TERMS - Terminology is very important in any sport or game.
Here are some of the common terms used in Poker. You might want
to bookmark this page for future reference.
Aces Full - A full house with three aces and any pair.
Ace-High - A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight
Aces Up - A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.
Action - Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are
playing a lot of pots is considered an "action" game. "Action"
denotes the amount of betting going on at a given table. In a
casino, you may hear a professional player say, "I'm leaving,
there's not enough action at this table." That means that not
enough money is being risked.
Active Player - Any player who is still in the pot.
Aggressive Play - An "aggressive" player is one who
bets high early and forces others to abandon their comfort zone.
He or she frequently bets the maximum limit and stays "in" until
the end. Depending on your skill level, aggressive play can be
a quick way to cough up a lot of cash.
All-In - When a player bets all his/her chips.: In online
poker, you may be deemed all-in when you aredisconnected (even
if you have chips remaining).
American Airlines - Two Aces.
Ante - Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun.
Bad Beat - When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw.
Belly Buster - A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.
Bet - To place chips into the pot.
Bicycle A straight that is A-2-3-4-5.
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.
Big Slick - A hand that contains an A-K.
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
Blind Raise - When a player raises without looking at his hand.
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. "Bluffing" - or pretending to have better cards than you actually
do - is a fundamental strategy of the game. A player who bluffs
usually bets higher than his/her cards warrant. The desire of
the bluffer is to scare the other players out of the hand by making
them think he/she is holding phenomenal cards.
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 center of the table. In Seven Card Stud, four cards are
dealt face-up in front of each player.
Bottom Pair - When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to
make a pair with one of his own cards.
Broadway - An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).
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
Bring It In - To start the betting on the first round.
Bullets - A pair of Aces.
Bump - To raise.
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
Buy-In - The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit
down in a particular poker game.
Call - When a player chooses to match the previous bet.
Call Cold - To call both a bet and raise.
Cap - To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed
per round of betting.
Case Chips - A player's last chips.
Cash Out - To leave a game and convert your chips to cash.
Check - When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no
action in front of them and they opt not to bet, they "check."
Check-Raise - When a player first checks and then raises in a
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".
Collusion - When two or more players conspire to cheat in a poker
Community - Cards that are face-up and used by all players. Conservative
Play - A Convervative Player usually bets the minimum
and is quick to fold if the cards are not in his/her favor. Conservative
play can be a good way to keep more money in your pocket, but
many times will not win you big pots. Why? Because if people know
that you're a conservative player, they'll bail any time that
you bet more than the minimum. A conservative player is often
susceptible to the trickery of the bluffer.
Cowboys - Two Kings.
Dead Man's Hand - Two pair - Aces and Eights
Door Card - This is the first exposed card, or "up" card, in a
player's hand in Stud games.
Down Card - Hole cards. Cards that are dealt face down.
Drop - Fold.
Ducks - A pair of Twos.
Deuces - A pair of Twos.
Early Position - Position on a round of betting where the player
must act before most of the other players at the table.
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, &
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 center of the table all at one time.
The "flop" also indicates the second round of betting.
Flop Games - Poker games (Hold 'em and Omaha) that are played
using community cards that are dealt face up in the center of
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.
Full House - Any three cards of the same number or face value,
plus any other two cards of the same number or face value.
Gut Shot - To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.
Hand - A player's best five cards.
High-Low - Split pot games.
Hold 'em - Also known as Texas Hold 'em, where the players get
two down cards and five community cards.
Hole Cards - These are the Down Cards in front of the players.
House - The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.
Inside Straight - Four cards which require another between the
top and the bottom card to complete a straight.
Jackpot Poker - A form of poker in which the cardroom or casino
offers a jackpot to a player who has lost with a really big hand
(usually Aces full or better).
Keep Them Honest - To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone
Key Card - A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand
Key Hand - In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends
up being a turning point for the player, either for better or
Kicker - The highest unpaired side card in a players' hand.
Kick It - Raise.
Kill Pot - A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by
someone who has just won a pot.
Knock - Check
Ladies - Two Queens.
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 Blind.
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
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.
Loose - When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.
Lowball - A player who plays a lot of hands.
Main Pot - The center 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.
Make - To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.
Maniac - A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.
Meet - To meet is to call.
Muck - To discard or throw away your hand.
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 chipps
after having a small stack is considered to be a monster
Nuts - The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand
that cannot 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.
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 Card - A card that is dealt face-up.
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
Out Button - A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to
sit out a hand but remain in the game.
Paints - 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 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.
Pot - The money or chips in the center of a table that players
try to win.
Pot Limit - This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the
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.
Put Down - To fold a hand.
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
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
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.
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.
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 - Poker plays who hustle for a living.
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.
Satellite - It is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger
Seating List - A waiting list. A player would put his or her name
on this list if there were no seats at the table at which they
wish to play.
Second Pair - In flop games, when you pair the second highest
card on the board. See - To call.
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. Click here for information on Seven Card Stud.
Seventh Street - This is the final round of betting in Seven Card
Stud and Stud 8 or Better.
Shills - Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker
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
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
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.
Stay - When a player remains in the game by calling rather than
Straddle - A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the
size of the Big Blind (and thatplayer 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.
Stud Games - Games in which players get down cards and up cards.
Stuck - A player who is losing in a game. Tell -
A "tell" is a mannerism that you inadvertently repeat that lets
the other players know how good your hand is. No one EVER wants
other people to know their tell, but everyone has one. When you
lie, you inadvertently give little clues. A player may wipe his
brow when he has a good hand, trying to contain excitement. Another
player may grit her teeth when she has a low hand, a nervous reaction
to the bluff she's about to make. Whatever it is, you should always
try to figure out what the other players' tells are, and you should
always try to hide yours. Try to play as stoically as possible,
eliminating the possibility that someone will discover your tell.
Practice that poker face. A good thing about playing poker
online is that it is almost imposible to display your "tell"
to the other players.
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.
Thirty Miles - Three tens.
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same number or face value.
Also knowns as "Trips"
Tight - A player who doesn't play many pots. A tight game is one
that doesn't have much action.
Top Pair - In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down
cards with the highest card on 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.
Up Card - A card that is dealt face-up.
Walking Sticks - A pair of sevens.
Wild Card - A card that can be played as any value.
Worst Hand - A losing hand.