When you're playing poker, you may come across words that are unfamiliar. To help you learn the lingo of poker, we've developed a handy glossary of poker terms. To help you understand the relationships between these terms, we've built links between many of them. Simply press your browser's 'back' button to return to your previous position in the glossary.
A full house with three aces and any pair
A five-card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no pair in it
A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is a pair of Aces
An intentional tell intended to give false information about a hand
Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is considered an 'action' game
Any player who is still in the hand
Adjective to describe a player who raises and re-raises and rarely calls.
The name of an Ace and Jack in the pocket, suited or otherwise
When a player bets all his/her chips
An action that isn't against the rules, but still incorporates unfair tactics
Using unfair tactics
Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun
When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw
Making a hand other than the one intended. Example: Having J/10 of Clubs with a flop of A of Clubs, 5 of Clubs, 6 of Spades. The turn and river are K & Q of Hearts. You made a straight instead of the intended (and more likely) flush
A re-raise from a player who originally called
The amount of money you have
A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight
To place chips into the pot
The odds you get as a result of evaluating the number of callers to a raise
Bet the Pot
When a player bets the amount of the pot
Bicycle or Bike
A straight: A-2-3-4-5
A designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second
position, clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)
A hand that contains an A-K
The bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the
dealer's left which will start the action on the first round of betting. The
blinds are posted before any cards are dealt. (A 'Blind' bet is one that is
made without looking at your cards.)
When a player raises without looking at his hand
To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise have, by betting or raising
The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In flop games, five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. In 7 Card Stud, four cards are dealt face-up in front of each player
When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own cards
An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10)
The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in 7 Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is the highest card showing.
Bring It In
To start the betting on the first round
A player who antes himself broke
Also known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the dealer of each hand
The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular poker game
Matching the bet amount
To call both a bet and raise(s)
A passive and loose player who does not raise much, but calls more than he or she should.
To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.
The room or space in a casino where poker is played.
Your hand is the most favourable possible combination of cards, no matter how you call it.
A player's last chips.
To leave a game and converting chips into cash.
When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he opts not to bet, he 'checks.'
When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.
To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if no other players call. It also means to 'split the pot'.
Dead Man's Hand
Two pair - Aces and Eights (The hand Wild Bill Hickock was holding when Jack McCall shot him in the back).
The man or woman who handles the cards, gives out the pots, and monitors the game.
Being the last to act in a betting round. On the button.
One of the four playing card suits. Formerly representing merchants.
A tool to protect players in the event that their internet connection is lost while involved in a pot.
Hands that are okay to play, but tend to lose against similar
non-straight/flush hands. Example: A2 is dominated because against other hands with an Ace, it loses or draws without improvement.
This is the first exposed card, or 'up' card, in a player's hand in Stud games.
Hole cards, or cards that are dealt face down.
It's a Hold'em hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the World Championship of Poker two years in a row with these cards).
Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones - the low hand wins.
Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards down, with the option of discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to attempt to make a better hand.
Playing a hand to improve.
A drawing hand that will lose even if it improves.
A hand that needs improvement to win. Usually to a straight or flush.
Also known as the 'river' card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community card on the table and the final round of betting. In Stud games, this is the fifth card dealt to each player and represents the third round of betting.
A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards down. They have one draw to replace them and the best high hand wins the pot.
A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards, one down and four up, with betting after 2, 3, 4, & 5 cards.
Calling a bet without raising.
In Hold'em and Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face-up in the center of the table, all at one time. The 'flop' also indicates the second round of betting
Poker games (Hold'em and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are dealt face up in the center of the table.
An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions
Any five cards of the same suit
When a player has four cards in his hand, all of the same suit and is hoping to draw a fifth to make a flush
To throw your hand away when it's your turn to act
A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same number or face value ('quads').
In flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt (also known as the 'turn') and represents the third round of betting. In stud games, it is the fourth card dealt to each player and represents the second round of betting.
The card you get as result of semi-bluffing from late or last position so that all the players check to you.
Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the same number or face value
A player's best five cards.
When only two players are involved with a hand.
One of the four playing card suits.
To decide the first dealer in the flop tournaments each user is dealt a
single card and the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order - of spades, hearts, diamonds & clubs) becomes the theoretical dealer.
A game where the amounts wagered are high.
Also known as Texas Hold'em, where the players get two down cards and five community cards. See our complete Hold'em rules.
These are the down cards in front of the players.
The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.
A prize fund awarded to a player who meets a set of predetermined requirements. For example, some casinos will give a jackpot to someone who gets four-of-a-kind or higher and loses.
A form of poker in which the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who has lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better).
Jacks or better
A form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the betting.
Kansas City Lowball
Form of lowball poker in which the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of different suits) is the best hand. It's also known as Deuce to Seven.
Keep them honest
To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing.
