dictionary of poker terms, terminology and poker lingo
The highest or lowest card in the deck. In a high
only poker game, the ace is always high with the exception of a 5
high straight, A,2,3,4,5.
A poker hand where the Ace plays, there is no pair.
High Straight Flush
A royal flush, A,K,Q,J,10 all
of the same suit.
To Five Lowball
A poker game played for low hands. Straights
and flushes do not count in this game. The ace
can be used as a low card, meaning the best possible hand is a wheel.
A term used in a poker game meaning a pair
of Aces and 3 worthless cards. As if saying "Aces
and nothing to go with it."
This is when a player has two pair, one of
which is Aces. Since Aces are
the highest possible pair, you say Aces
up or Aces over (meaning they are higher than the
To check, fold, raise, call
etc., to make a play. See action.
To raise, reraise, check,
fold, call etc. constitutes
action. The dealer may say "There was no action", meaning
no one has called, folded, raised etc. Action also means there is
a lot of betting and raising going on. "This
game has a lot of action."
When a player puts his last chip or chips
in the pot, he or she is all in for that pot. If
there is more action after that all in bet,
the player that was all in is only eligible for the main
pot, a side pot is created for the other
players left in the hand.
A term used when you have a pair of Aces.
Since the logo for American Airlines is two red As, it is meant to
be the Ace of hearts and the Ace
of diamonds, although it is commonly referred to as any two Aces.
Also known as pocket rockets, and bullets.
This is a forced bet put into the pot
by all players before the hand is dealt.
A small card, usually meaning a 2,3,4 or 5.
In Texas Hold'em, a back door is when
a hand is made using the turn
and river cards. In other words if you have 2
clubs in the hole, 1 club falls on the flop,
and you must hit a club on the turn and river
to make your flush. See also runner
You back into a hand when you are intentionally
in the pot to make a different hand than the one
you ended up with. For example, if you flop a
straight and up with a flush,
you would say "I backed into a flush."
Someone that is paying the way of another player to play
poker either in a ring game
or a tournament. If you have someone back
you, they are staking or providing you with your buy
in, usually in return for a percentage of the winnings.
Losing a hand that was the favorite or was
winning until the end would be considered a bad beat. For instance
if you hold 10, 10 and the flop comes 10, 10,
K. You are a huge favorite, but if the turn
or river is a King, you lose the hand
and it's considered a bad beat.
Some poker rooms offer a bad beat jackpot where the house
takes money ($1 in most cases) from each pot and
puts it into a prize pool so when a bad beat
occurs, the players are compensated. Normally the prize pool is distributed
as follows; 50% to the losing hand, 25% to the winning hand and 25%
to the remaining players at the table that were dealt in that hand.
This is the money you have to risk in poker.
Many serious poker players have a separate bankroll just for poker.
If you bankroll someone, you are giving them money to play with, usually
in exchange for a percent of their profit.
Slang for inside straight
or gut shot.
To put money into the pot, betting is considered
To make a bet without looking at your hand.
Usually referring to Texas Hold'em before
the turn or the river card.
A slang term for a wheel or 5 high straight.
ie. A, 2, 3, 4, 5
Term used for the larger bet, in a $10-$20
game, the big bet would be considered $20.
The big blind is similar to an ante but
it is a forced bet in the second position
to the left of the dealer button. The big blind
is a full bet and the small blind is trypically half of the full bet
of the first betting round.
Slang term for a card that gives no help to your hand,
or to the board. "I caught a blank"
When a player raises without looking at his/her
hand or cards. Similar to betting
To bet, raise or reraise with
the worst hand, in hopes that the remaining players will fold.
Bluffing is pretending you have a big hand when you do not.
The exposed cards, also called community cards, in many poker games
such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
"The board plays" means the best possible poker hand is
showing within the community cards, or the playable high
card is on the flop, turn
Board in a stud game means the exposed cards.
A slang term for a full house.
The lowest ranking pair on the board.
If you have 3, 4 in the hole, and the board
is 3, 5, 8, J, K, you have bottom pair.
