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Poker Terms & Poker Slang

Poker definitions, Poker rules - poker information


Ace-High: A five-card hand containing an ace but no pair

Aces Full: A full house with 3 aces over any pair.

Aces Up: Two pairs, one pair being aces.

Action: The betting.

Active Player: A player still in the pot.

Add-On: The opportunity to buy additional chips in some tournaments.

Advertise: To make a bluff with the deliberate intention of being exposed as a loose


All-In: When a player bets all his or her remaining chips.

Ante: A token bet required before the start of a hand.


Baby: A small card.

Back Door Flush (or Straight): When the last two cards make a player's hand, even

though he or she played on the flop for some other reason.

Bad Beat: When a strong hand is beaten by a lucky hand; a longshot win.

Bankroll: The amount of money you have available to wager.

Behind: You're behind if you don't have the best hand before the last cards have been


Belly Buster: A draw to fill an inside straight; a gut shot.

Bet: To voluntarily put money or chips into the pot.

Bet Into: To bet before a stronger hand, or a player who bet strongly on the previous


Bet The Pot: To bet the total value of the pot.

Betting Black: Betting $100 amounts (black is a common color for $100 chips).

Betting Green: Betting $25 amounts (green is a common color for $25 chips).

Betting Red: Betting $5 amounts (red is a common color for $5 chips).

Betting White: Betting $1 amounts (white is a common color for $1 chips).

Betting Interval: The period during which each active player has the right to check, bet

or raise; the round of betting. It ends when the last bet or raise has been called by all

players still in the hand.

Bicycle: The lowest possible hand in lowball: Ace-2-3-4-5. Also called a wheel.

Big Bet Poker: Another term for pot-limit and no-limit poker.

Big Blind: The forced bet in second position before any cards are dealt. Usually this is

a Live Blind, which means that the player in this position can raise if no one else has

before the cards are dealt.

Big Slick: The Ace-King card combination.

Blind: A forced bet that one or more players to the dealer's left must make before any

cards are dealt to start the action on the first round of betting.

Blind Raise: When a player raises without first looking at his or her cards.

Bluff: To bet or raise with a hand that is unlikely to be the best hand.

Board: In flop games, the five cards that are turned face up in the center of the table; in

Seven-Card Stud, the four cards that are dealt face up to each player.

Boat: Another name for full house.

Bottom Pair: When you use the lowest card on the flop to make a pair.

Bounty: A small amount of cash awarded to a player when he knocks out another

player in some tournaments.

Bring-In: The forced bet made on the first betting round by the player dealt the lowest

card showing in Seven-Card Stud and the highest card showing in razz.

Broadway: An ace high straight.

Buck: In all flop games, a small disk used to indicate the dealer, or used to signify the

player in the last position if a house dealer is used; a button.

Bullet: An Ace.

Bullets: A pair of Aces.

Bump: To raise.

Buried Pair: In stud games, a pair in the hole.

Burn: To deal off the top card, face down, before dealing out the cards (to prevent

cheating); or to set aside a card which has been inadvertently revealed.

Bust: A worthless hand that has failed to improve as the player hoped; a busted hand.

Bust a Player: To deprive a player of all his chips; in tournament play, to eliminate a


Bust Out: To be eliminated from a tournament by losing all your chips.

Busted: Broke, tapped.

Busted Flush: A hand with only four of five cards in a flush.

Button: In all flop games, a small disk used to signify the player in the last position if a

house dealer is used; a buck.

Buy-In: The minimum amount of money required to sit down in a particular game.


Cage: The cashier, where you exchange cash for chips and vice versa.

Call: To match, rather than raise, the previous bet.

Calling Station: A player who invariably calls, and is therefore hard to bluff out.

Cap: In limit games, the limit on the number of raises in a round of betting.

Card Room: The room or area in a casino where poker is played.

Case Card: The last card of a denomination or suit, when the rest have already been


Case Chips: A player's last chips.

Cash In: To leave the game and convert one's chips to cash, either with the dealer or at

the cage.

Cash Out: To leave a game and cash in one's chips at the cage.

Caught Speeding: Slang for caught bluffing.

Chase: To stay in against an apparently stronger hand, usually in the hope of filling a

straight or flush.

Check: To abstain from betting, reserving the right to call or raise if another player

bets. Also another name for a chip.

Check-Raise: To check and raise in a betting round.

Check In The Dark: To check before looking at the card or cards just dealt.

Cheese: A very substandard starting hand.

Chip Race: As the limits increase in tournaments, lower denomination chips are taken

out of circulation. Rather than rounding odd chips up or down for each player, the

players are dealt a card for each odd chip. The player with the highest card is given all

the odd chips, which are then colored up.

Chop: To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next

hand, if nobody calls the blind.

Cinch Hand: An unbeatable hand; nuts.

