Wanna Talk Poker?
It's tough to come into a new field like poker--a game that many live, eat, and sleep--and hear new terms you're not quite sure of. It's dangerous, especially in this game, to have to ask what they mean...I mean, hey, you don't want to "tip your hand" that you're an amateur, right? Well, you shouldn't have to! So here you go, a complete and growing list of poker terms you need to know to succeed! Winning Poker is about knowledge, and knowledge comes from communication, so know your poker terminology.
In many cases, these terms are directly related to other poker terms. To help you understand the connections between these terms, we've built links between many of them. Simply press your browser's 'back' button to return to your previous position in the glossary.
You can also skip down to the online poker Chat Glossary.
A full house with three aces and any pair.
A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it.
A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.
Low hand variations.
To make a play (bet, call, raise, or fold) when it is your turn.
A fold, check, call, bet, or raise.
A marker similar to a kill button, on which a player places an extra forced bet. In a seven-card stud high-low game, the action button is awarded to the winner of a scoop pot above a certain size, signifying that in the next pot, that player will be required to post an amount representing a completion of the bring-in to a full bet.
In community card games, a card dealt on the board that helps two or more players, causing increased betting action.
In many cardrooms, with respect to an all-in bet, only a full (or half) bet can be reraised. Anything less than a full (or half) bet is considered to be action only, that is, other players can call the bet but not raise it.
A player still involved in the hand.
In a live game, to buy more chips before you have busted. In tournament play, chance to buy more chips, usually at the end of the first break.
To make a variety of plays with the intent of projecting an image to your opponents about your style of play.
A player who bets, raises, and re-raises rather than calling or checking.
A measure of a player's aggression. The formula for a player's AF is: AF = (#bets + #raises) / #calls.
Absolutely Nothing, as in betting with total air, or catching air on the river.
When a player bets all their chips in the current hand.
A technically legal, but borderline unethical, action. A player employing such tactics is called an angle shooter.
In some types of poker, it is a forced bet required of all players before the deal.
In tournament play, to force an absent player to continue paying antes, blinds, bring-ins, or other forced bets so that the contest remains fair to the other players.
An expression used in Texas hold 'em to say that a player's cards do not matter, and will be played or raised regardless.
A hand made other than the hand the player intended to make.
To enter a pot by checking and then seeing another player's open bet in the first betting round.
To win a pot with a hand that would have folded to any bet, or to make a backdoor draw.
A reraise from a player who previously called in the same betting round.
A mythical situation where a player, after losing a hand, must look for something or someone to blame in order to reinforce their SELF IMAGE, instead of taking the opportunity to improve their actual SELF. Often leads to SELF destruction at the table. Here at GottaTalkPoker, we call them Chupacabras.
Playing very different hands identically, in order to make it more difficult for an opponent to get an accurate read on a player's hand.
Also called the house, the person responsible for all aspects of moneyhandling, from exchanging chips to payouts.
The amount of money a player has to play with, or to fund someone else.
Selecting the proper stake size and game type to ensure a bankroll survives periods of downswing.
Not currently having the best hand.
A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.
To place chips into the pot.
When a player bets the amount of the pot.
The odds you get as a result of evaluating the number of callers to a raise.
The rules outlining forced bets, limits, raise caps, etc. for a particular game.
The larger of two bet amounts in a fixed limit game.
A game played with a no limit or pot limit betting structure.
The larger of two forced bets in certain types of poker.
A hand won by the big blind playing very weak pocket cards because there was no raise pre-flop.
The best possible full house in community card games.
The largest stacks of chips at the table.
A useless card.
A Non-standard poker hand of five face cards that outranks a flush.
Consistently losing chips through bad play, often due to tilt.
The bets 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.)
To call or raise your opponents raise from the big blind with a weak hand, rather than folding or checking.
When a player raises without looking at his hand.
A raise from late position with a weak hand when the rest of the table has folded, in order to take down the blinds
A stud poker game in which all cards are dealt face down.
To ante off. To have one's stack reduced by paying ever increasing blinds in tournaments.
In community card poker, holding one of the opponent's outs, typically when the board threatens a straight or straight draw. A blocker is also having a combination of cards that turn your opponents outs into your own, such as having four to a straight flush.
An unusually small bet made out of position intended to block a larger bet down the line.
To bet or raise with a poor hand to make other players believe that it is much better. Vulcans never bluff.
This is the number of hands that don't have any real value left on the river, but might still be good enough to catch an opponent's bluff.
To make an aggressive move with a good hand to show bluff, in order to draw a bluff from your opponent.
The community cards in a community card game, or the face-up cards in a stud game.
