Poker Lingo

Ace High (or king or queen etc.)

When the highest ranking card is an ace (or king or queen etc.). If a hand does not contain a pair or anything greater, Ace high would be the strongest ranking hand (King high would be second, Queen High third and so on). For example, if your hole cards are A♥ 5♠, and the board comes out 2♣ 6♦ 8♥ 9♠ Q♦, your best hand is Ace high.

 

Act

When the player needs to make a play (bet, call, raise, or fold) at the required time. Before the flop, the first person to act is the player to the left of the Big Blind. After the flop, the first person to act is the player to the left of the Dealer Button.

 

Action

  • A player’s turn to make a play (bet, call, raise, or fold) in a hand
  • A bet, along with all the calls of that bet that requires adding money to the pot

 

Action card

A card that appears on the board that helps two or more players, often causing a significant increase in bets or raises at the table.

 

Active player

A player who is still involved in the  pot. This includes side pots, where an all-in player may be active in some pots, but not all.

 

Add-on

In live tournaments, it’s an additional buy-in where the player buys more chips before they have busted. It usually occurs at the end of the rebuy period.

 

Advertising

To deliberately show your style of play by making an obvious play or exposing your hands. It’s used to purposely make your opponent see what type of player you are (e.g. tight, aggressive).

 

Aggressive, aggression

A player that often bets or raises rather than calls or checks to force players to do likewise or fold. It can offer more opportunities as it forces players to play more loosely and make mistakes.  

 

Air

Generally referred to as “Nothing”. It’s a very weak hand that has zero value, and often occurs if a player doesn’t make their flush or straight. It can often lead to bluffing or setting up a bluff at a later time.

 

All-in

When a player bets their entire stack in a given hand. The player can perform no additional actions after this, as they’ve no more chips. If there is further raises by other players, a side pot is created, which the player that went all-in cannot compete for.

 

Angle

An unethical play that technically isn’t against the rules. It’s bordered on the lines of legal and illegal play, and is used to give the player an unfair advantage. It’s usually clearly unethical.

 

Angle Shooting

A player who regularly uses Angle tactics, and uses unethical or ungentlemanly tactics to get an unfair advantage. The difference between an “Angle Shooter” and “Cheater” is marginal, but Angle Shooting is technically within the rules of the game.

 

Ante

A forced bet required from all players before any cards are dealt (note: only in some poker games). It’s most common in stud games but can sometimes be used in community card games. It differs from a “Blind” bet as when an Ante is used everyone is forced to bet, were a Blind bet usually only requires the Small Blind and Big Blind bet.

 

Ante off

In tournament play, if a player is absent they are forced to continue paying antes and blinds so the tournament betting remains fair. Even when the player is not seated their chips are still added to the pot.

 

Any two cards

An expression used to say a player’s cards are irrelevant in the decision of a given hand. An example of it being used is when a player’s stack has gotten low so they’ll play any two cards aggressively in an attempt to make others fold and build your stack back up.

 

Backdoor

A draw requiring the turn and the river to make your flush or straight. It’s often an unintentional hand, as there is such a low probability of hitting a backdoor flush (1 chance in 24) or backdoor straight (1 chance in 68).

 

Back into

To win a pot with a hand that they weren’t originally going for. For example if your Hole Cards are 3♥ 3♣, you’re probably waiting for another 3 for Three Of A Kind. But if the Board comes out A♥ 9♠ 2♦ 4♥ 5♦, you suddenly have a Straight.

 

Bad beat

To lose a hand when your cards are much stronger than your opponents’ cards are. An example would be when your Hole Cards are A♥ K♥, and your opponents are A♠ J♦. Originally you’re way ahead, but if the board comes out K♥ 8♠ 9♦ 7♦ 10♠, your opponent makes a Straight and you’ve become a victim of a bad beat.

 

Bad Beat Story

Commonly told stories of a bad beat the player received in the past. It usually involves the player thinking they are unbeatable, but against the odds an opponent gets a lucky turn and/or river to win the pot.

 

Balance

Playing all types of hands similarly to make it more difficult for your opponents to get useful information about your cards or strategy.

 

Bankroll

The amount of money a player has dedicated to play poker with. It should be kept separate from your living expenses so you can comfortably play poker without it impacting your personal life.

