POKER GLOSSARY

A

Act

To make a move when it is your turn, whether that be to bet, call, check, raise or fold.

Add On

An option in some tournaments to purchase extra chips, available to all players regardless of their stack size at the end of the rebuy period. Usually better value than a standard rebuy.

All In

When a player bets all of the chips they have in a single hand.

Ante

A forced bet required in some tournaments by all players into the pot before the hand starts.

B

Backdoor

Hitting the cards you need on both the Turn and River to make a winning hand.

Bad Beat

When you lose with a far stronger hand than your opponent that you statistically should have won with.

Bet

The act of wagering money in a hand.

Big Blind

The largest of two forced bets that must be placed in a tournament using blinds. This encourages the player in the blind to participate as they have to stake chips. The Big Blind is double the Small Blind and dictates the minimum bet for the round in play.

Blank

A community card that doesn’t seem to affect how the hand is playing out. For example, if the Flop is K-Q-10, a turn card of 4 will have little impact and is therefore known as a Blank.

Bleed

If you are losing chips without winning any hands repeatedly you can be referred to as bleeding chips. This means your stack is decreasing consistently.

Blind

A forced bet that must be placed by the relevant players, often allocated a SB (Small Blind) or BB (Big Blind) marker which is rotated around the table after each hand.

Blind Level

The level of Blind which must be posted. The Big Blind usually dictates the minimum bet for the round in play.

Bluff

Placing a bet or raise knowing you are unlikely to have the strongest hand, with the intention of making stronger players fold so that you win the pot. A bluff can also be used to disguise regular playing patterns.

Board

Refers to the community cards that are in the center of the table for all players.

Bottom Pair

The lowest pair on the table. For example, if the community cards were J-9-8-5-2 and your hole cards were A-2, you have only made the lowest possible pair.

Burn Card

A burn card is a card discarded before each Flop, Turn and River to prevent cheating. This is because a player might be able to identify a card from a previous round by any marks on the surface, so the top card of the deck becomes a burn card, meaning players don’t have a chance to identify the next card that will be in play.

Busted

To lose all of your chips in a hand.

Button

A marker used to identify the position of the Dealer at the table, often marked with “Dealer” or simply the letter “D”.

Buy-in

The minimum amount of chips that must be purchased to participate in a game of poker.

C

Call

To match the value of a bet or raise placed by a player in an earlier position than you.

Center Pot

The value of the main pot, rather than any side pots that exist in a round.

Check

If no-one has bet yet in a round, you can choose to Check, meaning you will do nothing and wait to see what happens.

Check-Raise

Intentionally checking in order to see if another player places a bet, before raising once you know they have already bet chips into the pot.

Community Cards

The five cards in the middle of the table that are shared by all players and are combined with your hole cards to make the best hand possible.

Connector

Two or more cards of consecutive rank. For example, hole cards of 7-6, or a flop of J-10-9.

Continuation Bet

When the player who led the betting Pre-Flop continues to bet after it.

Crack

A powerful hand, such as pocket aces being beaten. For example, the pocket aces were cracked for the second time.

D

Deal

The act of distributing cards to each player.

Dealer

The person who deals the cards.

Declare

To indicate the move you are going to make verbally.

Deuce

A nickname for cards with the rank of 2. For example, deuce of spades.

Dominated Hand

Having a hand that is very likely to be beaten by a stronger hand. For example, A-3 is a dominated hand against A-K. Very few cards will result in A-3 winning the hand.

Draw

Having the chance to improve a hand to something significantly stronger, usually a Straight (Straight Draw) or a Flush (Flush Draw), if the cards you need are dealt in the Flop, Turn or River.

E

Early Position

A position on the table closely following the dealer. This means you will have to act before most other players on the table.

Expected Value (E.V.)

A way to calculate your profitability in the long run, using mathematics and statistics.

Exposed Card

A card that has been revealed either accidentally or intentionally to one or multiple players. In most instances the card is revealed to all players and used as the next burn card.

F

Family Pot

When all or almost all players make it to the Flop.

Fifth Street

Another term used to describe the River, the final community card that is dealt.

Flat Call

When a player calls a bet they would have been expected to raise.

