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/Poker A-Z/

The Glossary below gives explanations for the most popular examples of poker terminology. There is a lot of jargon, but with the Glossary you will quickly get used to the language.

a b c d e f g h i g k l m n o p q r s t u v w z y z
  • a
  • Action
    Describes lots of activity in a hand or round of betting, for e.g. when there have been several raises and reraises.
  • All-in
    When a player is all-in, they have bet all of their remaining chips, and can take no further active part in future betting rounds.
  • Ante
    Poker games like Stud are played with an ante; a forced bet that every player has to post before each round of betting. Antes are also introduced in the later levels of some No-Limit Hold'em tournaments.
  • b
  • Backdoor Draw
    An incomplete drawing hand that needs two more cards to complete it. For e.g. If there are three hearts on the flop, two more hearts are missing in order to complete the flush.)
  • Bad Beat
    A bad beat is When you lose a hand despite having been the clear favorite when the money went into the middle.
  • Badugi
    (1) Badugi is a relatively new type of poker game originally from Asia. Each player gets four cards, and there are three draws. The player with the lowest hand wins the pot.
    (2) Four cards of different suits that don't form a pair is a hand known as a Badugi.
  • Bankroll
    Refers to the amount of money you have available solely for playing poker.
  • Barrel
    A bet made on the flop, despite not haven't hit anything.
  • Bet
    The first bet made in a round of betting. If this bet is increased later in the same betting round, this is known as a raise.
  • Big Stack
    A player who has a lot of chips.
  • Blind
    A forced bet which has to be posted before each hand. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, while the player two places left of the dealer posts the big blind. As a rule the big blind is twice the size of the small blind.
  • Blind Level
    Describes the size of the forced blind bets in the current stage of a tournament. The size of the blinds increases with each new level.
  • Blind Stealing
    A raise before the flop with a weak hand, with the aim of forcing all opponents to fold, and therefore winning the blinds. Works best from late position if all players have folded so far.
  • Bluff
    When a player bets and/or raises without having a good hand, to try and make their opponent fold the better hand.
  • Bluff Catcher
    A weak hand thats just about good enough to catch a bluff, but would be beaten by most hands if made to show down.
  • Board
    The five community cards in the middle of the table in poker games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha
  • Break-even
    To break-even means that neither a loss nor a profit has been made.
  • Bring-in
    A forced bet in Stud, which has to be placed by the player with the lowest open card.
  • Broadway
    (1) Name of the highest-possible straight in poker, for e.g. Tc-Jc-Qh-Kd-As.
    (2) A single card (T-x or higher) is also often called broadway or a broadway card.
  • Bubble
    Describes the period in a poker tournament where only a few more players need to be eliminated until all of them have made the money.
  • Bubbleboy
    The player in a tournament eliminated directly before the paid places are reached, therefore going away empty-handed.
  • Burncard
    The card that gets discarded by the dealer before the community cards are dealt, in order to prevent cheating.
  • Busted/Bust-out
    When you are eliminated from a tournament after losing all your chips
  • Button
    (1) A plastic disc which is passed clockwise each hand to determine the position of the nominal dealer.
    (2) Named used to describe the nominal dealer in the current hand.
  • Buy-in
    The amount of money players have to pay to enter a tournament. Most of this money goes into the prize pool, except for a small entry fee retained by the card room (also see rake).
  • c
  • Call
    Calling means you are matching the last bet made.
  • Calling Station
    A player who plays many hands in a very loose way. They will call often, but rarely raise or fold.
  • Cap
    The fourth and last possible raise in a Limit Hold'em game.
  • Cash Game
    Poker played for real money, with blind levels that stay the same. Players can come and go as they please, and buy new chips anytime they want.
  • Check
    If no bets have been made, a player has the option to check, i.e. stay in the hand without putting any more chips into the pot.
  • Check-Call
    To check and then call an opponent's bet.
  • Check-Raise
    To check and then raise an opponent's bet.
  • Chipleader
    The player with the largest amount of chips in a tournament.
  • Cold Deck
    When a very strong hand is beaten by a player who improves their hand on the board.
  • Community Cards
    The five cards dealt face up in the center of the table, which can be used by all players.
