Now that you have decided to master the game of poker, in addition to an attentive eye and a bucket of confidence, you must be able to speak. Our comprehensive list of poker terminology will help you get your jargon!
Ante is a bet that everyone in the game must make before a hand is dealt in order to stay at the table. It forces there to always be at least some payout in the pot, increasing the relative value of playing a hand to folding.
A bet that places all of a player’s chips into the pot.
Making a hand other than the one intended. For example, if there’s one heart on the board and you have two in your hand and two more hearts show up on the turn and river, then you have hit a “backdoor” flush.
when a player who initially had a substantial lead over an opponent but, loses his hand to that opponent after the flop, turn, or river.
A recollection of a bad beat. These are often boring tales of which you already know the end of.
For example: “I had ace-king, and my opponent had 2-3. There was an ace on the board. The turn was a 4, and then – Can you believe it? – the river was a 5!”
The position required to contribute the largest blind, usually located two seats to the left of the dealer. It’s a called a blind because the player has to bet without seeing the cards first. It is equivalent to one complete first round bet.
The generic term used to determine the big blind or the small blind. If you are one of the blinds, you are sitting either immediate left of the dealer (small blind position) or one position farther left (big blind).
The community cards that player’s use in combination with their pocket cards to form the best hand.
In a tournament, the bubble is a point at which the next player out will not win any money, but the rest of the players will win money or cash. For example, if there are 350 players in a tournament and the top 35 get paid, and then 36th place is known as “the bubble.”
Discarding a card before dealing the flop, turn, and river. In all poker games the dealer burns a card from the deck just before dealing the card’s that start a new betting round.
The button represents the table position of the current dealer. In poker, the button moves clockwise i.e. one player at a time each hand, so that everyone gets an opportunity to deal the cards.
The buy-in is the process of entering a tournament, that requires an up-front payment or the minimum amount needed to sit down in a cash game at a specific table.
To match the current amount of the bet made by the opponent player in the round of betting.
To pass on betting. If there’s no action to you, or there’s nothing to call. And if you decide to check, you are deferring your betting rights for the time being. Another player may now bet, in that case you may fold your hand, call the bet or raise
A player checks early in a betting round, hoping someone else will open. The player who checked then raises in the same round.
when you call two or more bets on your turn. If a pot has been bet and raised before it gets to you, and then you call, you’re cold calling.
For example: “The two players before me raised, so now I have a cold call.”
It refers to pocket cards that are suited and consecutive, for example Q♥ J♥. are considered as stronger hands than average because of its highest potential to form straights and flushes when they are combined with the community cards.
Cards which are dealt face up in the center of the table, shared by the players to use in making a hand.
When a community card does not changes its value of its hand then that hand is said to be counterfeited.
The player position to the immediate right of the dealer button in a game of poker.
who distributes cards to players and manages all the action at a poker table.
Is a marker used to indicate the player who is dealing. It is passed clockwise after every hand.
It is a poker variant where each player in the table is dealt a complete hand before the first round of betting, and then develops the hand for further rounds by replacing or drawing cards.
To receive a card that transform your hand from a losing hand to a winning hand.
Maintaining a stake in the pot with the possibility of completing a higher ranking hand than the player currently has, but in a situation where that player would lose a showdown regardless of what cards are dealt or revealed; drawing without any possibility of winning a showdown.
It refers to the action of dealing the first three face-up cards to the board, and it also refers to the cards themselves.
Five cards of the same suit i.e. diamonds, hearts, spades, or clubs.
To give up whatever you have bet so far by placing your cards face down on the table.You only fold when you think your hand is too weak to compete against your opponents
A hand containing four cards of one rank, and an unmatched card of another rank.
A hand which contains three of a kind and a pair of different cards with same rank.
It is an inside straight .
five cards, held in a game of poker.
A form of poker which is played between only two players.
Implied odds are extensions of pot odds that help you decide whether or not a drawing hand is worth calling in the face of a raise.
The highest rank card or cards which are not involved in completing a particular hand rank. Used to determine the rank of hands.
To call the minimum amount which is required for the first round of betting to maintain a stake in the pot.
It is a variation of poker game where the betting limit is set.
The discard pile, including burn cards, folded cards, fouled cards, and cards discarded in order to draw others.
A structure of the game in which there is no maximum amount of money or chips that a player is permitted to bet.
It is the best poker hand possible, an unbeatable arrangement of cards .For example if flop is 4-5-8 then the player is holding 6 and 7 has the nuts, but if 6 comes up on the turn, then 7 and 9 would become nuts.
It refers to when you are dealt two cards of different suits.
It is a community card poker game similar to Texas holdem where players receive 4 hole cards and must use exactly two of them, together with 3 of the 5 board cards, to make a hand.
A category of poker games which sees a part of each players’ hand being exposed to everyone else.
It is a pocket pair that is higher than any card on the board. For example, if you hold pocket kings and the flop is Q97, you hold an overpair.
it refers to a situation in poker where the player has four of five cards needed for a straight that can be completed at either end.
The number of hands equal to the number of players at the table, one rotation around the table.
In poker with more than one betting round, an out is any unseen card that, if drawn, will improve a player’s hand to one that is likely to win.