Flop

The first three community cards that are dealt, which occurs simultaneously.

Flush

A poker hand where you have 5 cards of the same suit, in any order.

Fold

When you no longer wish to participate in a hand you can Fold your cards.

Free Roll

When you are in a situation where you have the clear winning hand, which another player could have matched, but have a further opportunity to improve your hand and win the entirety of the pot with the final card. For example, if you have K♣-J♣ and the board is A♣ Q♦ 10♥ 6♣, even though another player could have K♦-J♦to match your Straight and split the pot, you have a chance to hit another club on the River, giving you a Flush, which beats a Straight.

H

Heads Up

A term used to describe just two players remaining in a hand. Heads Up tournaments also exist with just two players at the table.

High Card

The highest card wins the hand if no other better ranking hands have been hit. If two players have the same high card, whoever has the highest second card wins, known as a Kicker.

Hit

When you achieve the hand you were aiming for. For example, hitting a Jack in order to make your Straight.

Hole Cards

Two cards that are dealt to you at the start of each hand. Only you can possess the cards and they are combined with the Community Cards to make the best hand possible.

House

The establishment running a game of poker, such as a Casino.

I

In the Money

When you have reached the point in a game where you are guaranteed to win money, for example when only three players remain in a tournament which pays prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Inside Straight Draw

The opportunity to hit a Straight that can only be filled from the middle. For example, if your hole cards are 10-9 and the Flop is A-7-6, you need an 8 to hit a Straight. (Also known as an Gunshot Straight).

J

Junk

A bad hand which you wouldn’t expect to win with.

K

Kicker

If two players have the same high card, pair or two pair, whoever has the highest second hole card wins. For example, if two players both paired a King, if one player has K-10 and another has K-9, the player with the 10 "kicker" wins.

Knock

Players often knock twice on the table to indicate that they would like to Check.

L

Late Position

A position on the table far away from the dealer, making you one of the last players to act, giving you a better overview of how other players have acted in the hand so far.

Limit

In a limit poker game, players can only bet a fixed amount, usually with the option to make a Small Bet or a Big Bet.

Limp

When a player calls a bet instead of raising.

Loose

Playing more hands than the average player would play is known as playing loosely.

M

Muck

The pile of all discarded cards next to the dealer, which includes both burn cards and the hole cards of any players that have folded. The word can also be used intermittently in place of saying Fold.

N

No Limit

In a no-limit poker game, players can determine the amount they want to bet, up to the value of all of their chips, at any time in the game.

Nuts

The best possible hand on the board. The best hand in a certain hand ranking, such as a Flush, can also be described as the Nut Flush.

O

Offsuit

Two hole cards that are different suits, for example K♣ Q♦.

Open Ended Straight Draw

A Straight that can be completed by either high or low cards. For example, if your hole cards are 10-9 and the Flop is J-8-2, you need either a Q or 7 to hit a Straight.

Out

Used to describe any cards that you need in order to make a hand, often multiple. For example, if you need a 9 and there were none currently on the board, you would have four outs (the four different suits of the 9 card).

Over Card

A hole card that is higher than any of the community cards.

Over Pair

A pocket pair that is higher than any of the community cards, meaning no other single pair on the board can beat you.

P

Play the Board

When the best possible hand you can achieve is only made up of the community cards on the board, it is known as Playing the Board. For example, all five community cards could be clubs, giving every player a Flush. Unless a player has a better Flush, all players left in the hand would split the pot.

Pocket Pair

When both of your hole cards are the same rank, such as KK, giving you a pair.

Poker Face

Keeping a neutral face so as not to give away whether your cards are good, or how you intend to act.

Position

Where you are located on the table, which determines how soon you have to act in a hand.

Post

To place a forced Blind bet. Whether you would like to play the hand or not, the required players must post their blinds.

Pot

The total number of chips in the center of the table, that have been bet by players, sometimes divided into a Center Pot and a Side Pot.

Pot Odds

A calculation based on the amount of money in the pot at any point in a round, compared to the amount you must put in the pot to continue playing. If you only have to call a 20 chip bet into a 200 chip pot, you are likely getting a good price considering the potential winnings.