A full house
Both halves of a split pot, such as in a high-low game.
A trick deal where a card or cards are dealt from the bottom of the deck rather than the top. Usually involves cheating of some sort.
The lowest of several possible straights in a community card game.
In a community card game, a pair or set made by matching the lowest-ranking board card with those in the player's hand.
A special rule in some tournaments that offers a cash prize on each player's head, awarded to the player who eliminates them.
A card encountered face-up within the deck during the deal. in most cases, boxed cards are placed aside and not used.
A predetermined point at which play pauses during a tournament.
A useless, bordering on insulting, card that doesn't help your hand a bit.
A real life casino, as opposed to an online one.
In determining the dealer at the start of a game or the bringin in a stud game, bridge rank rules: Spades > hearts > diamonds > clubs. This is the only time this is used in Poker.
To open a betting round.
An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).
The individual who greets players entering the poker room, maintains the waiting list, announces available seats, and sundry duties relating to managing a poker room. (The name comes from brushing the felt on tables clean.)
The last position in a tournament before entering the payout levels, i.e., if the tournament pays top 4, 5th place is the bubble.
Another name for the Button.
A limited wild card.
An aggressive player who raises and reraises to push other players out of the hand, most often with a big stack.
A card that is removed from the deck before each round is dealt.
An incomplete hand, or a player who is out of chips.
A marker that indicates the dealer's position at the table.
The minimum amount of chips that must be bought to join a poker game.
To buy in for an amount less than the normal buy-in.
A late-position raise to encourage the players following to fold, giving the raiser last position for the remainder of the hand.
Betting when everyone else checks it down to force the other players to fold and the pot uncontested.
To match--or see--a bet or raise.
A rule to discouraging players from taking too long time to act. When a player calls the clock, the delaying player must act within a set time frame or his hand is declared dead.
A loose passive player who most often calls bets, as opposed to raising.
A limit on the number of raises allowed in a betting round.
In a no-limit or pot limit game, a cap on the amount that a player can bet during the course of a hand.
The last available card of a certain type, i.e., the last Jack in the deck.
A ring game; A game where each hand is played for real money.
An announcement, usually by a dealerto avoid breaking up a hand, that a player requested to buy chips and can bet the cash he has on the table in lieu of chips until he receives his chips.
Winning some of the prize money in a tournament.
Cashing in chips when leaving a game; withdrawing from an online site.
To draw the cards needed to complete a hand.
To draw successfully, thus beating the player who originally had the better hand.
To catch the only two possible cards that will complete a hand and win the pot, usually those leading to a straight flush.
The main pot in a table stakes game where one or more players are all in.
To call one or more bets just to see the next card/cards when on a draw with poor odds, or when the pot equity demands it.
To bet nothing.
To fold, in turn, even though there is no bet facing the player.
A check with the intention of raising another player's anticipated bet.
If you don't know this, you probably shouldn't be playing poker.
A method of declaring intent to play high or low in a split-pot game with declaration.
When one player deliberately loses chips to another player. Often a form of collusion.
The player with the most chips in a tournament.
When chips of a value lower than the smallest allowed are removed from play in tournament poker.
To steadily accumulate chips in tournament play, typically by winning small pots with minimal risk-taking.
To split a pot between two or more players, or an agreement between multiple players to split the prize pool before the tournament's normal ending.
Ending a hand when all players have folded to the blinds with the blinds being returned to the bettors.
Making the minimum raise.
Talking to mislead other players about the strength of your hand.
A situation where two players are all in with a close to 50/50 chance to win.
To call an amount equal to the sum of bets/raises by more than one player.
A deck that has been rigged or stacked against certain players.
Cooperation among two or more players. This is Cheating.
To exchange lower-denomination chips for higher-denomination chips.
A game where multiple forms of poker are played in rotation, such as HORSE.
A bet or raise made on a draw, building the pot in anticipation of hitting the draw.
A card on the table used by all players.
A hand that is already made, and needs no improvement.
To raise a small or partial bet up to the amount of a normal-sized bet.
Two or more cards of consecutive rank.
A post-flop bet by the player who led the betting pre-flop.
When a player holds a second best hand so powerful that they will suffer maximum losses with it no matter how they play it.
The act of counting the cards that remain in the stub after all cards have been dealt, done by a dealer to ensure that a complete deck is being used.
A card falling on a deal that effectively neutralizes one of a player's hole cards.
Calling when a player thinks he does not have the best hand.
To split the deck in two as a part of shuffling.
A card of stiff solid-colored plastic on bottom of the deck during the deal to prevent the bottom card from being exposed.
The seat immediately to the right of the dealer button.
Wherein the player posting it cannot raise if other players just call.