 

Bankroll management

Managing your game with a set of guidelines to avoid exhausting a bankroll during downswings. It helps protect you against losses from tilt, variance and bad play.

 

Behind

  • When you currently don’t have the best hand. Players may know they’re behind but continue to bet in the hopes of getting a better hand.
  • Money in play but currently not in front of the player. For example, the floor manager may be on the way to get the physical chips the player wants, but the player doesn’t currently have them. The player can still play as they “have money behind them”.

 

Bet

The money wagered during a game of poker.

 

Betting structure

The set of rules regarding the type of poker game you are playing. It includes rules regarding forced bets, limits, raises, blinds and other factors for that particular game.

 

Big bet game

A poker game where you can make a bet greater than the size of the pot, as opposed to Pot-Limit or incremental bet games.

 

Big blind

The larger of two forced bets in certain variants of poker. It’s usually double the small blind, and is designed to ensure there’s something to play for in each hand.

 

Big blind special

If no one raises pre-flop, the Big Blind will get to see the flop without needing to call a bet. So if they have poor hole cards, they will get to see the flop with a hand they would normally fold (if they weren’t the big blind). If the player has 2♦ 10♠, and the Flop comes out 10♥ 10♦ 2♥, their poor hand suddenly becomes a great hand. If they go on to win the hand it’s a Big Blind Special.

 

Big full

A full house with three aces and two kings (e.g. A♥ A♦ A♣ K♠ K♣), the best possible full house.

 

Big stack

The player with the most chips at the table, usually only used when a player has significantly more chips than the rest of the players.

 

Blank

A community card which doesn’t seem to help any players left in the hand.

 

Bleed

To consistently lose chips through bad play, possibly as a result of tilt.

 

Blinds

The compulsory bets made to ensure there is something to play for in a hand of poker. It usually consists of the Small Blind (immediately to the left of the dealer) and the Big Blind (immediately to the left of the Small Blind). They’re posted before any cards are dealt, with the big blind usually double the small blinds (e.g.  Small Blind = $5 / Big Blind = $10).

 

Blind defense

When you’re in the small or big blind position, you call or re-raise another player’s pre-flop raise instead of giving up your forced blind.

 

Blind steal

A raise, usually from a late position, with a weak hand purely with the intention of winning the blinds and antes by making the remaining players fold before the flop.

 

Blocker

When “Player A” is holding a card that “Player B” needs as an out. For example, if Player B is holding 5♥ 7♠, and the flop comes out 4♦ 8♠ K♣, Player A’s hole cards reduces the likelihood of Player B making a straight if they are holding any 6s.

 

Blocking bet

An tactically small bet made by a player out of position to stop a larger bet being made by an opponent.

 

Bluff

A significant bet made by a player with a weak hand. It’s made with the intention of forcing other players to fold in the belief they are facing a stronger hand.

 

Bluff catching range

A range of hands that might not have great value, but might still be good enough to beat another player’s bluff. For example, if you suspect a player is waiting on a flush on the river but he doesn’t hit it, they might try to bluff. Your hand may be relatively poor, but it could still beat their bluff. You must gauge whether your poor hand will be able to beat their hand.

 

Bluff induce

If you have a strong hand, you may make a relatively big bet with the intention of making players believe you are bluffing. For example if you have 10♥ 10♦ and the board is 5♥ 8♦ 10♣ 10♠ Q♦, you might induce a player holding Q♣ Q♠ to call or re-raise as they believe you are bluffing.

 

Board

The set of cards everybody uses in a community card game. In Texas Hold’em and Omaha, the board is the five cards (flop, turn and river) that sit in the middle of the table. Sometimes in Texas Hold’em, the five community cards make the best hand at the table (so everyone’s hole cards are useless), which is called “playing the board”.

 

Boat

The same as a Full House.

 

Bottom end

The lowest straight that can be formed from your hole cards and the community cards. For example if your hole cards are 3♥ 4♠, and the board is 5♥ 6♥ 7♠ Q♦ K♥, you’ve made the bottom end straight (3♥ 4♠ 5♥ 6♥ 7♠).

