Poker Glossary of Popular Terms

As this page will be testament to - there are quite a few different terms and sayings used in poker. If you've got one in mind and are interested as to its meaning - with any luck, you'll find it here. If not - please drop us a line to add it in;) In alphabetical order, here's our glossary of poker terms. The more popular terms have a dedicated page that explores the meaning in a little more detail.

Terms - A

ABC Player - An ABC player is a very predictable player.

Ace High - A poker hand with no pair or more but with an Ace as the high card. Check out our poker hand rankings.

Action - This refers to betting, calling or re raising. It is known as the 'action'. A poker game with "a lot of action" is a game where a large volume of money is in play.

Advertise - To advertise is to give the appearance of a style of play. For instance you might advertise you are very tight, but you may actually be loose.

Aggressive - "Aggressive" describes the amount of betting done by an player. The more he bets, the more aggressive he is considered to be.

Ajax - This is the Holdem starting hand, Ace Jack (or Black Jack).

Alligator Blood - A type of player who is difficult to knock out of a game (plays well short stacked).

All In - In no limit holdem, a player may move "all in" and bet all of his chips to the pot.

American Airlines - The Holdem starting hand Ace-Ace (AA). Also known as Rockets, Pocket Rockets and Bullets.

Angling - This term refers to a player acting out of turn to influence other players actions.

Ante - A small amount of chips placed into the pot before each hand. This acts as a "tax" for playing hands and is usually used in Stud games, where as Hold'em games usually have blinds.

Aquarium - An aquarium is a poker room or game that has a lot of fish in it (lost of low skilled players).

Terms - B

Bad Beat - A bad beat is a loss in which a player with the better hand going in loses the game by a player with worse cards getting lucky.

Beer Hand - 2-7 off suit. Considered the worst stating hand in Hold'em.

Belly Buster - An inside straight draw, synonym of gut shot. Also known as a Gut shot.

Bet - To put chips into the pot. Other players must either call your bet, raise you, or fold.

Big Blind - The larger of the two forced pre flop bets. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind, the blinds ensure there is always money in the pot and "action" on every hand.

Big Slick - The Hold'em starting hand Ace-King (AK).

Bird on a Stick - The Hold'em starting hand Seven-Two (72).

Blackjack - The Hold'em starting hand Ace-Jack (AJ).

Blinds - In Hold'em, these are the forced bets that take the place of an ante. The player on the left of the dealer (or dealer button) must pay the small blind and the person after him must pay the big blind.

Bluff - To bluff is to make a bet, when you know you have nothing, trying to force player out of the hand.

Board Cards - The cards in the middle of the table that are shared by everyone. "There were two Aces on the board".

Boat - A Full House. Also known as a full boat or simply full house.

Bottom Pair - When you make a pair on the flop with the lowest card on the board and one of your hole cards.

Broadway - Broadway means a straight from ten to ace.

Bullets - The hold em starting hand AA. Pocket Aces. Also known as Rockets or American Airlines.

Button - A small plastic disc called the "dealer button" to indicate who acts as the dealer. Indicates order of play.

Terms - C

Call - match a players bet and so stay in the hand.

Calling Station - A calling station is a weak player who does not tend to raise to see where he is in the hand. Will instead call with the hint of a draw or with marginal hands.

Check - this is the action where there are no raises in a betting round and a player chooses not to raise, he would check.

Check Raise - this is a play where a player checks a hand indicating that he is weak and when an opponent bets, he re-raises the bet, showing strength .

Community Cards - these are the shared cards that are dealt face up in community card games. Players would use their hole cards in combination with the board to make the best poker hand.

Connectors - Connectors (connected cards) are hole cards that are in sequence, for instance 9-10 or 4-5.

Cowboys - The holdem starting hand KK.

Crabs - The holdem starting hand 33.

Cut Off - this is the last player to act before the button.

Terms - D

Dealer Button - a marker used in a game of poker to indicate the order of play. This would be used to determine who is on the blinds and first to act.

Dog - otherwise known as an underdog in a hand.

Dominated - In holdem poker, a hand that is similar to another hand but has a lower kicker, is a "dominated" hand. If you hold K8 and your opponent had KQ, your hand is dominated buy the higher kicker. You need to draw the 8 because the K won't make your hand better against your opponent. Your hand can also be dominated if your hand has far less outs than your opponent. Also a terms used in online, live and heads up poker, a player can outplay and "dominate" his opponent.

Draw - a draw is a situation where a player has not made his hand but their are cards that could be dealt that would make him his hand (player is said to be on a draw).

Drawing Dead - Drawing to a hand that will lose even if you make your draw. If you have a straight draw but your opponent already has a flush, you are "drawing dead".

Ducks - The holdem starting hand 22, otherwise known as "deuces".

Terms - E

Eagles - The cards of a fifth suit in a sixty-five-card deck.

Early Bet - A small bet after the first card in stud or the first two cards in draw.

Edge - (1) An advantageous position. (2) The dealer or sometimes the Age.

