Poker Definitions - Poker Terms Glossary

A full and complete list of poker definitions and Poker terms! Afterwards view the many different poker hand nicknames. And then you will be ready to play some online poker with myself Bones McCoy at US-friendly poker site, BovadaPoker!


ABC - An ABC player is a player who only plays solid starting hands and who is also predictable.

Ace-High - A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it.

Act - An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand.

Action - Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an "action" game.

Active Player - Any player who is still in the hand.

Add-On - A purchase of more chips (optional) at the end of the re-buy period in a tournament.

Alligator Blood - A tough player is good under pressure.

All-in - Betting all of the chips you have at the table into the main pot, creating a side pot for the remaining players. The all-in is also used for situations where a player in a hand loses connection to the server.

Aggressive - Opposite of Tight. Describes a player who frequently raises and reraises, but rarely calls.

Angle - A legal action that incorporates unfair tactics.

Ante - A small bet that everyone at the table is required to pay before each hand (in most stud type games and the later levels in tournaments).

B&M - B&M stands for Brick and Mortar casino. It is a casino that has a physical address unlike online cardrooms.

Backdoor - Hitting a perfect turn and river card to make a drawing hand. For example, you have two clubs in your hand and there is only one club on the flop, but you have top pair. You hit a club on the fourth card and another club on the fifth card to give you a flush.

Backer - A person who finances a player.

Back raise - A re-raise from a player who originally called.

Bad Beat - When a player loses a good hand because the other player got lucky on a long shot draw.

Bad Beat Jackpot - In some casinos, there are jackpots given to players at a table if one player loses with a big hand against a player with a bigger hand. The qualifying hands for jackpots vary from casino to casino. A standard qualifying hand in Texas Hold 'Em is Aces full of tens or better beaten by four of a kind or better. Some jackpots can reach into the $100 thousand range.

Bankroll - The money you use to play poker.

Belly Buster Straight - An inside straight draw.

Bicycle or Bike - Another name for a "wheel". A straight from Ace to five.

Big Blind - A designated amount placed by the player sitting (normally) two seats to the left of the dealer button to help induce action.

Big Slick - Nickname for the Hold 'Em starting hand Ace King.

Blank - A card that doesn't affect the hand.

Blind - A forced bet in flop games. Typically the player to the immediate left of the button is the small blind and the player to the small blinds left is the big blind. Similar to an ante.

Blind Raise - Raising the hand before looking at your cards.

Bluff - Betting a weak hand hoping to win the hand without a showdown.

Boat - Also known as a Full House.

Board - All the community cards on the table in a Hold 'Em game. It is also where players sign up to play a game.

Bot - Short for "robot". In a poker context, a program that plays poker online with no (or minimal) human intervention.

Bottom Pair - A pair with the lowest card on board.

Bounty - An option in some tournaments where by eliminating a certain player or players, you win a set amount of money.

Boxed Card - A card that is face up in a deck with all other cards facing down.

Bubble - In a tournament, the place right before the lowest money payout. Example: In a tournament where the top ten players received a portion of the prize pool, 11th place would be out on the 'bubble'.

Buck - Another name for the dealer button.

Bump - It means the same thing as raise. 'Bump' it up.

Burn - In between each betting round, the dealer discards the top card of the deck before dealing the next card. This is done to keep players from possibly recognizing the next card to be used.

Button - A small round disk moved clockwise from player to player. It is used to determine who the nominal dealer is and where the action begins.

Buy - To bluff, as in "buy the pot"

Buy In - The minimum amount of money a player must sit down with in order to play a particular game.

Call - To match the current bet.

Calling Station - A player who does not aggressively raise Pots, and is more inclined to call more often than what's in their best interest.

Case - The last card of a certain rank in the deck.

Cap or Capping - A limit placed on the number of bets placed by each player per round.

Check - When no bets are pending, to pass your turn.

Check in the Dark - Checking before you see the next card or cards that are dealt.

Check-Raise - The act of checking, then re-raising a bet.

Chop - Divide the pot. In split games, there are a lot of chopped pots because half the pot is awarded to the high hand and half the pot is awarded to the low hand.

Chip - Typically a clay token used instead of cash at a gaming table.

Collusion - A cheating method in which players communicate with each other for a favorable outcome.