 

Bottom pair, bottom set

A pair (or set) made by matching the lowest-ranking cards on the board with one (or two) of your hole cards. For example, if your hole cards are 4♣ 6♠ and the board reads 8♥ 9♦ 4♥ K♠ A♦, you have the bottom pair (4♣ 4♥).

 

Bounty

A poker tournament which includes a feature where you get additional rewards for eliminating other players from the tournament. GGPoker’s “Bounty Hunters” is our own unique type of bounty tournament.

 

Break

An intermission during a tournament. Usually a good time to visit the bathroom if you need to!

 

Brick

A blank, but usually more consequential as it affects a drawing hand. For example if you have  4♥ 5♥ hole cards, and the flop comes out 6♥ 7♥ J♦ 2♠ K♠, the 2♠ and K♠ are bricks as they didn’t complete your flush or straight.

 

Broadway

An Ace-high straight (10♣ J♥ Q♦ K♠ A♠).

 

Bubble

The period in a poker tournament where there is only a few players left before the competition enters the prize-winning positions.

 

Buck

Also known as the button. It’s the marker that shows which seat or player is acting as the dealer.

 

Bully

An aggressive player, usually with a large chip stack, who uses their position of strength to force others off their hands and put constant pressure on other players.

 

Burn

When dealing, the top “burn” card is discarded facedown before the flop, turn and river to stop cheating, specifically card markers.

 

Busted

An uncompleted hand you are chasing that does not fill. It occurs when a player is chasing a straight or a flush, but doesn’t make it. For example, if you have 2♦ 5♦, and the board comes out 7♦ 8♦ J♥ O♠ A♠, you had a diamond draw but missed it, resulting in a busted hand.

 

Button

Also known as the buck. It’s a marker used to represent the position of the dealer and rotates clockwise around the table after each hand.

 

Buy-in

The minimum amount of money required to sit down at a particular poker game. At GGPoker we display the buy-in price on the list of tables.

Buy short

To buy into a game for an amount smaller than the normal buy-in.

Call

To match a bet.

Calling station

A player who frequently calls bets, but rarely raises them. A calling station is usually a loose passive player.

Cap

A limit on the number of raises allowed in a betting round, typically three or four (in addition to the opening bet). In most casinos, the cap is removed if there are only two players remaining either at the beginning of the betting round, or at the point in time that would have otherwise been when the last raise was made.

Cap game

Similar to a cap, but refers to a no-limit or pot limit game with a cap on the amount that a player can bet during the course of a hand. Once the cap is reached, all players remaining in the hand are considered all-in.

Cash game

A game where each hand is played for real money as opposed to tournament play.

Catch

To receive cards necessary to make a hand on a draw.

Catch up

To successfully complete a draw, thus defeating a player who previously had a better hand.

Center pot

The main pot in a table stakes game where one or more players are all-in.

Chase

To call a bet with a drawing hand to see the next card when the pot odds do not merit it. To continue to play with a drawing hand over multiple betting rounds, especially one unlikely to succeed. To continue playing with a hand that is unlikely to be the best because one has already invested money in the pot.

Check

To bet nothing.

Check-raise

Deceptive play whereby a player initially checks with the intention of raising should another player bet.

Chip

A small disk used in place of money.

Chip dumping

A strategy whereby one player deliberately loses chips to ship them to another player. When players have agreed to participate in such action together, this is known as a form of collusion.

Chip leader

The player currently holding the most chips in a tournament.

Chip up

To exchange lower-denomination chips for higher-denomination chips. In tournament play, the term means to remove all the small chips from play by rounding up any odd small chips to the nearest higher denomination rather than using a chip race. To steadily accumulate chips in tournament play, typically by winning small pots with minimal risk-taking.

Chop

To split a pot because of a tie, split-pot game, or player agreement. An agreement by all remaining players in a tournament to distribute the remaining chips in the prize pool according to an agreed-upon formula instead of playing the tournament to completion. Usually occurs at the final table of a large tournament.

Click raise

Making the minimum raise. Refers to online poker where players click the raise button without specifying the raise amount.

Coin flip

A situation in which two players have invested all of their money in the pot and roughly have an even chance of winning.

Cold call

To call an amount that represents a sum of bets or raises made by more than one player.

Collusion

A form of cheating involving cooperation among two or more players. See cheating in poker.

