of the two players still has a chance to win the entire pot instead of splitting with the other player. Example: One player has Kh10d and the other player has Ks10c. The flop is 4h, 5h, and 8h. The player with 2 hearts can still make a flush with hearts to win the entire pot while the other player has no chance to improve to a better hand than the other player.
Full House (aka Full Boat)
A hand of three cards of the same rank combined with two cards of the same rank.
Gap Hand
Two starting hole cards that have at least one rank in between them.
Gutshot Straight
A straight that requires an inside ranked card to complete the straight hand. Example: If a player has a King and a Queen in the hole and the flop comes out Ace, 10, and 4. If a Jack comes on the turn, then the player has made his Gutshot straight because only a Jack, which is in the inside of the 5 card sequence, can complete his straight hand.
Heads Up
A hand in which only two players are still competing to win the pot.
High Card
A hand that is represented by the highest ranked card.
The organization that is responsible for the game being played.
In Position
The last player to act after the Flop, Turn, and River.
Inside Straight
A straight that requires an inside ranked card to complete the straight hand. Example: If a player has a King and a Queen in the hole and the flop comes out Ace, 10, and 4. If a Jack comes on the turn, then the player has made his inside straight because only a Jack, which is in the inside of the 5 card sequence, can complete his straight hand.
In the Money
In a tournament, finishing in a high enough place that you will win prize money.
A pool of money collected by the house that is awarded to a player that earns a specific Poker achievement.
Also known as the rake.
An unpaired pocket card that can be used as a tie breaker. Example: One player has K10 and another player has K9. The board shows K, 7, 8, 2, 4 and both players pair their Kings. Since top 5 cards play for each player, the player with the K10 would win because his kicker card of 10 is higher than the other player’s kicker card of 9.
A fold in which a player believes his hand is beaten by another player especially when he folds a strong hand.
Limp (In)
To simply call the minimum bet without raising before the flop.
Live Cards
Pocket cards of a player that is contending to win the pot and neither of his cards have the same rank as other active players’ cards.
Live Hand
A hand that is still eligible to with the pot.
Loose Play
To play starting hands that are considered premium or above average as well as other hands that are considered not to be good.
Made Hand
A hand that does not need to improve in order to win.
Middle Pair
Pairing the board if it is not the lowest or highest ranked card.
1) To fold or discard cards, usually face down, into a pile of cards that cannot be used to make a player’s hand.
2) To return cards to the dealer face down after winning a hand because the player doesn’t want other players to see his cards.
3) The discard pile for such cards as the burn and folded cards.
No Limit
A version of Poker that allows all players to bet a maximum of all of his chips at the table.
The best possible hand based on the board.
Starting two cards are of two different suits.
On Tilt
To play irrationally and frustrated usually because of a recent bad beat or large loss of chips. Usually a player on tilt plays very aggressively regardless of starting hand.
Open Ended
To be on a straight draw in which a low or high connector board card would complete a straight for a player. Example: Player holds 9s and 8h. The flop is 7s, 6d, and 2c. The player can either complete a straight with a 10 or 5.
A card that if put on the board would give a player the lead to win the pot. Example: Player 1 has KsKc. Player 2 has QsQc. The board is 7d, 2h, Ah, 8s. Player 1 is winning and Player 2 must get one of the 2 remaining Queens in the deck to win the pot. In other words, Player 2 has exactly 2 outs.
Over Card
1) A pocket card that has a higher rank than any card on the board.
2) A pocket card that has a higher rank than another player’s pocket cards.
Over Pair
A pocket pair that has a higher rank than any cay card on the board.
Any King, Queen, or Jack.
A hand of two cards of the same rank.
A made hand on the flop. Example: Player holds 8d, 9d. Flop is 2d, Ad, Qd. The flop gives the player a flush.
To call a bet in a situation where a win is doubtful but the pot odds are still favorable.
Play the Board
To play all the way to the showdown in which your best hand are the 5 board cards.
The two facedown starting cards for each player.
Pocket Pair
Two cards of the same rank in a starting hand.
To make a forced bet of a small or big blind.
To be in a position where a great majority of your chips are already in the pot and you will feel strongly impelled to call a bet that would require your few remaining chips.
Pot Limit
A version of Poker in which the maximum bet a player can make would be the pot size during his action.
Pot Odds
The ratio of the size of the bet to call to the size of the current pot. It is considered good practice that a player should call a bet if the odds of him catching a board card that would likely solidify a win are greater than pot odds.
The item that players use to put on top of their hole cards to keep them from accidentally flipping over. Usually a protector is flat piece made of plastic or metal.
Four of a kind.
A flop in which no two cards have the same suit.
To increase the minimum required bet to stay in a hand.
The poker room’s commission taken from the pot which is collected by the dealer.
The hierarchy of poker cards. Example: The rank of a King is higher than a Jack or a 10. An Ace is the highest ranked card.
The option to buy an entry back into a tournament after being knocked out. Allowing rebuys in a tournament is at the discretion of the poker room.
To act as if you have a particular hand. Example: A player may raise a large amount once an Ace is put out on the turn. He is trying to represent that he has at least paired his Aces whether he holds an Ace or not.