A hand that is not allowed to participate in the acton.
Two pair - Aces and Eights (The hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back).
In a cash game, when two players are involved in a large pot and one is all-in, they might agree to deal the remaining cards twice. If one player wins both times he wins the whole pot, but if both players win one hand they split the pot.
The man or woman who handles the cards, awards the pots, and monitors the game.
A version of poker in which the deal passes each game and each dealer which poker variation will be played.
To verbally indicate an action.
A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played.
A play that defends against a bluff by forcing the suspected bluffer to fold or invest more.
A method of evaluating low hands.
A hand that is extremely unlikely to win against another specific hand, even though it may be a strong hand in its own right.
A bet showing inexperience or lack of understanding of poker strategy.
A weak, inexperienced player.
A player's first face-up card, or, the first board card in community games.
A community card game variants where two different community boards are dealt simultaneously, and the pot split between the winning hands on each board.
A draw variant where the draw and post-draw betting round are played twice.
The minimum raise in a no-limit or pot-limit game, i.e. the amount of the current bet.
An Omaha starting hand consisting of two pairs of suited cards.
To win when all in against a single opponent with an equal or larger stack, doubling your chipstack.
A card that is dealt face-down.
A period when a player loses than expected.
A drawing hand is when a player can improve their hand to a stronger one by drawing the needed cards on the flop, turn, or river.
Playing a drawing hand that will lose even if the draw hits.
Playing a drawing hand that will definitely win if the draw hits.
Playing a drawing hand with poor odds.
An ace in a holdem hand without an accompanying suited card.
When the cards on the table make it extremely unlikely that any player has made a straight, flush, or similarly strong hand.
A side pot created when subsequent betting occurs after a player is all in against multiple opponents.
To counterfeit a hand by duplicating a card in the player's hole.
The first player or players to act in a hand.
A qualifier in A-5 ranked High-low split games, requiring that the highest card must be an 8 or less to win the low.
A player's mathematical expected value from the current hand, arrived at by multiplying the value of the pot by the player's probability of winning the hand.
A player's profitability, either long term or in a single hand.
A card that has been revealed to players at the table during a deal, when it shouldn't have been.
A deal in which an overwhelming majority of players called the first opening bet.
A hand with a mathematical advantage over another in a showdown.
The cloth table surface, traditionally felt, hence also a nickname for the table itself.
The number of players in a tournament.
In community card games, the final card dealt (the river). In stud games, the fifth card dealt.
To complete a hand by drawing the one card needed.
The player who must act first in the first betting round.
A weak player.
A hand possible only in games with wild cards, or in a multiple deck variant.
A set bet value, the opposite of no limit.
A call where a raise might be expected, such as with high pocket pair.
Calling a bet with the intention of bluffing later on.
An individual responsible for handling player disputes, keeping games running, and managing dealers and other poker room staff.
The dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board in a community card game.
A community card game.
A hand comprising five cards of the same suit.
To discard one's hand.
The amount of the pot a player expects to win with a bet that induces other players to fold rather than continuing.
A bet players must place into the pot to play, such as blinds or antes.
An unplayable hand due to an error in dealing, such as the cards falling from the table, a mixing with the cards of another hand, or similar mishaps.
Four cards of the same suit.
Four cards of equal rank.
Four cards in rank sequence.
In community card games, the fourth card dealt (the turn). In stud games, the fourth card dealt.
A card dealt after a betting round with no action.
A tournament that is free to enter.
A tournament with no rebuys, re-entries, or addons.
A hand consisting of three cards of one rank and two of another.
A cash game with more than six players.
A starting hand in holdem with at least one rank separating the two cards.
A player who earns a living with consistent, conservative play over long periods of time.
A variant where the pot builds up over several hands until a single player wins.
An inside straight draw.
A player's cards.
In tournament play, when all tables deal each hand simultaneously, and don't start the next hand until all tables have completed that hand.
A text rundown of an online poker hand.
Playing against a single opponent.
When a player is having an unusual winning streak.
Calling with weak hand when a player suspects his opponent to be bluffing.
The lowest ranked poker hand, valued by its highest-ranking cards.
A variant where both the highest and lowest hands split the pot.
Second seat to the right of the button.
A player's Face-down cards.
A TV camera that allows the audience to see a player's face-down cards.
A player staked by someone else.
A mixed game consisting of Holdem, Omaha 8b, Razz, Stud, and Stud 8b.
Holding, or drawing to, a straight with cards lower than those in the flop.
Pot odds calculated in an effort to estimate potential future betting.
To make a better hand than the current one via drawing or dealt community cards.