Community card

Card opened in the middle of the board. These cards can be used by all players.

Completion

To raise a small bet up to the amount that would be the normal-sized bet.

Connectors

Two or more cards of consecutive or close to consecutive rank.

Continuation bet

A bet made after the flop by the player who initiated the betting before the flop.

Cooler

A situation in which a player holds the second best hand, which is strong considering the circumstances, and apt to lose the maximum with it no matter how he or she plays it.

Crying call

Calling even though a player thinks he or she does not have the best hand.

Cutoff

The seat immediately to the right of the dealer button. In home games, the player on the button actually shuffles and deals the cards while the player in the cutoff seat cuts the deck (hence the name).

Dead blind

A blind that is not live such that the player posting it does not have the option to raise if other players just call. Usually involves a small blind posted by a player entering, or returning to, a game (in a position other than the big blind) that is posted in addition to a live blind equal to the big blind.

Deal

To distribute cards to players in accordance with the rules of the game being played. A single instance of a game of poker beginning from the shuffling of cards and ending with the awarding of the pot; also called a hand. An agreement to split tournament prize money different from the announced payouts.

Deal three times

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 three times. Each outcome is worth ⅓ of the pot.

Dealer

The person dealing the cards. The person who assumes that role for the purpose of betting order in a game, even though someone else might be physically dealing the cards.

Deep stack

A stack of chips that is relatively large for the stakes being played. Also called a big stack.

Defense

Making a play that defends the player against a bluff by forcing the suspected bluffer to fold or invest further.

Deuce

The 2 card. Also called a duck.

Dominated hand

A hand that is extremely unlikely to win against another specific hand, even though it may not be a poor hand in its own right. Most commonly used in Texas Hold ’em.

Donk bet

A bet made in early position by a player who did not take the initiative in the previous betting round. It was named so because this move is often indicative of a weak player (since it is more often reasonable to expect a continuation bet).

Donkey

A weak player, also known as a fish or a donk.

Double belly buster straight draw

A combination of hole and exposed cards in hold’em or stud games, which does not include four connected cards, but where there are two different ranks of cards that complete a straight.

Double suited

An Omaha starting hand where two pairs of suited cards are held.

Double up, double through

Usually in a game with a considerable pot size, to bet all of one’s chips on one hand against a single opponent (who has an equal or larger stack) and win, thereby doubling the stack.

Downswing

A period during which a player loses more than expected.

Draw, drawing hand

A drawing hand is when a player has a chance to improve their hand to something considerably stronger by drawing the required cards on the flop, turn or river.

Drawing dead

Playing a drawing hand that will lose even if completed. Playing a hand that can never improve beyond the opponent’s hand.

Drawing live

Not drawing dead, that is, drawing to a hand that will win if completed.

Drawing thin

Not drawing completely dead, that is, chasing a draw while facing poor odds.

Drop

To fold.

Dry ace

An ace in one’s hand with the other hole card not of the same suit; when the board presents a flush possibility and the player does not hold a flush at that time, holding the ace presents some bluffing or semi-bluffing opportunities as well as a redraw in case the flush draw comes on the turn.

Dry board

The texture of the community cards. A board is considered dry when the cards on the table show that it is unlikely or impossible for any player to make a strong hand like a straight or flush.

Dry pot

A side pot with no money created when a player goes all-in and is called by more than one opponent with no subsequent raises. If subsequent betting occurs, the money will go into the dry pot.

Equity

One’s mathematical expected value in a current deal, calculated by multiplying the amount of money in the pot by one’s probability of winning. If a split is possible, the equity also includes the probability of winning a split multiplied by the size of that split.

Expectation, expected value, EV

Used in poker to mean profitability in the long run.

Family pot

A deal in which every, or almost every, seated player called the first opening bet.

Fantasy Land

In Open Face Chinese poker, if you meet a certain condition, you get to play a hand in Fantasy Land which gives the player a big advantage.

Fast

Aggressive play comparable to speeding.

Favorite

A hand which, when matched against another in a showdown, has an advantage odds-wise over the other. A hand can be called a small or big favorite depending on how dominating it is in contrast to the underdog, to which the situation is reversed. Favorites are usually used to compare how one player’s two hole cards fare against another player’s two hole cards pre-flop.