A card that is turned face up in the deck.
In or Bring It In
This is a forced bet usually for the low
card in a Stud poker game, although in some poker
games the high card brings it in.
This is a slang term for a straight
to the Ace, 10, J, Q, K, A
Slang for a pair of Aces, also
known as pocket rockets and American
or Burn Card
Discarding the top card in the deck
in order to reduce the chances of players getting advance information
about cards to come. Any time a card is discarded from the top of
the deck face down, it's called a burn card. In Texas
Hold'em a burn card is taken off the top of the deck
and placed face down next to the flop.
Normally a hand that missed a straight or
flush. "I have a busted hand" meaning
a 4 card flush or 4 card straight,
a losing hand.
A plastic disc that says "button" on it, used to determine
where the action is, the button is always the
last one to act in a board
game. Also known as the dealer button.
The amount of money needed to sit in a live
poker game or a poker tournament.
To call is to match the current bet or
raise. Calling is considered a passive play,
besides a check, it's the cheapest way to continue
playing the hand.
A term used to describe how a player plays his/her hands.
Someone that is a calling station is in a lot of hands, doesn't do
much raising, just calls.
A calling station is always welcome in a poker game, this player will
pay you off when you have big hands. A calling station will also catch
back door flushes, straights
and a lot of one card outs so it can be
aggravating but in the long run, a calling
station will lose their money in the game of poker.
Referring to one card, the only card left in the deck
that has not been exposed to the players. "He caught the case
card to make his full house" would
mean there was only one card left in the deck
that could complete his hand.
To make no bet and see the next card. Checking
is action and means you get a card for free,
no bet, if everyone else also checks.
When you check, someone else makes a bet,
then you raise. To check raise is part of the
game of poker, it is legal in almost every
card room. You would check raise if you are sure someone acting
after you is going to bet, it is done to get
the most money in the pot possible, or to get
people out of the pot, depending on your position
and the position of the bettor.
Same as bet blind, but it's a check.
Poker chips are small round discs usually made of clay. These
substitute money in a poker game. Not always
but usually black represents $100, green $25, red $5 and white $1.
Chop can mean to split the blinds, in a live
poker game or sometimes the chop is slang for the rake,
or house money.
Slang term for a deck that has been set up by
a cheat or cheaters with the winning hand predetermined.
These cards are face up shared by all the players. Flop
games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha
have community cards.
A poker game that is a variation of Pineapple.
Players are dealt 3 cards face down and discard
one after the flop. The game is then played out
like Texas Hold'em.
When a single deck of cards is separated into
two stacks. The dealer cuts the cards after
shuffling and before he/she deals the cards
to the players.
Same as bet blind.
Slang for a pair of Aces and Eights, all
black meaning spades or clubs.
Money that has been put into the pot by
players that have already folded.
To pass out the cards to players in a poker game.
The person who deals the cards to the players
in a poker game.
52 playing cards make up a deck. 53 cards are in a deck if
a Joker is used. A deck consists of 4 suits
and 13 denominations or ranks.
The denomination of each card in the deck is its
number from two (deuce) through ten, or is Jack,
Queen, King or Ace.
Also denomination refers to a chip, it's monetary
Deuces are the number two denomination
in a deck of cards. Often mispelled as dueces.
Also called ducks or quackers.
to Seven Lowball
A poker game played for the low where
2, 3, 4, 5, 7 no flush is the best poker hand.
Also called Kansas City or Kansas City Lowball.
To throw your cards away.
Two inside straight draws in one hand.
If your hand is 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, you would need a 5 or a 9 to make
the straight. Also called a double gut shot.
See Double Belly Buster
To receive one or more cards with intentions to improve your hand.
5 Card Draw is a draw poker game.
You can also be on a draw, if you have a 4 card flush
or straight, you are on a draw.
A term used when you stay in a hand and
can't possibly improve your hand enough to win
the pot. If a player has a flush
and you are drawing to a straight, even if
you make your straight you lose, therefore
you are drawing dead.
A poker game where the lowest hand
wins, this is a draw game.
