Poker Dictionary

Action

The sequence of betting in each hand. Bets, raises, calls, etc. that consists of putting money in the pot.

Ante

A small amount of money from every player that goes into the pot.

Add-on

An additional buy-in in a poker tournament. It is an option to buy more chips than a player received with his original buy-in.

All-in

It means that in a poker hand you can only bet whatever money or chips you had on the table when the hand started.

Backdoor

In poker, the term backdoor refers to making a hand with cards on both the turn and the river. In Texas Hold'em, if a player has three cards to a flush or straight and gets the cards needed on the turn and river, that hand is a backdoor flush or a backdoor straight, and the player won the hand by way of the backdoor.

Back-raise

A "back-raise" in poker occurs when a player who just calls during a previous round of betting decides to put in a re-raise in the next round.

Bad beat

A subjective term for a hand in which a player with what appear to be strong cards nevertheless loses.

Bankroll

The amount of money you set aside exclusively to play poker. It is separate from all the other finances in your life.

Bankroll Management

Managing a bankroll carefully is a vital skill for a successful player to learn, no matter at what level you play the game.

Bet

Money put in during the play of a hand.

Big Blind

The number of blinds is usually two, but it can range from none to three. The big blind is posted by the next player to the left of the dealer, after the small blind.

Blind

The blinds are forced bets posted by players.

Bleed

It refers to when a player in a poker game is slowly but surely losing all of the chips in their stack.

Bluff

It is a bet or raise made with a hand which is not thought to be the best hand. The objective of a bluff is to induce a fold by at least one opponent who holds a better hand.

Board

In poker games that use community cards, such as Omaha and Texas Hold 'em, the term board refers to those shared cards: the flop, the turn and the river.

Bounty

is a feature in some poker tournaments that rewards a player for eliminating another player. Depending on the tournament, a player might be rewarded for eliminating either a specific player, or any player. The reward is almost always a cash prize, and not tournament currency.

Bubble

The bubble is the point of the tournament where the next player to be eliminated will miss out on something.

Burn

The dealer discards, or 'burns,' that card, which means that it goes unused by players, and often goes into the muck or similar.

Busted

When you "bust" a player in poker, this means that you are relieving them of all of their chips.

Button

The buck or dealer button is a marker used to indicate the player who is dealing or, in casino games with a house dealer, the player who acts last on that deal.

Buy-In

The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game. The buy in is the entry fee for any particular table or tournament.

Call

It means to match the current amount of the bet made by a previous player in the round of betting. In the final round of betting the Pot is won by the best hand held by one of the players who called the final bet.

Cash Game

Also sometimes referred to as ring games or live action games, are poker games played with "real" chips and money at stake, usually with no predetermined end time, with players able to enter and leave as they see fit.

Check

If you instead decide to check, you are deferring your betting rights for the time being. Another player may now bet, in which case you may fold your hand, call the bet or raise.

Check-raise

It is a common deceptive play in which a player checks early in a betting round, hoping someone else will open. The player who checked then raises in the same round.

Chop

"Chopping the pot" occurs when two or more players have the winning hand, resulting in the players splitting the pot.

Cold Call

A cold call is calling a raise after there was a bet and one or more raises. A player cold calls when he calls more than one bet at once. A cold call occurs in Texas Hold'em when a player raises in a pre-flop round and another player calls it.

Connector

Suited connectors is a poker term referring to pocket cards that are suited and consecutive. For example, 5 of clubs and 6 of hearts would be connectors. Collusion - Poker collusion is when two or more people sitting at a poker table are working together to win more money from other players.

Community Cards

Refers to any game of poker that uses community cards (also called "shared cards" or "window cards"), which are cards dealt face up in the centre of the table and shared by all players.

Cut-Off

A nickname for the player in the seat to the right of the dealer button position in a game of poker.

Deal

To distribute cards to players according to the rules of the game being played at a poker table, online or offline.

Dealer

The one who deals the cards in poker.

Dealer Button

The buck or dealer button is a marker used to indicate the player who is dealing.

DeepStack

It refers to stack of chips that’s comparatively huge for the stakes are being played. Also known as a big stack.