Felt

The cloth covering of a poker table, regardless of its actual material. Metaphorically, the table itself.

Field

All players as a collective in a large tournament.

Fifth Street

The last card dealt to the board in community card games. Also known as the river.

Fill, fill up

To successfully draw a hand that needs one card to complete it by getting the last card of a straight, flush, or full house.

Final table

The last table in a multi-table poker tournament. The final table is set when a sufficient amount of people have been eliminated from the tournament leaving a specific amount of players to occupy one table (typically no more than ten players).

First position

Also known as under the gun. The player in first position must act first on the first round of betting.

Fish

A weak player. To chase draws holding a weak hand especially when facing aggressive players.

Flat call

A call in a situation in which one might be expected to raise.

Float

Calling a bet with the intention of bluffing in a later betting round.

Flop

The dealing of the first three face-up cards to the board, also referring to those three cards themselves.

Flush

A hand comprising five cards of the same suit.

Fold

To discard one’s hand and forfeit shares, if any, in the current pot.

Fold equity

The portion of the pot one expects to win on average by placing a bet that induces your opponents to fold, rather than seeing the showdown.

Four-flush

Four cards of the same suit. A non-standard poker hand in some games, while an incomplete drawing hand in most.

Four of a kind

A hand containing four cards of equal rank. Also known as quads.

Four-straight

Four cards in rank sequence; either an open-ender or one-ender. A non-standard poker hand in some games, while an incomplete drawing hand in most. Sometimes four to a straight.

Fourth Street

The fourth card dealt to the board in community card games. Also called the turn.

Free card

A card dealt to one’s hand (or to the board of community cards) after a betting round in which no player opened. One is thereby being given a chance to improve one’s hand without having to pay anything.

Freeroll

A poker event with no buy-in.

Freezeout

The most common form of tournament. There are no rebuys, and play continues until one player has all the chips.

Full house, full boat, full hand, full

A hand with three cards of one rank and two of a second rank. Also known as a boat or tight.

Full ring

A full ring game is a cash game with more than six involved players, typically nine to eleven. This term is normally used in the context of online poker.

Gap hand

In Texas Hold ’em, a gap hand is a starting hand with at least one rank separating the two hole cards. Usually referred in context to one-gap and two-gap hands.

Get away

To fold a strong hand against a supposedly superior hand.

Grinder

A player who earns a living by making small profits over a long period of consistent, conservative play.

Gutshot

Inside straight draw

Hand history

The textual representation of a hand(s) played.

Heads up poker

Playing against a single opponent.

Hero call

Calling when a player has a relatively weak hand but suspects his or her opponent may be bluffing.

High card

A no pair hand, ranked according to its highest-ranking cards.

Hijack seat

The seat to the right of the cutoff seat, or second to the right of the button. In tournaments, this is generally considered to be the easiest position to steal the blinds, hence the name.

Hole cards

Face-down cards. Also known as pocket cards.

Horse

A player financially backed by someone else.

Improve

To achieve a better hand than what one currently holds by adding or exchanging cards as provided in the rules of the game being played.

In position

A player is said to be in position if the player is last to act on the flop, turn, or river betting rounds.

In the money, (ITM)

To finish high enough in a poker tournament to win prize money.

In turn

A player is said to be in turn if that player is expected to act next under the rules.

Isolation

A bet or raise made with the intention of isolating a player to play heads up.

Junk

A hand with very little to no expected value.

Lag

A loose aggressive style of play in which a player plays a lot of starting hands and makes many small raises in hopes of out-playing his or her opponents.

Last to act

A player is last to act if all players between the player and the button have folded.

Laydown

The act of folding a strong hand in anticipation of superior opposition, often depicted as a difficult decision.

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. Can also be used as a verb meaning to bet out into the pot, or to lead into the pot.

Level

Used in tournament play to refer to the size of the blinds that are periodically increased.

Light

A hand that is not likely to be the best, usually used as an action descriptor (i.e. call light, or three-bet light).

Limit

The minimum or maximum amount of a bet.

Limp, limp in

To enter a pot by simply calling a bet instead of raising.

Limp-reraise

A reraise from a player that previously limped in the same betting round.