Edge Odds - The advantage or disadvantage of a player relative to all other players.

Edge Shot - A bet made from an advantageous position.

Eldest Hand - The first player to the dealer's left.

Elevator - A cheating move during shuffling of cards, in which the dealer offers the pack to be cut, but then restores the deck to its original sequence. Also a poker game variation. See Elevator Poker Rules.

Elimination - Like Cincinnati, but cards matched with table cards are discarded (Weary Willie).

End Bet - The last bet of an interval.

End Bets - Last-round bets.

End Strippers - Cards tapered along the ends for cheating.

English Poker - Draw played with a blind opening.

English Stud - English Stud is a stud game with a draw.

Ethics or Etiquette - The understandings and courtesies of which violations do not constitute cheating - related - Poker Rules of Conduct.

Terms - F

Family Pot - when all players at the table enter the pot it is said to be a family pot.

Fifth Street - The fifth and final community card in poker game, otherwise known as the river or river card.

Fish - A fish is an player with poor skills, who often loses a lot of money.

Flop - The first three (of five) shared community cards in community card game such as Holdem or Omaha.

Flush - A poker hand with five cards of the same suit - see poker hand rankings.

Fold - the action of mucking ones cards.

Four of a Kind - Four of a kind is a poker hand with four cards of the same rank. For example, 9-9-9-9-K. A four of a kind is only beaten by a straight flush or royal flush.

Fourth Street - The fourth (of five) community card, otherwise known as the turn card.

Full Boat - Another name for a full house, a poker hand consisting three-of-a-kind and a further pair, all in the same hand, for example (8-8-8)(6-6).

Full House - A poker hand consisting of a three-of-a-kind and a pair. Also known as "boat" or "full boat".

Terms - G

Gambler - A player who wagers money at unfavorable edge odds.

Gimmick - A device employed to cheat, deceive, or trick, especially a mechanism for the secret and dishonest control of gambling apparatus.

Gut Shot - Also known as a Belly Buster, this is an inside straight draw.

Terms - H

Hedge Bet - A side bet to limit possible losses - see insurance.

Help - To improve a hand on receiving additional cards in stud poker or draw poker.

High Card - where a player does not make at least a pair, he would only have a high card, which would be the highest value card that he has in his hand (could be from the board if there is a higher card than is in his hand).

Hole Cards - Cards dealt face-down in stud.

Terms - I

Implied Odds - The same as pot odds except it takes into account making bets in the future. These odds are used when your hand is an almost certainly behind but may improve to be a certain winner (i.e. improving from no pair to a nut flush).

Improve - To draw cards that improve one's hand.

Inside Straight - A broken sequence of four cards, such as three, five, six, seven.

Insurance - A side bet to ensure winning some money in a large pot.

Terms - K

Kicker - A kicker is a player's highest card that is used to break ties in poker hands. For example, if two players make a pair of Aces, one is holding A-K and the other AJ, then the player with the K is the winner. If the players had A-3 and A-2, and the board was A-8-J-5-K then the two players tie with the pair of Aces, but split the pot because the best 5 card hand is made up of A-A-K-J-8 and their kicker cards are too low.

Kojak - The holdem starting hand KJ.

Terms - L

Ladies - The holdem starting hand QQ.

Lady - a single Queen.

Limit Poker - Poker with set betting limits. In a $5-$10 limit poker game all bets and raises pre flop and on the flop are $5 each, and the bets and raises after the turn and river cards are $10 each.

Limp In - Occurs when a player does not bet or raise, and only calls the big blind.

Limp Raise - To make a small raise before the flop.

Loose - Someone who plays a lot of hands and does not protect their stack. A loose player is often either a maniac or a calling station.

Terms - M

Main Pot - The first pot apart from side pots.

Maniac - The name for a player who is very loose and tends to play aggressively all the time.

Muck - The muck is the area on the table where all of the dead cards are placed once folded or burnt. To muck (the verb) is to throw away your hand without showing.

Terms - N

NL - Abbreviation to indicated a No-Limit game.

No Limit - A betting structure in which there is no maximum bet. Players may bet as much as they want at any time, at any time they can declare themselves "all in" and put all of their chips into the pot. Compare no limit holdem rooms.

Nuts - The nuts is an unbeatable hand, there is no other hand that could win.

Terms - O

Odds - The likely hood of getting dealt or avoiding a card or cards.

Odds On - Said to be odds when you are getting better than even money.

Off Suit - A texas holdem starting hand with two cards of different suits.

Online Poker - Poker played over the internet.

Open Ended - Otherwise called an open end straight draw.

Outs - Cards that can improve your hand. If you have a 4 cards of a flush draw, then there are 9 other cards left in the deck that can give you the flush (13 out of 52 total) so you have a total of 9 "outs" to complete your hand.

Over bet - the pot in a no limit game if a player bets more than the total pot, they have "over bet the pot".