Price

What your Pot Odds are when deciding whether to make a call or the chance you will make your Draw.

Q

Quads

Another word for having Four of a Kind.

R

Ragged

If the community cards, often the Flop, don’t seem to give anyone much chance of making a good hand they can be described as ragged. For example, J-7-3.

Rainbow

When the Flop is made up of three different suits.

Raise

To increase the amount of a bet that has already been placed, usually by at least double its current value.

Rake

A commission that is taken from the total pot each round, which acts as an income for the establishment running the game.

Rank

What numerical value a card holds, not taking into account its suit.

Read

Using any information you have available, such as a player’s previous betting patterns or the way they have played the hand to work out the cards, or the range of cards, an opposition player could have.

Rebuy

Players have the option to purchase more chips at the price they bought in for, usually if their stack is equal or lower than its original level, or they have been knocked out. This option is available for a limited amount of time until the rebuy period ends.

Represent

Playing as though you have a certain hand. For example, if you raise when there is a K high on the Flop among other low cards, you would be representing a hole card of a K and a kicker.

River

The final community card that is dealt.

Royal Flush

The best possible hand you can achieve in poker. The odds of which are almost 650,000/1.

Runner

Hitting both the cards needed on both the Turn and River to make a winning hand. Also known as a Backdoor.

S

Scare

A card that significantly changes the status of a hand that was likely to win, into one that is likely to be beaten. For example, if you hit a Straight on the Flop, but one or both of the hole cards you have are dealt on the Turn or the River, it’s very likely someone will be able to make a higher Straight than you and win the hand.

Second Pair

A pair using the second highest card on the board. A pair with the highest card is known as Top Pair.

Set

When you hit a Three of a Kind, made up of a pocket pair and then hitting a third card of the same rank on the board. It’s more difficult to identify a player’s Three of a Kind this way compared to having two cards of the same rank as community cards.

Short Stack

A player that has the lowest number of chips, or significantly below the average stack, compared to others in the game.

Showdown

When all players left in a hand turn their cards over to reveal who has won, once the final round of betting has concluded.

Side Pot

A smaller secondary pot that is only used if a player with fewer chips has gone All-in, and the remaining players continue betting. The player that has bet all their chips can only win the Center Pot.

Sit and Go

A type of poker tournament with no scheduled starting time, which begins when the minimum number of players needed is reached.

Slow Play

Playing a strong hand slowly, by checking or calling any bets made until later in the hand, allowing a player to remain under the radar and in turn encouraging more players to bet, in turn building up the total pot.

Small Blind

The smallest of two forced bets that must be placed in a tournament using blinds. This encourages the player in the blind to participate as they have to stake chips. The Small Blind is only half the value of the Big Blind. If they wish to participate in the hand, a player must still increase their Small Blind bet to be at least the value of the Big Blind once everyone else has acted.

Split Pot

When the final poker hands of two players of exactly equal ranking, the final Pot is split equally between them. This also occurs if the best possible hand is on the board itself, with the Pot split between everyone left in the hand.

Spread

Refers to the range between the minimum and maximum bets on a table.

Stack

The total value of a player’s chips in a tournament.

Straight

A poker hand where you have 5 cards in consecutive order, but using different suits.

Straight Flush

A poker hand where you have 5 cards in consecutive order, all of which are the same suit.

Suited

Two hole cards that are the same suit, for example K♣ Q♣.

T

Tell

When another player gives away what they have unknowingly, perhaps by reacting to a flop or revealing how they feel through facial expressions.

Tight

Playing fewer hands than the average player would play is known as playing tightly, often only playing with very good hole cards.

Tilt

Playing recklessly and taking lots of risks.

Top Pair

A pair with the highest card on the table.

Top Set

The highest possible Three of a Kind that can be made.

Trips

Another word for having Three of a Kind.

Turbo

Tournaments where the blind level increases faster than a standard game.

Turn

The fourth community card that is dealt, after the three cards that form the Flop.

U

Under the Gun

The player who has to act first in each betting round. positioned to the left of the Big Blind.

Underdog

When a player is not the mathematical favourite to win a given pot.

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