Live bet

A bet posted by a player under conditions that gives him or her the option to raise, typically because it was posted as a blind or straddle.

Live cards

A player’s hand is said to contain live cards if matching either of them on the board would give that player the lead over his or her opponent; typically refers to a hand that is weak, but not dominated.

Live hand

A hand still eligible to win the pot; one with remaining live cards that has not been mucked or otherwise invalidated in order to complete and possibly win the hand.

Live game

A game with a lot of action.

Loose

To play more hands than one’s normal play style or the average player in the game.

Low

The lowest card by rank

M-ratio

A measure of the health of a chip stack as a function of the cost to play each round.

Made hand

A hand that does not need improvement to win.

Maniac

A very loose and aggressive player, who bets and raises frequently, and often in situations where it is not good strategy to do so.

Match the pot

To bet an amount equal to all the chips in the pot.

Micro-limit

Internet poker games with stakes so small that real cardrooms could not profit from them, are said to be at the micro-limit level.

Middle pair

In a community card game, making a pair with neither the highest nor lowest card of the community cards.

Missed blind

A required bet that is not posted when it is a player’s turn to do so, perhaps occurring when a player is not present on the table. Various rules require the missed bet to be made up upon the player’s return.

Move in

In a no-limit game, to move in or to go all-in means to bet one’s entire stake on the hand in play.

Muck

To fold. The discard pile.

Multi-way pot

A pot where several players compete for it. Also known as a family pot, although a family pot sometimes refers to a pot where all players participate.

Nit

A player who is unwilling to take risks and plays only premium hands in the top range.

No Limit

Rules designating that players are allowed to wager any or all of their chips in a single bet.

Nothing

When a player only has the possibility of a high card and no other hand that will win.

Nut hand (the nuts)

The nut hand is the best possible hand in a given situation. Players sometimes evaluate hands by ranking them as being the second nuts or the pure nuts.

Off suit

Cards that are not of the same suit.

Open

To bet first to enter the pot.

Open-ended straight draw

An outside straight draw. Also known as a two-way straight draw or double-ended straight draw.

Open limp

Being the first person in the pot pre-flop, but not raising.

Option

An optional bet or draw. The right to raise possessed by the big blind if there have been no raises.

Orbit

A full rotation of the blinds at a table, equal to the number of people at the table.

Outs

Cards needed to make a certain player win the hand.

Out of position

A player is said to be out of position, if they are either first to act, or is not last to act in a betting round.

Overbet

To make a bet that is more than the size of the pot in a no limit game.

Overcall

To call a bet after others have called.

Over card

A community card with a higher rank than a player’s pocket pair. A higher card.

Overpair

A pocket pair with a higher rank than the highest community card.

Paint

Any royal card.

Pair

Two cards of the same rank.

Passive

A style of play characterized by checking and calling.

Pay off

To call a bet when the player is most likely drawing dead because the pot odds justify the call.

Penny ante

Games representing frivolous to low stakes, or for fun-only games; a game where no significant stake is likely to change hands.

Play the board

If one’s best hand during showdown is on the board without the use of hole cards, then the player is said to play the board.

Pocket cards

Same as hole cards.

Pocket pair

When two of a player’s hole cards make a pair.

Poker face

A player’s blank facial expression that does not reveal any information about his or her cards.

Position bet

A bet that is made more due to the strength of the bettor’s position than the strength of the bettor’s cards.

Post

To make the required small or big blind bet in Texas Hold’em or other games played with blinds rather than antes.

Pot

The amount of all the players’ bets in a given hand. Winner of the hand takes the entire pot.

Pot-committed

More often in the context of a no limit game, a situation where one can no longer fold because the size of the pot is so large compared to the size of one’s stack.

Pot odds

The ratio of the amount of money in the pot to the amount of money needed to call the current bet. If the pot holds $100 and it will cost you $20 to call, the pot is laying you 5-to-1 odds.

Pre-flop

The point in which players have been dealt their hole cards but no flop has been dealt.

Probe bet

After the flop is dealt, a bet made by a player, who did not take the lead pre-flop, to gain knowledge about the strength of opponents’ cards.

Protected pot

A pot that seems impossible to win by bluffing because too many players are committed and/or the chances of another player either calling on the river or raising beyond measure are highly likely.

