Poker Glossary

Online Poker seems to have developed a language of its own. To help you understand some of the terms, check our poker glossary out below.

A Aces Full A full house with three aces and any other pair.
  Ace-high Five cards where the best you can make is a high card hand with an ace, no
pair, straight, flush etc.
  Aces Up A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.
  Action Where two or more players become involved in a hand, there is action. If one
player raised and the table folded, he would have received no ‘action’ for his
bet. A lot of players betting would be ‘heavy action’.
  Active Player A player still playing in a particular hand.
  Add-on In a re-buy tournament, at the end of the re-buy period, all remaining players will have the option to purchase an add-on, also known as a top-up. For the same fee as the original buyin, a player may increase their chip balance by the starting amount.
  All-in When a player has bet/called for all of his chips, he will be deemed all-in. Any further betting by remaining active players is placed in a side-pot which the all-in player is not entitled to win.
  American Airlines American term for two Aces, also known as ‘Bullets’ or ‘Rockets’.
  Ante Forced bets paid by all players in the later stages of tournaments in addition
to the two players who must pay their ‘Blinds’.
B Back Door A draw that requires both the turn and river cards to make your hand. Eg. Both
cards are diamonds to make your diamond flush.
  Bad Beat A hand that loses when an opponent has been very lucky, and often when they
should have folded their starting hand.
  Belly Buster When a card is required to fill a straight in the middle. Eg. You hold 4-5-7-8.
The 6 would be the ‘Belly Buster’.
  Bet The first chips to be placed in the pot on a specific betting round.
  Bet the Pot When a bet is equivalent to the amount already in the pot. If the player is facing a call, the amount of the call counts towards the total value of the pot, which determines the maximum bet in a Pot Limit poker game. Eg, A player facing a call of $10, with the pot at $50, can raise by $60 (therefore putting in a total of $70 = $10 call + $60 raise).
  Bicycle The lowest possible straight: A-2-3-4-5. In Omaha Hi/Lo this is a particularly strong hand as it is the best possible low hand and also counts as a high hand with a straight. Also known as ‘The Wheel’.
  Big Bet The betting increments used on the last two rounds of betting in a fixed limit poker game. Eg, In a $2/$4 fixed limit Holdem game, the big bet is $4, as all bets and raises on the turn and river must be in increments of $4.
  Big Bet Poker A term often used to describe Pot limit and No Limit poker.
  Big Blind The forced bet that initiates action on the table. This will be placed two
seats to the left of the dealer button prior to any cards being dealt. All
players who join a game will be asked to post the Big Blind regardless of their
table seating, or wait for the Big Blind to come around.(see also Small Blind)
  Big Slick A poker hand containing Ace – King as the two hidden (hole) cards in Texas Holdem.
  Blank A card that is of no help to a player’s hand.
  Blinds Compulsory bets made by the two players to the left of the dealer button, which
initiates the action in every round of betting, and must be placed before the
cards are dealt. If a player misses a blind they will be asked to post the
missed blind before they can re-enter the game.
  Blind Raise When a player raises without checking his cards. (It is not possible to do this
  Bluff To bet with nothing hoping your opponent(s) will fold. Or to bet with no hand but
the chance that your hand may improve with later cards to come.
  Boat Another name for a full house.
  Board Cards The communal cards placed in the centre of the table for all players to see and
  Bottom Pair When a player’s hand makes a pair from the lowest card on the board matching one of their hole cards.
  Bring-in The forced bet in 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, it is the
highest card showing.
  Bring It In To start the betting in the first round.
  Broomcorn’s uncle A player who antes himself out of chips.
  Bullets A pair of Aces.
  Bully A player who raises continually to try and get others to fold.
  Bump A Raise.
  Button A small round disk which moves clockwise around the table to indicate the nominal dealer
for every hand. The player ‘on the button’ has the advantage of acting last on
each round from the flop onwards.
  Buy-In The amount of chips a player sits down at the table with. For a tournament, the buy-in is the cost of entering.
C Call When a player matches the bet made before him by another player.
  Calling Station A player who invariably calls, and is therefore hard to bluff out.
  Cap To make the final raise in a betting round leaving all remaining players only
the option to call in limit games. The limit is reached after one bet and three raises in a betting round.
  Cardroom The area in a casino where poker is played
  Case Card The only remaining card of a certain value remaining. Eg. Three aces are out so
the one in the deck is the ‘case’ ace.
  Change Gears When a player changes his style of play to confuse his opponents, or to respond
to changes in the game.
  Check When a player opts not to bet on his turn. This can only be done when the player does not owe anything to stay in the pot (there has not been a bet or a raise before).