Defense

It means making a play that defends a player against a bluff by forcing the very bluff to fold or invest further.

Deuce

A deuce is one of the number two cards in a deck of cards. Also called a duck, quack, or swan.

Discard

In a draw game, to throw cards out of your hand to make room for replacements, or the card(s) thrown away; the muck.

Downswing

A series of results totalling an overall loss, such as over the course of multiple sessions or a particular time period.

Draw Out

To improve your hand so that it beats an opponent who had a better hand than yours prior to your draw.

Drawing Dead

When a player has absolutely no chance to win a hand, no matter what card is dealt next. If you have two pairs and hope to make a full house on the river, but your opponent already has four of a kind, you are "drawing dead."

Equity

Equity in poker is the share of the pot that is yours based on the odds that you will win the pot at that point in play.

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.

Final Table

In poker, the last table in a multi-table poker tournament is the final table. It is set when a required number of players have been eliminated from the tournament, leaving behind a sufficient number of people to occupy a table.

Fish

A fish is someone who does not really know how to play poker well.

Flat Call

Under circumstances in which a raise would be expected or typical, to match all previous bets without raising. Also smooth call.

Flop

Refers to the action of dealing the first three face-up cards to the board.

Flush

A poker hand which includes five cards of the same suit.

Fold

Folding is the act of ending participation in a hand

Four of a Kind

Four cards of the same rank, and one side card or 'kicker'.

Freeroll

A freeroll refers to a tournament in poker with no entry free.

Freezeout

The most common form of tournament. You pay your buy-in and get your chips and play until you run out of chips (or win, of course). Players cannot rebuy into the tournament if they run out of chips.

Full House

A Full House is any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value. Also boat or tight.

Grinder

A player who plays a low-risk game. Typically, they achieve small but frequent wins. The term is also often used to describe people who play poker to make a living.

Gutshot

Used to describe a hand in which the player is drawing at a single card rank to make a straight.

Hand

The Five cards, made of a player's pocket cards and the community cards.

Hand History

A hand history is a record of the individual playing actions that took place during a card game online.

Heads up Poker

A form of poker that is played between only two players.

High Card

To hold a poker hand that does not contain anything special.

Hijack

The “hijack” or “hijack seat” refers to the position to the immediate right of the “cutoff” and two seats to the right of the “button. It is generally considered to be the easiest position to steal the blinds from in tournaments, hence the name.

Hole Cards

These are the Down Cards in front of the players.

Horse

A player who is financially backed by someone else.

In position

When a player is said to be in position, it means that the player is last to act on the flop, turn and river betting rounds.

In the money

Refers to a player having reached a point where he or she is guaranteed prize money regardless.

Implied Odds

Implied odds are an extension of pot odds that help you decide whether or not a drawing hand is worth calling in the face of a raise. If you expect to win a lot more money from your opponent after you make your draw, you have good implied odds.

Kicker

A kicker, also called a side card, is a card in a poker hand that does not itself take part in determining the rank of the hand, but that may be used to break ties between hands of the same rank.

Lead

The player who makes the last bet or raise in a round of betting is said to have the lead at the start of the next round.

Limit

The minimum or maximum amount of a bet.

Limp

To limp in poker is to bet the absolute minimum needed to stay in a hand.

Muck

It most often refers to the discard pile into which players may throw their folded hands, and into which the dealer places burned cards.

Multi-way Pot

Any pot which involves three or more players (as opposed to a heads-up pot).

No-Limit

A poker game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of them) on any single round of betting.

Nut Hand

In poker, the best possible hand for any arrangement of cards is known as the 'nuts'.

Offsuit

Refers to when you are dealt two cards of different suits.

Omaha

Omaha hold 'em is a community card poker game similar to Texas hold 'em, where each player is dealt four cards and must make his or her best hand using exactly two of them, plus exactly three of the five community cards.

Open Ended

Refers to a situation in poker where the player has four of five cards needed for a straight that can be completed at either end. For example, if your pocket cards are 5-6 and the flop shows 4-7-king, either a 3 or an 8 on the turn or river would complete your open-ended straight. An open-ended straight is twice as likely to hit as a "gutshot."