Purse

The total prize pool in a poker tournament.

Push

To bet all-in.

Put on

To put on a hand is to deduce what hand or range of hands opponents may have based on their actions and gameplay style.

Quads

Four of a kind.

Rabbit hunt

After a hand is completed, to reveal cards that would have been dealt subsequently had it continued. This is usually prohibited in casinos because it slows the game and may also reveal information about concealed hands.

Raccoon

A poor player. To make calls based on the hopes of hitting runner-runner, inside, or backdoor draws.

Race

Same as a coin flip.

Rag

A low-valued and presumably worthless card.

Railbird

A non-participatory spectator of a poker game.

Rainbow

Three or four cards of different suits, especially said of a flop. Betting a rainbow is to make a bet of one chip of each color currently in play.

Rakeback

Rebate or repayment to a player, which is a portion of the rake paid by that player.

Range of hands

A range of possible cards that a player considers an opponent may have.

Rebuy

An amount of chips purchased after the initial buy-in. In some tournaments, players are allowed to rebuy chips more than once for a limited period after the start of the game, provided that their stack is equal to or under its initial level.

Redeal

To deal a hand again, possibly after a misdeal.

Redraw

To make one hand and have a draw for a better hand. The second or subsequent draw(s) in a draw game with multiple draws.

Represent

To represent a hand is to play as if the player actually holds it whether it is or not.

Reraise

Raise after one has been raised. Also known as coming over the top.

River

The river or river card is the final card dealt in a poker hand, followed by a final round of betting and, if necessary, a showdown. The river is the fifth and last community card to be dealt, after the flop and turn. A player losing the pot due to the river card is said to have been rivered.

Rock

A very tight player.

Rounder

An expert player who travels around seeking out high-stakes games.

Royal cards

Royal cards are also known as face cards or picture cards. These cards consist of the jack, queen, and king of any suit.

Royal flush

A straight flush of the top five cards of any suit. This is generally the highest possible hand.

Run it three times (RITT)

A gentleman’s agreement, not allowed in some casinos, where the players (usually two) agree to draw each remaining card(s) to come in three different occasions/runs instead of just once after all parties have gone all-in. The winner of each run takes 1/3 of the pot. Running it three times is done to minimize bad beats and reduce bankroll swings.

Runner-runner

A hand made by hitting two consecutive cards on the turn and river.

Rush

A prolonged winning streak. A player who has won several big pots recently is said to be on a rush.

Satellite

A tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to another (larger) tournament.

Scare card

A card dealt face up (either to a player in a game such as stud or to the board in a community card game) that could create a strong hand for someone.

Scoop

To win all three rows in Open Faced Chinese Poker.

Second pair

In community card poker games, a pair of cards of the second-top rank on the board. Second pair is a middle pair, but not necessarily vice-versa.

Semi-bluff

When a player bluffs on one round of betting with an inferior or drawing hand that might improve in a later round.

Set

Three of a kind, especially a situation where two of the cards are concealed in the player’s hole cards.

Shark

A professional player.

Shootout

A poker tournament format where the last remaining player of a table goes on to play the remaining players of other tables. Each table plays independently of the others; that is, there is no balancing as players are eliminated.

Short buy

In no limit poker, to buy into a game for considerably less money than the stated maximum buy in, or less than other players at the table have in play.

Short stack

A stack of chips that is relatively small for the stakes being played.

Shorthanded

A poker game that is played with six players or fewer, as opposed to a full ring game, which is usually nine or ten players. A tournament where all tables are shorthanded at all times is called a short table tournament.

Showdown

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 created to deal with the situation of one player going “all in”.

Sit & Go

A poker tournament with no scheduled starting time that starts whenever the necessary players have put up their money.

Slow play

To play a strong hand as if it were weak to trick your opponents.

Smooth call

Same as flat call

Soft-play

To intentionally go easy on a player. Soft play is expressly prohibited in most card rooms, and may result in penalties ranging from forced sit-outs to forfeiture of stakes or winnings.

Squeeze play

A bluff reraise in no limit hold’em with less-than-premium cards, after another player or players have already called the original raise. The goal is to bluff everyone out of the hand and steal the bets.