Slang for Deuces or twos. Also called
A common mispelling of deuces
This is when a player acts before all or most of
the other players.
The requirement for a low hand, in order
to receive the low half of the pot you must have
an 8 (eight) low or better.
This is the rate in a dollar amount of profit or loss you
can expect over the long run.
A Jack, Queen or King in a deck of cards.
Also called a picture card.
A term used when there is many players involved in the pot.
A hand that is expected to win, a pair
of Aces before the flop is
a big favorite over a pair of Kings.
The fifth and final card in a board game, also
known as the river. In a stud
game, fifth street is the fifth card dealt.
A player that is a consistent loser in the game of poker.
A high only poker game where each player
receives 5 cards with the option to exchange up to 3 for new cards.
There is a round of betting after the cards are
dealt, and one round of betting after the players
draw for new cards.
A poker game where each player receives
5 cards, the first is face down and the following 4 cards are dealt
The first three community cards displayed on the board
in games such as Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
The flop is always dealt simultaneously, all 3 cards are dealt face
up at once.
A hand containing any five cards in the same suit
like 5 spades or 5 diamonds.
To fold is to discard your hand or throw it
in the muck.
of a Kind
A hand containing four cards of the same denomination
like 7, 7, 7, 7, K. The fifth card is irrelevant. Also known as quads.
The fourth card in a board game, also
known as the turn. In a stud
game, fourth street is the fourth card dealt.
A poker tournament that has no
rebuys, once your chips are
gone you are out of the tournament. Also
called a shootout.
Slang term for full house.
Three of a kind and a pair
like 10, 10, 10, K, K. Also called a full boat.
A bad hand which will let you win nothing. A garbage
hand if dealt, should be discarded.
Slang term for a pair of Kings, taken
from the movie King Kong.
Green can be cash in a poker game or
a term for the chip that is monetarily worth $25
which is colored green in most casinos. Also called a green bird.
To grind is to play tight in a lower limit poker
game and take the small wins. A grinder will win smaller amounts but
Another term for an Inside Straight
Your hand is considered the cards that were dealt to you.
A hand is also the overall meaning of everything that happens in between
shuffles, the cards are shuffled,
the dealer deals out the
cards to the players, there is action, a winner
is declared and the pot is pushed to the winner.
Up or Heads Up
This term is used when there are only 2 players in the pot.
It means one on one.
Another term for the best hand.
High in a stud game means the highest card or
cards showing on the board.
One is said to win the high in a high-low
split game, high being the high half of the pot.
In some poker games the high card will bring
it in, high cards are considered face cards
or an Ace. If someone says "high card plays"
it's the highest card in your hand.
This is a form of poker where half the
pot goes to the high hand and half the pot
goes to the low hand. Most High Low games have an 8
(eight) or better qualifier to determine who qualifies for the
low hand. Shortened term is Hi-Lo.
This is what poker players say when a player sits in a game
for a very short time, wins a big pot and leaves
Shortened name for the game of Texas Hold'em.
or Hole Cards
In a stud game, hole cards are the down
cards or unexposed cards. In Texas Hold'em
hole cards are the pocket cards.
Slang term for the Jack in a deck of
A poker game where 5 different forms
of poker are played, one per rotation or round.
H is for Hold'em, O
is for Omaha Hi Lo, R
is for Razz, S is for Seven
Card Stud, E is for Eight
The establishment running the game.
Odds or Implied Pot Odds
These are your estimated odds. If you have a big hand and
are certain a player or players behind you are going to call
your bet or raise, you have
good implied odds. Also to know players will call
your bet if you make your hand,
these are implied odds.
You are caught in the middle if your position
is in between a bettor and a raiser.
Four cards to a straight where the one card
you need to complete the straight is in the
middle of the run. For instance, with a 4c, 5h, 7d, 8c you would need
a six of any suit to complete the straight.
Also called a gut shot or belly buster.
The same as an inside straight except
that the cards must all be of the same suit.
Slang term for raise.
