Glossary - Understanding poker terms and what they mean



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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 Aces.
Act, An - An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand.
Action Game - Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an "action" game.
Add On - An option during a tournament to purchase more chips.
Aggressive - Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls.
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 good hand is beat by a longshot draw.
Backdoor - Making a hand other than the one intended. Eg Having Jack/Ten of Clubs with a flop of Ace of Clubs. Five of Clubs and Six of Spades. The turn and river are King and Queen of Hearts. You made a straight instead of the intended Flush.
Bankroll - The amount of money you have.
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.
Belly Buster - A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.
Bet the Pot - When a player bets the amount of the pot.
Bicycle or Bike - A straight that is Ace Two Three Four Five.
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 Ace King.
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 in the dark without looking at your cards.)
Blind Raise - When a player raises without looking at his hand.
Blind Stealer – Someone who frequently raises from late position when it is folded to him in an effort to steal the blinds.
Bluff - To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have by betting or raising when they do not have the best hand.
Boardcards - 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 centre of the table. In Seven 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.
Bounty - An option in some tournaments where by eliminating a certain player or players, you win a set amount of money.
Broadway - An Ace high straight (Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten).
Bring-In - The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is the highest card showing
Bubble - In a tournament, the place right before the lowest money payout. e.i. In a tournament where the top ten players received a portion of the prize pool, 11th place would be the bubble.
Bullets - A pair of Aces.
Bump - To raise.
Burn Card - In Hold'em, the cards before the flop, turn and river, that are discarded to prevent reading of marked cards.
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).
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.
Cash Out - To leave a game and converting chips into cash.
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.
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".
Coffee Housing – When players chat about a hand in progress, possibly with the intent of misleading or manipulating other players.


Dead Man's Hand - Two pair - Aces and Eights (The hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back).
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.
Diamonds - One of the four playing card suits. Formerly representing merchants. 
Dominated Hands – A hand that shares one card with another hand, but whose other card is smaller.
Door Card - This is the first exposed card, or "up" card, in a player's hand in Stud games.
Double-Suited – In games with four hole cards. To have two combinations of two suited cards.
Down Card - Hole cards. Cards that are dealt face down.
Doyle Brunson - It's a Hold'em hand consisting of a 10-2 (Doyle Brunson won the Poker World Championship two years in a row on the final hand with these cards).
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 and 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.
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.
Ducks - A pair of Two's.
Deuces - A pair of Two's.


Early Position - Position on a round of betting where the player must act before most of the other players at the table.


Family Pot – A hand where everyone at the table calls the initial bet.
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.
Five-card Draw - A poker game in which the 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.
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 centre of the table all at one time. The "flop" also indicates the second round of betting.
Floorman - An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions.
Flush - Any five cards of the same suit.
Flush Draw - When a player has four cards in his hand 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.
Forced Bet - A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand.
Four of a Kind - Four cards of the same number or face value ("quads").
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.
Full House - Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value.


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.


Heads-Up - When only two players are involved with a hand.
Hearts - One of the four playing card suits.
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-Low - Split pot games.
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 in our Game Rules section.
Hole Cards - These are the Down Cards in front of the players.
Hollywood – To put an acting show to try and fool opponents about the strength of your hand.
Hooks – Two jacks.
House - The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.


Image - What kind of player others currently perceive you as.
Implied Odds - The odds you are getting after the assumed result of betting for the remainder of the hand.
Inside Straight - Four cards which require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a straight. Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight.


Keep Them Honest - To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing.
Kicker - The highest unpaired side card in a player's hand.
Kill Pot - A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s).
Knock - Check.
Kojak - A hand that contains a King Jack.


Ladies - Two Queens.
LAG – Abbreviation for loose-aggressive player someone who bets and raise much more often than he should.
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 button).
Lay Down Your Hand - When a player folds.
Lead - The first player to bet into a pot.
Limit Poker - A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals along with a prescribed number of raises.
Limper - The first player who calls a bet.
Limp In - To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. (The usual concept of "Limp In" is when the first person to speak just calls the Big Blind.)
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 - A not so knowledgeable player who plays a lot of hands.
Long Shot - Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds.
Look You Up - When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.
Loose - Is a player who plays a lot hands.
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.