Stack

The total chips and currency that a player has in play at a given moment. A collection of 20 poker chips of the same denomination, usually arranged in an orderly column.

Stakes

The amount one buys in for and can bet.

Staking

Staking is the act of one person putting up cash for a poker player to play with in hopes that the player wins. Any profits are split on a predetermined percentage between the backer and the player. A backed player is often known as a horse.

Starting hand

Hole card hands that players can start with.

Steal

Betting and winning the hand pre-flop and taking the blinds is called stealing the blinds.

Steam

A state of anger, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play. Same as tilt.

Stop and go

When a player bets into another player who has previously raised or otherwise shown aggression.

Straddle

To post a bet two times the size of the big blind when sitting on the left of the big blind before looking at his/her hole cards. By straddling, the player is able to act last preflop.

Street

A street is another term for a dealt card or betting round.

Structured

A structured betting system is one where the spread of the bets may change from round to round.

Suck out

A situation when a hand heavily favored to win loses to an inferior hand after all the cards are dealt. The winning hand is said to have sucked out.

Suited

Having the same suit.

Suited connectors

Connecting cards with the same suit.

Super Satellite

A multi-table poker tournament in which the prize is a free entrance to a satellite tournament or a tournament in which all the top finishers gain entrance to a larger tournament.

Tag

A tight aggressive style of play in which a player plays a small number of strong starting hands, but when in pots plays aggressively.

Tainted outs

Cards that improve a hand so that it is better than the other current hands, but simultaneously improve other hands even more.

Tell

A tell in poker is a detectable change in a player’s behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player’s assessment of their hand.

Texture

How well coordinated the community cards are to one another. This is used to estimate relative hand strength.

Three bet, three betting

To be the first player to put in a third unit of betting.

Three of a kind

A poker hand made with three cards of the same number.

Tight

To play fewer hands than average for the game or for the player normally.

Tilt

Emotionally upset, mental confusion, or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in poor play.

To go

The amount that a player is required to call in order to stay in the hand.

Top kicker

In community card poker games, top kicker is the best possible kicker to some given hand.

Top pair

In community card poker games, top pair is a pair comprising a pocket card and the highest-ranking card on the board.

Top two

A two pair, matching the highest-ranking two flop cards.

Trips

When one of a player’s hole cards in Texas hold’em connect with two cards on the board to make three of a kind. This differs from a set where three of a kind is made when a pocket pair connects with one card on the flop to make three of a kind.

Turbo

A type of tournament where the blind levels increase much faster than in standard play.

Turn

The turn, turn card or fourth street is the fourth of five cards dealt to a community card board, constituting one face-up community card that each of the players in the game can use to make up their final hand.

Under the gun

The position directly left of the blinds in Texas hold’em or Omaha. The player who is under the gun must act first on the first round of betting.

Underdog

An underdog or dog is a player with a smaller chance to win than another specified player. Frequently used when the exact odds are expressed.

Underfull

A full house made where the three of a kind has lower-ranking cards than the pair.

Up

When used with a card rank to describe a poker hand, refers to two pair with the named card being the higher pair.

Upcard

A card that is played face up.

Upswing

A period during which a player wins more (or loses less) than expected.

Up the ante

Increase the stakes.

Value bet

A bet made by a player who wants it to be called (as opposed to a bluff or protection bet).

Variance

The statistical measure of how far actual results differ from expectation.

VPIP

Voluntary put money in pot. Represents the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blind postings. VPIP is an excellent measure of how tight or loose a player is.

Wake up

To “wake up with a hand” means to discover a strong starting hand, often when there has already been action in front of the player.

Walk

A walk is a situation where all players fold to the big blind.

Wash

To mix the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing them up.

Weak ace

An ace with a low kicker. Also called small ace, soft ace, or ace-rag.

Weak player

A player who is easily bullied out of a hand post-flop by any sort of action.

Webcam poker

A form of online poker which allows players to watch each other during play via a webcam.

Wet board

A wet board is when the cards on the table make it possible for players to have hit strong hands.

Window card

The window card is the first card shown when the dealer puts out the three cards for the flop.

Wrap

In Omaha, an open ended straight draw comprising two board cards and three or four cards from a player’s hand.

Poker Lingo from GGPoker. Learn Basic Poker Terms And Phrases