It refers to the hole cards which are of higher rank than any card on the board. For example, if it’s heads up and someone’s all-in, the two remaining players should reveal their cards. If it is a pair of sevens versus ace-king, the ace and king are “over-cards.”
The hand containing two cards of the same rank.
The cards in your hand which are not part of community cards. In holdem it’s your two down cards. In Omaha, it’s your four down cards. Also known as hole cards.
A situation that likely requires you to call due to the amount of money in the pot vis-a-vis your remaining stack of chips. In these situations, it makes no sense to fold.
A structure of the game in which bets and raises are capped by the current size of the pot.
The ratio of money in the pot compared to what you need to call to keep playing. For example, suppose there is $100 in the pot. Somebody bets $10, so the pot now contains $110. It costs you $10 to call, so your pot odds are 11-to-1. Do you think the odds of your hand being the best are better than 11-to-1? If so, you should call. Similarly, if you are getting the same 11-to-1 odds and you don’t have a made hand but the odds of drawing to a better hand are greater than 11-to-1, it would also be correct to call.
Four of a kind
In flop games, a flop in which no two cards are of the same suit. E.g., “The flop was an ace-9-7 rainbow.”
The amount that the house takes out of a poker hand.
A standard poker game in which money is wagered during each hand.
The final of the five community cards.
Slang for a “tight” player. A rock can sit at a table orbit after orbit without playing for a pot. When he enters a pot, you know he’s got the goods.
To wager more than the minimum required to call, forcing other players to put in more money as well.
An ace-high straight flush, the best possible hand in standard poker.
A tournament with a smaller buy-in that pools all the entrants’ funds and awards seats to a higher-value tournament rather than cash. For example, a $500 satellite that awards a WSOP.com Main Event seat ($10,000 value) would award one seat for every 20 entrants in the satellite tournament. Satellites give players the chance to enter into an expensive tournament by winning or placing well in a less expensive tournament.
A bluff with a hand that has the potential to improve should the bluff itself be ineffective.
Having a pocket pair that hits on the board, making three of a kind.
Having fewer chips than the rest of the players at the table or in the tournament.
When, after the final round of betting, players turn their hands face-up. A poker hand will only reach a showdown if there are callers in the last round of betting, or if someone is all-in prior to the last betting round.
Separate from the main pot. If one or more players is all-in, the pot to which the all-in players contributed is the main pot. A side pot is created from any additional money bet by the remaining players. There can be many side pots if there are more than one all-in player. An all-in player is only eligible to win a pot to which he has contributed.
A poker tournament that starts whenever a specified number of players have registered. As the name suggests, you “sit” (register), and, when there are enough of your fellow players to start the game, you begin, or “go.”
When, in an attempt to have other players stick around and possibly call your bets, you play your hand less aggressively than necessary. For example, if you flop a full house, it is unlikely anyone is going to beat your hand. Slow-playing the hand may allow the other players to make their hands and therefore continue to call your bets.
The smaller of two blind bets. the position to the immediate left of the dealer button position, and to the right of the big blind position.
When two or more players make the same hand and the pot is divided between equivalent high hands.
An optional pre-deal bet, typically made by the player to the left of the big blind. The straddle amount is twice the big blind (same as a legal raise). The straddler earns the “option” from the big blind. He may re-raise when the action comes around to him. A straddle is a cash game convention and is not usually permitted in a tournament.
Placing a bet on the table in a staggered motion or multiple motions. String bets are not allowed, and the dealer will remove the added amount of the bet if he determines a bet to be a string bet. It’s not permitted because it could be used to gauge the reaction of other players before you commit the entire intended amount of the raise.
A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence but not in suit.
A hand consisting of 5 cards in sequence and the same suit.
An interpretation of a physical action or a betting pattern that seemingly reveals how strong or weak a player’s hand is. The best players do not provide many tells themselves and have an ability to detect tells of their opponents in order to determine how to play a hand.
Usually the result of taking a bad beat or series of bad beats, a player is said to be “on tilt” when he plays with reckless abandon. Presumably, the term derives from tilting a pinball machine.
Requesting more time to think. A player will call for time to avoid the dealer killing the hand due to inactivity. Conversely, a player that takes excessive time to make decisions may have a “clock” called on them by the other players who seek to keep the flow of the game going.
A pair with the highest card on the board. For example, if you have an ace and 7 in the hole, and it’s a 3-4-7 flop, you’ve got a “top pair” with an ace kicker. If you had a pair greater than sevens in your pocket, you’d have an over-pair.
A poker event involving one or more tables of players who each begin with a fixed amount of tournament chips. They play until they have either lost that amount, are the last player remaining holding all the chips, or the remaining players enter into an agreement to end the game. In a tournament, players buy in for a certain amount, which goes into a prize pool that is distributed to the top performers, usually the final 10% of the remaining players. You cannot get up with your chips and leave the game like a cash game. You are in the tournament until its conclusion.
Slang for three of a kind.
The fourth community card. Put out face-up, by itself. Also known as “Fourth Street.”
Player sitting in the first-to-act position. It’s the position immediately to the left of the big blind, pre-flop, and to the left of the button for subsequent betting rounds.
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