Cold Call - To call more than one bet in a single action. If a player bets, another raises, and you call, you have cold called.

Come Hand - A drawing hand.

Community Cards - The common cards used by all players. The cards that are in the middle of the table during the hand.

Computer Hand - Q7.

Connector - Starting hands that work together to make a straight.

Counterfeit - A verb that describes when two higher pair on the board reduces a pocket pair to nothing.

Cover - To have more chips than another player.

Crack - To beat a strong hand. You often hear players say they had their pocket aces 'cracked'.

Cutoff Seat - The player to the right of the dealer button. Called so because that player often 'cuts off' the button to steal the blinds and position.

Dead Button - A situation where only one blind is posted occurring most often when the big blind is eliminated.

Dead Money - Chips that are taken into the pot, but not considered part of a player's bet (normally when a player misses his blinds and posts both of them, the small blind is taken into the center of the pot and is dead). It is also used to describe a player who has little chance to win.

Dealer's Position - Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button.

Dog - A shortened version of "Underdog". A player who is behind at the moment.

Dominated Hands - Hands that often lose to other hands, not including Straights or Flushes. Example: AQ vs. QK with a flop of 27Q. AQ dominates QK.

Door Card - The first up-card in seven card stud.

Double Gutshot - Two inside straight draws. An example of a double gutshot is a flop of 963 and a player is holding 57. If he hits a 4 or an 8, he will make his straight.

Draw - To take cards from a deck, or a tie game where the pot is split. Also a type of poker game, Five Card Draw.

Drawing - Continuing to play a hand to improve, using the Flop, Turn and River in Hold 'Em.

Drawing Dead - A hand that, even if a player draws his hand, has no chance of winning.

Drawing Hand - A hand that is the beginning of a better hand, such as a Straight or Flush. If you have four cards to a flush, you are on a 'flush draw'.

Early Position - Being one of the first to act in a betting round. Usually a disadvantage.

Expectation - The amount you can expect to gain on average for a certain play. It is also the amount you expect to make at the poker table per hour.

Family Pot - A pot in which many players called before the flop.

Fast Play - To play a hand aggressively, betting and raising as much as possible (usually to protect a big hand).

Fill - To draw a card that makes a five-card hand

Fire - To make the first bet in a betting round.

Fish - A weak player who loses money.

Flat Call - To only call a bet.

Floorman - The person who makes decisions and rulings in cardrooms.

Flop - The first three community cards on the board.

Flop Games - Texas Holdem, Omaha, Pineapple and other games that feature community cards exposed that are matched with each individual player's cards.

Flush - A poker hand of five cards where the suits all match.

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.

Forced Bet - A required bet that starts the action. Antes and blinds are forced bets.

Fossil - An elderly poker player.

Four-of-a-Kind - A poker hand consisting of all four cards of the same type.

Free Card - A turn or river card on which you don't have to call a bet because of play earlier in the hand (or because of your reputation with your opponents).

Free Roll - When two players are tied and one player has a shot at winning the whole pot. For example, one player has AK of clubs and the other player has AK of diamonds. If there are two clubs on the flop, the player holding the AK of clubs is freerolling. If the club does not come, the pot is split. A freeroll is also a tournament in which there is not buy-in.

Freeze-Out - A game where all players play until one player has all the money.

Full House - Any three cards of the same rank, plus two cards of another rank. Also called 'full boat' or 'boat'.

Gap Hand - A starting hand with cards more than one rank apart.

Goulash joint - A restaurant or bar that runs a regular card game hidden in a back room.

Greek dealer - A cheating dealer (mechanic).

Grinder - An un-ambitious player who only hopes to win a little money each day. Also known as a 'leather ass.'

Gutshot Draw - A draw to an inside straight.

Hand - The complete playing of all the cards given out in one deal.

Hanger - A card that juts out conspicuously when a cheater is dealing.

Heads-Up - Playing a single opponent.

High Limit - A Poker game with high wagers.

Hit - As in "the flop hit me," meaning the flop contains cards that help your hand.

Hold 'Em - Poker where the players have only two cards, both face down. A flop of five communual cards gives the player a choice of five from seven to make the best possible hand.

Hole Cards - The down cards in a players hand.