Clay Poker Chips: Poker chips made from a clay material similar to that used in casino poker chips.

Closed Hand: A hand in which all cards are concealed from the opponents.

Closed Poker: Games in which all of the cards are dealt face down.

Cold: If a player says his cards have "gone cold," he's having a bad streak.

Cold Call: To call a raise without having already put the initial bet into the pot.

Cold Deck: A fixed deck.

Color Up: To exchange one's chips for chips of higher value, usually to reduce the

number of chips one has on the table.

Come Over The Top: To raise or reraise an opponent's bet.

Commit Fully: To put in as many chips as necessary to play your hand to the river,

even if they're your case chips.

Community Cards: In flop games and similar games, the cards dealt face up in the

center of the table that are shared by all active players.

Connectors: Consecutive cards which might make a straight.

Counterfeit: In Omaha Hi/Lo, when the board pairs your key low card, demoting the

value of your hand.

Cowboy: Slang for a King.

Crack: To beat a powerful hand.

Cut It Up: To split the pot after a tie.

Cut The Pot: To take a percentage of each pot for the casino running the game.


Dead Card: A card no longer legally playable.

Dead Hand: A hand no longer legally playable, due to some irregularity.

Dead Money: Money put into the pot by players who have already folded.

Dealer's Choice: A game in which each dealer, in turn, chooses the type of poker to be


Deuce: A two, the lowest ranking card in high poker.

Door Card: In Seven-Card Stud, the first exposed card in a player's hand.

Double Belly Buster: A hand with two inside straight draws.

Double Through: Going all-in against an opponent in order to double your stack if you

win the hand.

Down Cards: Hole cards.

Down To The Felt: A player who has lost most of his chips.

Draw Lowball: A form of poker in which the lowest hand wins.

Draw Out: To improve your hand so that it beats an opponent who had a better hand

than yours prior to your draw.

Draw Poker: A form of poker in which each player receives five cards and then has the

option of discarding one or more of them and receiving new cards in their place.

Drawing Dead: Drawing to a hand that cannot possibly win.

Driver's Seat: The player who is making all the betting and thus appears to hold the

strongest hand is said to be in the driver's seat.

Drop: To fold.


Early Position: A position on a round of betting in which you must act before most of

the other players.

Even Money: A wager in which you hope to win the same amount as you bet.


Family Pot: A pot in which most of the players at the table are still involved at the end

of the hand.

Fifth Street: In flop games, the final round of betting and the fifth community card on

the board; in stud games, the fifth card dealt to each player and the third betting round

(on the third upcard).

Fill: To pull the card one is seeking; to hit.

Fill Up: To make a full house.

Fish: A poor player; an amateur who is losing a lot of money.

Fishhooks: Slang for Jacks.

Five-Card Draw: A draw poker game in which the players start with five cards and

then may draw to replace them.

Five-Card Stud: A stud poker game in which each player gets one concealed card and

four exposed cards.

Flat Call: To call a bet without raising.

Flat Limit: A betting limit in a poker game that does not escalate from one round to the


Flop: In flop games, the first three community cards, which are turned face up

simultaneously and start the second round of betting.

Flop Games: A family of poker games played with five community cards. The first

three cards, turned face up simultaneously, are called the flop. Popular flop games

include Texas Hold 'Em and Omaha.

Flush: Five cards of the same suit.

Flush Draw: Having four cards of the same suit, and hoping to draw a fifth to make a


Fold: To withdraw from the hand rather than bet or raise; to give up.

Forced Bet: A required bet to start the action on the first round of a poker hand.

Four-Flush: Four cards of the same suit, requiring a fifth to make a flush.


Four Of A Kind: Four cards of the same denomination.

Fourth Street: In flop games, the fourth card on board and the third round of betting,

the turn; in Seven-Card Stud, the fourth card dealt to each player and the second round

of betting (on the second upcard).

Free Card: A card that a player gets without having to call a bet.

Free Ride: To stay in a hand without being forced to bet.

Freeroll: A situation in which two players have the same hand, but one of the players

has a chance to better his hand.

Freeze Out: A game or tournament in which all players start with the same amount and

play until one player has won all the chips.

Full House: Any three cards of the same denomination, plus any pair of a different



Give Action: Betting, calling, raising or re-raising.


Hand: A player's best five cards.

Heads-Up: A game between just two players, often the climax of a tournament.

High-Low: A poker game in which the highest and lowest hands share the pot. Also

called High-Low Split.


Hit: To pull the card one is seeking; to fill.

Hold 'Em: A form of poker in which players use five community cards in combination

with their two hole cards to form the best five-card hand. Also called Texas hold 'em.

Hole: The concealed card or cards.

Hole Card: A card concealed in a player's hand.

House: The establishment; the casino or cardroom.