  • Complete
    (1) Hold'em: To call preflop from the small blind if no bets have been placed.
    (2) Stud: The first raise in the first betting round.
  • Connector
    Two or more connected cards, for e.g. 6c-5s. Connected cards of the same suit are called suited onnectors (6s-5s for instance).
  • Continuation Bet
    A bet made on the flop by the last player who raised preflop. Also known as a C-bet.
  • Cut-off
    The player seated to the right of the dealer. A strong position to be in, because you are one of the last to act on every round of betting.
  • d
  • Dead Money
    Money in a pot which comes from players who have already folded, and therefore cannot participate in the hand any longer.
  • Dealer
    (1) Live games: the person who deals the cards, sorts out the pot and watches over the game.
    (2) Online: the position of the nominal dealer, marked by a dealer button, which is passed on clockwise.
  • Defending the Blinds
    When a player is in one of the blinds and plays to try and enusre they keep their chips by winning the pot.
  • Dominated Hand
    If two players hold a card of the same rank, the player with the better kicker is said to dominate their opponent. For e.g. If Player A holds Kc-As, they dominate Player B who holds Kd-Qd.
  • Door Card
    The first open card dealt in Stud poker games.
  • Double Suited
    Omaha starting hand that includes two times two cards of the same suit (for e.g. As-Kd-Jd-9s).
  • Downswing
    A run of bad luck which can often make players start playing bad.
  • Draw
    A poker hand which needs additional cards to improve or complete.
  • e
  • Equity
    The winning odds multiplied by the pot size. For e.g. if you have a winning chance of 40% and there is $10 in the pot, your equity is $4.
  • f
  • Final Table
    The last table in a tournament, usually played nine or ten handed, and where the biggest cash prizes are paid.
  • Fish
    A very bad or inexperienced poker player.
  • Floorman
    The floorman is a casino employee who mediates between players and solves disputes between them or the dealer. The floorman has more power than the dealer
  • Flop
    (1) The first three community cards dealt in Texas Hold'em and Omaha
    (2) The second betting round in Texas Hold'em and Omaha
  • Flush
    A combination of five cards of the same suit, for e.g. As-Qs-Ts-6s-3s.
  • Flush Draw
    When a player has a combination of four cards of the same suit, with only one more card of this suit missing to complete the flush.
  • Fold
    To discard your cards and place them into the muck. A player who folds is no longer in the hand and can win no part of the pot.
  • Fold Equity
    The probability that one or all players will fold behind you.
  • Free Play
    Chance to see the next community cards without having to place a bet.
  • Freeroll
    (1) Chance to make profit without risk (for e.g. without having to invest money).
    (2) A free-to-enter tournament with no buy-in.
  • Full House
    A poker hand consisting of a set and a pair.
  • Full Ring
    A cash game table with nine or ten players. Opposite of shorthanded.
  • g
  • Gutshot
    An unfinished straight with an inside card needed to complete. For e.g. a player has Ah-2s and the board shows Td-4s-5c. In this case, a 3x would complete the straight.
  • h
  • Hand
    (1) Part of the game in which cards are dealt, chips are bet and the pot is won. After that, the button is moved to the left in games like Texas Hold'em, and the next hand begins.
    (2) The best five card combination made using the hole cards and the community cards.
  • Heads-up
    A hand or game with only two players.
  • High Card
    The lowest poker hand, with less value than a pair.
  • High Roller
    A player who plays for high stakes.
  • Hold'em
    (1) Short name for Texas Hold'em.
    (2) Summary term for poker games played using community cards, of which Texas Hold'em and Omaha are the most popular.
  • Hole Cards
    The cards each player gets dealt face down in the beginning of a hand. Using these and the community cards, a player can assemble the best possible five card combination.
  • i
  • Implied Odds
    Calculation of odds in relation to the estimated final size of the pot. Consequently, expected profits will be added on to the odds. For e.g. you have an open-ended straight draw on the turn and get pot odds of 4,5:1. If you expect to hit and to gain another big bet on the river, you will have implied odds of 5,5:1.
  • k
  • Kicker
    A helpful card but one that doesn't belong to the best possible card combination. For e.g. if your hole cards are As-5s and the board shows 4c-5h-3c-Js-4h, you have two pair with an ace kicker. In such cases the kicker decides which player wins the hand.