House - The location of the game, such as a casino, a kitchen table, or a web site in online gambling.

Image - The perception other players have of you.

Implied odds - Implied odds are similar to pot odds except the bets are not in the pot when making your decision. In calculating your odds you include bets you can expect to win if you hit your strong hand.

In the Air - A phrase that is used at the beginning of many tournaments to let players know the cards are being dealt. As in, "Sit down and take your seats, the cards are in the air."

Isolate - To raise with the intention of thinning the field of opponents down to one.

Jackpot - The same as bad beat jackpot.

Jam - To move all-in in a no-limit (or pot-limit) game.

Kicker - An unpaired card in your hand often used to determine the winner between two like hands. A pair of sevens with an ace kicker beats a pair of sevens with a nine kicker.

Kick It - To raise a bet.

Kill Pot - A method to stimulate action. A forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s).


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Knock - To check.

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 - To fold your hand.

Lead - The first player to bet into a pot.

Leak - The thing that causes player to lose all or some of his poker bankroll. Sports betting, slot machines, playing poker for too many hours when losing (trying to get even), and drugs are examples of leaks.

Limp In - To enter the pot by calling the big blind rather than raising.

Live Hand - A hand that could still win the pot.

Live One - An action player. A player who is involved in a lot of hands.

Lock - A hand that is guaranteed to win.

Loose - A player who plays a lot of hands.

Long Shot - A hand made when the odds are stacked against that player.

Low Limit - A low wager game.

Main Pot - The first established pot before a player goes all-in and creates a side pot.

Maniac - A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.

Marker - An IOU to the casino where you are playing for poker chips.

Mechanic - A cheater who is able to manipulate cards in their favor.

Micro-Limit - Games so small that they couldn't be profitably dealt in a real cardroom. They exist only at online poker sites. You might arbitrarily call games $.25-.50 and smaller "micro-limit."

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).

Minimum Buy-In - The least amount you can start a game with.

Misdeal - A hand that is dealt incorrectly and must be re-dealt.

Monster - A strong hand that is likely to win the pot.

Move In - To put all of your chips into the pot.

Mneumonics - Mental devices used to remember things. In Hold 'Em, often players have names for what pocket cards they have, like Big Slick or Maverick.

MTT - Abbreviation for Multi-Table Tournament.

Muck - To discard or throw away your hand. It's also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.

No Limit - A game where you can bet all of your chips during any betting round.

Nuts - The best possible hand.

Odds - The ratio of the probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.

Offsuit - Cards that are not the same suit.

One-Gap - A hold'em starting hand with two cards two apart in rank.

Open-ended Straight - Four consecutive cards whereby one additional card is needed at either end to make a straight.

Option - When a player posts his blind, he has the "option" of either checking or raising.

Out - A card that will help your hand. Usually one that will make your hand a winner.

Outdraw - To make a better hand than your opponents by drawing a card.

Overcall - To call a bet after one or more players have already called.

Overcard - A card that is higher than any other card on the board. If a player is holding QJ with a flop of 296, they have two overcards.

Overpair - A pair of pocket cards that are higher than any other card on the board.

Pair - A poker hand comprised of two cards of the same type and three others.

Passive - Descriptive of a tight player who is more inclined to call, rather than bet.

Pat - A hand that you make on the flop.

Pay Off - To call a bet where you don't think you have the best hand, but the pot is large enough to justify a call.

Picture Cards - Any card that has a picture on it. Kings, Queens, and Jacks are picture cards.

Play the Board - When the best five cards are the community cards on the board. An example of this is if one player is holding pocket sixes and the other player is holding pocket fives and the board is Q8877.

Pocket Cards - The two hole cards in Hold 'Em or the first two cards in Stud. The cards only you can see.

Pocket Pair - Two pocket cards that are the same rank.

Position - Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the betting order.

Post - To put up your blinds before the hands are dealt.

Pot - The total amount of money to be won or lost during a hand.

Pot Limit - Games where the maximum bet that can be made is the size of the existing pot.

Pot Odds - The amount in the pot in relation to your chances of making a certain hand and the amount you must put in the pot to continue in the game.

Pro - A professional poker player.

Prop or Proposition Player - A player who is paid by the house to play in games with their own money as a way to fill up games.