Main Pot - The centre 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.
Maniac - A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.
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).
Muck - To discard or throw away your hand. It's also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.
Minimum Buy-In - The least amount you can start a game with.
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.


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.
Nuts - The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that can't be beat.


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.
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 Pair - A pair that has been dealt face-up.
Option - An option is a Live Blind made in the dark before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the "option" player may raise the pot.
Outs - The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand.
Overpair - A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.


Paint - Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).
Pair - Two cards of the same face or number value.
Pass - To fold.
Pay Off - To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand.
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.
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 Rockets - A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole.
Position - Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the betting order.
Post - When you post a bet, you place your chips in the pot. (You must post the Blinds.)
Pot - The money or chips in the centre of a table that players try to win.
Pot Limit - This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.
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.


Quads - Four of a kind.
Qualifier - In High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.


Rack - A tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each.
Railbird - Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.
Raise - To increase the previous bet.
Rake - Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.
Rank - The value of each card and hand.
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 - Seven Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.
Reading - Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms and tells.
Re-buy - The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament.
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.
ROI – Abbreviation for return on investment often used as a metric for single table tournament players calculated by the formula profit / total investment.
Rolled Up – To have the first three cards dealt to you make three of a kind in seven card stud.
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 - Guys who hustle for a living. This is also the name of a popular poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton.
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.
Rush - A winning streak.


Sandbagging – To slowplay.
Satellite - It is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.
Scoop - To win the entire pot, often refers to winning both the high and low hands in a split-pot game
Second Pair - In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board.
See - To call.
Semi-Bluff - Betting or raising to represent a made hand while still drawing.
Set - Having a pocket pair that matches one of the cards on the board.
Seven-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.
Seventh Street - This is the final round of betting in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better.
Sheriff – Player who constantly tries to catch other player's bluffs calling station.
Shills - Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.
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 - An adjective used to describe a game with few players.
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 Pot - A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in.
Sixth Street - In Seven-card Stud, this is the fourth "up" card dealt to the player (their 6th card). It is also the 4th round of betting.
Slick – To hold ace-king in the hole short for Big Slick.
Slowplay - Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand, usually to disguise strength, provoke bluffs and to check-raise
SNG – Abbreviation for sit n’ go tournament generally number of entrants is restricted to one or two table.
Snowmen – Two eights.
Solid - A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).
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.
Speed Limit - A pair of fives.
Split - Tie.
Stack - A pile of chips.
Steal Raise – An open raise by someone in late position in an attempt to reduce the number of players and/or steal the pot, often done with less than normal values.
Steaming – someone who is betting and raising constantly to try and recoup money lost on a bad beat.
Straddle - A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind (and that 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.
Structure - The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets and raises in any particular game.
STT – Abbreviation for single table tournament generally consists of ten players where the top-three finishers are paid.
Stuck - A player who is losing in a game.
Suck-out – winning a pot by hitting a longshot draw bad beat
Suit - A characteristic of a playing card, the card being either of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts or Spades.


Table - The surface on which poker is played.
Table Stakes – A game where a player is only eligible to win or lose what is on the table.
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.
Third Street - In Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on the first three cards.
Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same number or face value ("trips").
Tight - A player who doesn't play many pots. A tight game is one that doesn't have much action.
Tilt. On Tilt - Behavior as a result of losing, usually negative.
Top Pair - In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.
Top Two - Having both your pocket cards match the highest two cards on the board.
Treys - A pair of threes.
Trips - Three of a kind.
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.


Underpair - A pocket pair of lower value than the lowest card on the board.
Under the Gun - Being the first person to act, being in the earliest position.
Up-And-Down Straight Draw – Four consecutive cards where there are two different cards that will complete the straight
Up Card - A card that is dealt face-up.


Walking Sticks - A pair of sevens.
Weak Ace – In Hold'em, any ace that is paired with a bad kicker
WPT – World Poker Tour
WSOP - World Series of Poker.

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