A draw where one of the inner three cards of a straight is needed to complete the straight.
Being the last to act on the flop, turn and river.
To finish with a share of the prize pool in a tournament.
A player or action expected to act next.
A play designed to create a heads up situation.
A large pool of money collected at the tables and paid out for an event such as a bad beat or high hand.
A wild card in draw games, most often used as an Ace or to complete a straight or flush.
Money collected by the house.
A poor hand.
The card used to score hands of the same rank.
A button signifying which player has the kill action in a kill game.
A fixed limit variation, involving increased poots and betting limits.
A hand with different betting rules in a kill game.
Loose aggressive: playing a lot of starting hands and making raises in an effort to out-play opponents.
The last player to act in a betting round.
Folding a good hand in the face of clear superior holdings.
Demarcation for when the blinds increase after a period of time in tournament play.
The minimum or maximum amount of a bet.
Entering a pot by calling the bet rather than raising.
A reraise from a player that limped in during the same betting round.
Cards that are still theoretically available in the deck.
A hand still involved in the current pot.
An action game.
To play more hands than you should normally play, meaning you're often playing marginal to weak hands..
The lowest card by rank, or the low half of the pot in a high-low split.
A measure of the health of a chip stack as a function of the cost to play each round.
A complete five card poker hand that doesn't need to be improved.
An extremely loose and aggressive player, who often bets and raises indiscriminately, whether or not it is sound to do so.
Online poker games with stakes so small that real cardrooms couldn't possibly profit from them, such as .01/.02.
In a community card game, making a pair with neither the highest nor lowest card of the community cards.
Being neither first nor last to act, rather somewhere in the middle.
A deal which cannot be played and must be redealt.
To go All In.
To fold or discard one's hand without revealing the cards. Also a term for the discard pile.
A pot where multiple players compete for it.
A player that plays only premium hands in the safest manner possible.
A type of game where there is no limit on the amount of a players stack that may be bet in any given action.
The best possible hand at the table.
The best possible low hand in high-low split games.
Cards of different suits.
Four out of the five cards needed for a straight that can be completed with one specific rank card.
To bet first.
Four out of the five cards needed for a straight that can be completed with either the higher or lower rank card in the straight.
The big blind's right to raise his own blind if no one else at the table did so.
A full rotation of the blinds at a table.
The number of cards that can make your hand are your number of outs.
Being either first to act, or in early position.
To make larger than a pot-size bet in a no limit game.
A higher card.
A pocket pair with a higher rank than any of the community cards.
Any royal card.
Two cards of the same rank.
A style of play consisting of safe action, such as only checking and calling.
Calling a bet because pot odds justify a call--even when you are most likely drawing dead.
A friendly game played for fun.
When the best hand is on the board in a community game, at showdown, the player plays the board.
Pot limit Omaha.
When two of a player's hole cards make a pair.
A facial expression intended to reveal nothing to your opponents.
A bet made because of strength of position rather than the cards.
To make the required small or big blind bet.
The chips wagered in the hand.
Where a player can no longer fold because the size of the pot is so large compared to the size of the player's stack.
A type of game where the maximum bet you can make is equal to the size of the pot.
The ratio of money in the pot compared to the money a player has to put in to continue playing a hand.
The first round of action in a community card game, after the players are dealt their hole cards.
A post-flop bet by a player who did not take the lead in betting before the flop when the preflop leader checks.
To go All In.
Four of a kind.
A qualifying low hand, such as 8s or better in many high-low split games.
To win a quarter of a pot.
To reveal the cards that would have been dealt if the hand had continued to showdown.
A poor player.
A plastic tray used for storing a rack of chips.
A situation where two players are allin in a nearly 50/50 sitution.
A low card.
The sidelines at a poker table, either where players watch others play, or where one is sent when they're kncked out of the game.
One who watches others play a poker game.
Three or four cards of different suits.
To bet more when faced with an earlier bet.
The percentage the poker room takes from a pot.
Refunding a portion of the rake back to the player or players who paid it.
The list of holdings that a player puts an opponent on when trying to read their hand.
An amount of chips purchased after the buy-in.
To deal a hand again.
To play a hand as if you hold a certain card or cards.
Raise after one has been raised.
A cash game.
The final card dealt in a poker hand.
A very tight player.
When the first three cards dealt in seven card stud comprise a three of a kind.
An expert player who travels around to seek out high-stakes games.
The highest possible straight flush, consisting of Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten of a single suit.
A hand made by hitting the last two cards in the deal.
A winning streak.
A tournament with entrance into another tournament as the prize.
A face up card that could create a strong hand for someone in the hand.
To win both the high and the low halves of the pot in split games.