  Check it down In tournaments, when a multi-way pot has one player all-in, the others will
often ‘check it down’ to avoid betting another player out, producing a greater
number of hands to eliminate the all-in player with (see also Dry Side Pot).
  Check-Raise When a player first ‘Checks’ and then raises when another player acting behind has bet.
  Chop When all players have folded apart from the two blind players, they sometimes have the option to ‘chop’, meaning they both take back their blind bets and move onto the next hand.You will find this in land based card rooms only, but it is fairly uncommon.
  Coffee Housing An attempt to mislead opponents by means of devious speech or behaviour.
  Collusion When two or more players conspire to try and cheat another player.
  Community Cards The cards that are face up on the table, and are used by all players to make a
hand. (see also Board Cards)
  Cold Call To call a bet and a raise.
  Counterfeited In Omaha Hi/Lo, when a board card pairs up with a key low card in your hand to decrease the value of your low hand.
  Court Card Any face card, King/Queen/Jack.
  Cowboys Kings.
  Crying Call Making a call on the river when you feel you have lost anyway.
  Cut-off Last player to act before the button.
D Dead Man’s Hand Two pair, Aces & Eights. The hand that Wild Bill Hickock was allegedly said
to be holding when he was shot.
  Deuce to Seven Lowball poker where the lowest possible hand (2-3-4-5-7) wins. Also known as
Kansas City Lowball.
  Disconnection Protection A Safeguard provided by Betfred in certain games to protect a player if his
internet connection is lost during a hand.
  Door Card This is the first exposed card a player shows in Stud games.
  Double Through When a player is all-in against another player and wins.
  Down Cards (see also Hole cards). The initial cards dealt to a player face down.
  Doyle Brunson 10-2, the hand that Doyle Brunson won two consecutive World Series of Poker titles with.
  Draw Lowball Players are dealt five cards and can discard as many as they wish, low hand
  Draw Poker As Draw Lowball, high hand wins.
  Drawing Dead When there are no card(s) left in the deck to improve a player’s hand to the winning hand. Eg, When a player is chasing a flush draw with one card to go when someone else already has a full house.
  Dry Side Pot (see ‘Check It Down’) When one player is all-in in a tournament, and one of the
other players makes a bet in further betting rounds that forces any other live
hands to fold, although there was no additional pot over that already covered
by the all-in bet to play for.
  Ducks Twos.
E Early Position One of the first players to make a decision in a round of betting.
F Family Pot A hand in which the majority of players are involved.
  Fifth Street In stud games this is the fifth card dealt to each player. In community flop
games, it is also known more commonly as ‘the river’ card, and is the last card
dealt before the final round of betting.
  Fish Derogatory term for a poor player.
  Five Card Draw A version of poker where players are dealt five cards each and draw to replace any or all of them. All cards are hidden and there are two rounds of betting, before and after the draw.
  Five Card Stud Each player is dealt five cards, the first card down and the next four up.
There is a betting round after the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th cards.
  Flat Call Calling a bet without raising. The term emphasises that the caller did not raise.
  Floorman An employee of the casino who ensures compliance with the rules.  
  Flop In Hold’em & Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face up in
the centre of the table. After the flop, the second round of betting takes place.
  Flop Games Poker games (Hold’em & Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up and used by every player along with the hidden cards in their hand.
  Flush Five cards of the same suit.
  Flush Draw When a player has four cards of the same suit, and requires one more to complete
the flush.  
  Fold To lay down your hand when it is your turn to act. A folded hand forfeits any chance of winning the pot.
  Forced Bet A compulsory bet required to initiate the betting action. This could be the ‘Bring in’, ‘Blinds’ or ‘Ante’.  
  Four of a Kind Four cards of the same rank value. Eg, Four Jacks.
  Fourth Street The fourth community card in flop games, also known as the ‘turn’, whic preceeds the third round of betting. In stud games, it is the fourth card received by each player.
  Free Card A card you can see without having to make a bet. Eg, If no betting takes place on
the flop in Hold’em, each player would see the turn card for free.
  Freezeout A tournament with no re-buys or top-ups.
  Full House Any three cards of the same rank (eg, three Kings), plus a pair.
G Gut Shot An inside straight draw. Eg, 4-5-6-8.
H Heads Up A game or pot contested between only two players.
  High-Low Games where the pot is split between the best high hand and the lowest possible hand.
  Hold ‘Em Commonly used abbreviation for Texas Hold’em, the most popular poker variant,
where players have two hole cards and five community cards.
  Hole Cards These are the hidden cards exclusively used by one player.
  House The casino or cardroom hosting the game.
I Inside Straight Four cards which require the fifth card to be a specific rank between the top and bottom card to make a
straight. Eg, 5-6-7-9. Also known as a gutshot.
J Jam To bet or raise as much as possible.