This is a card that usually plays as a wild
card. Jokers are not used in the poker rooms but sometimes in a private
home game. If a deck has a joker in it, there
will now be 53 cards in the deck instead of 52.
See Deuce To Seven Lowball.
Also called Lowball and Kansas City Lowball.
To watch a game of poker rather than
play. A kibitzer is the person watching the poker game.
If you have a pair of Aces
with a King, the King is the kicker. It is the highest card that is
not a part of a pair. A poker hand with a straight,
flush or full house
would not have a kicker since all 5 cards play.
or Kill Pot
A kill is used to stimulate action.
In some games a kill is used when the same player wins two pots
in a row, then the killer posts the bet (usually double the normal
big blind) causing the betting limits to
go up for just that hand. The player posting
the bet is the "killer," and the hand is considered a
"kill pot." In Omaha Hi-Lo a
pot is killed when someone scoops the whole
A name for the Queen in a deck of cards.
The last one to act in any particular
This is when a player is one of the last to act
in any particular betting round.
A structured poker game where there are fixed
betting amounts as opposed to a No Limit or
Pot Limit game.
The little blind is similar to an ante
but it is a forced bet in the first position
to the left of the dealer button. The little
blind is half the amount of the big blind.
This is a blind that is allowed to raise
whether or not another player has done so.
This is the term used for a period of time. "In the long run
a good, solid poker player will be a winning player."
A poker game played out like Five
Card Draw where the best low hand takes the pot.
This is the pot where any all
in players can partake. A side pot is
made once the all in player(s) has no more chips
to bet with.
The position a player is in at a
poker table, somewhere in the middle, not early or late position.
A misdeal is declared when the dealer
deals the cards out of order, deals someone out
of the hand that should of been in or for several
other reasons. When a misdeal is declared the dealer redeals the hand.
Slang term for a Queen or Lady in a deck
The discard pile. Where players throw
their cards to when they are folding. Any cards
that hit the muck are ineligible to win a pot.
A $5 chip or redbird.
Also means a 5 (five) as in the denomination
on a playing card. "I had a pair of nickels." would mean
a pair of fives.
This is poker slang for a hand that
anyone could of played correctly.
A poker game in which you can bet
or raise any amount, including going all
in anytime you want. Players are only allowed to bet
as much as they have in front of them.
This is a poker term meaning the best
possible hand. Used in board games such as Texas
Hold'em and Omaha mostly. If the board
is showing 10, 9, 4, K, Q all off suit, the
nuts would be A, J in your hand.
The likelihood that an event will happen or the probability of making
or not making a hand. It is very important for
a poker player to know the odds on hitting flushes,
straights etc. when considering pot
No flush is present, or cards showing
of different suits. In Texas
Hold'em if you say "I had Ace King off suit" you mean
the Ace was a different suit
than the King.
A poker game where the players are dealt
4 cards face down. This is a very popular poker
game similar to Texas Hold'em. The players
must use two of the four cards and two from the board.
If you are dealt four of a kind, then
you only have a pair, with little chance to improve.
Omaha is a high only game.
The same poker game as Omaha
but there is a winner for the best high hand and a winner for the
best low hand, the low must be an 8 or
better to qualify.
When only one card in the deck can improve
See Head Up
To open is to bring it in or be the
first one to act in the first betting round.
This is a four card straight where
you need a card on either side to complete your hand.
If you have 4, 5, 6, 7 a three or an eight will complete the straight.
Also called an up and down straight.
Any live blind has the option of
raising when it comes to their turn. The dealer
may say "You have an option" when the action
comes to the big blind.
This means the number of cards that will improve your hand
or make your hand a winner. If you have an open
ended straight, there are 8 cards in the deck
to make you a winner so you have 8 outs.
Used in Texas Hold'em when you
hold a bigger pair than the board
is showing possible. If you hold a pair of Aces,
and board has no Ace, you have an overpair.
Two cards of the same denomination
or rank. A pair beats a high card, but
two pairs beat a pair.
A hand where all five initially dealt cards are
a winning hand, such as a dealt straight
or a flush. It is necessary to keep all five
cards as no other card can improve your winning hand. You would say
"I don't need any cards, I have a pat hand." in a draw
See face card.
