Poker Terms Cover

All-inclusive Glossary of Poker Terms

Started just recently in poker and hearing all kinds of confusing lingo thrown around at the tables?

You’ve arrived at the right place! Our all-inclusive poker terms glossary will give you easy explanations for the different terms you might hear at the tables.

Altough it might feel uncomfortable at first, hearing and speaking poker lingo is actually quite easy. Almost always the terms make sense when you hear their explanations, and if you play poker a lot you will become familiar with the terms in no time.

Poker Terms in alphabetical order

  • ABC Poker: straightforward style of play meaning aggressive betting with strong hands, folding marginal hands and bluffing very little
  • A-high: ace-high, the best high-card hand if no one has a pair
  • Act: check, bet, raise or fold
  • Action: Either who’s turn it is to act, or a synonym for betting/gambling a lot as in ‘He is an action player’
  • Advertising: making a play at the table and showing the other players your cards to get action or folds later
  • Air: bluff with no outs or very little outs if called
  • Angle shooter: a player who uses the rules in a questionable morality to take advantage of other players in specific situations
  • Anna Kournikova: ace-king, often used to say it looks better than it is
  • American Airlines: pocket aces as a starting hand
  • Add-on: Chips that can be purchased on top of your stack in the tournament. Add-on break usually occurs at the end of the re-buy period.
  • All-in: Player bets all his remaining chips
  • Backdoor: Hitting your needed cards on both the turn & the river to make your hand. Usually it’s either a backdoor straight draw or a backdoor flush draw.
  • Bad beat: When you put your money in as a strong favourite, but get beaten by a hand that was basically a long-shot or a very weak draw
  • Bankroll: Amount of money allocated to play poker with. Also amount of money allocated to bet on sports.
  • Bankroll management: the discipline of choosing correct stakes and game format to avoid going broke during extended periods of bad luck. Can be based in some form of Kelly Criterion in case of sports betting bankroll
  • Bellybuster: inside straight draw, also known as a gutshot
  • Benjamin: $100 note
  • Bleeding chips: a player is consistently losing during a session or a tournament
  • Blind: a forced bet, for example big blind or small blind
  • Blocker: holding a card that your villain needs to complete their hand, for example flush or straight blocker
  • Blocking bet: a small bet that tries to block your opponent from making a larger bet
  • Bluff: betting or raising with the intention of making a stronger hand fold
  • Bluff catcher: a hand that has some showdown value but only beats bluffs (doesn’t beat any value bets)
  • Board: the community cards consisting of the flop, the turn and the river
  • Boat: full house
  • Bomb pot: each player places a predetermined bet into the pot and the first betting round starts on the flop
  • Bottom end: the lowest end of possible straights
  • Bottom pair: the lowest pair matching the board
  • Bottom set: the lowest three of a kind on the board, where a player holds a pocket pair that matches the lowest card on the board
  • Bounty: a special reward in tournaments for eliminating a bounty player
  • Brick: A blank card that doesn’t help any draws
  • Brick and mortar: a land-based real casino building
  • Broadway: ace-high straight through A T, also a starting hand with cards T or higher
  • Brush: a casino employee overseeing the poker room. Helps players to sign-up to tables and waiting lists, announces open seats, resolvers disputes at the tables
  • Bubble: last finishing position in tournaments that is left without a payout
  • Bubble boy: the person to finish just outside of money in a tournament
  • Bubble factor: the factor by which odds of chips in play and odds of money to be won differ
  • Bully: aggressive player who raises frequently to scare out more conservative or passive players
  • Burn card: card removed during a deal to prevent cheating
  • Buying the pot: a player making a bet in hope of no one else being interested in the pot
  • Call: To match any bet or raise during a hand
  • Calling the clock: Asking for a set amount of time for a player to make his or her decision in. Usually done to prevent excessively long times to make a decision at the tables
  • Calling station: A player who makes a lot of loose calls and is hard to bluff
  • Check: to pass on betting when the action is on you
  • Check-raise: To pass on betting the first time action is on you, but raising during the same betting round after another player has made a bet acting after your check
  • Connector: Sequential cards as a starting hand, for example eight-seven or six-five
  • Counterfeit: A card on the board that greatly devalues your hand. For example 8 on the river on board reading KK58 would counterfeit your pocket sevens, since now your two pair has turned into two pair with 7 high and your opponent has the better hand with any card 9 or higher
  • Cut-off: the position next on the right to the button
  • Dealer: person to shuffle the deck and deal the cards to players in a game
  • Dealer button: a clockwise passing button indicating which player has the position of button
  • Draw: A hand that needs certain cards in the hopes of improving to a winning hand. For example a four card flush needs one more of the same suit to make a flush
  • Draw out: to win against a better hand by receiving a card that completes your draw. Also known as a suck-out
  • Drawing dead: having 0% equity in the hand, which means no card in the deck will make you the winning hand. For example top pair on the turn against a set on a board where no flush or straight draws are possible