Open Handed

A category of games characterized by a part of each player's hand being exposed.

Open Limp

In poker, it means to be the first person in the pot preflop, but not raising.

Out of Position

When a player is said to be out of position, it means that they are either first to act, or are not last to act in a betting round.

Over-pair

An overpair is a pocket pair that is higher than any card on the board.

Orbit

An orbit is one revolution of the dealer button around the table in a poker game. An orbit represents one entire cycle of the game and is a common measure of length of play.

Out

In a poker game with more than one betting round, an out is any unseen card that, if drawn, will improve a player's hand to one that is likely to win. Knowing the number of outs a player has is an important part of poker strategy.

Pair

When 2 cards are of the same rank and none of the rest of the cards in a hand are useful, a player has a One Pair hand.

Pocket Cards

Pocket cards are cards which are dealt face down so that only the player holding them may see them. Pocket cards are frequently called hole cards.

Poker Face

A poker face is a face that betrays zero emotion. When you have your poker face on, you are giving your opponents zero information about the hand that you may or may not be holding.

Polarized

In poker, the term refers to a player likely having either a very strong hand (like the “top” of the player's range) or a very weak hand (the “bottom”), and nothing in between.

Pot-committed

A player is pot committed or committed if he has already invested so many chips in the pot that he can no longer fold if he is raised all-in.

Pot- Limit

A structure of the game in which bets and raises are capped by the current size of the pot.

Pot-odds

In poker, pot odds are the ratio of the current size of the pot to the cost of a contemplated call. Pot odds are often compared to the probability of winning a hand with a future card in order to estimate the call's expected value.

Pre-flop

Pre-flop play refers to the action that occurs before the flop is dealt.

Quads

Four of a kind; quadruplets; a hand containing four cards of the same value.

Rainbow

Refers to when the flop contains cards of completely different suits. E.g., "The flop was an ace-9-7 rainbow."

Rake

Rake is the scaled commission fee taken by a cardroom operating a poker game.

Rakeback

Each time you play a hand of online poker a small percentage of the pot is taken, or raked, by the house. Getting a portion of this money back is called: rakeback. The rakeback at poker rooms varies, but on average you can receive 30% to 50% of your monthly rake back in your online poker account.

Rebuy

A rebuy in poker is buying more chips when you have lost your entire stack or have fallen to a short stack level.

Re-raise

Raise after one has been raised. The Re-raise is one of the most misunderstood strategies in poker.

Ring Game

Cash games, also sometimes referred to as ring games or live action games, are poker games played with "real" chips and money at stake, usually with no predetermined end time, with players able to enter and leave as they see fit.

River

The river card, or just river, is the last card dealt. In Texas hold 'em and Omaha hold'em, the river is the fifth and last card to be dealt to the community card board, after the flop and turn. A player losing the pot due only to the river card is said to have been rivered.

Rock

In the game of poker, a "rock" is a player who is both passive and tight. Good players will quickly identify and exploit the tendencies of a "rock". "Rocks" will play big hands (AA, KK, QQ, AK, JJ) very quickly and aggressively pre-flop, which makes it easy to identify when a "rock" is holding a big hand.

Royal Cards

Royal card are also known as face cards and picture cards. A royal card can be any card that can be in a royal flush and not just "royalty" cards meaning only Kings, Queens and Jacks. A royal card is any card Ace to 10 in a deck.

Royal Flush

The best possible straight flush is known as a royal flush, which consists of the ace, king, queen, jack and ten of a suit.

Run it Twice

Running it twice (sometimes called doing business) is a method of determining the winner of a poker hand once all betting on the hand is complete but before the final card(s) (either community cards or other cards) have been dealt. Running it twice deals two of the remaining community cards after players are all in. It is done to minimize bad beats and reduce bankroll swings.

Satellite

A satellite tournament in poker is a qualifying event. Winners of these satellites usually win the buy-in fee to a larger, more prestigious tournament like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event.

Semi-Bluff

In poker, a semi-bluff is a bet made on the flop or turn where a player doesn't have a big value poker hand currently, but can still win the pot in one of two ways: They get their opponents to fold to their bet, awarding them the pot in the process.