  • l
  • Lay-down
    To fold when you have a good hand, but not good enough to beat your opponent.
  • Limit
    (1) Short for Fixed Limit", which means that all minimum and maximum betting intervals are fixed at all times.<br /> (2) The size of the blinds or the maximum buy-in which indicates the amount of money played for. Can also refer to No-Limit or Pot-Limit" games.
  • Limp/Limper
    A preflop action in which the big blind is just called instead of raised
  • Live Cards
    Refers to cards that haven't been opened yet and are possibly still in the card deck.
  • Low Card
    A card that can form part of a qualifying low hand games like Stud Hi-Lo and Omaha Hi-Lo.
  • m
  • Made Hand
    A complete hand with very little potential for improvement.
  • Marginal Hand
    A mediocre hand that is sometimes hard to know what to do with.
  • Monotone
    Starting hand in Omaha, with all four cards of the same suit.
  • n
  • Nuts
    The best possible hand in a given situation.
  • o
  • Odds
    A form of presenting probabilities. The probability of making a hand is set in relation to the probability of not making a hand. For e.g. if you win with a probability of 20%, you will lose with a probability of 80%. The odds are therefore 80:20 or 4:1.
  • Offsuit
    Two cards of different suits.
  • Omaha
    A poker game played with four hole cards. Two of the hole cards and three community cards must be used to form a hand. Apart from that, the rules of the game are identical to Texas Hold'em.
  • Open Pair
    A pair lying openly on the board
  • Option
    The choice of the player in the big blind to either check or raise, providing there have been no raises before them.
  • Out of Position (OOP)
    You are out of position when you are one of the first to act in a betting round.
  • Overcard
    A card higher than the highest card on the board. For example, when dealt on a board, the ace is an overcard but the ten is not.
  • Overpair
    A pocket pair which is more valuable than the community cards.
  • p
  • Pocket Cards
    Two face down cards each player gets dealt in the beginning of a Texas Hold'em game. Also called Hole cards.
  • Pocket Pair
    Two cards of the same rank, dealt as a starting hand.
  • Poker Tracker
    Software which tracks the hands you have played, enabling you to monitor your play and that of your opponents.
  • Position
    Refers to a player's seat in relation to the dealer. The further away you are from the dealer, the better your position is, because you will act later in each betting round - a big advantage that lets you evaluate your opponents' betting patterns. The positions in detail:
    • Blinds: The two players to the left of the dealer are called Small Blind and Big Blind. These are by far the worst positions in the game because you have to act first in any betting round except pre-flop and you are forced to put money in the pot before looking at your cards.
    • Late position (LP): the dealer (usually called the 'button') and the 'cut-off' to the immediate right of the dealer are sitting in late position. This is the best position you can be in.
    • Middle position (MP): the three players on the right hand side of the cut-off are in middle position.
    • Early position (EP): the two players to the right of the middle position players are in early position. They act first pre-flop and after the blinds in all the other betting rounds. The first player to act pre-flop is often also called 'under the gun' (UTG).
    If there are fewer than nine players at the table, disregard early positions. If there are only five players for example, there are two blinds, two late position players and one person in middle position.
  • Post-flop
    Play on the flop and in subsequent betting rounds.
  • Pot Odds
    The current amount of money in the pot compared to the amount you have to put into the pot to be able to continue playing. The greater the pot odds, the better.
  • Pot-Limit
    In a pot-Limit game, a player may only bet up to the size of the total pot when it's their turn. The most popular Pot-Limit form of poker is Pot-Limit Omaha, but you can also play Hold'em and draw poker as Pot-Limit.
  • Pre-flop
    Play before the flop, when players only have two cards (the hole cards or pocket cards).
  • r
  • Rainbow
    (1) Hold'em: A flop or turn is described as rainbow when all three or four cards are of different suits.
    (2) Omaha: A starting hand consisting of cards with all four different suits.
  • Raise
    To increase the amount of the previous bet.
  • Rake
    Money or percentage a poker room claims from each pot, or from the entry fee in a tournament.
  • Range
    All hands that an opponent might possibly hold at a certain point in time. If a player raises in early position for example, their range will most likley consist of big pairs only.