To increase the minimum bet that a previous acting player has increased.
Ring Game
A live action game in which values in play represent true value of money at stake. Example: Tournaments are not ring games while cash games usually are.
The last card the dealer places on the board.
A very tight player that only raises with very strong hands.
A very good and experienced player that typically seeks high stakes games.
Royal Flush
The highest hand in poker which consists of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10 of the same suit.
A favorable turn card followed by a favorable river card. Example: John needs runner-runner in order to come back from behind to beat Susan’s hand.
A tournament that awards seats to a different tournament that awards cash or high valued prizes.
Scare Card
A board card that potentially could give a player the winning hand. Example: The board holds As, Kd, Qc, and 4h. If the Js comes on the river, it would be considered a scare card for someone holding Ac and Kh because a player only needs to hold a 10 to complete a straight.
To bet as a player with a very beatable or drawing hand in hopes that it will get better.
Three of a kind in which a player holds two of the three cards of the same rank.
Short Stack
1) A player that has a small number of remaining chips when compared to the other players at the table.
2) A chip stack that has a very small number of remaining chips when compared to the other players at the table.
The phase after all of the board cards and betting is concluded in which all remaining players show their cards to discover which player has won the pot.
Side Pot
Any pot that is not considered the original main pot. A side pot can only be created if at least three players are in a hand and only after at least one of the players has gone all-in. A player that has gone all-in and contributed the fewest chips to the main pot may only be able to win the main pot.
Slow Play
To deceptively play a strong hand as if it were a weaker hand.
Small Blind
The forced, usually half of the minimum, bet made prior to the hand being dealt. The small blind is paid by the player directly to the left of the dealer button.
Soft Play
To not bet much or at all with the likely best hand. A player may soft play in order to be nice to a friend or tablemate.
Splash the Pot
To cumbersomely toss chips directly into the pot instead of neatly moving them to the betting area of the table.
To divide the pot winnings to at least 2 players.
Split Two Pair
To make two pairs by using exactly 2 board cards and 2 hole cards of separate ranks. Example: A player holds Ks and 5d while the board shows Kc, Qh, and 5s.
The range of bets from minimum to maximum allowed at a table.
Spread Limit
A form of limit Poker in which players may bet any quantity within the range from a predetermined minimum to a predetermined maximum.
The total number of chips a player has.
Stop and Go
To call, without reraising, another player’s bet then raising in the following betting round.
To optionally blind bet in the position to the left of the big blind in order to be the last to act in the first round of betting. Usually a straddle bet is twice the big blind and may only be legal at certain tables and casinos.
A hand with five cards in consecutive ranking order regardless of suit.
Straight Flush
A hand with five cards in consecutive ranking order and of the same suit.
String Bet
A raise in which a player puts all intended betting chips in the betting area of the table (pot) in more than one motion. It is usually illegal in most games to make a string bet.
Sucked Out
To come from behind and win with a hand that was projected to lose to a much favored hand.
A starting hand in which both cards are of the same suit.
Table Stakes
The limited quantity of chips at the table a player is able to bet. Example: No player is allowed to bet an amount higher than the table stakes.
An involuntary gesture or signal that a player makes as a reflection of the strength of his hand.
Three of a Kind
A hand consisting of exactly three cards of the same rank.
To Go
The amount of chips a player must put in the pot to call the current bet. Example: Frank previously called $100 and only has $100 to go in order to call Beth’s raise to $200.
A tip that is given to the dealer by a player for winning the pot in a casino game.
Top Kicker
The highest ranked unpaired pocket card that can be used as a tie breaker.
Top Pair
A pair that equals the highest ranked card on the board.
Top Set
Set that equals the highest ranked card on the board.
Top Two Pairs
Two pairs that equal the two highest ranked cards on the board.
Top and Bottom Pairs
One pair that equals the highest ranked card on the board and one pair that equals the lowest ranked card on the board.
To slow play a strong hand and represent a weaker hand in an attempt to yield a higher pot win.
Three of a kind.
A version of Poker in which blind levels increase faster than standard play.
The fourth board card which is dealt after the flop.
Under the Gun
The player position to the left of the big blind position who is first to act in the first round of betting.
A player that statistically is unlikely to win the pot.
To have a full house with a three of a kind being of a higher rank than the pair. Example: The community cards are Ac, Ad, Js, Jh, and 5s. Jack holds Jd and Qs which means that he has the three of a kind of Jacks with a pair of Aces to make his underfull. The more obvious higher full house would be three of a kind Aces with the pair of Jacks.
Value Bet
A bet in which a player wants his opponents to call because he believes he has the winning hand and he wants to increase the pot size.
A scenario of all players folding to the big blind.
To spread the entire deck of cards on the table face down and mix them around before stacking the cards in one pile. A dealer usually will do this every few hands in an attempt to better shuffle the cards.
Weak Ace
An Ace in a player’s starting hand with a low ranked second card.
Weak Player
A player that will fold very easily. Almost all forms of raises scare a weak player out of the pot regardless of the player’s hand strength.