Poker Terms

ACTION – Players turn to act during a hand. (2) To bet or raise. (3) Description of a game where there is a lot of betting and raising.
ANTE – A small wager all players are required to make before the hand is dealt. An ante is similar to a blind, but everyone has to contribute it before a hand commences. Antes give the pot a value right off the bat.
ALL-IN – A bet that places all of a player’s chips into the pot.
BACKDOOR – Hitting your needed cards on the turn and the river to make your hand.
BAD BEAT – When a player who initially had a substantial statistically lead over an opponent loses his hand to that opponent after the flop, turn, or river.

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BIG BLIND – The amount of chips the second player to the left of the dealer has to bet. The amount depends on the stakes. It is a posted amount that makes the pot worth playing for before the action begins. It is equivalent to one complete first round bet. It’s a called a “blind” because it amounts to placing a bet without seeing the cards first.
BUBBLE – In a tournament, the bubble is the top finisher without getting paid any money.
BURN – To discard the top card before each betting round.
BUTTON – The position of the dealer. The button is in an advantageous position, for that player acts last in terms of betting.
BUY-IN – The cost to enter a tournament, or the minimum amount needed to sit down in a cash game at a specific table.
CALL – To contribute the minimum amount of money to the pot necessary to continue playing a hand.
CHECK – To pass on betting, giving the next player opportunity to act.
CHECK-RAISE – When a player checks on the first opportunity to bet and later raises any bet thereafter in the same round of betting.



COMMUNITY CARDS – Cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table, available for all players to use in making a hand.
CUT-OFF – The position to the immediate right of the button.
DEALER – The player who shuffles the deck and deals the cards.
DEALER BUTTON – The button indicates the dealer that is passed clockwise after every hand (used to keep in sequence).
DRAW – Remaining in a hand with hopes of improving it.
DRAW OUT – Receiving a card that turns your hand from a losing hand to a winning hand.
FLOP – The first three community cards dealt out after the first round (pre-flop) betting is complete.
FLUSH – A poker hand consisting of five cards of the same suit.
FOLD – To give up by placing your cards face down on the table, surrendering whatever you have bet so far.
FOUR OF A KIND – A hand containing all four cards of the same rank.
FULL HOUSE – A hand consisting of a three of a kind and a pair.



GUTSHOT – A straight completed from “inside” by one possible card.
HAND – Five cards, including a player’s pocket cards with the community cards.
HEADS-UP – Playing a pot or tournament against one other player.
LIMP – Slang word for just calling, implying it’s not an aggressive move.
LIMIT – A structure of a game in which bets and raises are capped at a fixed amount.
MUCK – Pile of discarded cards in a hand. If a player folds, the hand is tossed “into the muck.”
NO-LIMIT – A structure of the game in which players can bet their entire stack any betting round.
NUTS – The best possible hand one can have at a given moment.
OFF-SUIT – Holding pocket cards of different suits.



OMAHA – A variety of hold’em in which players receive 4 hole cards (instead of 2) and must use two of them, together with 3 of the 5 cards on the board.
OPEN – Player who makes the first bet in the current betting round.
OVER-PAIR – A pair in a player’s hand larger than any community card on the board.
OPEN-ENDED – A straight completed from the outside by one of two possible cards.
OUT – Is a card/cards that will improve your hand.
OVER-CARDS – Having cards higher than the cards on the board or your opponent’s pocket cards.
PAINT – Poker slang for a face card
PAIR – Two cards of the same rank.
POT-COMMITTED – A situation that likely requires you to call due to the amount of money in the pot (In this situation it makes no sense to fold).
POT-LIMIT – A structure of the game in which bets and raises are capped by the size of the pot at the time of betting.
POT ODDS – The ratio of money in the pot compared to what you need to call to keep playing.



QUADS – Four of a kind.
RAINBOW – In flop games, when no two cards of the community flop are the same in suit.
RAKE – The percentage amount that the house takes from each pot.
RAKEBACK – receiving a percentage of the “rake” generated by the Poker room.
RIVER – The final of the five community cards to hit the board.
RACK – Plastic tray to hold poker chips
RAISE – To bet more than the minimum required to call, forcing other players to put in more money than the initial bet.
ROYAL FLUSH – An ace-high straight flush, the best possible hand in standard poker.
SET – Having a pocket pair that hits on the board, making three of a kind.
SHORT STACK – Having fewer chips than the rest of the players at the table or in the tournament.
SIDE POT – Aside from the main pot. When one or more players are all-in, the pot in which the remaining players with chips can continue betting.



SIT-AND-GO – A poker tournament that starts when a specific number of players have registered.
SLOW PLAY – To induce players to stick around as long as possible when having a strong hand in hopes of maximizing chip value.
SMALL BLIND – The position to the immediate left of the dealer button, and to the right of the big blind position.
SPLIT POT – When two or more players make the same hand and the pot is divided.
SHIP-IT – Celebratory poker term used when telling the dealer to pass the chips, also can be used while pushing all chips in.
STEAL – To win a pot by bluffing
STRADDLE – Before dealing cards an optional pre-bet of twice the big blind to earn the last option to act before seeing a community flop.



STRAIGHT – A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence but not in suit.
STRAIGHT FLUSH – A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence and the same suit.
TILT – The reaction from a player after losing a big pot in which the player was favored to win or for a large amount of chips.
TIME – Requesting more time to think in deciding their action.
TOP PAIR – A pair with the highest card on the board.
TOURNAMENT – A poker event involving one or more tables of players who each begin with a fixed amount of tournament chips for the same buy-in amount.
TRIPS – Slang for three of a kind.
TURN – The fourth community card dealt on the board.
UNDER THE GUN – The player sitting in the first-to-act position. It’s the position immediately to the left of the big blind.
WHITE MEAT – Poker slang for profit or money made during a session