Set

Also known as Trips, Thee of a Kind. Generally, people refer to a set when someone has a three of a kind because they have a pocket pair, with a board matching that rank of the pocket pair in hold'em.

Shark

A poker shark is someone who not only understands the risks and ratios of combinations, but a person who can quickly study their opponents and detect the patterns and physical tells that they have.

Short Stack

A short stack is a stack of chips that is much smaller (in currency units, not the number of chips) than the others at the table. The opposite of a short stack is a deep stack.

Showdown

The showdown is a situation when, if more than one player remains after the last betting round, remaining players expose and compare their hands to determine the winner or winners.

Side pot

A separate pot to which a certain player or multiple players did not contribute and that they are not eligible to win, as occurs when a player goes all-in and other players continue to wager more than the all-in player.

Sit-and-Go

A sit and go tournament is a poker game between usually 6 to 10 players which takes between 20 and 60 minutes. They pay a fixed buy-in and get the same amount of poker chips. Whoever loses his chips is out of the tournament.

Small Blind

The number of blinds is usually two, but it can range from none to three. The small blind is placed by the player to the left of the dealer button and the big blind is then posted by the next player to the left.

Split-pot

A split pot is necessary when two or more players have an identical poker hand, a "tie", and all of the chips they win- whether in a single pot or more pots- are divided equally between them. To be identical, their best hands have to have all five cards absolutely identical in rank.

Stakes

The amount a player buys in for and can bet.

Staking

The term poker staking, or simply staking, refers to the act of putting cash up on behalf of a poker player in the hopes that he or she wins. The person who puts the cash up is the backer. The backed poker player is the horse. Staking is an investment.

Straddle

When a player decides to straddle in Texas hold'em or any other poker game, they are putting in twice the big blind before the cards are dealt. ... Usually, it is the player to the left of the big blind who straddles. All players following must call or raise the amount of the straddle bet. A straddle is a cash game convention and is not usually permitted in a tournament.

Straight

Five cards in numerical order, all of identical suits. In the event of a tie: Highest rank at the top of the sequence wins.

Straight Flush

The Straight Flush is number one on the list of poker hand rankings and consists of five consecutive cards in the same suit. The best straight flush possible is called the Royal Flush and is made up of A-K-Q-J-10 all in the same suit.

Suck out

A slang term referring to a player drawing out an opponent to win a hand after having been an underdog to do so. The winning hand is said to have sucked out.

Tell

A tell in poker is a change in a player's behavior or demeanor that is claimed by some to give clues to that player's assessment of their hand. A player gains an advantage if they observe and understand the meaning of another player's tell, particularly if the tell is unconscious and reliable.

Three Bet

In poker, a "3bet" occurs when there is a bet, raise and re-raise. The re-raise is the "3bet"

Tight

A playing style characterized by playing fewer hands than the average, with the player likely only getting involved with a narrow range of hands most of which are strong.

Tilt

Tilt originated as a poker term for a state of mental or emotional confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in the player becoming over-aggressive.

Top – pair

When you pair the highest card on the flop with one of your hole cards, you have top pair. When determining the winning hand after the river, in the case of two or more players having equal top pair hands, the highest card outside the pair (referred to as the kicker) is used to break ties.

Turbo

A tournament with a faster-than-typical structure in which blinds and antes increase at a quicker rate than usual and levels are often of shorter duration. Turbo tournaments are especially popular online.

Turn

After the flop betting round ends, a single community card (called the turn or fourth street) is dealt, followed by a third betting round. A final single community card (called the river or fifth street) is then dealt, followed by a fourth betting round and the showdown, if necessary.

Under the Gun

Under the gun (or UTG) refers to the position to the immediate left of the big blind in flop games like hold'em and Omaha. The under-the-gun player is the first to act before the flop.

Upswing

In poker, Upswing is refers to a period during which someone wins more (or loses less) than expected.

Value Bet

A value bet occurs when you put your opponent on a hand, and yours is better. You evaluate how much your opponent is willing to pay you with his worse holding, and then make that bet.