A poker game where the
players are dealt 3 cards face down and discard
one before the flop. The game is then played out
like Texas Hold'em.
This is a term used for the two cards you are dealt face
down before the flop in a Texas
Slang for a pair of Aces. Also known as
American Airlines and bullets.
There are many card games known as poker. For the most part
all poker games have a few things in common, they have betting rounds
and the winner of the hand is determined by the ranking of the hand.
Poker is played in land based casinos, private home games and online.
Poker can be played in a ring game or tournament.
This is where a player is sitting in relation to the other
players at the poker table. The best position is last to act
or the button since you will then know how the
other players act before your turn. Poker players
tend to play tighter in early
position and loosen up in late position.
This is an amount put into the pot before
the cards are dealt. Putting up an ante, big
blind or little blind would be posting.
This is the money gathered in the middle of the table, including
the blinds, all bets, raises
etc. The winner(s) of the hand receives the pot.
A poker structure in which the player
can bet or raise only up to
the size of the pot.
The amount of money in the pot versus
the amount of money it will cost you to continue in the hand.
This is a mathematical solution that will decide whether or not a
call is worth it in the long
Before the flop.
A poker player that is employeed by the house. One who is
paid to play in the game to keep it from breaking up. A prop player
is usually paid hourly to play, and uses his/her own money to play
in the poker game.
Slang for deuces or ducks.
Slang for four of a kind.
A minimum standard that a hand must meet
in order to win. Usually applied to the low side of a high-low
poker game. See also eight or better.
A $25 chip, also called a green bird.
To get quartered in a high-low
game is when two players had the same low. They split the low, which
was half of the pot, therefore the low was quartered
or they received 25% of the pot.
A plastic tray used in the land based casinos to hold your
playing chips. A rack will hold 100 chips, 5 stacks
containing 20 chips each.
A card that does not fit into your hand in any
A person standing on the rail watching a poker
game. Normally this is an ex-player who is now broke.
Placing a higher wager into the pot, over
the original bet. All other players must call that
bet or reraise in order to stay in that hand.
This is the house money. Most card rooms
take a small percentage of the pot for hosting the poker
The numerical value of a card or it's denomintion.
A Seven Card Stud poker game
played for the low (ace to five) only.
This is a very important skill for a poker player, to read
someone is to know how they play, notice their tells, betting patterns
This usually refers to poker tournaments,
to rebuy is to get more chips once you have no
more chips in front of you. Some rebuy tournaments allow only one
rebuy, where some allow several rebuys up to a certain point in the
To raise after someone has already made
This is a live poker game rather than a tournament
where players come and go as they please.
The fifth and final community card in board
games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
You may of heard someone say "You caught me on the river."
This means the player made his hand on the very
last card. Also known as fifth street.
This is a slang term for a very tight
poker player. Someone who plays very few and only premium hands, many
rocks are very predictable.
This is a term used in a Seven
Card Stud game when the first three cards are three
of a kind.
A round of hands is one full rotation around the table. If
there are 10 players at a poker table, the round is over when all
10 players have held the button.
A betting round is started after the initial cards are dealt, and
finished when the last bet, call,
raise or fold is made.
A hand containing and Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace in the same suit.
This is the highest possible hand in any poker
game not using wild cards.
This term is used when a player makes their hand
on the last two cards, usually referring to Texas
Hold'em on the turn and the river
cards. If a player is holding a pair of Aces and
the turn and river is each an Ace, that player
made runner runner four Aces.
See also back door.
This term is used in high-low games,
meaning a player won the high and the low, so that player scooped
the entire pot.
A very popular poker game where each
player is dealt 7 cards, the first two are face down, the next four
are face up and the final card is dealt face down. There is a round
of betting after the first three cards and after each individual card
dealt. Stud is usually played with a small ante
and a forced bring-in on third street. In
limit games, the bet
size usually increases on fifth street.
This refers to the amount of players in a given poker
game, usually less than six players is considered a shorthanded game.