Hot: Said of a player on a winning streak.


Implied Odds: The amount of money you expect to win if you make your hand versus

the amount of money it will cost you to continue playing.

In: A player is "in" if he or she has called all bets.

In The Dark: To check or bet blind, without looking at your cards.

Inside Straight: Four cards requiring one in the middle to fill a straight.


Jacks Or Better: A form of draw poker in which a player needs at least a pair of Jacks

to start the betting.

Jam: To bet or raise the maximum.

Jammed Pot: The pot has been raised the maximum number of times, and may also be




Keep Honest: To call an opponent on the river, even though you believe he has a better

hand than you do.

Key Hand: In a tournament, the hand that proves to be a turning point, for better or


Kick It: To raise.

Kicker: The highest unpaired side card.

Kill: A kill game is one in which a player may place an extra bet, 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." The player is said to have "killed the pot" for the amount of

the kill.


Late Position: A position on a round of betting in which you act after most of the other

players have acted.

Lay Down: To reveal one's hand in a showdown.

Lay Down Your Hand: To fold.

Limit Poker: A game with fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals.


Limp In: To enter the round by calling a bet rather than raising.

Limper: A player who enters the pot for the minimum bet.

Live Blind: When the player is allowed to raise even if no one else raises first;


Live Card: In stud games, a card that has not yet been seen in an opponent's hand and

is presumed likely to be still in play.

Live Hand: A hand that is still eligible to win the pot.

Lock: A hand that cannot lose; a cinch hand.

Long Odds: The odds for an event that has a relatively small chance of occurring.

Loose: Playing more hands than the norm.

Loose Game: A game with a lot of players in most pots.

Lowball: A form of poker in which the lowest hand wins.

the bets they were able to match. Additional bets are placed in a side pot and are

contested among the remaining players.


Make: To make the deck is to shuffle.

Make A Move: To try a bluff.

Maniac: A very aggressive player who plays hands that more conservative players

would probably not consider.

Mechanic: A cheat who manipulates the deck.


Middle Pair: In flop games, a middle pair is made by pairing with the middle card on

the flop.

Middle Position: A position on a round of betting somewhere in the middle.

Miss: To be unable to make your drawing hand when the final cards are dealt.

Monster: A hand that is almost certain to win.

Move In: To go all-in.

Muck: To discard a hand; also the discard pile in which all cards are dead.


Narrow the Field: To bet or raise in order to scare off other players whose hands are

currently worse than yours, but have the potential to improve.

No-Limit Poker: A game in which players can bet as much as they have in front of

them on any given round.

Nut Flush: The best available flush.

Nuts: The best possible hand at any point in the game, a cinch hand.


Odds: The probability of making a hand versus the probability of not making the hand.

Offsuit: Two different suits, used to describe the first two cards.

Omaha: A flop game similar to Hold 'Em, but each player is dealt four cards instead of

two, and a hand must be made using exactly two pocket cards, plus three from the


On Board: On the table; in the game.

On Tilt: Playing poorly, usually because of becoming emotionally upset.

Open: To make the first bet.

Open-Ended Straight: Four consecutive cards requiring one at either end to make a


Open Card: Exposed card; a card dealt face-up.

Open Pair: An exposed pair; a pair of face-up cards.

Option: When a player posts a live blind, that player is given the option to raise when

their turn comes around, even if no one else has raised; straddle.

Out: A card remaining in the deck that could hopefully improve your hand.

Outdraw: To beat an opponent by drawing to a better hand.

Overcard: In stud games, a card higher than your opponent's probable pair; in flop

games, a card higher than any card on the board.

Overpair: In flop games, a wired pair higher than any card on the board.


Paint Cards: King, Queen and Jack; face cards; court cards; picture cards.

Pair: Two cards of the same denomination.

Pass: Fold.

Pat Hand: A hand that is played as dealt, without changing a card; usually a straight,

flush or full house.

Pay Off: To call a bet or raise when you don't think you have the best hand.

Picture Cards: King, Queen and Jack; face cards; court cards; paint cards.

Plastic Playing Cards: Playing cards made from PVC plastic instead of paper. Much nicer and more durable than traditional paper playing cards.

Play Fast: Aggressively betting a drawing hand to get full value for it if you make it.

Playing the Board: In flop games, if your best five card hand uses the five community


Pocket: Another term for hole.

Pocket Rockets: A pair of aces in the hole.

Poker Table: A table specially designed for playing poker. A poker table usually has a casino felt playing surface.

Poker Table Top: A piece that fits on top of an existing table and converts it into a poker table.

Position: Your seat in relation to the dealer, and thus your place in the betting order.

Post: To post a bet is to place your chips in the pot.

Pot: The money or chips in the center of the table.

Pot Limit: A game in which the maximum bet is the total of the pot.