  • Reversed Domination
    In Hold'em, you are dominated if an opponent holds a card of the same range as yours, but with a better kicker. If the dominated player then hits a pair with the lower kicker, it's known as reversed domination.
  • Reversed Implied Odds
    To calculate implied odds, potential profits are added to the pot. Reversed implied odds refer to how much a player expects to lose on later betting rounds. The loss is subtracted from the pot when calculating the odds.
  • River
    The fifth and last community card.
  • Royal Flush
    The best possible hand in poker - an ace-high straight flush. For e.g. As-Ks-Qs-Js-Ts.
  • Runner-Runner
    An incomplete poker hand where additional cards are needed on the turn and river.
  • Runner-up
    The second place finisher in a tournament.
  • s
  • Satellite
    A tournament with a moderate buy-in, where the prize is a seat in a bigger tournament.
  • Seat
    Seat at the table that a player gets assigned to.
  • Second Barrel
    A second bet on the turn after a flop bet. Correspondingly, a third barrel is a third bet on the river.
  • Semi-bluff
    A semi-bluff is a bet or a raise with a hand that is not the best, but has a reasonable chance of improving up to the river (for e.g. a flush draw). The goal is to make all opponents fold. If this doesn't work out, there is still a chance of winning if the hand improves.
  • Set
    Three of a kind consisting of a pocket pair and one community card.
  • Shark
    Very good player who makes some profit; opposite of fish
  • Shorthanded
    Poker with only three to six players. Opposite of full ring.
  • Shortstack
    The player with the smallest chip stack at the table, usually around 30 big blinds.
  • Showdown
    The uncovering of cards after the final round of betting, or earlier if a player is all in. All active players turn over their cards, starting with the player left of the dealer, to determine the winner. If someone bets or raises and gets no callers, there is no showdown.
  • Single-suited
    Starting hand in Omaha. Two cards of the same suit, two cards of mixed suits (for e.g. Ah-Ad-Th-7s).
  • Slow Play
    When a player acts cautious despite having a very good hand, the aim being to build the pot by acting weak.
  • Speculative Hand
    A temporarily weak hand with potential to improve.
  • Split Pot
    A pot which gets split between two or more players who have cards of equal value.
  • Stack
    Amount of chips or money a player can use at the table.
  • Steam
    To get annoyed about lost hands and play badly as a result. Also see Tilt.
  • Straight
    Five cards in a row, for e.g. 9x-8x-7x-6x-5x.
  • Straight Draw
    A card combination with one card missing to complete a straight. Also see Gutshot.
  • Straight Flush
    A straight of one suit, for e.g. 9h-8h-7h-6h-5h.
  • Street
    Betting rounds, like the Flop, Turn and River.
  • Stud
    Poker games in which players get dealt cards face up as well as face down. Seven Card Stud and Razz are popular examples.
  • Suck-out
    When a player is lucky and beats a superior hand. Also see Bad Beat.
  • Suit
    Spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds.
  • Suited
    Cards of the same suit (Spades, clubs, hearts or diamonds).
  • t
  • Table Stake
    The amount that a player can bet and bring to the table in a cash game.
  • Third Barrel
    A bluff on the river, preceded by bluffs on the flop and turn.
  • Tight
    To play very few hands only, and fold all weak or marginal hands.
  • Tilt
    To respond badly to a bad beat or downswing by letting it have an adverse affect on your game.
  • Trash/Trash Hand
    A hand with no value and no potential for improvement.
  • Trips
    Three cards of the same rank, for e.g. Kh-ks-kc-7s-5c.
  • Turn
    (1) The fourth community card in Texas hold'em and Omaha poker games.
    (2) The second to last betting round, also called fourth street.
  • u
  • Under the Gun
    The name given to the player who acts first on the opening round of betting, left of the big blind. This is not an ideal position because you have to act very early.
  • Underpair
    A pocket pair which is lower than the lowest of the community cards.
  • Upswing
    A run of good luck, but not usually as a result of skillful play.
  • w
  • Walk
    A player is given a walk when all players fold preflop to them in the big blind, and they win the pot uncontested without having to act.
  • Wheel
    A straight with the lowest value (ace to five). It's called the wheel because the ace is used as the lowest card in this situation.