A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand.
In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the player, either for better or worse.
The highest unpaired side card in a player's hand.
A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a pot(s)
A hand that contains a K-J
Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other players have acted, (usually considered to be the two positions next to the right of the button).
Lay Down Your Hand
When a player folds
The first player to bet into a pot
A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals, along with a prescribed number of raises.
The first player who calls a bet.
To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. The most common understanding of limping in, is when the first person to speak only calls the Big Blind.
An instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no other player raises. It's also known as an 'option'.
In Stud Games, cards that have not yet been seen and are presumed to still be in play.
A hand that could still win the pot.
An inexperienced player who plays a lot of hands.
Making a hand despite having few outs and/or poor odds.
When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.
A loose player plays a lot hands.
Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest hand wins the pot.
A game where the amounts wagered are small.
The center pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among the remaining players. This occurs when a player(s) goes all-in.
To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.
A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.
The name of a Queen and Jack in the pocket. Suited or otherwise.
In flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the middle card on the flop.
Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth and seventh seats to the left of the button).
Mental devices used to remember things. In Hold'em, often players have names for what pocket cards they have, like Big Slick or Maverick.
To discard or throw away your hand. It is also a pile of cards that are no longer in play.
The least amount of money with which you can start a game.
A very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after having a small stack is considered to be a monster.
The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.
Cards of a different suit.
A game in which each player is dealt four down cards with five community cards. To make your hand, you must play two cards from your hand and three from the board.
On the Button
Being the last player to act in a betting round. Dealer's Position.
To make the first bet.
Four consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either end to make a straight.
A card that is dealt face-up
A pair that has been dealt face-up
An option is a live blind made before the cards are dealt. If no one raises, the 'option' player may raise the pot
A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s), but remain in the game.
The number of cards left in the deck that will improve your hand.
A pocket pair higher than any of the cards on the board.
Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).
Two cards of the same face or number value.
To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the best hand.
Face cards (Jack, Queen and King).
To raise or re-raise another player's bet.
Playing the Board
In flop games, when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards.
The down cards or hole cards
The two cards dealt to you at the beginning of a Hold'em hand that no one else is entitled to see
A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole
Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's place in the betting order
If you miss the blind, then you must ‚Äòpost‚Äô - add as many chips as were in the blind itself
The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win
This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.
A person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill
When the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. It's also when dealers rotate to other tables
A tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each.
The rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area.
Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking to get into action.
To increase the previous bet.
Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.
The value of each card and hand.
When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.
The illegal action of taking money off the table and putting it somewhere else.
7 Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.
Analysis of a player based on how they play, mannerisms, and tells.
The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in a tournament
A 'live' game that is not a tournament.
This is the last card given in all games. In Hold'em and Omaha, it is also known as 5th street. In Stud games, it is also known as 7th street.
A passive, tight player
Round of Betting
This is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called.
Guys who hustle for a living. This is also the name of a popular poker movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton
This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible hand in poker.
The act of playing with more money than is typical or reasonable.
Holding back and calling despite the fact that you have a very good hand, usually to disguise strength, provoke bluffs, and to check-raise.
A mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.
To win the entire pot
A waiting list. A player can put his or her name on this list if there are no seats at the table at which they wish to play.
In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board.
Betting with a mediocre or drawing hand.
Having a pocket pair that matches one of the cards on the board.
7 Card Stud
A well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards. Click here for information on 7 Card Stud.
This is the final round of betting in 7 Card Stud and Stud 8 or
Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.
Purchasing chips after your initial purchase. Usually the minimum for a short buy-in is less than the initial buy-in.
A short-handed game has few players.
At the end of the final betting round, it's when all active players turn their cards face-up to see who has won the pot
A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more players are all-in.
In 7 Card Stud, this is the fourth 'up' card dealt to a player (their
6 card). It is also the 4 round of betting.
The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer 'button' prior to the cards being dealt.
A seat or game that is favorable because of the lack of skill at the table.
A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).
A pair of fives.
When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising.
A raise by someone in late position in an attempt to reduce the number of players and/or steal the pot.
Re-raising to make a player(s) call two bets instead of one.
A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.
A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind, (and one that a player may raise when the action gets to him).
Five consecutive cards of any suit.
Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game.
Games in which players get both down cards and up cards.
A player who is losing in a game.
A characteristic of a playing card. The card being either of Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades.
The surface on which poker is played
An action that gives clues about the cards someone is holding.
This is also the name for Hold'em, the most popular form of poker.
In 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on the first three cards.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same number or face value ('trips').
Either a player who doesn't play many pots, or a game that doesn't have much action.
Behaviour as a result of losing, usually negative.
Tournament of Champions.
In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on board.
Top Two Pair
Having both your pocket cards match the highest two cards on the board.
In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of
A hand consisting of two different pairs.