Proposition Player: A cardroom employee who joins a game with his own money when

the game is shorthanded, or to get a game started; similar to a shill.

Protect A Hand: To protect a hand is to bet so as to reduce the chances of anyone

outdrawing you by getting them to fold.

Protect Your Cards: To protect your cards is to place a chip or some other small object

on top of them so that they don't accidentally get mucked by the dealer, mixed with

another player's discards, or otherwise become dead when you'd like to play them.


Put Down: Fold.

Putting On The Heat: Pressuring your opponents with aggressive betting strategies to

get the most value from your hand.


Quads: Four of a kind.

Qualifier: In high-low, a requirement the hand must meet to be eligible for a portion of

the pot.



Rack: A plastic tray that holds 100 chips in 5 stacks of 20.

Rags: Worthless cards; blanks.

Rail: The sideline at a poker table.

Rainbow: Three or four cards of different suits.

Raise: To call and increase the previous bet.

Rake: Chips taken from the pot by the dealer on behalf of the house.

Rank: The value of a card. Each card has a suit and a rank.

Read: To try and determine your opponent's cards or betting strategy.

Rebuy: To start again, for an additional entry fee, in tournament play (where



Redraw: A draw to an even better hand when you currently are holding the nuts.

Re-raise: To raise a raise.

River: In flop games, the last round of betting on the fifth street card; in stud games,

the last round of betting on the seventh street card.

Roll: To turn a card face-up.

Rolled Up: In Seven-Card Stud, three of a kind on third street (the first three cards).

Round of Betting: The period during which each active player has the right to check,

bet or raise. It ends when the last bet or raise has been called by all players still in the


Rounder: A professional player who "makes the rounds" of the big poker games in the


Royal Flush: The best possible poker hand, consisting of the 10 through the Ace, all

the same suit.

Run: A straight, or a series of good cards.

Run Over: Playing aggressively in an attempt to control the other players.

Running Bad: On a losing streak.

Running Good: On a winning streak.


Rush: Several winning hands in a short period of time.



Sandbag: To check a strong hand with the intention of raising or re-raising.

Satellite: A small-stakes tournament whose winner obtains cheap or free entry into a bigger


Scoop: To win the entire pot.

Second Pair: In flop games, pairing the second highest card on board.

See: To call.

Set: Three of a kind; trips (usually applies to a pair in hand and a matching card on


Seventh Street: The final betting round on the last card in Seven-Card Stud.

Shill: A cardroom employee, often an off-duty dealer, who plays with house money to

make up a game.

Shootout: A tournament format in which a single player ends up with the entire prize

money, or in which play continues at each table until only one player remains.

Short-Stacked: Having only a small number of chips left.

Show One, Show All: A rule that says if a player shows their cards to anyone at the

table they can be asked to show everyone else.


Showdown: The point at the end of the final round of betting when all the remaining

player's cards are turned up to see which player has won the pot.

Side Pot: A separate pot contested by other players when one player is all-in.

Sixth Street: In Seven-Card Stud, the fourth round of betting on the sixth card.

Slow Play: Disguising the value of a strong hand by underbetting, to trick an opponent.

Slowroll: To reveal one's hand slowly at showdown, one card at a time, to heighten the


Small Blind: The smaller of the two compulsory bets in flop games, made by the

player in the first position to the dealer's left.

Speed: The level of aggressiveness with which you play. Fast play is more aggressive,

slow play is more passive.

Splash The Pot: To throw your chips into the pot, instead of placing them in front of

you. This makes it difficult for the dealer to determine the amount you bet.

Split: A tie.

Stack: The pile of chips in front of a player.

Stand-Off: A tie, in which the players divide the pot equally.


Stay: To remain in a hand with a call rather than a raise.

Steal: A bluff in late position, attempting to steal the pot from a table of apparently

weak hands.

Straddle: To make a blind raise before the deal.

Straight: Five consecutive cards.

Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

Streak: A run of good or bad cards.

String Bet: An illegal bet in which a player puts some chips in the pot, then reaches

back to his chip stack for more. This is allowed only if player orally states a raise.

Suited: Cards of the same suit.

Sweeten: Poker slang for raise.



Table Cop: A player who calls hand to keep the other players honest.

Tapped Out: Busted.

Tell: A player's playing habits that might reveal his hand.

Texas Hold 'Em: A game of poker in which players use five community cards in

combination with their two hole cards to form the best five-card hand.

Three Of A Kind: Three cards of the same denomination.

Tight: A conservative player playing only strong hands.

Top Pair: Pairing the highest card on board.

Triplets: Three of a kind.

Trips: Three of a kind.


Turn: The fourth community card.

Two Pairs: A hand with two pairs and any other card

Under The Gun: First player to bet..

Up Card: A card dealt face-up.