Protect - To bet so the other player have less of a chance to outdraw you. If they outdraw you, they have to pay to do so.

Quads - Four of a kind.

Qualifier - In High-Low split games, the qualifier is the requirement that must be met in order to be eligible for the pot. In Omaha High-Low split, three cards on the board must be eight or lower without it being paired for a low hand to be possible.

Race Off - During tournaments, smaller denominations of chips are exchanged for larger chips. Any odd chips are "raced off". This is done by placing all odd chips for each player in front of them. A card is dealt for each chip and the highest cards receive the higher denomination of chips. (If there are ten $5 chips, then the players with the two highest card each receive one $25 chip.)

Rack - A place to store your chips while walking from the cage to the table or vice versa. Racks can hold 100 chips in five stacks of 20.

Rags - Bad cards. In Texas Holdem, 72 are the worst "rag" starting cards.

Rail - The place where you can watch poker being played. It is a barrier (sometimes imaginary) dividing the playing area from the public area.

Railbird - A person who is not playing poker, but watching a game from the rail. Usually used as a derogatory term.

Rainbow - In flop games, a flop where there is no cards of the same suit. In Omaha games (where you are dealt four cards), all four hole cards are different suits.

Raise - To increase the amount of the previous bet. The increase is determined by the type and the limit style of the game.

Rake - The amount of money the house is taking for running the game. The cardroom's income.

Rank - The numerical value of the cards.

Ratholing - The illegal action of taking money off the table and putting it somewhere else.

Razz - Seven Card Stud game where the lowest five cards win the pot.

Read - To look or listen to someone and be able to determine what their cards might be.

Rebuy - To buy more chips. The term is most often heard during some types of tournaments.

Represent - To bet in a way that it looks like you have a certain hand. If you are holding the Ace of diamonds (with no other diamond) and the flop brings two diamonds, you might be able to represent a flush draw. If the flush card comes on one of the later streets, you might be able to pick up the pot on a bluff.

Reraise - To raise after somebody has already raised.

Ring Game - Playing a game at the regular poker tables as opposed to a tournament.

River - The final community card in flop games. Another term for the river card is "fifth street", but it is not used as much.

Rock - A very tight player. A rock is a player who doesn't create much action at the table and if they are involved in the hand, they are usually the favorite.

Rolled Up - In Seven Card Stud it is the term used to describe three of a kind on the first three cards dealt.

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 - A straight flush AKQJT.

Runner - Normally said, "runner-runner" to describe a hand in which the turn and the river card help a player's hand.

Rush - A term used to describe a winning streak. As in, "The player was on a rush for two hours."

Sandbag - To conceal your strength for the purpose of profit. It usually means the same as slowplaying.

Satellite - A mini-tournament to win your entry into a larger tournament.

Scare Card - A card which may turn the best hand into a loser. If you have a set on the flop, but there are two clubs. Another club would be a scare card.

Scared Money - Money that is being played timidly because it is all a player has left.

Scoop - To win the entire pot.

Scramble - A thorough shuffling technique whereby the shuffler spreads the cards face down over a large area and scrambles them. This is also known as a wash.

See - To call.

Semi-Bluff - To bluff with a drawing hand.

Set - Three of a kind where the player is holding a pocket pair in the hole with one on the board.

Shark - A strong player who "feeds" on weaker players.

Shill - Similar to a prop player, but a shill gambles with the house money instead of his own. Rarely used in today's game.

Short-Handed - An adjective used to describe a game with few players.

Short Stack - A number of chips that is not very many compared to the other players at the table.

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 - Bets made into a new pot after a player has gone all-in.

Signaling - A system used by colluding players to let each other know what they hold.

Slow Playing - Playing conservative even though you have a good hand to fool other players, like Sandbagging. Player will typically raise when the Pot gets larger.

Small Blind - The forced bet put up by a player to help create action in the game. The small blind is posted by the player to the immediate left of the dealer button and it is usually 1/2 of the limit of the game. SNG - Abbreviation for Sit-And-Go Tournament.

Soft Seat - A seat or game which is favorable because of the lack of skill at the table.

Solid - A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).

Splashing the Pot - Dropping or tossing chips into the pot in a messy, or disorganized fashion, before they're able to be counted.

Split Pot - A pot that is shared by two or more players.