  Jammed Pot A pot that has been raised the maximum amount of times.
K Keep Them Honest To call at the end of betting to ensure a player wasn’t bluffing.
  Kicker The highest unpaired card in a player’s hand.
  Kill Pot An addition to standard games, whereby after a player has won two or more
consecutive pots, they post a ‘Kill’ blind, which will be twice the Big Blind,
and must now be matched by everyone entering the pot.
  Kojak Down cards made up of a King and a Jack.
L Ladies Queens.
  Late Position One of the last players to act in a round of betting.
  Limit A poker game structure where each round of betting has a set level. Eg, A $2/$4 Hold’em game has $2 bets for the first two betting rounds and $4 bets on the last two rounds.
  Limping When a player only calls the amount of the blinds to enter the pot.
  Loose A player who plays many hands, good or bad.
M Main Pot The initial pot created during a hand, If a player is all-in at any point in the betting, a second pot is formed from any excess bets not covered by the all-in player. This is known as a ‘Side Pot’and would be played for by the other remaining players.
  Make a Move To try a bluff or semi-bluff.
  Maniac A very aggressive player who will play just about any hand.
  Middle Pair In flop games, where a player makes a pair with one of his cards and the middle
board card.
  Middle Position A player who is in fifth, sixth or seventh position in a round of betting.
  Muck To discard your hand. Also the pile of cards that have so far been discarded during
the play of a hand.
  Monster A very strong hand.
N Narrow The Field A bet or raise which reduces the number of opponents in the hand. A player may try this to scare off other players whose hands are currently worse than his, but have the potential to improve.
  No Limit A poker betting structure where players can bet all of their chips in one betting action.
  Nuts The best possible hand at any given time.
O Offsuit Cards of different suits.
  Omaha A variation of poker where players receive four hole cards, with five community
cards. Your final hand must include two hole and three board cards.
  On The Bubble In tournament play, ‘On The Bubble’ is where a player is eliminated in the
final seat before the payout stages are reached. So if a tournament paid out for the first 10 positions, on the bubble would be an 11th place finish.
  On the Come Betting without a made hand but with a strong draw to improve.
  Open-ended Straight Four consecutive cards, where a fifth card will complete a straight at either
end. Eg, 7-8-9-10.
  Open pair A pair dealt face up. This particularly refers to stud games.
  Outs The theoretical number of cards available to make your hand. Eg, If you have an open-ended straight draw with 3-4-5-6. There are four Two’s and four Seven’s left which could arrive, and therefore a total of eight outs.
  Overbet When a player makes a disproportionally large bet in No Limit games.
  Overcards When your two hole cards are higher than the board cards.
  Over pair When you have a pair that is higher than any of the board cards.
P Paint A name given to all face cards, Jack, Queen & King.
  Pair Two cards of the same face value (or rank).
  Pass To fold.
  Pay Off To call on the final round when you don’t have the best hand and ‘pay off’ the
other player’s bet.
  Picture Cards The Jack, Queen & King.
  Pip The suit symbols on a non-court card that indicates its rank.
  Play Back When a player re-raises a raiser.
  Play The Board When the best hand a player can make is by using all five board cards.
  Pocket Cards The down or hole cards.
  Pocket Pair When your down cards are paired in Hold’em.
  Pocket Rockets A pair of Aces as hole cards.
  Position A player’s seat in relation to the dealer button and other players.
  Post When you place a bet in the pot, most commonly referred to when you must post
the blinds.
  Pot The chips in the centre of the table that players are trying to win.
  Pot Limit A poker betting structure where the maximum bet is the size of the pot. If a player wishes to raise the pot and must first call a bet, the size of the call is included as the pot amount.
  Pot Odds The ratio between the amount you need to call or bet, and the sum
already in the pot.
  Pre-flop The round of betting in flop games, where players have received their down
cards but are yet to see any community cards.
  Put Down To fold your hand.
Q Quads Four of a kind.
  Qualifier In high/low games, it is a requirement that the low hand must meet in order to
win the low part of the pot, otherwise the whole pot will be paid to the high hand. The usual requirement is to have five unpaired cards ranking lower than a Nine (Ace can count as Low). In some high/low poker games, straights or flushes do not count as a Low hand, whereas in others they do not discredit a low hand.
R Rack A chip tray that will hold 100 chips in stacks of 20.
  Rakeback Is the part of the rake that you get back either directly from a poker room or from a poker affiliate. With rakeback you are essentially being rewarded for being a loyal player and you get a certain percentage of the rake you have paid back each month.
  Rag A low card on the flop that doesn’t help your hand and is unlikely to have improved an opponent’s hand.
  Railbird Spectators around the side of the poker room.