  • Flop: the first three community cards
  • Flush: five cards of the same suit. Beats a straight
  • Fold: to give up: By folding you lose whatever you have put in the pot so far
  • Four of a kind: An extremely strong hand in poker, consisting of four cards of the same rank
  • Full house: A strong hand in poker consisting of three of a kind and a pair, for example aces full of tens
  • Gutshot: inside straight draw, for example 87 on a T63 board
  • Hand: the poker hand formed from player’s hole cards and the community cards
  • Heads-up: playing against a single opponent. Also known as the purest form of poker, as it is palyed man-to-man/mano-a-mano
  • Implied odds: odds that take into account future bets and calls from your opponents in case you make your draw
  • Kicker: If both players have the same hand in showdown, for example a pair of aces, the player with the higher kicker wins the pot. For example player with AK wins against a player with AQ on a board reading A 7 6 5 T
  • Limp: to call preflop
  • Limit: A game structure where bets and raises are limited to a predefined fixed amount
  • Muck: the discarded cards during a hand. Folded cards are thrown into the muck, or mucked
  • No-limit: Game structure where players can bet their entire stack at any given point. The minimum bet is usually the size of the small blind, but there is no maximum
  • NIT: An extremely tight player who plays very few hands & gets involved in big pots only with monsters
  • Nuts: The best possible hand in a given situation. The second nuts hand would be the second best possible hand in a given situation
  • Nut low: The best possible low hand you can get in high-low split games
  • Offsuit: Two cards that are different suits
  • Omaha: Similar to Texas Holdem, but the players receive 4 hole cards instead of 2 and must use exactly two of them together with 3 cards of the board to make their hand
  • On the button, OTB: Being in the dealer position and last to act postflop. This position is the most profitable position you can have in poker.
  • Open-ender/OESD: A straight draw that needs either of two possible outside cards to make the straight, for example a player with 76 has an open-ender on a flop of K85, since any 9 or 4 would make him a straight
  • Open Face Chinese Poker/OFCP: variant of poker where each player makes three sets of made hands, and the winner is decided according to a point system
  • Outs: the number of cards that can give you the winning hand, for example having 8 outs to make a straight with OESD
  • Overbet: a bet that is more than the size of the pot in a No-Limit game, for example overbetting 2x pot on the turn could be betting 20usd into 10usd pot
  • Overcall: to call a bet or a raise after other have called before you
  • Overcard: a card with a higher rank than the highest card on the board or the pocket pair a player holds
  • Overpair: a pair that is larger than any community card on the board, for example a player with pocket queens has flopped an overpair if the flop comes J73
  • Overs: overcards
  • Paint: any face card
  • Pair: two cards of the same rank, can also be a pocket pair if your whole cards are of the same rank
  • Passive: a player who checks and calls rather than bets or raises
  • Pat: to draw 0 new cards in a draw poker game
  • Pay off: a player calls your beat when they’re beaten
  • Perfect: the best possible cards
  • Play the board: your best hand are the 5 cards on the board, and your hole cards don’t play
  • Pocket pair: pair as a starting hand
  • Pocket rockets: pocket aces
  • Polarized: a term used when describing player’s range that contains only very strong hands or bluffs (none medium-strength hands)
  • Position: Your current seat compared to the button – the closer to the button on the right you are, the better your positional advantage
  • Position bet: a player making a bet due to his position rather than the strength of his hand
  • Post: to post the blind bet to be dealt into a hand
  • Pot: the money in middle that you’re playing for in a hand
  • Pot-committed: when the pot is too large compared to the remaining stack sizes and you’re unable to fold due to this fact, even though you suspect you’re likely beaten
  • Pot-Limit: a game where the maximum bet a player can make is equal to the current size of the pot. In case a player makes a raise, the maximum size of the bet is calculated by the player calling first, and then raising the total amount of the pot after the call
  • Pot odds: ratio of pot seize to the size of the bet you’re facing to continue in the hand
  • Pre-flop: action that happens before the flop is dealt
  • Probe bet: a sort of test bet to find out the strength of your opponents hand
  • Protection: raising over another player to prevent other players from continuing in the hand
  • Push: betting or raising all-in, also known as shove
  • Quads: four of a kind
  • Quarter: a $25 or a $2,500 chip, or to win a quarter of the pot in a high-low game
  • Rabbit hunt: to see what cards would have come on later streets after the hand is over
  • Rack: a tray used for carrying chips, typically holding 5 rows of 20 chips each
  • Rag: a low card
  • Rail: the edge of the poker table, or the people who are following some player. Also a term ‘rail heaven’ came up when people watched and followed nosebleed games back in the glory days of Full Tilt Poker
  • Railbird: a spectator of the game
  • Rainbow: all cards are of different suit
  • Raise: to add more chips to another’s players original bet to make it more expensive for others to continue in the hand
  • Rake: small part of the pot taken out by the house, basically a fee for running the game
  • Rakeback: part of the rake returned to the player weekly or monthly based on a reward program of any online poker site