Spread Limit - A type of game where the players have to bet between the minimum and maximum on each round. In Vegas, it is not uncommon to find a $2-6 spread limit Holdem game.

Stack - The amount of chips you have in front of you. It is also 1/5 of a rack. In a rack of chips, there are five stacks of 20.

Stacked Deck - A deck that has been illegally arranged to help give a player an advantage.

Stand Pat - To not draw any cards.

Steal - To win the pot strictly on a bluff.

Steaming - A player who is on tilt is often said to be steaming.

Steamrolling - Re-raising to make a player(s) call two bets instead of one.

Steel Wheel - A straight flush, A2345.

Straddle - An optional extra blind (twice the amount of the big blind) normally put up by the player to the immediate left of the blinds. The player who straddles has the last opportunity to act before the flop.

Straight - Five cards of consecutive rank, 76543.

Straight Flush - Five cards of consecutive rank and of the same suit, 76543 all hearts.

String Bet - A bet in which a player doesn't get all of his chips into the pot in one motion. If a player can not get all of chips into the pot in one motion, then he must verbally declare the raise, otherwise it is a string raise and the raise will not be counted.

Stuck - Losing money.

Stud - Any of several poker games in which some of each players' cards are exposed.

Suck out - Getting your money in with the
worst hand, but winning the pot because you caught a lucky card.

Suited - A Holdem starting hand in which both cards are of the same suit.

Super System - Considered the "Bible of Poker". A manual of poker instruction by Doyle Brunson with contributions from a number of professionals.

Sweat - A person sitting behind a player or watching a player from the rail is said to be "sweating the player" if he/she is rooting for them.

Table - The actual surface, or board, on which the Poker game is played, or the actual players themselves (A tight table).

Table Stakes - A rule that states that you are only allowed to play with the money you have at the table.

Tell - A clue or hint that a player gives about their hand.

Thin - As in "drawing thin." To be drawing to a very few outs, perhaps only one or two.

Three of a Kind - Three identically ranked cards of the same value, with two other random cards that do not match the Three of a Kind.

Tight - Describes a player who is playing conservatively.

Tilt - To make bad decisions out of frustration. Normally, tilt play is too loose and very aggressive because the player wants to win back money that he has previously lost.

Time - A player calls for "time" when he is taking longer than a second or two to act on his hand. It is also the collection taken by the house, called a time charge.

To Go - The amount it takes to enter the pot. In a $10-20 game, it is $10 to go if there is no raise. If there is a raise, then it is $20 to go.
Toke - A tip, usually given to the dealer after winning a pot.

Top and Bottom - Two pair, with your two hole cards pairing the highest and lowest cards on the board.

Top Pair - In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.

Top Set - The highest possible trips.

Top Two - Two pair, with your two hole cards pairing the two highest cards on the board.

Tournament - An event where a group of players sit down with the same number of chips and continue play until only one player has all of the chips. In tournaments, there is a buy-in for each player and all of the money is added up and divided into a prize pool.

Trips - Three of a kind with two of them on the board.

Turn - The fourth community card in a flop game.

Two Pair - A hand consisting of two different pairs and one kicker.
Under the Gun - The first person to act on a betting round. The player to the left of the big blind is "under the gun".

Underdog - A person or hand who is not the mathematical favorite to win. It is also called "dog."
Value - The amount of return you get on your investment.

Value Bet - A bet made from a player with a winning hand intended to get more money in the pot but not to drive a player out of the hand.

Variance - The statistical measure of how your results will be dispersed.

Wash - A thorough shuffling technique whereby the shuffler spreads the cards face down over a large area and scrambles them. This is also known as a scramble.

Wheel - Another name for Bicycle. A straight from Ace to five, A2345.

Wild Card - A card that can be played as any other card to help you make your hand. For example, if deuces are wild and you hold AAAK2, then you have four aces with a King.

Wired Pair - In Holdem, a pair in the hole. In 5 Card Stud, it is a door card that pairs the hole card.

WPT - The World Poker Tour. A series of televised texas holdem tournaments on the Travel channel.

WSOP - World Series of Poker. The most prestigious tournament in poker, held at Binion's Horseshoe in Las Vegas.

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by Bones McCoy at offshorepokerroom.com on February 12, 2006


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