  Rainbow A flop where the suits are all different.
  Raise To increase the previous bet.
  Rake The amount taken from the pot by the card room as a charge for service provided.
  Rank The value of each card and hand.
  Razz A version of Seven Card Stud whereby the lowest hand wins. Also known as Lowball.
  Read A player, who thinks he knows why another player has made a bet, will be trying
to ‘read’ his actions and mannerisms, to determine his possible cards.
  Re-buy When a player is allowed to add chips to his stack in a tournament. This is only for a specified time duration and can normally only occur when a player has lost all of their chips.
  Represent Betting in such a way as to suggest a particular hand. Eg, If there are four cards of the same suit on the board, a player betting is representing (suggesting) they have a flush.
  Re-Raise To raise again after a player has already raised in the same betting round.
  Ring Game A cash game (or side game) rather than any type of tournament. Players may join or leave at any time and can choose how much to sit down with, unlike in a tournament.
  River The final community card in Hold’em and Omaha, also known as fifth street, or seventh street in Seven Card Stud.
  Rockets Aces.
  Rock A player who plays only very good starting hands.
  Royal Flush An Ace high straight of the same suit, A-K-Q-J-10. The best possible poker hand.
  Runner-runner In flop games, this refers to a hand that requires, or hits both the turn and
river to help their hand.
  Rush When a player wins many pots close together.
S Satellite A poker tournament in which the prize(s) is an entry to a larger buyin tournament. A super satellite is a tournament with prize(s) to win entry into a satellite.
  Scare card A card that is potentially dangerous to either you or your opponent.
  Second Pair When a player’s hole card pairs up with the second highest card on the flop.
  See To call the final bet, resulting in a showdown.
  Set Three of a kind where you have two of those as down cards.  
  Seven Card Stud A poekr variation where players receive three down cards and four up cards, and must
select their best five.
  Seventh Street The final round of betting in Seven Card Stud.
  Shark A very good player.
  Showdown When betting is complete and the remaining players turn their cards face up to determine the winner of the pot.
  Side Pot When one or more players have gone all-in, they are not entitled to win any money from further bets that take place (as they have not matched them), therefore a separate pot is created for any players remaining in the pot who still have chips. If more than one player is all-in whilst other players still have chips, multiple side pots can occur.
  Sixth Street In Seven Card Stud, this is the fourth round of betting which occurs after the players have recieved their sixth card (fourth up card).
  Slowplay When a player checks or calls a very strong hand to represent weakness in the hope of inducing more betting from opponents.
  Solid A player who plays a good all round game.
  Small Blind The player who must enter the first compulsory bet to the left of the dealer
button in Hold’em or Omaha poker.
  Speed Limit A pair of Fives.
  Split Pot When two players have the same hand, the pot is divided equally between the two.
  Steal A player may successfully ‘steal the pot’ by executing a bluff which does not get called. ‘Stealing the blinds’ refers to a raise pre-flop, usually from the button, purely with the intent of pressuring the players in the ‘blinds’ to fold, and therefore pick up the pot.
  Steel Wheel A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.
  Straddle A voluntary bet placed prior to the deal, that is double the Big Blind, to
stimulate greater action.
  Straight Five consecutive cards of any suit.
  Straight Flush Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
  String Bet An illegal bet in which a player puts some chips in the pot, then reaches back
to his stack for more, without having first verbally stated the full amount of
his bet.
  Structure The value of blinds, antes, and bets and limit raises in games, and limit
raises and payouts in tournaments.
  Stud Games Players have down and up cards with no community cards.
  Suck Out To win a hand by hitting a very weak draw, often with poor pot odds.
T Tell An involuntary gesture, or predictable betting pattern that allows a player to
‘read’ another.
  Texas Hold’Em See ‘Hold’Em’
  Third Street In Seven Card Stud or Seven Card Stud 8 or better, the first round of betting
after the third card.
  Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value
  Tight A player who plays very few hands.
  Tilt When a player starts playing recklessly, usually after suffering a bad beat, or
string of beats.
  Top Pair When one of your hole cards matches the highest card on the board.
  Trap To check on your turn to play in the hope that someone with a weaker hand will
bet or raise behind.
  Trips Three of a kind, when one card is your down card and the other two are on the
  Turn In flop games this is the fourth card dealt, and the third round of betting.
  Two Pair A hand made up of two different pairs.
U Under Pair When you have a pair in the hole that is lower than any of the cards on the
  Under Raise To raise less than the previous bet, and only permissable if a player is going
  Up Card Any card that is dealt face up.
  Under The Gun The first player to act initially to the left of the blinds.
W Walking Sticks A pair of sevens
  Wild Card A card that can be played as any value.
  Wired Pair Another term for a pocket pair.