This is done by the dealer, the deck
of cards is mixed and rearranged so when the cards are dealt the outcome
This is a separate pot aside from the
main pot where the active players that still
have money may partake. The all-in player is
not involved in the side pot.
The sixth card dealt in a Seven
Card Stud game.
This is a call of one or more bets
when in actuality this hand is strong enough to
raise. When a player smooth calls, it's usually
to trap other players so more money is put into the pot.
Slang term for a straight flush
to the five. A, 2, 3, 4, 5 of the same suit.
Five cards not in the same suit in an unbroken
sequence like 3h, 4s, 5s, 6h, 7h.
Five cards in the same suit in an unbroken sequence
like 4h, 5h, 6h, 7h, 8h.
Stud is a type of poker game, Five
Card Stud and Seven Card Stud are
In a deck of cards, each card that is not a wild
card is in one of the four suits: Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts or Spades.
This usualy implies that a player in a particular poker
game may only bet money they have on the table
at the beginning of a hand. For instance an all-in
player can not take money out of his/her pocket in the middle of the
hand, this player must only be allowed to win
the main pot.
Sometimes table stakes means a no limit poker
A poker game that is similar to Texas
Hold'em or Pineapple, each player receives
three cards face down before the flop. The player
may use none, one or two cards of the three, but not all three to
make the best five card poker hand with the board.
A poker game where each player is dealt
2 cards face down. This is a flop or board
game, where five community cards are dealt face-up on the table. There
are four rounds of betting: after the pocket
cards are dealt, after the flop, after the
turn, and after the river
card. In this game, the player can use none, one or two of his pocket
cards to make the best five card poker hand with or without the
board cards. Also called Hold'em for short.
This is the first round of betting in
a Stud poker game. It consists of the first two
down cards and the third card dealt which is face up.
of a Kind
A hand containing three cards of the same denomination
like 10, 10, 10, 5, 3. The other two cards are irrelevant. Also called
A tight player is one that plays very few hands.
To play wildly or recklessly. A player is said to be "on tilt"
if he is not playing his best, playing too many hands, trying wild
bluffs, raising with bad
A poker tournament is when all players start with the same
amount in chips. The winner is determined when
one player has all the chips. Tournaments are run differently from
card room to card room. There is a predetermined payout schedule for
the winner or players that finish in the tournament. Usually this
depends on the amount of players that entered.
The number three denomination
in a deck of cards.
A variation of Ace to Five
Lowball where the players get three draws
instead of one to improve their hand. There is
4 betting rounds in this game, one after the
first five cards are dealt and one after each draw.
Slang for three of a kind.
The fourth community card in a board
game such as Texas Hold'em or Omaha.
The turn is dealt after the flop and before the
A hand containing any two pairs
of cards like J, J, K, K, 2. The fifth card is irrelevant.
A person or hand who is not mathematically favored
to win a pot. For instance, if you flop
four cards to your flush, you are not quite a
2:1 underdog to make your flush by the river
(that is, you will make your flush about one
in three times).
This is the first player to act following
the blinds. See also position.
This would be any card that plays face up in a players hand.
Typically this means either that you believe you will receive
action from hands not as
good as yours, or that the chance you will win the hand
makes the bet worthwhile.
To wager is to bet.
This is a straight to the five. A,
2, 3, 4, 5
Normally this is a $1 chip, sometimes
it's used to refer to any chip of a smaller denomination.
or Wild Card
A card that may be used to substitute for any other card in the deck,
such as a joker.
A winning hand is a hand that takes the pot
in a poker game. This hand beats all the other
players' hands that are still active in the pot.
A wired pair is any pair in the hole
in a Seven Card Stud game.
or Wrap Around
This term is used in Omaha when your
hand is showing every straight draw possible. If the flop
is 3, 7, 8 and you hold 5, 6, 9, 10, this is a complete wrap with
20 outs to make a straight.
Nothing. A dealt hand with no cards worth holding
(i.e., you should redraw all five cards) or a final hand with no payoff.
Also called a garbage hand.
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