A pair of cards of the second-best rank on the board.
To bet less than the maximum with a strong hand to induce opponents into calling.
Bluffing with a drawing hand that can possibly improve over the coming rounds.
Three of a kind where two of the cards are in the hole.
A professional player.
A container to hold the cards yet to be dealt.
A tournament format where the last remaining player of each table goes on to play the remaining players of all the other tables.
To buy in with a considerably shorter stack than the rest of the players at the table.
The smallest stack or stacks of chips at the table.
A game played with six or less players.
After the last betting round, if players remain, their hands are graded to determine the winner.
A separate pot created when an allin player's bets are exceeded.
A tournament that begins when all players are seated.
To play a hand as though you have a considerably weaker hand than you actually do, to gain more action from your opponents.
To delay or avoid showing a hand at showdown. Generally considered to be in poor taste.
The smallest of the required bets to be made in certain games.
Same as flat call.
To intentionally play against someone so as not to take too much. This is generally considered to be collusion.
To throw one's chips in the pot in a way that doesn't allow for the chips to be counted by the dealer. Poor etiquette, and against the rules in many casinos.
A two pair hand, with each pair consisting of your hole cards and one community card.
The range between the minimum and maximum bets.
A form of limit poker where the bets and raises can be between a minimum and maximum value. The spread may change between rounds.
A NLHE bluff reraise with less-than-premium cards, after one or more players have already called the original raise.
The total chips a player has in play.
The amount one can buy in for or bet.
Putting up the buyin for another player to play with in anticipation of a cut of the winnings.
In draw poker, playing one's hand as dealt, with no draws.
Another term for tilt.
A hand consisting of five cards in ranking order.
A hand consisting of five cards in ranking order of the same suit.
A term used for a dealt card or betting round.
A call with one motion and a later raise with another, or a reach for more chips without stating the intended amount. String bets are prohibited in public cardroom rules. A player can (and should) defend himself against string bet complaints by declaring his intention before moving any chips. Note that the I call, and raise... cliche is a string bet.
A poker variant with no draws or community cards.
When a heavily favored hand loses to the inferior one by the time all the cards are dealt.
Having the same suit.
Having the same suit and being concurrent in rank.
Tight Aggressive: doesn't play many hands, but plays those very aggressively.
Cards that improve a hand, but also improve others even more.
A noticable change in behavior or demeanor that offers evidence as to the player's hand or strategy.
How well the community cards work together without hole cards.
Three cards of the same rank.
To play fewer hands than might optimally be played, usually meaning playing better starting hands.
Emotional upset, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play and poor performance.
A tip given to the dealer by the winner of the pot. As in all similar occupations, gratuities are a large portion of a dealer's income. Don't forget to tip your dealer!
The best possible kicker.
A pair comprising a pocket card and the highest-ranking card on the board.
Three of a kind where only one card is in the hole.
A tournament structure where the blind levels increase much faster than normal.
The fourth of five cards dealt to a community card board.
The position directly to the left of the blinds.
A player or hand with a smaller chance to win than another.
A full house made where the three of a kind ranks lower than the pair.
A face up card.
A period during which a player does much better than expected.
Increase the stake.
A bet made with the hopes of being called.
The statistical measure of how far actual results differ from mathematical expectation.
A statistic that stands for Voluntary Put Money In Pot. It represents the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blind postings. Also called VP$IP. VPIP is an excellent measure of how tight or loose a player is.
An ace with a low kicker.
A player who is easily bullied out of a hand.
When the cards on the table make it possible for players to have hit strong hands.
A 5-high straight (A-2-3-4-5).
An up card in Stud Poker.
This chat glossary will help with the social side of Poker when you chat with the other players during the game. Remember that if you type in capital letters it appears you are SHOUTING!!!
Good Game - Usually said at the conclussion of a tournament
Got To Go - A Player is leaving
Giggling, usually expressed to a player that got lucky.
Laugh Out Loud - Usually from a player that responds to good humor from another player or mocks his own bad luck.
Oh My God - Used when a good hand is beaten by an even better hand, also known as a bad beat.
Used by a player on a bad run.
Thank You - Comment from a player who has just won a big pot (various versions of this are used).
Very Nice Hand
Way To Go - Congratulatory remark from one player to another.
There you have it, as complete a list of terms and poker lingo as you're likely to find anywhere!
Notice a term of word missing from this page? Contact us right away, in the community forums, and let us know! Working together, we'll continue to build this glossary into the premiere poker glossary online, anywhere!
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Thanks to Party Poker for the original permission to utilize their glossary page for this resource, many moons ago. We have since grown it considerably, but we are nonetheless appreciative!
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