  • Range: possible selection of hands. A wide range means there are lot of different hands a player can have, and a narrow range means there are only a few hands they could have
  • Rebuy: to buy more chips after your initial buy-in
  • Redeal: a hand is dealt out after a misdeal on the first try
  • Redraw: having a made hand on top of having a draw into a better one, for example having the straight with a redraw to the nut flush
  • Reload: same as rebuy
  • Represent: to play a hand in a way as if it was a specific hand, regardless whether you have that hand or not
  • Reraise: raising another player’s raise
  • Reverse implied odds/RIO: estimation of how much more you might lose if you hit your hand but still lose to your opponent’s hand
  • Reverse tell: a false tell, acting weak when strong or vice versa
  • Ring game: a cash game with a full line-up of players
  • River: The final dealt card, which is the fifth community card in Texas Holdem and Omaha
  • Rock: a very tight player who plays only the best hands
  • ROI: return on investment, a term used by tournament players to figure how much on average they are making by playing a tournament
  • Rounder: a player who makes a significant amount of their income from playing poker, also known as a grinder
  • Royal flush: the highest possible poker hand, A-K-Q-J-T all of the same suit
  • Runner-runner: same as a backdoor draw
  • Running good/running bad: a stretch of good or bad luck with the cards
  • Sandbag: same as slowplay
  • Satellite: a tournament that awards top spot(s) an entry into a large tournament
  • Scare card: a card that has the potential of giving you or your opponent the winning hand
  • Second pair: pair with the second highest card on the board
  • Semibluff: making a bet or raise with drawing hand
  • Set: three of a kind with a pocket pair matching a third card of the same rank on the board
  • Setup: a situation where both players have such a strong hand they have no choice but to get it all-in
  • Shark: a strong winning player
  • Shootout: a tournament where you must defeat all the players at your table to advance to the next one
  • Short stack: a player with least amount of chips at the table in a cash game or a tournament
  • Shorthanded: a table with 6 or less players
  • Showdown: the point of the hand where cards are turned over to see who has the winning hand, occurs after the final betting round is completed on the river
  • Side game: a ring game played at the same venue with a tournament
  • Side pot: a separate pot to deal with any money above the amount of one player’s all-in
  • Sit-and-go/SNG: a tournament with no scheduled start time, but start is determined by the specific amount of players entering the sit and go. Most popular SNG format is single-table sit-and-go
  • Slowplay: to play a very strong hand like it’s a weak one
  • Slowroll: purposely allowing another player believe they have won the pot before showing your cards with a delay, slowrolling is considered one of the worst ways to breach the poker etiquette
  • Small bland: the blind beat on the left of the button
  • Smooth call: same as flat call
  • Soft-play: failing to bet or raise in a hand when the situation would warrant doing so, primarily so as to avoid winning money or chips from a friend. Soft-play is a form of collusion and prohibited by the rules
  • Stack: the chips you have in play
  • Steal the blinds: raising to make the blinds fold
  • Suck-out: same as draw out
  • Swing: a fluctuation of bankroll when you play poker, which can be an upswing or a downswing
  • TAG: Tight aggressive player, many winning poker players are TAGs
  • Tell: any unintentional informationn given to other players through physical reactions or gestures
  • Texas Dolly: the most famous living player, Doyle Brunson, who has played over 50 years professionally
  • Texas penny: $100
  • Three of a kind: three cards of the same rank, for example trip queens
  • Tournament: a form of poker where all players start with same amount of chips and continue playing until all chips are held by one player
  • Trap: same as sandbag
  • Trips: Three of a kind
  • Turbo: a type of tournament or SNG where blind levels increase faster than in a standard game
  • Turn: the fourth community card
  • Two pair: A hand that forms two pair with the community cards
  • Under the gun: the first position to act on the left to the big blind
  • Underdog: a competitor who is popularly expected to lose in the game
  • Underfull: the lowest possible full house
  • Value bet: betting a hand for the purpose to get called by a weaker hand
  • Vig: same as rake
  • VPIP: the percentage of hands with which a player puts money into the pot pre-flop, without counting any blinds. VPIP is used as a measure of how tight or loose a player is
  • Walk: when all the players for to the big blind who therefore wins the pot uncontested
  • Wet board: when the board has a lot of possibilities for different drawing hands, for example J-T-9 with two clubs
  • Wheel: a five high straight from ace to five, also known as the bicycle
  • Window card: the first card shown when the dealer pouts out the three cards for the flop
  • WPT: World Poker Tour
  • Wrap: a straight draw with 13 or more outs in Omaha, for example holding AJT9 on the flop of 873
  • WSOP: World Series of Poker
  • Zero sum: any game where which each player’s gain or loss of utility is exactly balanced by the losses or gains of the utility of the other players


Become the player you were born to be and start dominating the games – Continue reading more tips & articles in Learn Poker!



Plays anything where strategy and math is involved. Recreational Starcraft player since 1998.

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