Over-cards - Having 2 hole cards in your hand that are both higher value than the highest card on the board. For instance you hold 2 tens and the board reads 5-6-9. You are known as having 2 over-cards.

Terms - P

Pair - A pair is two cards of the same rank (different suits).

Passive - Someone who does not bet and raise a lot.

Playing the Board - In holdem if the five board cards make up a better hand than the players hands. For example a flush with 5 higher ranked cards than the players hole cards, then the player is said to be "playing the board".

Pocket Pair - In holdem if you are dealt two hole cards of the same rank.

Pocket Rockets - The holdem starting hand Ace - Ace (AA).

Poker Hand - A group of five cards which are ranked according to the poker hand rankings.

Position - Refers to the position a player is sat in relation to the dealer button. See table position.

Pot - The term used for the collection of all bets in the hand. The pot is usually kept in the middle of the table until there is a winner to the hand.

Pot Limit - A betting structure in which the maximum size bet is the size of the pot plus the amount you would bet if you re raised.

Pot Odds - This is the odds you are getting when you are drawing, without considering future bets. Basically, if you are drawing to hit your hand, you want to make sure there is enough money in the pot to justify drawing. The way you do this is you calculate your expected value of hitting your hand, which is called pot odds.

Pre flop - Pre flop is the stage of a holdem game when you have two cards in your hand and there are no cards on the board yet.

Premium Starting Hand - one of the top poker starting hands.

Terms - Q

Quads - Four of a kind. Holding a set of four cards of the same rank.

Qualifier - The minimum value hand allowed to win the pot.

Terms - R

Rags - Useless cards or cards that don't improve your hand.

Rainbow - This describes a flop of all different suits, reducing the chance of a flush.

Raise - To make a bet larger than the previous bet, thus forcing the original bettor to call the difference or fold.

Rake - This is the fee the poker rooms charge players. It is usually a percentage of the pot.

Re deal - A new deal after a misdeal.

River - The fifth and last community board card, after the turn, also called fifth street.

Rock - This is a nickname for a type of player who will fold a lot. These types of players generally break even.

Rockets - The holdem starting hand AA, otherwise known as bullets and pocket rockets.

Royal Flush - The poker hand consisting of A-K-Q-J-T of the same suit. The royal flush is the highest ranking poker hand possible, the Ace high straight flush.

Terms - S

Scooping the pot - The term used in Omaha Hi-Low poker when a player hits the best high and low hand, thus scooping the whole pot.

Sell - Similar to the slow play or sandbagging, betting a very strong hand fairly lightly in order to induce a call.

Semi-Bluff - A semi-bluff is a bluff with the potential for the hand to improve.

Set - Three of a kind.

Shark - A shark is a good player and typically wins. A shark generally "eats" fish, the weaker amateur players.

Shill - A shill player is a who is paid by the house and plays with the house money.

Short handed - This refers to a poker game with six or fewer people.

Showdown - This is the point in the game following all bets having been made. All cards are shown and the best hand wins the pot.

Slow play - Slow playing is a great poker play, basically the opposite of bluffing. It means to check or bet weakly on a b hand. The point of the slow play is so your opponent can get a better hand but you know that your hand can not be beaten (the nuts). The purpose is to get more money into the pot by "bluffing" that you have nothing.

Small Blind - The smaller of the two forced bets pre flop. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind.

Snowmen - The holdem starting hand 88.

Stack - An adjective describing chips. For example, "He has a massive stack".

Steal - to win a pot through aggressive play and not because you have a good hand.

Stone Cold Nuts - The best holding possible in a hand of poker that will win the entire pot where no cards can come that can beat the hand.

Straight - A poker hand consisting of 5 cards in order of rank. For example, 7-8-9-10-J.

Straight Flush - A poker hand consisting of 5 cards of the same suit and in order. A straight flush is a straight and a flush.

Suited - Refers to a holdem starting hand with two cards of the same suit. Suited cards are slightly better than unsuited cards as there is a chance of a flush.

Terms - T

Three Wise Men - Three of a kind, with three kings.

Tight - Someone who does not play many hands.

Tilt - This happens when someone loses a big hand or has a good hand cracked (bad beat) it causes them to tilt which is to play irrationally, often resulting in further loses.

Trips - Three of a kind. A poker hand consisting of three cards of the same rank.

Turn - This is the fourth board card that comes out in holdem, the card after the flop.

Two Pair - Two pair is a poker hand consisting of two pairs.

Terms - U

Under the Gun - The position to the left of the big blind which acts first before board cards are dealt.

Terms - W

World Poker Tour -The World Poker Tour is a series of poker tournament events featuring the worlds most professional players.

World Series of Poker - The World Series of Poker is the king of all tournaments. The WSOP is a a prestigious set of poker tournaments held every year in Las Vegas and lasts just over one month. There are always more than fifty events and the winner of each event gets a winners WSOP bracelet. The main event is the last event to be played and is a no-limit Holdem tournament which costs $10,000 to buy in and always offers multi million dollar prize pools.


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